Friday, October 15, 2004

Review - A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification

A Programmer's Guide to Java CertificationA Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition
by Khalid Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen

5 out of 5 stars

If you are studying to become a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.4 this book will help you to receive not just a passing grade but an excellent understanding of the intricacies of the Java programming language. Mughal and Rasmussen aren't satisfied with simply giving you a minimal understanding of Java so that you can pass a test. They are interested in helping you to understand the language at a deeper level. After all, it is much easier to pass the certification exam when you actually understand the material rather than when you have simply memorized a lot of details.

I'll give you an example of the level of detail that the book covers. Section 5.2 of the book covers Selection statements. The section starts with a description of the if statement followed by an activity diagram which explains the flow of the statement. The authors then show a simple example followed by a clear explanation of the if statement. Then they do the same with if-else, this time using several examples. The same level of detail follows for the switch statement, again providing clear text, with a simple activity diagram, followed by several well explained examples. Finally, the section ends with several review questions. What this means is that this book can serve you well even after you have passed the certification exam. You will be hard pressed to find a better written reference.

The book covers all the information you need to pass the certification exam and covers the material needed to connect all the pieces together. The included CD has several mock exams with questions that will help you understand the type of questions that you will face on the actual exam. If you do well on the mock exams you will do well on the real thing. Overall, this is an excellent book for studying for the Java certification. But it is such a good reference that you will want to keep it nearby even after you have passed the certification.

This earned 5 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Addison-Wesley.

The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.


francisthegreat said...

How in-depth is the Sun Cert? I have some experience with Java, and although I'm pursuing an associate's, followed by a bachelor's, I figure one can never have too many certifications. While I wouldn't expect to walk in and ace the test, would it requre massive amounts of studying to pass?

Heh, I should've known that the guy commenting about meeting Gary Gygax and an inexplicable fondness for all things Shatner would be a computer geek :) (that's meant as a compliment, of course)

Tom P. said...

The Sun certification is fairly in-depth on the basics of the language. You need to understand inner classes, anonymous classes, static, and all the complexities of the language. But you don't need to know GUI development with Swing or servlets or any of the things outside of the basic structure of the language. The test used to be broader which made it easier in some ways. Today the focus is tighter which makes it harder. It used to be you could pass with a broad but shallow understanding. Today you need a narrow but deep understanding. This book or the book by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates cover all the material you need to know for the certification test. Time-wise, I think a couple of months of study should be enough... perhaps less if you already have a good understanding of the basics of the language.