I have been working as a java and j2ee developer and solutions architect for 3 years (out of a twenty year IT career).
I'd like to improve my skills and knowledge and I am considering classroom training. Any suggestions on how I can best spend less than $10,000 on training courses would be appreciated.
I have been considering UML modeling, or vendor specific training in Websphere or Weblogic or maybe EJB Architecture courses from The Middleware Company.
I would probably take some form of certification testing after the training. My goal is to improve my marketability and profitability in a tight work market
Thanks In Advance,
Phillip, my opinion is that buying and working with books is the best use of the training dollar. Begin with the Ed Roman and Floyd Marinescue books, then break out with other best-of-breed books. I'm very partial to EJB Cookbook these days.
A lot depends upon what you are trying to accomplish. What are you trying to do?
I'll go out on a limb and guess that you're investing your hard earned shekels because your currently between positions. Your proposal leans towards more specialization. I took a different tack when last in-between: and chose to diversify. I learned me a whole new paradigm, and became ASP.net 'ready'. Before to long, I was snapped up by my current boss, and doing that .net thang.
As for how you learn, your the best judge. Like the other respondant, I prefer books (but avoid buying them). Plenty of great tutorials online on any and all subjects.
PS, Similar to you, I have 4 years java out of 24 years in IT.
Buy books... Read it and code it. Thats the way I did it.
For most of the Sun certs there are specific books out. Some of the books are quite good, but for the SCJD and the SCEA a project is required, which is more difficult to cover in a book.
Probably the best place to look for certification information is www.javaranch.com. They have an excellent discussion section at saloon.javaranch.com.
There is a ton of good advice, FAQ's for some of the most-used certifications, and lots of good reviews.
This site was created by one of the people who write the Sun exams and is the haunt of a lot of authors and industry gurus.
1) high top notch PC so that you can do software development
at home. Perhaps a dual processor workstation.
2) a good commercial IDE (JBuilder, etc)
3) buy a copy of Rod Johnson's J2EE book: "J2EE Design and Development"
4) buy a copy of Josh Bloch's Effective Java