Starting in October of 2011, Oracle introduced a new, mandatory training requirement for anyone interested in pursing the highly coveted architect designation. Formerly known as the Sun Certified Enterprise Architect designation (SCEA), the newly branded Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect examination will still require candidates to complete a multiple choice exam, submit an enterprise design project, and complete a proctored essay exam in order to obtain the designation, but candidates must also take one of a half dozen topical courses offered by Oracle before the architect credentials are bestowed.
An Oracle cash grab?
Of course, this development has not been taken to kindly by the Java community, largely owing to the fact that these courses range in price from $700 for self-study tapes, to $3000 for instructor led training. The general impression is that it’s a cash grab by Oracle, hoping to inject some easy money into their education and training division.
Naturally, it was a common fear that a similar education or training requirement would find its way into the old Sun Certified Java Programmer designation (SCJP), or as it’s been re-branded, the Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 7 Programmer (OCPJP) program. Well, Oracle recently pushed out their certification requirements, and rest assured that there will not be an education or training requirement in order to get the new Oracle Programmer designations. Here’s the official word from Oracle themselves:
“Training is highly recommended, however candidates pursuing the OCA and OCP Java SE 7 Programmer certifications are not required to complete training. Oracle University training is one of the best ways to help prepare for the certification exam and will contribute to your success as a Java Programmer.” - Java 7 Certification FAQ
No OCPJP training requirement; no OCAJP training requirement
So, the requirements for getting Java 7 certified will remain the same as with previous certs, that is, all you’ll need to do is some intense studying and then successfully pass a proctored, multiple-choice exam. However, one small change in the certification process is that the OCPJP designation will now require you to pass a prior exam first: the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer exam (OCAJP) or as it was formerly known, the Sun Certified Java Associate (SCJA) test.
So, while aspiring OCPJPs won’t be burdened with a $3000 training bill, they will need to pay for and pass two exams in total, each of which typically cost about $300USD to take. In the end, it’s a mixed bag of news. It’s going to take more time and more money to be able to boast about having an Oracle Certified Java Professional designation, but at least OCPJP candidates won’t be burdened with an additional training bill.
Java Certification Books and Learning Resources
OCP Java SE 6 Programmer Practice Exams (Exam 310-065) (Certification Press)
OCP Java SE 7 Programmer Study Guide (Certification Press)
SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Exam 310-065
A Programmer's Guide to Java SCJP Certification: A Comprehensive Primer (3rd Edition)
SCJA Sun Certified Java Associate Study Guide for Test CX-310-019, 2nd Edition