jeanne’s SCEA/OCMJEA 5 part 2&3 experiences

Today I got word that I passed the SCEA/OCMJEA exam.  I passed part 1 in July and then took a break for the Core Spring certification.  Overall, the process is do part 2, take part 3 then e-mail part 2 and get grade in 4-6 weeks. (I got it in 18 days.)

Week by week

People often ask how long it takes to do the project.  Sun/Oracle says 40-80 hours.  Cade/Sheil says 25-35 hours.  As with part 1, here’s a sense of what I did each week and how long I spent each week.  [I’ve also added notes on what was a bad idea]

It took just over 27 hours and either 4 or 10 weeks depending on if you count weeks I didn’t work on it.  Well within the estimate by Cade/Sheil and way under the estimate by Sun/Oracle.  I think this is because Cade/Sheil assume you are already know about architecture and have some experience.

Week 1 (3 hours)

  • Bought part 2
  • Read assignment
  • Re-read chapter 9 of Cade & Sheil
  • Decided to use Visio 2002 because I bought a copy in grad school.  [I recommend not using Visio, but here’s some tips if you do.]
  • Created template for the deliverable – index.html, links, etc.  That way I exercise them as I do the assignment and know they work and are readable/usable.

Week 2 (6 hours)

  • Re-read assignment listing assumptions/risks/major architecture thoughts/major technology thoughts
  • Configured Visio to like UML and UML 2
  • Started deployment diagram and class diagram

Week 3 (2 hours)

  • Created drafts of sequence diagrams
  • Found my UML book from grad school to make sure I am getting the “academic” points of UML that we don’t use in practice into my diagram.  [I recommend using an actual UML 2 book rather than what you have laying around from years ago.]

Weeks 4-9 (0 hours)

Did nothing for six weeks dues to a series of trips during the week and catching up on other things on the weekend.  [This is a bad idea.  I completely lost my momentum and “un-loaded” all the information about the project from my mind.  I also paused right after finishing the “fun part” so it wasn’t motivating to get back to the project.]

Week 10 (16.25 hours)

Decided I was going to finish before Halloween.  This has been dragging on too long and I wanted to get it done before my next trip.

  • Finished all diagrams
  • Switched to UML 2 syntax
  • Added the stuff nobody does in real life.
  • Asked for a review from a colleague (per Cade/Sheil) to see if the problem was discernible from the diagrams
  • Make sure clear, updated formatting, spell check

What did I read?

  • Chapter 9 in the Cade & Sheil study guide
  • Questions people had in  JavaRanch/CodeRanch‘s SCEA forum
  • JEE 6 tutorial- Basic concepts because a publisher mailed it for me to review.  While it refreshed my memory about JSF, it certainly wasn’t essential for the project.
  • I used the first edition of Using UML as a reference because I had it from grad school.  The first edition covers UML 1.X so I don’t recommend it.  It is better to use a UML 2.X book since that is what the exam wants you to use.

My impressions of SCEA Part 2

Part of part 2 was fun to do.  This was the part where I created the design, thought about it how met functional/non-functional requirements, made the risk list, etc.  Then there was the tedious “do the stuff Sun/Oracle wants that nobody does in the real world”.  Like put JSPs on a class diagram.  And the time spent stressing over reading Sun/Oracle’s mind on what they want despite them not commenting on it.  Unfortunately I took a break between the fun part and the tedious part which made it seem worse because I lost flow.  My thoughts on each section are:

  1. Class diagram – I’m not a mind-reader about what they wanted.  I did what I felt was appropriate, plus a bit more detail.  I had a feeling this decision cost me $300, but it didn’t – I passed on the first shot.  Cade’s example doesn’t look like there is any way it is worth 40 pts.  I had 2 class diagrams containing 26 classes and 11 JSPs.  (I would never put JSPs in a class diagram, but I thought they wanted it.)
  2. Component diagram – I would never put this much detail in a component diagram.  Especially JSPs!  I also noticed Cade has both a UML 1 example and UML 2 example despite being supposed to use UML 2.  I have 16 boxes in my component diagram.  I didn’t go overboard here either.
  3. Deployment diagram – This was straightfoward with only 7 boxes.  It  seems like it is worth too many points for the effort.  I did put some text on suggest hardware since Cade said to.
  4. Sequence diagrams – Despite being hardly worth anything, these are useful. I didn’t go into the detail people said they did on the forums or include the design patterns because that obscures the meaning.  I did not show the flow of framework code. I had 6 sequence diagrams for the 4 use cases.
  5. Risk list – I had a blast writing this. Writing about risks you don’t have to deal with is easier than on a real project where every risk is a potential problem.
  6. Assumptions – I wrote too much because I wasn’t sure what to take for granted.  It turned out a lot of this was addressed in part 3.  I did learn that I wrote “we” much more than “I.”   I had over 34 we’s vs < 5 I’s because I felt like I was presenting an (imaginary) team design to an outsider.  I changed them all to I before submitting so the reviewer doesn’t think someone else did the work.
  7. Other documentation – I wrote some text explaining a high level overview of my design, what design patterns I used and how I met the non-functional requirements.  While “a picture is worth a thousand words”, short paragraphs describing certain things let the reviewer see my thought process without having to guess.  (I only used 4 design patterns.)

