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Programming Certifications: Java 2

  • By Steve Rowe
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If you have been part of the computer programming world for any length of time you are sure to have heard of, and probably used, Java 2 technologies. Java 2 is Sun Microsystems's development platform for creating end—to—end network applications and embedded applications. Two Java platforms exist, Java 2, Standard Edition (J2SE) and Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE). The J2SE platform contains essential items like compilers, tools, API's, and runtimes for creating and deploying applications as well as applets created with the Java language. The J2EE platform includes support for Web Services and the infrastructure for building secure and robust business applications. As with Microsoft developer certifications, see Microsoft Developer Certifications: What's Your Path? , Sun offers certifications for the tools and infrastructures found in the J2SE and J2EE platforms. These certifications allow Java 2 developers to exhibit their skills and expertise with Java 2 technologies. There are four certifications one can attain, and these include:

  • Sun Certified Programmer for the JavaTM 2 Platform
  • Sun Certified Developer for the JavaTM 2 Platform
  • Sun Certified Web Component Developer for the J2EETM Platform
  • Sun Certified Enterprise Architect J2EETM Technology

Sun's main goal for certification is to examine people on the job roles that each particular certification supports. Since job roles and tasks are central to the certifications, Sun recommends a minimum of 6 to 12 months of on-the-job experience with Java technologies before attempting the certifications. Also, if you don't feel you have the fundamental base in Java 2 technologies be sure to check out training.sun.com to find training courses that will help you build the fundamental skills for working with Java 2 technologies and tackle the entry-level certifications.

Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform

This certification is more or less the base certification for Java 2 technologies. This certification is for those who wish to learn and demonstrate fundamental skills using Java 2 tools and technologies. This certification allows a programmer to demonstrate fundamental proficiency with the Java 2 language and the J2SE platform. This certification can be attained by passing any one of the following three exams:

  • Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.4 (CX-310-035)
    • Price — $150
    • 61 Total Questions
    • 52% correct required to pass
    • 120 minutes to complete the exam
  • Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.2 (CX-310-025)
    • Price —$150
    • 59 Total Questions
    • 61% correct required to pass
    • 120 minutes to complete the exam
  • Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform Upgrade Exam (CX-310-036)
    • Price — $100
    • 33 Total Questions
    • 51% correct required to pass
    • 75 minutes to complete the exam

As you can see, you can choose one of two platforms to test on as of the writing of this article. It is always good practice to monitor the exam vendor's web site to stay current with what exams remain valid and for what length of time. Also, if you are undecided as to which platform to pursue it is advisable to monitor what the job market is supporting to help you decide the best path to pursue.

One caveat to the Upgrade Exam is that you must have passed an exam on a version of the Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform before you are allowed to take this exam. Once you have successfully passed one of the preceding exams, there are two potential ways you can go forward with Java 2 certifications. One path leads you to the Sun Certified Developer for Java 2 Platform certification.

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This article was originally published on August 1, 2003

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