Passing the Java SE 8 Programmer I 1Z0-808 exam

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Oracle certificate associate Java 8 programmer

OCA is the acronym of Oracle certification associate, and is the first certification that you can get as Java developer to demonstrate solid knowledge of Java.

This entry level, focuses on variables, classes and interface definition, arrays, exception handling, encapsulation, polymorphism and flow control. Basic API knowledge is required about strings and arraylists.

This certification exam consists of 77 multiple-choice questions, some of them with multiple answers, in which we will have to obtain at least 65% of the correct answers. The duration of the exam is 2h 30 minutes and has a cost of 250€

Java certification path

The preparation

In mid-September I started afternoon classes until the mid-October, from Monday to Thursday, 3 hours everyday, for a total of 40 hours to prepare the exam certification. In those classes we did mock tests to practise for the exam.

There were tests with difficult questions but It was good to get confident with the type of questions that could appear in the exam.

It has no sense to memorize the responses of the questions because in the exam you will face another questions that are not equal to the ones that you have done before. The important thing is to learn the concept behind the question.

Useful knowledge?

People say that you face other kind of problems in your daily work that they have nothing to do with the certification exam (I agree) but the certification in my opinion forces you to study and increase your knowledge of the Java programing language that is the main tool that you will use on a daily basis at work.

Questions related with String class or memory management are questions that all Java developers should know for their daily work.

Imagine a journalist that doesn’t excel the english language and has to write everyday an article for a newspaper. You would prefer someone that has a deep knowledge of the language that will use, to write good articles.

Promoting bad written code?

There are some questions with really bad written code. Someone who is beginning his way with Java programming language should be aware that the questions with code snippets have to be used to learn the concepts of the Java programming language but never as a model of programming in Java.

We have to program always thinking in the next developer that will come next to you and will read the code that you are writing.

The value of a certification

A certification doesn’t mean by itself that a developer that has it is better that another developer for the reason of having it, but it means that this person has been able to pass a tricky exam and has dedicated some time to increase his knowledge of the Java programming language and will have a deeper understanding of how works a Java program.

If you have two developers with the same background will you hire the one that has a certification in Java or the one that has not? It is not a guaranteed that the one that has the certification will perform better, but at least this developer knows Java.

Resources to prepare the exam

I recommend doing a complete reading of the OCA book: Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-808 in preparation for the exam.

Although the preparation book mentioned above includes 130 review questions I recommend to get some type of exam simulator. Using one of these simulators will help us become familiar with the mechanics of the exam and will make us much more effective.

I used the enthuware simulator, I highly recommend it because for $10 you have access to 613 questions, and this is a good training.

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