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Oracle Certified Professional (Java) qualification

 
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Hi. After many years of having a hobbyist interest in programming but doing other things for a job, I've decided it might be time to attempt a career change to application development. The other areas I've worked in, such as teaching English to non - native speakers, aren't directly relevant to this line of work. However, I've got a degree in Physics and I'm considering doing a course that leads to the Oracle Certified Professional Java SE Programmer qualification. Obviously, I'm doing research into the merits of the qualification and the job market for programmers in the UK.

I'm interested if anyone here has got this qualification or has an opinion on it's usefulness when applying for entry level Java development jobs. Any advice would be appreciated.

Steven

 
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If you had prior professional experience behind you, it wouldn't be that big a deal...your track record and length of experience would be much more important. HOWEVER, for an entry-level position, it might be the differentiator between you and someone else. If it's not too costly, I would recommend it.

Just my $.02 worth. Good luck to you!

 
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It's a complete waste of time. Programming certifications actually hurt candidates on a resume. Instead you should list the programming you've done as a hobby. If you can actually write code, people will want to hire you.

 
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Programming certifications actually hurt candidates on a resume

really? are you saying that based on experience or maybe observations

I know that experience beats certifications but would including certifications actually make your resume worse?

Since I'm still a student I'm a bit curious about this :)

 
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really? are you saying that based on experience or maybe observations

I know that experience beats certifications but would including certifications actually make your resume worse?

Since I'm still a student I'm a bit curious about this :)

Observations and experience. Of the eight or ten people I've been involved in interviewing, that the development teams I've been on have decided to hire, none have had certifications. None of those who were even close had certifications. (Except, of course, for the certification known as a college degree.)

All the people who had certifications listed did quite atrociously on the interview. Others have reported similar experiences.

If somebody is a fresh 'n eager college student and thought it would be good to have a certification, that wouldn't count against them, they're just stupid. Somebody experienced who thinks it's good to have certifications on their resume? That seems to be a sure sign they come from this parallel hiring universe filled with bad developers.

It's not like we go "oh, this guy has a certification, we're not going to interview him." If we're looking closely at a resume we'll just try to ignore it. It's more like, when you're doing a quick screen of resumes, you look for signs that they're an interesting candidate, and certifications aren't one of them.

Other examples of people with the same opinion:

See http://stevehanov.ca/blog/resume_comic.png

See also Tip #6 at http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2007/09/ten-tips-for-slightly-less-awful-resume.html


So.

The OP has a physics degree. With a physics degree, assuming he did fine as a student, he has some evidence that he's not a complete idiot. What's needed now is evidence that he can write reasonable code, and not academic physicist grad student code that makes people wary of hiring programmers from science majors. Being a hobbyist programmer means that might be easy, or it might require some work (some deliberate side projects done for show), depending on what programming has been done as a hobbyist.

I think a physics graduate would be much better off, if instead of getting a Java certification that tons and tons of bad programmers on the job market have, he had evidence that he has some grounding in basic computer science knowledge: the stuff taught in a data structures and algorithms course.


zeroliken: you say you're a student. Infinitely more important on your resume are the internships you've had, and any examples of code you've written outside of class.

Edit: wait, zeroliken, you're in Japan? I know nothing about the Japan job market and how Japanese employers behave. Maybe what I say doesn't apply to them, and having OCJP or whatever certifications is this magic requirement. I'm talking about the American or you might say American/UK job market (based mostly on developers I know who work in the UK), especially with a bias towards west coast tech companies and similar companies that know what they're doing.

 
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Thank you for the tips, links, for the well detailed reply and for your time.
I'm gonna keep what you all said in mind :)

 
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Edit: wait, zeroliken, you're in Japan? I know nothing about the Japan job market and how Japanese employers behave. Maybe what I say doesn't apply to them, and having OCJP or whatever certifications is this magic requirement. I'm talking about the American or you might say American/UK job market (based mostly on developers I know who work in the UK), especially with a bias towards west coast tech companies and similar companies that know what they're doing.

I do agree with this, however we should not forget that in many Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan) there is high pressure from employers to accept only certified people. This is unlike in Europe or America where previous work record and open source contributions are more valued. However by meeting some people from Japan finance industry I would say it would not hurt your CV, but you will definitely have better chances if you are participating in some project.

@Mushy-pea contribution to some projects, attending some IT user group (meetup.com is good place to search for one in your area, example GDC, LJC - London Java Community), voluntary work or intership are the best starting block for new candidates in UK

 
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Here in the UK ive been to job interviews where what is on your github (your porrtfolio of work, essentially) is more imoportnt to them than your degree classification...

 
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personally, having the knowledge needed to get the certification is way more important than having the actual certification, and, being able to put it to good use, will make an application even more interesting in the eyes of the recruiter.

I have the first Java certificate by Oracle, but believe you me, if it wasn't for a few weeks between projects, and my (previous) employer demanding it from me, as part of my "job-on-the-bench" and (off course ;) ) them paying for it, I wouldn't have bothered. doesn't mean the books aren't worth looking at.

in the end, experience as a developer is much more important than having a paper saying you've "guessed right just enough times", after all, just by guessing, you can pass a lot of multiple choice exams, so ... does it really 'prove' anything? being able to repeat something you read in a book, and being able to use the techniques yourself are not the same.

saying it will be 'held against you' .. I doubt it. but I wouldn't take it as a guarantee to get you "in for life".

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