Discussions

News: Sun Certified Business Component Developer for the J2EE Launched

  1. SUN has added a new Java related certificate - Sun Certified Business Component Developer. It focuses entirely on Enterprise JavaBeans components.

    SCBCD certification is also for those specializing in leveraging the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE platform) technologies used to develop server-side components that encapsulate the business logic of an application. Prior to beginning the Sun Certified Business Component Developer program, you must be a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java platform (any edition).

    Main exam objectives are:
    - EJB Overview
    - Client View of a Session Bean
    - Session Bean Component Contract
    - Session Bean Life Cycle
    - Client View of an Entity
    - Component Contract for Container-Managed Persistence (CMP)
    - CMP Entity Bean Life Cycle
    - Entity Beans
    - EJB-QL
    - Message-Driven Bean Component Contract
    - Transactions
    - Exceptions
    - Enterprise Bean Environment
    - Security Management

    Full SCBCD Description

    SCBCD Study Information

    Whizlabs SCBCD exam simulator

    Threaded Messages (41)

  2. Are hiring managers out there impressed by a Java Certification on a resume? Does it really act as a discriminating factor, or is it just passed over?

    I've always seen the Java certs as a structured way to approach the different topics/areas in J2EE and to make sure that you are hitting the important features. This is great stuff for an interview, but the resume is what gets you in the door.

    So, back to my original question; Are hiring managers out there impressed by a Java Certification on a resume?
  3. It is good question for which I do not have the answer.

    But, I do believe that these certifications are a good way to learn the (new) concepts. It is upto the developer to take the learned concepts to next level by developing cool apps otherwise the developer is just a PAPER TIGER.

    When I read a resume, certification does grap my attention and then I look for the project experience. So my decision tree is...

      if (cert=true) and (project experience = great)
      { hire rank=1 }
      else if ((cert=false) and (project experience = great))
      { will be in the hiring list 1 | rank = 2}
     
    hope it make sense.
  4. And what do you think about another situation:
    (cert == true && projectExperience == nonGreat) ?

    During my Java-jobs I met people that had little Java-experience or programming experience overall, and they looked at Suned-ceritificates like target... maybe "target" is wrong word. They thought these certificates (preparing for certification) helps learning Java/J2EE concepts and approaches, plus give some experience as well. Cetificate means you already know Java-industry fundamentials and have abilities to integrate into team and begin to develop. So, maybe certification is a good way for people who aren't great experienced but wants to become a professionals in the future?
  5. how about this nikita...

    if (cert == true && projectExperience == nonGreat)
    {
     Develop some cool/challenging applications, gain confidence
     set projectExperience = Great
     //improved changes even better.
    }

    Certification helps, no doubt about that. If certification process, includes a Case Study then it might be ever better. In today's world with product cycle of less than 18 months, experience factor in IT developers is a joke. 5 years of java experience does not mean any thing if best practices were not applied. Some Certification helps to learn those best practices. There is no doubt in my mind that certification helps.
  6. Personally, I've done some interviews for my company and went through many on my own. One thing I've learned is that value of certifications depends on the audience with which your resume is being presented to ... here's a break down:

    To HR: Its all about keywords and personality. Certifications hold real value as well as tools and languages. They would like to see work experience but they won't understand it a whole lot. Most resumes have to go through them before you get an interview so this is where a certification really counts.

    To Project Managers: Experience means everything. To managers who are less technical, a Java certification would probably mean something. However, most managers only care about experience and good communication skills. That's why project managers love consultants.

    To Team Members: Certification holds considerably less value. For example, as a developer and team lead, I see very little value in someone that has passed the SCJP exam because its nothing more than a multiple choice exam. The same will probably be true about the SCWCD and SCBCD. It doesn't prove you can actually write Java code. SCJD's and SCJA's would hold a little more value since they are required to submit an assignment. But nothing substitutes pure intelligence and a good attitude. Not even experience.
  7. It has been my experience that 'alot' of people who go down the certification route do so because they are finding their jobs unrewarding and unchallenging, and they feel they are losing their grip (if they had a grip) on their 'technical' knowledge. While this is a laudable path to tred given the situation I would suggest interviewers should scrutinise in more detail the 'work experience' of interviewees with certification more closely than those without because of this.

