Certification site JavaBlackBelt.com 2.0 launched


News: Certification site JavaBlackBelt.com 2.0 launched

  1. JavaBlackBelt.com, the free, community-driven online certification system for Java developers has re-launched their service. New features include more ways to earn belt levels, over better ways to connect question authors and users and collaboration on new questions. JavaBlackBelt has over 3500 questions online with several exams, and more in beta.

    John Rizzo, JavaBlackBelt co-founder and professional technology instructor said, "Our philosophy with version 2 is to promote direct communication between the question authors and the community. For example, the JavaBlackBelt.com home page now lists the five most recently added questions, and everybody is invited to comment on or edit them. We want JavaBlackBelt to be able to adapt and evolve as quickly as the open source technologies we are providing service for."

    The new version of JavaBlackBelt also enhances the site's "retro-mod" styling and appearance, echoing strongly back to the era of martial arts movies with heros like Bruce Lee, BlackBelt Jones and Foxy Brown. [Editor's Note: do they have 'Kung Fu Fighting' as background music?]

    JavaBlackBelt has invited the Java community to use the site, contribute questions and upgrade their belt levels.

    Threaded Messages (12)

  2. Just what we need...[ Go to top ]

    ..yet another "certification" effort to dilute the existing standard certification system managed by Sun.

    While the Sun program is not perfect, it is overall quite well-run and the exams are of *very* high quality, especially when compared with the other badly-written, cut-rate exams largely used blindly by recruiters with no actual knowlege of Java technology. ("We don't place anybody who hasn't taken these off-brand exams we bought as a package").

    To the extent that exam-based cerification has value (and it's surely not the full measure of an engineer by any stretch of the imagination), the Sun Java certifications are the gold standard.
  3. Re: Just what we need...[ Go to top ]

    ..yet another "certification" effort to dilute the existing standard certification system managed by Sun.

    I don't see Java Blackbelt as yet another certification effort. I'm certainly not going to put that I'm a "Java Black Belt" on my resume! Not that I am...I don't think anybody is yet.

    The value this site adds is that any Joe programmer can go to the site and take the mock Java certification exams and see where they need to brush up on before going to take the real thing. All that without having to shell out $$$ for badly written certification preparation books that they might only need 10% of. I say they're badly written because I've had to teach out several of them before and most of them are badly written.
  4. Just what we need...[ Go to top ]

    I agree that Sun Certification is of decent quality. Hey, it's been around for a while and a lot of effort was put in it, so - no surprise, huh?

    Yet, I like the community spirit of JavaBlackBelt. I believe in community spirit. It can do wonders.

    Let's see if this one works :)
  5. Re: Just what we need...[ Go to top ]

    ..yet another "certification" effort to dilute the existing standard certification system managed by Sun.

    Not anyone can or has the time to go through Sun's certification system. If I was going to choose some co-developers for a SourceForge project, measuring them up by JBB might be more reasonable than asking them to have a certificate from Sun...
  6. Re: Just what we need...[ Go to top ]

    If I was going to choose some co-developers for a SourceForge project, measuring them up by JBB might be more reasonable than asking them to have a certificate from Sun...

    Even though I hold a couple of Sun certifications myself, I'd rather see some of their code. As I implied in the first post, certification exams are a rather limited tool.

    Personally, if you asked me to go take some off-brand exam (or even a Sun one) to participate in a Sourceforge project, I'd go find some more useful application of my time.
  7. certifications vs licensing[ Go to top ]

    Looks like another useful site to put onto my regular reading list - good work!

    Along the lines of certifications, one of the more interesting debates is whether or not "software engineers" should be licensed as professional engineers. I live in Ontario, Canada, and up here Professional Engineers are a special group registered with the government and with responsibilities, rights and obligations defined by law. This, of course, is much stronger than a certification and not everyone doing technical work needs it. Every now and then the debate of whether or not "software engineers" need licensing pops up in academic circles, one of the most well known proponents being David Parnas, but I would interested to see what other practitioners think (and also what our clients think).

    I personally do not have an engineering license or any special certifications (just lots of experience), but I do see they can be beneficial, at least providing a baseline for knowledge and conduct.

    Don Morgan, Founder
    Audiobooks for Software Developers
  8. Training...[ Go to top ]

    I see like training for official program of Java Certification and in this direction the site is a good tool.
  9. Question quality concerns[ Go to top ]

    This is a pretty neat concept! However, the current question approval process needs to be improved substantially before questions make it into official exams.

    For example, I just took the "Java SE Basic" exam and found significant errors in one of the questions. The answers were marked incorrectly and on a multiple select answer set one of the answers did not match the question. I would suspect this is on what is probably the most frequently taken exam, too!

    Though there is a comment mechanism, it seems people have been complaining about this particular question for months and yet the question still appears in the exam with no explanation for why.

    As a former employee of Sun and having passed the Java Programmer certification exam and helped to develop the Web Developer Certification exam, I have to say I'm disappointed by the quality of the questions on this site. There is no comparison between the quality of this exam vs. the Sun Certification series of exams. At Sun they bring in large panels of experts and consultants who spend a week or more scrutinizing over questions and answers to make sure they are correct and unambiguous. They then do a trial run of the exams to collect statistical data to help identify problem questions and determine what the passing score should be.

    I like the community-driven approach of this site, and I'm sure some of the quality issues can be ironed out over time. Until then, I see it as a nice educational tool but I won't personally assign very high weight to claimed certifications from javablackbelt.com.

    - Mark
  10. Question quality concerns[ Go to top ]

    the concept may be nice, but the implementaion needs some work. IMO, for this to be effective, it must coincide exactly with the sun certifications. there's already a lot of resources out there for the sun certifications, though the free stuff is scattered. it's been over a year since i took the SCBCD exam, but IMO, the best practice guides was some windows client application that cost about 20$ or so. it was updatable, and there was forums where you could "argue" for correct answers.
  11. Question quality concerns[ Go to top ]

    Hi Mark,

    First, congratulations for your yellow belt, Mark (and for the speed & score!).

    I've had a look at your results and ... I've seen question 2248 with tons of open comments created since last Sunday.
    The author received mails and was supposed to react quickly. He didn't. When he doesn't react for 48h (that will be soon reached), the question is listed to moderators to take some action.
    With the next moderation process, the question should go to the beta pool for a few days, when the author edited it (and made a mistake).

    So, I agree with you: questions should not stay stable (in the "official exam" pool) when there are comments or bad votes on them.

    The moderation process is evolving (the next generation will be discussed there: http://www.javalobby.org/java/forums/t62755.html )

    To make short, we'll use the percieved quality (voting system) to help automating each question's lifecycle.

    Thank you for the feedback!
  12. I hope they've fixed this...[ Go to top ]

  13. I hope they've fixed this...[ Go to top ]

    Yes, James, it's question #232. It was easy to find with the search facility and it has been fixed as soon as you pointed the mistake out April 27. At the time of your post, the comment and edit facilities unfortunately did not exist. They make this kind of mistake difficult to last.
    I hope you've a better experience of the site now than 9 months ago.