[2019 oracle code one] Java 11 Certs

Fun path to Java 11 Developer Certifications
Speaker: Mala Gupta – @emalagupta

For more blog posts, see The Oracle Code One table of contents

Why cert

  • Highlights important topics
  • Suggests a path to learn
  • Bare minimum of what every Java programmer must know to get started
  • Don’t plan to fail. Ok if do so. But don’t plan for it
  • Good coding practices [I think the exam tries. But not always. For example, the Java 8 JDBC topics were an example of how not to write JDBC. This got better with the java 11 exam where PreparedStatement was finally covered]
  • Industry standardizes IT skills
  • Good for students, professionals, those transitioning from other languages

Other ways to learn [not mutually exclusive. Mala wrote a book for the cert. As did Scott and I]

  • Books
  • Courses – Mala had a bad experience. Course oversold.
  • Hackathons – deep dive on select topics
  • Learn on job – would you go to a surgeon where it was his first surgery.

Changes with Java 11 cert

  • No more OCA exam
  • Still two exams – Programmer I and Programmer II.
  • But no longer earn interim OCA cert.
  • Oracle felt people were stopping at OCA level
  • Can take part 1 and part 2 in any order, but makes sense to take level 1 first.
  • Level 1 covers basics; level 2 covers exam topics.

8 types of questions

  • sample code and question about output
  • text only – simpler to answer – conceptual
  • fill in the blank
  • select options that are true about code
  • select incorrect options (that are false about code)
  • answers are blocks of code
  • diagram
  • [I missed one type]

How to make studying for a cert fun

  • Images – emotional connection. Also fun to draw images. Point embedded in mind.
    • Try catch block concept with a tiger and two doors. Animals only and Tigers only. Very cute!
    • Cartoon showing finally block with coffee
  • Highlighted code block
    • throw vs throws with the keywords highlighted with a rectangle surrounding
    • nested circles to show access control
  • Diagrams
    • people
    • array with cars/shapes/grid for multi dimensional array
  • Cartoon dialog
    • Code on left. Image on right is two people in love (or not)
    • Discussion about equals
  • Write own questions and have others do that
  • Twist in the tale – change code and see what happened
  • A-ha moments – write them down as study


  • How long to study for cert? 1-3 months [I think upper bound is longer]
  • 6 months cadence? Probably LTS versions but can’t confirm [Oracle hasn’t said, but I agree]
  • Books? Will have MEAP out soon. [Also, Scott and my book publishes this year]

My take: I like that Mala had characters introducing her presentation. It reminded me of the book. Mala speaks a lot like she writes which is good. I felt like there was a lot up front selling the cert. I would think people who chose this cert talk would be interested in the cert. I was happy to see 2/3 of the presentation was on making studying fun. I like the 8 types of questions and samples. It was a good organization system. The types were a little hard to read. I like the interaction by having everyone write a question.

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