    By the way. This doesn't compile:

    >if (cert == true && projectExperience == nonGreat)
    >{
    > Develop some cool/challenging applications, gain confidence
    > set projectExperience = Great
    > //improved changes even better.
    >}

    can I have a job ? I could fix it (once I'm 'certified')
  8. I think most of the responses here reiterate my point - the more technical people will disregard certifications and value a person's intelligence (Most Important) and experience (Important). The less technical people will care more about certifications and specific skills. The bottomline is this: certifications may help you land an interview but it won't win you a job.
  9. <quote>
    The bottomline is this: certifications may help you land an interview but it won't win you a job.
    </quote>

    I think this is an excellent way to put it.
  10. certificate and job[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    The bottomline is this: certifications may help you land an interview but it won't win you a job.
    </quote>


    Thinking of getting a job through a certificate is just too much.
    It is however worthy of getting a certificate to get an interview in the
    first place. Man, it is not that easy to get an interview these days.

    The experience is no way to be replaced by certificates, but certificates
    are a stepping stone. Besides, you learn a lot during the certification
    process, the things you might not "discover" in real projects where you
    only learn what you really need to make it work under the deadline pressure.

    Certificate is not the most ideal way to learn J2EE, but hey, you do
    learn more stuff and you do get
    some certificate names on your resumes, and that can help you get
    an interview, is that not enough?

    Breakfast is not a replacement for your dinner, but it is nice to
    have one to begin the day!
  11. Are hiring managers out there impressed by a Java Certification on a resume?


     Your first goal is to get past the hiring manager's assistant : approriate certification would would help your resume survive the shortlisting process.
  12. In my experience, all the top java developers I know are not certified whatsoever. I have been the CTO of a company that developed their product line on the j2ee platform. I have been highly involved in building the development team. When I see a certification there (maybe not the j2ee architect ones) a warning sign goes of in my head.

    If you are really into java (and into development in general) you should have learned these things by doing self-study, because you like it, not because you think you can get a job with it. If you have done your self study right, did some projects and look at these certification courses you'll laugh about them (like a said, probably not the more advanced ones) and say "I don't need those, i'm better than that". And that's just the spirit i look for in a developer..

    Of course if you're not trying to build a top-notch team, you probably should look for a person with certification, at least then you know he has seen the imortant concepts once :-)

    Joost.
    www.jteam.nl
  13. Joost, I understand what you mean. But let me give you the other perspective on this.

    As a J2EE developer in a very dynamic industry, you are often facing a situation where you need to look for a new job. My experience was that companies bump you off without even dealing with your qualification because you didn't fulfill some criteria, however unlogical they might be.

    I am in such a situation right now where I'm looking for a new job. And I was facing the decision - will I spend all that money and do all those fancy certifications? My decision was - yes, I will. I don't know how much difference it will make but I have always believed that it's Not going to be a *negative* thing to have on my resume.

    <quote>If you are really into java (and into development in general) you should have learned these things by doing self-study, because you like it, not because you think you can get a job with it</quote>
    But I love Java and J2EE. And I did it by self study and of course on the job. And yet I'm doing it just because I want to have a better chance to get a job. Not more and not less.

    Again, I understand what you mean. The trick with the certification is, however, that you're not going to pass if you don't have a real skill in it. I doubt that there will be many that pass it just by reading a nice JavaRanch book (that certainly helps, though). And yes, the Architect exam is what is next on my plan after SCBCD next month ;-) Bottom line - I think the certifications let you "wave the flag" and let the other side know that you *do* have skills in the Java technology. It doesn't tell anything about your project experience, your ability to deal with customers, your stress resistance, or if you're a supa-dupa-SAP-like smile&shine money mashine.

    KarolR
  14. Certification warning sign[ Go to top ]

    I do agree with my co-Joost: most of the developers I've met who were certified didn't impress me very much. Usually because getting certified was a substitute for either knowledge and/or capability and/or just developing 'talent'.

    But I'd consider getting certified if I wanted to get into an area where my curriculum does not provide the right keywords and getting certified would get me past the people who do non-semantic keyword scanning.

    Joost-too
  15. Re: Certification warning sign[ Go to top ]

    Joost (both of you ;-) :

    do I understand you correctly that you consider a certified job applicant less skilled that a non-certified one?

