Sun Java Cert: Learn Once, Apply Everywhere
In 1995, Sun introduced the Java programming language and changed the paradigm for application development and network computing. Using Java technology, developers can create secure, distributed, network-based applications for environments ranging from network-embedded devices to the Web, the desktop and mobile devices.
Today, Java technology has become a prominent platform for developing enterprise and mobile applications around the world. Java technology runs on more than 650 million PCs, 579 million mobile phones and is embedded in another 750 million smart cards. Today, there are millions of developers around the world using Java technology, touching your life in ways you probably haven’t realized.
Sun offers role-based training and a comprehensive set of industry-recognized certifications in Java technology, spanning all three Java platforms: Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE), Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and Java 2 Platform, Mobile Edition (J2ME). Achievement of a Sun certification can help empower developers to realize their career goals.
Sun’s methodology is to initially train developers on a foundational set of skills in the Java programming language, which can then be validated by passing the Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform exam. Developers can then pursue advanced or specialized certifications that help enable career growth into more specific job roles.
Learn Once, Apply Everywhere
Just as the Java 2 Platform offers the proposition of transportable code—“write once, run anywhere”—learning the Java programming language provides a related promise—“learn once, apply everywhere.” The pragmatic value of Java technology to developers in their everyday IT initiatives is transportable skills. Even though there are three distinct flavors of the Java 2 Platform, developers don’t have to learn a new language with each. For example, with basic Java training, developers can leverage their skills to create:
- Device code for PDAs and cellular phones.
- Heavy GUI client applications.
- Web-tier services with JavaServer Pages (JSP) and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) components.
- Integration services for back-end databases and legacy applications.
Furthermore, Sun’s Java technology certifications are not aligned with products, such as specific development tools, but rather are based on industry specifications and standards. This complements the notion that the skill sets required to achieve these certifications are transportable from one organization to another.
Java Technology Certifications
In all, Sun supports seven distinct job roles, capped by certification:
- Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform (SCJP): Achieving this foundational credential certifies that programmers understand the basic syntax and structure of the Java programming language using J2SE. To obtain this certification, candidates must pass one exam consisting of multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
- Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform (SCJD): This performance-based certification confirms that a developer has demonstrated advanced proficiency in developing complex, production-level applications using J2SE. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass two elements: a programming assignment and an essay exam. Candidates must already hold the SCJP certification.
- Sun Certified Web Component Developer for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (SCWCD): This certification identifies developers who specialize in the application of JSP and servlet technologies used to present Web services and dynamic Web content within the J2EE framework. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass one exam consisting of multiple-choice and drag-and-drop questions. Candidates must already hold the SCJP certification.
- Sun Certified Business Component Developer for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (SCBCD): This certification validates that a developer is able to use EJB technology to develop and deploy server-side components to encapsulate business logic for applications and interact with legacy systems and applications within the J2EE framework. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass one exam consisting of multiple-choice and drag-and-drop questions. Candidates must already hold the SCJP certification.
- Sun Certified Developer for Java Web Services (SCDJWS): This certification verifies that a developer can create Web service applications using Java technology components, such as those supported by the Java Web Services Developer Pack and the J2EE platform. Passing this exam certifies that the candidate has achieved a standard level of proficiency with Web services, as well as with the Java technologies that support Web services. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass one exam consisting of multiple-choice and drag-and-drop questions. Candidates must already hold the SCJP certification.
- Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (SCEA): This certification confirms that an architect can specify and design flexible, scalable and secure enterprise-level applications that are J2EE-compliant. To achieve this certification, candidates must successfully complete three elements: a multiple-choice exam, an architecture and design project, and an essay exam. Unlike other advanced Java technology certifications, SCJP is not a prerequisite for SCEA.
- Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer for the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (SCMAD): This certification indicates that a developer is capable of using J2ME technologies to create mobile applications for cell phones or other Java-enabled “smart” devices. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass one exam consisting of multiple-choice and drag-and-drop questions. Candidates must already hold the SCJP certification.
Tip the Scales in Your Favor
Some reports place the worldwide number of developers who use Java technology in excess of 4 million and growing. Sun certification provides employers with hard evidence that developers have the technical skills, professional dedication and motivation that they value.
For developers, the skills and knowledge gained while preparing for the exam typically translate into improved on-the-job productivity. Many Sun-certified professionals routinely attribute the achievement of certification with enhanced credibility, leading to greater respect from peers and management, improved self-confidence, increased job security and increased opportunity for professional advancement, including salary increases, job role changes and promotions.
Increase Employee Loyalty and Productivity
Although Sun certifications are career-enhancing, it doesn’t mean that employees who achieve them become job-hoppers. In fact, the opposite is true. Employer-sponsored certification often increases loyalty. Over the years, Certification Magazine’s Salary Survey has consistently reported that the overwhelming majority of respondents stayed with their current employers after getting certified. In addition, most respondents reported that they felt more secure in their jobs due to certification.
When an employer sponsors an employee’s certification, it’s a clear demonstration of their interest in that employee’s career and growth. Such positive actions by employers translate into enhanced employee loyalty—professionals are interested in staying with a company that supports their career and is willing to invest in them.
The value of Sun certification to an employer goes far beyond improved employee satisfaction and reduced turnover. With the increased credibility and customer satisfaction that come from having a Sun-certified staff, providers can win more high-value contracts. Fr