Upgrading from SCJP 5 (or earlier) to OCP 11

I got this question in a comment to a blog post and decided to answer in blog form.

I have SCJP Java 5 from 2005, now preparing to 1Z0–813 using your book
My goal is to get Java 11 cert eventually

Per the Oracle FAQ, you cannot use the 1Z0-817 upgrade exam to upgrade from an exam Java 5 or earlier straight to the OCP 11. If your goal is OCP 11, there are a few options on how to get there. Each comes with pros and cons.

Exam sequenceCerts obtainedBenefits of ApproachCons of Approach
1Z0-808 (OCA 8)
1Z0-816 (OCP 11 part 2)
OCA 8
OCP 11
– easier first exam– second exam will feel harder because missed part 1
1Z0-815 (OCP 11 part 1)
1Z0-816 (OCP 11 part 2)
OCP 11– traditional path
– exams go together
– requires taking OCP 11 exam sooner (before study materials are available; so far Enthuware is the only provider with Java 11 part 1 materials)
1Z0-808 (OCA 8)
1Z0-809 (OCP 8)
1Z)-817 (OCP 11 upgrade)
OCA 8
OCP 8
OCP 11
– get a professional level cert sooner– costs more
– have to take an extra exam
1ZO-813 (OCP 8 upgrade)
1Z0-817 (OCP 11 upgrade)
OCP 8
OCP 11
– get a professional level cert after first exam– the hardest option because upgrade exams tend to be the toughest and this approach has two

Announcing new Java 11 OCP Books!

Jeanne and I are thrilled to announce that we are releasing Java 11 OCP books early next year. Yes, you heard that right, books plural, as in more than one! In fact, we’ll be releasing two new books, along with a complete set edition.

We’ll post links where you can preorder the books as soon as they are available!

These books have been carefully written and include the most important information you need to know for the Java 11 OCP exams. While we are quite proud of our Java 8 books, there’s a lot of new material required for the exams including modules, var, and custom annotations just to name a few.

If you’re thinking of taking the new exams prior to the books’ release, we recommend reading our posts detailing our experiences taking the exams:

In short, if you’re comparing the first exam (1Z0-815) to the older OCA 8 (1Z0-808) exam, don’t. They are quite different and the difficulty level has definitely been increased. We expect both books to be available in early 2020. In fact, we’re nearly done writing the first book already!

consistency is a lovely thing

Since Oracle certifications are tied to version numbers, they periodically announce the retirements of old exams. This is reasonable. They even publish a page of retiring exams and include this fact on the all exams list.

However, this is incomplete and currently inconsistent.

The retiring exam page currently lists the Java 7 certs, but not the Java EE 6 certs. On the other hand, if you go to the page for a Java EE cert that is retiring, it says in the title that the exam is retiring.

On the third hand, if you go to a page for a Java 7 cert that is retiring, it does not say anywhere on that page that it is retiring.

I hope Oracle fixes this. It’s confusing!