    KarolR
  16. great...[ Go to top ]

    Great then!
    Let's then get out those fancy certifications off our resumes won't we?? cause they're popping out questions in some big-pay doing-nothing-worth manager's heads, people !!!
    I have a different opinion here:
    I have seen and worked with many top-notch super-duper experienced guys out there, but they sometimes, not always, sucked big time doing java; even the first SCJP exam would have done a great lot to improve their skills.
    I have even seen some that failed their first attempt to SCJP cause they thought their experience would help them out there being in front of those silly multiple-choices.
    So, I would say: if you got them, then be proud you got them, and flag them up, cause you worked pretty hard to get them, all the time and energy spend at home learning for exams after work instead of playing with your kids, and don't read any of mr. Joost comments; he is just minimizing the importance of certification on purpose. Those who don't have them, get some consolation reading opinions like this one.
    Mr. Joost, as one good manager I know already did , I would advise you ask ALL your developers, experienced or not, seniors to juniors, to pass these exams. Won't hurt anybody, isn't it? cause they're already good learning the stuff by themselves and they know everything. You'll be surprised maybe to see the results - why don't you try this just for fun.
  17. Well, I've been programming in Java for more than 5 years (Wow... I've more expericence than Bill, so why should I get certified?) and never thought about getting certified before the company I'm working for started trying to get some projects from government agencies here in Brazil. Having a team with sun certifications does counts in the selection process, so I'm taking the exam next week :). I still think that getting a certification other than the SCJA is meaningless to someone with more than 1 or 2 years of experience.

    Leonardo
  18. Book to help preparing SCBCD[ Go to top ]

    There is a first book to help preparing the new SCBCD: Head First EJB. You can find more about it on JavaShelf.com.
  19. I guess it all boils down to both certification AND certification. The first will help you get the job, while the second one will help you keep your job. Looking around I find that a whole lot a companies aren't just asking for Java developers, but the're looking for people who at least have a SCJP certification. I do believe it will help in getting a Java job
  20. Sorry, had a little typo there. It shoud read:

    I guess it all boils down to both certification AND experience. The first will help you get the job, while the second one will help you keep your job. Looking around I find that a whole lot a companies aren't just asking for Java developers, but the're looking for people who at least have a SCJP certification. I do believe it will help in getting a Java job
  21. I think part of the problem is that there's no clear agreement on the appropriate technology set for a J2EE certification. For example, I wouldn't regard 5 out of the 14 bullets for SCBCD material as very important (entity bean related material).

    I think it's important that candidates can think and argue about the technology, rather than regurgitating Sun guidelines. For example, I like to see if candidates can explain when it's appropriate to use EJB intelligently. For example, when might services such as CMT be attractive? When might SLSB instance pooling be useful, when might object pooling be unnecessary? When is it appropriate to use a distributed architecture?

    I have no preconceptions about the value of certification (it certainly wouldn't prejudice me against anyone), but I have interviewed many developer and architect candidates and found certification no worthwhile indicator of capability. I find a wide-ranging interview, possibly getting down to looking at some source code, much more useful. As it happens, the best hires I've made don't have any certification.

    I've interviewed several J2SE certified developers who couldn't answer moderately advanced questions like "what is a dynamic proxy and why might you use one?"

    I agree that certification is probably a good thing to consider for developers who are new to the technology. It probably does help them get past agencies and HR. With more experienced developers, I like them to explain systems they've worked on and why important design choices were made.

    Regards,
    Rod
    Author, Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development
    Founder, Spring Framework
  22. Rod,

    I absolutely agree with your opinion about nailing people down on design quesions in the interview. Certifications don't substitute this. But let me ask my question again.

    <quote>
    I agree that certification is probably a good thing to consider for developers who are new to the technology. It probably does help them get past agencies and HR. With more experienced developers, I like them to explain systems they've worked on and why important design choices were made.
    </quote>

    But what about *experienced* developers and their certifications? Do you consider it important, or on contrary worthless getting SUN certified in the areas where your expertise is?

    To me it all sounds like many people understood the certifications as equal to the statement "I'm a beginner and I passed the entry exam to the technology". Correct me if I'm wrong. My interpretation of the SUN certifications is "I'm able to work with the technology and I know what it's good for", which gives you an entry point for the discussion, in combination with your resume and project experience that you list there.

    It is very important to me to understand how the companies or agencies understand these concepts in the moment of looking at the resume, and later before the interview. I've done SCJP and SCWCD, heading towards SCBCD. Now I am in a situation where I decide whether to spend a lot of money for getting certified (SCJA costs cca. €700). Is it worth it?

    Thanks for any opitions.

    KarolR
  23. <karol>
    But what about *experienced* developers and their certifications? Do you consider it important, or on contrary worthless getting SUN certified in the areas where your expertise is?
    </karol>
    Most of the best developers I know have been too busy working to bother about certification, and have never found that a problem in the market.

