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Ever think about acquiring your Java certification? Here we take a look at the benefits of getting Java certified and the steps to take to ensure that it happens.
You're a coder already working with Java, so does it really matter if you are a Java certified developer? The answer is yes.
The first and perhaps most compelling reason is that it makes a professional resume shine. Every resume should have a section that lists the candidate's certifications, and for any software developer working in the enterprise Java space, having the associate, programmer or architect designation listed proudly on your CV will set your job application apart from the competition.
Java certification benefits
Another compelling reason to become a Java certified developer is the fact that doing so can significantly polish up one's software development skills, especially when it comes to some of the lesser-known constructs of the language. Java sometimes behaves in esoteric ways, from the ranges of the primitive types to some of the peculiar behaviors that come to light when you use hierarchically organized objects in a polymorphic way. An enterprise software developer might not run into these corner cases in their everyday work, but in working toward a certification, the developer gets the chance to explore how the Java language works when it's used in unusual ways.
And of course, there's always just that sense of personal satisfaction when you set a goal -- like becoming a Java certified developer -- work toward that goal and eventually achieve it.
How to get Java certified?
So, what's the right way to go about attaining the status of a Java certified developer?
Jeanne BoyarskyAuthor, Oracle Certified Java Associate Study Guide
The first step is the easiest. The first thing any developer interested in achieving a Java certification should do is head over to Oracle's Java certification page and take a hard look at the Java certification exam objectives. Once you've read through the listed objectives, you'll know exactly what you need to study. Start with the objectives you're least familiar with and invest the most time researching those.
What's step two? "Buy a book," says Jeanne Boyarsky, software developer with CodeRanch and author of Oracle Certified Java Associate Study Guide.
"It doesn't have to be my book, but buy somebody's book, because trying to do this without one is really, really hard."
But simply reading about syntax isn't enough to get yourself certified. The third step?
"Write lots and lots of code," Boyarsky says. And you should write it with nothing but a text editor and the Java Development Kit's javac utility to compile it. "Code without your IDE," Boyarsky says, suggesting that the error detection features that Eclipse or NetBeans provide may soften up your ability to independently recognize problems in the code. At the same time, an IDE's autocomplete feature can distance the developer from some of the nuances of the language and its syntax.
And finally, doing online practice exams or even going through a book of sample Java certification exam questions will help identify weak spots that might need a little extra attention before setting an invigilation date.
As a software professional, it is easy to get so caught up in deadlines, Agile sprints, feature enhancements and last-minute bug fixes that personal development gets thrown to the wayside. But investing in one's self is important. If you're a Java professional and you have contemplated getting an associate certification or even moving toward a developer or architect designation, you should certainly make it a resolution. It will not only make your resume look great, but it will provide a great deal of both personal and professional satisfaction.