when did we write the OCA SE 8 book

Did you write the second book before or after your exam of OCA SE 8.

I got this question from a reader of our OCA book and thought it would make a nice blog post describing the timeline.

In February 2014, Wiley/Sybex approached me about writing this book. Scott and I had discussed writing a book together “one day” so immediately asked him to co-author. Even though the publisher approached me, I still had to write a proposal which was accepted in March 2014. We then signed the contract.

We wrote a draft of all the chapters over the following months. At this point, the OCA 8 objectives hadn’t been announced. Scott held the SCJP 6 certification and I held the OCA/OCP 7 certifications. We used the OCA 7 objectives plus our expectations about changes to the language as a guide for those drafts.

Then the objectives came out. We had some rework and additions at that point. I was surprised basic lambdas were covered on the exam and Java 8 dates were also new. Then in October, I took the beta exam. At this point, the book was already written.

There was an unclear exam objective. After taking the beta exam, I learned what this meant. Which was a minor addition to the book. Other than that, it was written before the exam. Some editing was done after the exam; just in terms of timeline.

Then in December 2014, the e-book came out and it printed in February 2015.

For our upcoming OCP book, more of the book is being written after the beta exam. Just in terms of timeline, we didn’t have as much of a head start.

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