    <karol>
    To me it all sounds like many people understood the certifications as equal to the statement "I'm a beginner and I passed the entry exam to the technology".
    </karol>
    I think this is a bit harsh. As I said, I wouldn't be put off if an experienced developer had certification.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure I can advise on the thought processes (if that's the right phrase) of agencies and HR. Agencies love buzzwords and I guess a certification is a kind of buzzword. They typically have very little understanding of the technology and rely on trying to match skills on resume with skills on job spec. The first hurdle a resume must pass are people like this. So, as it must also impress technical interviewers, a resume must appeal to two very different readerships to result in an interview.

    Regards,
    Rod
  24. Thanks for your feedback Rod.
  25. An excellent point, Karol, and one that I make frequently in conducting interviews. On one hand, you take two developers, one with 6 mos. of Java experience, interviewing for a "junior" position, and one with 4 yrs. of Java experience, seeking a higher level position.

    Both are certified.

    In which, or if in either, of these situations is that certification more relevant? For the dreaded "junior" positions, is certification deemed more desirable? Would it be the deciding factor between hiring candidates of equal backgrounds and experience--i.e., one is certified and the other is not?

    For "senior" developers, the issue is even murkier. As Rod quite correctly I think points out, we tend to look at things like experience, types of systems worked on, and talk about the design decisions made. We're especially keen to find folks who have worked on a variety of systems. If you've spent the last 5 years working on the same kind of system, or your responsibilities have been in relatively the same technical area, that is certainly important, as you might be more likely to be a subject matter expert in that area. But perhaps you are not as experienced in presentation layer concerns, as you have spent the last few years working exclusively in infrastructure, for example. Do you have exposure to the project lifecycle--are you comfortable with different application tiers and responsibilities? How important is maintenance? Is maintainable code that maybe isn't the height of elegance in terms of design more desirable than code that isn't? Is there a "right" way to solve a design problem? Certifications, in my opinion, do not measure the ability to answer these questions.

    But, certification does measure to some degree basic syntax awareness, language structure basics, and general understanding of common (and some not-so-common) language issues. There are many sides to the certification argument and its related topics--a "paper MCSE", or an "academic", for instance. In my field (bioinformatics), how many letters you have after your name is, right or wrong, a measure of your qualifications. But when I interview you, I may not care whether you have a degree, or how much postdoctoral research in compiler technology you have done. I may want to know what you as a Java programmer think of Perl, or Python, or Ruby. Do you know any Smalltalk? There is a reason why interviewers ask you questions like, "Why are manhole covers round?", after all :)

    I think the point is that certification is another factor in the mix--it neither elevates you, nor does lack of it lower your attractiveness, at least in my opinion. But, certification does show *me*, as a technical lead hiring analysts, engineers, and developers, that you at least recognize the value of certification, and that you are willing to invest in the technology and in yourself. And thats a point in your favor.

    So, good on you.

    Cheers,

    Kinsley
  26. Kinsley, thank you very much for your insights. It is mostly appreciated. I think this is a great discussion that shows a lot of aspects of *To Certify Or Not To Certify, That Is The Question*.

    I feel confirmed in most of the things that I thought about certifications and their impact on hiring people's understanding of your skills and personality. Thus, I will continue spending money for the certifications, which is not little. But then again, you can put it off your taxes, right? ;-)

    KarolR
  27. Rod,

    I just got SCJP and then I was willing to get another Sun certification. But then I bought your book and I am amazing to see how it is worth for real projects. So I decided I will finish your book before invest time to take any other certification. Now I hope to be a Spring Framework expert before get certified again...

    The only problem is to apply simple and efficient architectures in big projects I work for. The managers only want to use J2EE (means EJB for everything), RUP as development process (I want to use some agile XP concepts) and things like that...

    Anyway, I will keep my track.

    Rodolfo
  28. If the experience you are getting on the job is narrow or limited, then certifications can be a way to expand your curriculum vitae. They are gimmicks and in real terms will probably teach you less than if you spent the time on a pet project. But they are better than nothing on a resume, and unlike pet projects and PhD's they do not require much comprehension on the part of an interviewer. They also have a corporate stamp and swagger about them, which impresses the natives.
  29. I just got SCJP and then I was willing to get another Sun certification. But then I bought your book and I am amazing to see how it is worth for real projects. So I decided I will finish your book before invest time to take any other certification. Now I hope to be a Spring Framework expert before get certified again...