My impressions of SCEA Part 3

Part 3 was fun!  It was writing about the things I found fun in part 2.  My notes:

  • They gave 120 minutes instead of the 90 I thought we had. This included reading terms of agreement.
  • I spent 70 minutes on the 8 questions, but I wrote a lot.
  • Advice: read all questions before starting: some are similar.  I did not do this and wound up answering later question in earlier ones and then having to repeat because there is no copy/paste.
  • Some questions were about non-functional requirements or why you choose to do something.  Some were scenarios or why you didn’t choose certain alternatives.
  • I’m glad I was warned the score = 0 (fail) when getting printed report after taking the exam.

And the end

I think this thread summarizes the part 3/submission process well.  I got my pass in the mail along with a note to login to very my address.  Then the certification bundle will be mailed.

– finished diagrams, asked for review (per Cade/Sheil) to see if problem clear, formatting, spell check
re-did sequence diagram – much better to use – can putl ines closer together, feels more natural, right click to change


57 thoughts on “jeanne’s SCEA/OCMJEA 5 part 2&3 experiences

  1. Pingback: jeanne’s SCEA 5 part 1 experiences | Down Home Country Coding With Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky

  2. Congratulations Jeanne! And just 27 hours … impressive; you can get 10 of those for one forum migration 🙂

  3. Hi Jeanne,

    Congratulations ! I have been following your posts , interesting and very useful blog.

    I have completed part-1, taken part-3 ,planning to submit part-2 in a week.I used to Enterprise Architect to create diagrams.

    When the scea jar is extracted the index.html asks the user to accept a security warning as it restricts the active/activex content.

    Did you also experience similar behaviour with Visio, can you share you thoughts on this.


  4. Jakeer: I created the diagrams in Visio. I submitted them as jpegs. Submitting Visio diagrams is grounds for automatic failure. You should not assume the reviewer has Visio. The instructions are very clear that only HTML and image files are allowed. An ActiveX warning cannot occur.

  5. Congratulations, I’m just woundering how did you package all your diagrams, did you package them in JAR??


  6. afa: You are required to package them in a jar. There are instructions in the part 2 assignment. In a nutshell, I created an index.html and a bunch of other html files that refer to the images. And of course the images. Then I zipped it all up and gave it a .jar extension.

  7. Jeanne,

    Thanks for the clarification and hints , I prepared the scea.Jar with html and images.


  8. Jeanne,
    I passed the part 1 exam and about to take part 2, can you guide me about the risks that we need to submit? I have no idea what are technical risks, probably one or two examples would be really great.

  9. @Sree – Cade & Sheil give security as an example of a technical risk. When you think of technical risks, think about what major things can go wrong. If you want to discuss further, I recommend the forums at

  10. @scea_aspirant – It was the Factory Homes one.

    This would be a good time to fend off questions from others: I’m not sharing details about the assignment or the assignment itself. Don’t ask.

  11. Hi Jeanne. Very interesting your website! Thanks!

    I’m starting to work on part II and I have a fundamental question about the class diagram: What is detail level required in such a diagram? I mean, I’ve read a lot of posts and informations about it, however, they’re contradictory. Some people say to don’t put information about implementation details (DAOs, EJBs, TOs, etc) because the class diagram should be technology agnostic… other people say to put as much information as you can, because everything that appear in the Sequence Diagrams must be defined in the class diagram… Cade/Sheil say it’s not important to put methods with signatures, however they do that on their book! I didn’t get yet what Oracle really expect in this diagram. If you could say some words about it I’d be very grateful 🙂

    All the best,

  12. @Angelo: I did not include method signatures in my submission. I did but put everything I mentioned in my sequence diagram. And I did include stereotypes that were technology specific in the class diagram. I saw more advice to that effect.

    I’ve actually started a page called Cade Sheil SCEA FAQ listing the most common questions people have about the chapter 9 case study. I’ve been adding to it as people comment in the forums and I’ve added both of your comments.

  13. Thanks for publishing this guide. I am currently preparing for scea part 2 and I definitely found this guide helpful

    One question I have however, is How do I generate .html file? I am running visio 2007. Also I don’t see a class diagram template even after installing UML 2 stencils for 2007 version.

    I need you advise please to the 2 questions above.

  14. @Baba:

    1) I select all the boxes, press control – c and paste into MS Paint. There’s undoubtedly a better way, but it works for me. I don’t use MS Visio’s save as option because it cuts off the parts of the diagram outside the defined page.

    2) I see File > New >UML 2.2 template which has the class diagram stencils in it. I don’t have a separate class diagram template.

