speaking at the java sig “hello java” group

I spoke at the “Hello Java” workgroup meeting of the NY Java SIG this week. The topic was an overview of the Java certification – how to get started, how to study, etc. While the focus was the Java OCA/OCP certifications, much of the material applies to any exam. You can view the deck on slideshare.

There were two challenges:

  1. There were about 30 attendees at varying levels of Java knowledge – from people who were very new to Java to those who already held the certification. I think I was able to hold everyone’s attention.
  2. The projector didn’t work for the first half hour. I actually did about a third of my presentation based on my printout of the slides and writing/drawing on the whiteboard. I was actually finishing a point about content when the intro slide went up and these pictures were taken. Luckily I’m experienced enough as a presenter for this to not throw me! When the projector did work, I reviewed the graphical highlights and continued from there. Toastmasters helped me practice many things going wrong.helloJava-cert-intro helloJava-cert-intro2

In addition to the deck, we wrote a little code. I got teased about my “one handed vi skills” (I was holding a microphone in the other hand.) And we went over some practice questions not on the exam – I used the Random vs Math examples. I got lots of questions which was great. Both during the presentation – every time I asked if there were questions – and 8-10 people who stayed afterwards to ask more questions. I even had someone bring his copy of our OCP book for me to sign.

I enjoyed the session and will be doing a part two in May. Part two is about how to create practice questions and figure out the important points to study for any exam. We’ll be using some Java 9 concepts as the examples so this will be good for people at any experience level of Java. Very few people are solid on Java 9 yet (I’m not either) so it should be a level playing field for showing how to approach!