    Thanks Rodolfo, very flattering.

    I'm working on the Spring Framework certification material as we speak. It will cost $400 to sit and involve 100 multiple choice questions. There will eventually be 5 levels of certification, as our decision to undertake certification is part of an ongoing commitment to pursuing excellence in our training programming through offering a comprehensive range of qualifications. We will initially be partnering with leading training organizations to develop the course material, but we intend to develop our own training organization over the next year. The 5 levels will be:

    - SCCM (Spring Certified Code Lemur)
    - SCCL (Spring Certified Code Money)
    - SCCG (Spring Certified Code Gorilla)
    - SCCA (Spring Certified Code Authority)
    - SCESA (Spring Certified Enterprise Solutions Architect)

    Regards,
    Rod
  30. Code Monkey Hierarchy[ Go to top ]

    Hi Rod

    According to the standard pecking order in a colony of primates I think that the SCESA (Spring Certified Enterprise Solutions Architect) should be renamed to be 'Silver Back' the name given to the top weight gorilla in the forest :)

    regards
    Andy
  31. Wow ! Thanks for the news, Rod !

    I will look in Spring lists to keep informed about this. I believe here in Brazil we also have a big potential for doing business with some Open Source technologies and certifications sure may help win some contracts. Linux, JBoss and even MySQL already has certifications programs (althrought JBoss certification cost too much) so Spring Framework certification program would be great and IMO will fill the gap in Open Source certifications because this is not just another product certification, instead its a true developer focused certification.

    Rodolfo
  32. Er, Rodolfo, I <em>think</em> it was a joke...
  33. Uhhg !! Thanks Lowe !

    I suspected this too. But after 2 days wondering if its true or not then I realized it could be real, after all JBoss team charge a lot of $ for their certification so why Spring could not ? Monkeys... (OReilly inspiration ?)
    Very funny, except if you are ingenuos like me :|

    Anyway, I would love to say to my boss : Hey, I am the f. king gorilla here !!

    Rodolfo
  34. I am impressed by Java certs[ Go to top ]

    Having gone through SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, and SCEA I am impressed by anyone who has taken the effort to get them. I had been programming years in Java before I took the SCJP. I thought it would be a breaze. I took the pratice exam online and got spanked. There were just some aspects that I had never really had to deal with before in my experience, and I prided myself in keeping on top of the industry. I think the certifications indicate that someone has at least a minimum ability in all aspects of the things covered in the exam. It is an indicator. Just like a grade in school. Many people I work with are experts in a particular field in Java because of their experience, but the might not completely understand some nuisances of the language syntax. They might know how to use Threads, but they couldn't tell you how it worked. The Java certs also lay out what Sun thinks it important to know. "Oh you don't need to learn custom tags. We don't use them here." Maybe if the importance of them were stressed, you would. Of course you can just learn these things yourself, but its also nice to have a measure of your proficiency, and a common measure among people.

    Most people who do not like certs seem to not be real keen on other types of measurement (degrees, etc.). They do not like to quantify ability. Experience is valuable, but it is not the end-all. You can't experience everything, and a good way to give an indication to another is through certifications.
  35. I am impressed by Java certs[ Go to top ]

    John,

    I agree that these things are not easy and that the effort they represent deserves respect.

    The Java certs also lay out what Sun thinks it important to know. "Oh you don't need to learn custom tags. We don't use them here."
    However, this proves one of my points. I don't think Sun has done a great job of knowing what's important to application developers. Some of the material may well be irrelevant in many cases (over a third of the areas outline relate to entity beans). For example, why not include Velocity in certification? It's not from Sun but I've seen some fantastic results with it in place of JSP.

    Regards,
    Rod
  36. I am impressed by Java certs[ Go to top ]

    I know a friend who had never had a programming job (still doesn't have one) passed the SCJP easily four years ago (2001).
  37. Marketing Self and Networking is the Key[ Go to top ]

    I beleive Certification is not the only tool for getting the job. Key is the Selling Skills and Networking. Yes, also Salary Counts too.

    I have seen quite a few people (in Java Industry) with the more than 4 yrs experience in Java don't even have basic programming skills and they are the Java Experts and Java Architects.

    It is only after a while a person's (Certified) skills (by experience) may be recognized. But till then ...

    Doesn't matter how well Certfied you are, it will only help land your resume in shortlist and may help in getting a job but certainly not helpful in getting REAL job.