  15. Hi
    Jeanne Boyarsky

    I am preparing for the exam (scea), please Jeanne did you code on part 2? if not, what did you do?.
    You used ms visio in your uml diagrams. how about staruml, is it ok.
    please clear me, after the uml diagram how did you package it into .jar extension?
    thanks for your explainations

  16. Congratulations Jeanne!

    In your solution you mentioned in point (7) that you provided some extra documentation to explain how did you cover the non-functional requirements. Can you please elaborate if you mentioned anything specific for achieving the availability and response times mentioned in the assignment?

  17. Hello Jeanne, how are you?

    I’ve just got the result of my Assignment + Essay and I’m happy to say that I’ve passed!!! 🙂
    Thank you very much for your website with a lot of useful informations!

    All the best,

  18. Hi Jeanne

    I have a lot of working experience in the areas covered by the exam, but I was uncertain about the difficulty.

    You have convinced me that will be able to do it, and that it doesn’t require an unreasonable amount of studying.

    Very inspirational.

    Thanks a lot.

  19. Hi Jeanne,

    Congrats on your completion. I have few questions:

    1.Do you get marks for Part 2 and Part 3?

    2.Should you have to completed Part 3 before submitting Part 2 (did you buy both parts at the same time).

    3.Did you use JSP or JSF. I noticed you mentioned that you had to include JSP in deployment/component/class diagram but also mentioned about JSF.

    I completed Part 1 just today and would like to take Part 2 soon.


  20. 1) No. If you pass, you do not get a score.
    2) I bought part 2 well before part 3. I worked on part 2. Right before I submitted part 2, I bout/took part 3. I then submitted part 2 a couple days after part 3.
    3) Both. Older versions of JSF let you use JSP as the templating engine.

  21. Pingback: SCEA5-part2 and 3 | ashusharmaindia

  22. Hi Jeane,

    Im doing scea part2 & been stuck with couple of issue for days now. I’m worried to use starUML since its hasn’t been updated for the last 6 years. So I’m trying with eclipse & RAD .

    Many new tools represent visibility with images instead of symbols (-+~#) for UML2.x Ex: . Is this right?

    The other issue is that I seen each vendor representing have thier own representation for inner/nested class (for builder) Oracle(,Sun(,EA(,Allen Holub’s UML Quick(Allen Holub’s UML Quick),IBM(similar to allen but with a arrow head) & eclipse ( they show class inside a class like nested package).

    Your thoughts on the above at the earliest would be much appreciated


  23. Hi Eric,
    I’ve seen people post in the coderanch forum that they’ve used starUML with success. The IBM approach to use images is fine. Your submission will be an HTML file with embedded images after all. I wouldn’t put an inner/nested class in my design. It’s too detailed to be in an architecture level diagram.

  24. Hi Jeanne,
    hope u r doing good.
    I am working on my part II assignment and found multiplicity btw some entities is impractical. Should I alter them or keep them as it is and alter my thinking?

    Please guild me if you can.


  25. It’s ok to make minor changes to the design provided. I wouldn’t change multiplicity though. That seems too much like changing the problem.

  26. I am little bit confused about component diagrams. Do I need to have a component diagram for each use-case or like a big component diagram (like the one in Cade’s case study)? If I have component diagram for each use-case it would be easier to show some J2EE patterns in there.

    Thanks for all your information. It is really useful.

  27. Nishant,
    You only have one component diagram for the whole system. A component diagram is meant to be higher level than patterns and components are used across use cases. The sequence diagram is the place you show the JEE patterns and use-case specific things.

  28. Thank you very much , I was just trying to compare Cade’s 2002 edition with the latest one and I got confused.

  29. Hi Jeane,
    I’m workin on part II assignment(factory Homes).Pls suggest the reference material apart from Cade & Sheil.


  30. Do you think the Component Diagram in the Cade’s Case Study worth 40 points ?

  31. Hello Jeanne
    Did you put the JSPs in your class diagram? Could you share your diagrams with me, please?

    Thank you

  32. As noted in the blog post, I did put JSPs in my class diagram despite not believing they belong there.

    And of course I can’t share my diagrams. That would be cheating! You are supposed to do the assignment independently not by looking at a passing submissions.

    No more comments on the topic of sharing diagrams will be accepted to the blog.

  33. Hi Jeanne,

    When you said “I only used 4 design patterns”, did you count only JEE design patterns or including core patterns like GoFs?

  34. Thanks alot for sharing ur experience…very useful blog for those who are doing OCMJEA assignment… keep writing !!!

  35. Hi All,
    I am planning to take the part 1 OCMJEA . Can anybody share the list of books to be referred for this Exam.

  36. Hi Jeanne,
    Thanks very much for your advises.
    I am going to submit my assignment in few days. Are class diagram and deployment diagram examples in Cade’s book enough or do you recommend to follow other guidelines for it?
    Thanks very much!

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