Certification or indoctrination?
Daniel's recent blog on the new J2SE certification exam gives me hope... reducing trivia and tricks is a step in the right direction.
I've never taken any of the Java exams. I've looked them over and taken the practice exams, but I've never expended the effort to buckle down and get serious.
One of the factors that has stalled my commitment is my perception that studying for some of the exams (J2EE architect for example) is more like learning the catachism of a church rather then honing true architectural skills.
For all intents and purposes, a Certified J2EE Architect is really just a Certified EJB Architect. Dogma dictates that "real" J2EE designs must incorporate EJBs.
Enterprise Java Beans are an implementation of a concept, and many would argue that they aren't the best implementation. Gaining certification in EJBs leaves me cold. Even if I were a big EJB fan, the technology is in a state of flux. The EJB 2 minutiae that was soooo important last year will be replaced by EJB 3 minutiae next year.
I know that it's totally impractical, but I'd like to see a Java Architect exam that laid out the requirements for a project, and let the architect choose the tools.
Andreas Schaefer blogged a great response: It depends on you.