    Cheers.
  38. I'm certainly in favour of the the Sun Certified Exams. I think that studying for them would help even the expert Java developer/architect learn a couple of new things. And they certainly show that a candidate possesses at least a basic level of understanding in the area concerned. However the Sun certification exams are certainly not without their failings. In particular, having passed the SCJP with 98%, the SCWCD with 98%, and the SCJEA Part I with 100%, I can't help but feel that they are perhaps a little bit too easy and that the pass marks (usually around 60%) are far too low. I can possibly see why Sun don't want to set the pass marks too high - they don't want to scare people away from talking the certification exams as this would mean less people taking their lucrative certification courses and would also potentially lead to a noticeable shortage of available certified Java developers in the marketplace. IMO what the low pass mark does in reality is to devalue in employers' eyes what could be a really useful tool for gauging candidates' knowledge in specific areas.

    I have heard a lot of people slate certification exams in other forums, but I don't see why these exams cannot, in theory, tell you everything you need to know about a candidate. It all just depends on the tests and how they are done. Fair-enough, multiple choice may be a fairly limited way to test someones knowledge, but there is no reason why short-answer style exams (posing questions like Rod Johnson's dynamic proxy question), or coding tests, etc, cannot potentially give you a very accurate guide to a candidate's technical knowledge / ability. Having done a fair bit of interviewing myself, I would love it if I could tell from a person's CV that they know, for instance, that they have passed an exam that covers multi-user application issues and that they will know all about optimistic and pessimistic locking...
  39. I think the passing levels should be somewhere around 80% - 85%. More would be unfair.
    (And Lawrie, with your near-100% scores I think you should see a doctor :-D )
  40. People,

    I think certifications are very valuable for getting on HR's short list because HR people don't really know the value of the content in these exams and simply check off the buzz-words they have on their checklist. So that can only be a plus.

    However (studying for) certifications can improve your knowlegde of parts of a spec (say J2EE/EJB/or even the java) that you are not very familiar with or are familiar with but don't really know "why" a certain thing works the way it does. I believe the SCJP exam is such an example. I thought the SCWCD exam was much easier.

    Most importantly I think certifications also "validate" your knowlegde of a particular technology even though you may not have that much experience in it. For example, at the moment I'm a developer. I have alot of interest in (and probably a fair amount of knowlegde of) design issues/patterns/etc of distributed applications that people with my years of experience (not many years at all!) probably don't have. (Hey some people read novels in their spare time I read SUN's specs and Rod Johnson's novel... go figure ;-) ). I want to be more involed in systems architecture so I'm currently studying for the SCEA exam to "validate" the knowlegde I have. Hey it probably/definately would not get me a job as an architect but even if I go for an interview for another developer position say... having the certification shows that I can contribute intelligently to architectural discussions (Although I don't have much experience of systems architecture). So its still a plus. Or that assumption critically flawed? ;-) Thoughts?

    Cheers

    Smythe
    SCJP, SCWCD (couldn't resist ;-) )
  41. Experience is not everything...[ Go to top ]

    I find the valuation of project experience interesting but I think it is of very limited value by itself. Just because someone has the experience does not say anything about if the project succeeded (if indeed it did) because of him or despite of him! I have seen a lot of "pumped" resumes of people who worked on real world large scale projects and I would never even think of hiring them after a quick check. Question like "Describe a program that adds 1 to 100" or "Explain polymorphism" can be very revealing indeed.

    On the other hand I wouldn't bother about "Have you used product X in Version Y" as much as a lot of people who are hiring do (Depends on the task of course). Certification on the other hand is a nice indicator that someone at least tried to grasp some particular concepts and has shown he did in a (usually) multiple choice test.
  42. Experience is not everything...[ Go to top ]

    <karl>
    Just because someone has the experience does not say anything about if the project succeeded (if indeed it did) because of him or despite of him! I have seen a lot of "pumped" resumes of people who worked on real world large scale projects and I would never even think of hiring them after a quick check.
    </karl>

    That's what the interview is for. I sometimes try to check on whether the project succeeded from an external source. I will ask the candidate to describe the architecture, perhaps through diagrams. I'll ask what they did as part of this overall picture. I'll ask questions such as "why did you use XML there, rather than serialized objects" or "why did you use your own MVC layer rather than Struts/whatever". And "if you were to do this again, what would you change"... Often the answers show that the candidate didn't really understand the architecture, by the way.

    It's pretty easy to find out in 5-10 minutes whether the person contributed very much, how well they understood things overall, and how much they might be able to help another project.

    Regards,
    Rod