Sun Java Programmer Plus Certification exam vs Sun Certified Java Developer exam

As a followup to Sun Java Programmer Plus Certification, I have some remarks on how the new exam relates to the old SCJP and the new SCJD.

Today I pulled out my SCJP (Kathy & Bert) book and re-read the introduction as to the purpose of the exam.  Right around page xxvii I found some interesting quotes that relate to the new exam – even though the book was written years before the Programmer Plus was envisioned.

The SCJD has you work on an assignment at home at your leisure. The onsite exam is an essay to show you actually worked on the code.

No. It may prove you read your code. It may prove you understand your code. It doesn’t prove you wrote your code. A friend could have written it and had you study it. The Programmer Plus is proctored programming – which really does prove that YOU wrote your code.

On the SCJP – “But does it mean that you can actually develop software in Java? not necessarily, but it’s a good head start.”

A head start for the person learning – sure. What about the employer? I thought the point of the SCJP was to show the new hire new a certain about of Java. One would think coding in Java would be part of that. This is a big part of why I’m excited about the new exam.

The Sun Certified Developer Exams is unique to the IT certification realm, because it actually evaluates your skill as a developer rather than simply your knowledge of the language or tools.  Becoming a Certified Java Developer is, by definition, a development experience.

My first thought is Cisco has a hands on portion – but that’s networking, not development.  My second thought is great, but it’s a bit advanced.  What about an entry level developer who doesn’t yet know Swing/RMI? For that matter, many companies don’t use Swing or RMI – how is it the first certification requiring coding uses these two technologies?  The Programmer Plus addresses this.  Coding basics are important.

A comparison amongst the three exams

Old SCJP New Programmer Plus SCJD
Programming required offsite No No Yes
Programming required onsite No Yes No
Multiple choice Yes No No
Cost $300 TBD $375 +$200
Scope Core Java Core Java RMI, Swing, etc

Which should I take?

Since the new programming exam is still in beta, this is a moot point at this time.

  • Old SCJP – If you’d like to take the exam in the near future, this is the one to take.  If you aren’t sure, there’s still a shortage of information on the new exam and the old materials will make you learn a lot you are likely to know on the new exam.  Sun is promising 90 days notice of the exam being retired.
  • New Programmer Plus – If you aren’t in a hurry to get certified and like this style better, you may do well to wait.
  • SCJD – The SCJP (or programmer plus) is still a pre-requisite for the SCJD.

[edited to fix table]

4 thoughts on “Sun Java Programmer Plus Certification exam vs Sun Certified Java Developer exam

  1. I already got SCJD, do I need to take the new SCJP plus ?

    Jeffry Kristianto Yanuar SCJP, SCJA, SCJD

  2. Jeffry ,
    No. Your existing SCJP is still good until it expires. Just like it would have been if Sun hadn’t changed anything.

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