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View Full Version : Java certification - effect of Sun buyout?



HotCupOfJava
March 26th, 2009, 02:13 AM
I've only seen this question on one other forum so far, and I didn't see much discussion on it. Here's the deal - I've been intending to test for Sun Certified Java Programmer this summer. The news of the likely purchase of Sun by IBM (or someone else) makes me wonder if such certification would still be viable (or even available). I'm not worried about Java itself going away, but I do worry that changes to Java by new ownership would render certification useless.

I do not have a CS degree and was kind of counting on certification to lend some credibility to my knowledge of programming.

Thoughts?

shatterblast
March 26th, 2009, 06:14 AM
As a contractor who delayed getting a degree, I would encourage you to stick with getting a degree as soon as you possibly can without waiting. Certifications are good, but they are usually designed in my opinion to supplement the degree. If you have the time, energy, resources, or desire to get a single certification, you should go for it, but do not let it sacrifice efforts for higher education.

Legally, certifications stay respected until they expire. They represent knowledge as a specialist, which often translates to "contractor" without a degree. If you feel like an entrepreneur, certifications are good. Having a transcript as proof of classes taken in programming can aid the very last step in an interview, but both a degree and in lesser measure a certification help the first step of "getting the foot in the door."

HotCupOfJava
March 26th, 2009, 07:20 PM
I appreciate the input. I actually have a Master's degree, but it is in an unrelated field. I have developed a passion for programming, and I have been examining the certification route because it would be MUCH more feasible for me than attempting to go back to school and study CS. From a time and effort standpoint, I could pull off a certification test MUCH more easily than going back to school. Having to shell out tuition, books, and hardware costs plus trying to spend set hours in classes AND turning in homework and projects is pretty much an impossibility at this point.

Is it a waste of my time to seek programming work without a Computer Science degree?

ajackson
March 26th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Is it a waste of my time to seek programming work without a Computer Science degree?
In your case I'd say give it a go, you are educated to masters level (OK in a different field) but that shows a prospective employer that you are not some dunce who can barely string together two words (you need a PhD for that :)), you have proven that you can understand, you can structure your learning, etc. All those are good transferable skills.

However, there always is a however isn't there, having a computing related qualification will help as that shows that you can use your transferable skills in a computing setting.

dwhitney67
March 26th, 2009, 07:32 PM
....

Is it a waste of my time to seek programming work without a Computer Science degree?

Not at all. Many people without a CS degree do s/w development on a professional basis.

IMO, a certification (whether in Java or other programming language) is nice, but it is not fully indicative of the competence of the person who holds it. In the span of my career, I have met some brilliant s/w developers, some with a CS degree, others without. I have also met some people who were not that competent, yet held a CS degree.

As with pretty much any field, there are those who are textbook smart, and those who are "street" smart.

HotCupOfJava
March 26th, 2009, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the input from you both - I appreciate the encouragement.

DocForbin
March 27th, 2009, 12:49 AM
Is it a waste of my time to seek programming work without a Computer Science degree?
I think for most companies, at least in the US, experience/proven ability is way more important than a specific degree. It's amazing how many CS majors can't actually write code let alone design complex software on their own.

shatterblast
March 27th, 2009, 08:23 AM
I think for most companies, at least in the US, experience/proven ability is way more important than a specific degree. It's amazing how many CS majors can't actually write code let alone design complex software on their own.

This statement is highly true I think. With a Masters degree in any chosen field, the ratio of opportunities are usually inverted for those without degrees. Without wanting to come across as bragging, my knowledge usually far exceeds those I work with as a contractor, but the credibility of a degree has been quite hammered into my awareness multiple times.

I think I read somewhere that opportunities handed from Sun to other companies only require a miscellaneous degree and the appropriate certification. A Masters would serve well in that situation, but the lack of certification would prevent it somewhat. Knowing the right person who knows your skills can temporarily circumvent certain requirements, but usually due to "equality in the work place," a certification will become required eventually just because other individuals might have to satisfy the rule.

Also from personal experience, I think a variety of local, state, and federal jobs require a Masters degree. That may exist as a valid and potential field to check. I think your focus of study just has to relate to the given subject for gently easing in. Mathematics and environmentalism come to mind.

shadylookin
March 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Assuming it's still available I don't see why it wouldn't be helpful. IBM is a respected company and a Sun certification probably wouldn't hold any more weight than an IBM one.

I don't see IBM making significant changes to java

stevescripts
March 27th, 2009, 07:11 PM
At least, in this area, a JAVA certification would certainly allow you to get your foot in the door...

Good Luck!

Steve

aanderse
March 27th, 2009, 09:29 PM
I'll add to the positive comments here: I don't have any real computer education but work in the technology department. There's 3 of us in the tech department who never had any official programming/computer education at all (mind you we all have university degrees which is important).

If you're competent with computers and have a masters in something you can go places for sure :) Good luck!

HotCupOfJava
March 28th, 2009, 12:15 AM
I appreciate all of the input - it sounds like I should stick to my original plan: get the certification and go for it.