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    Default Scja

    Greetings All:

    A few quarters from now I will have to take a set of classes (Java I+II and C++ III). I want to go into the classes with a firm foundation of Java and C++. I was wondering if studying for the SCJA would help me or is "too basic". I have read many places that this cert is pretty easy. I figure I would grab a C++ in an hour a day and Head first Java and study for the SCJA and C++ as a whole. Is the cert worth obtaining? It is not required for my program but I always want to find ways to make my CV shine (and seeing how my degree is only going to be an A.A.S I will have to do several things). I should note that I do NOT want to be a developer NOR do I have an extreme interest in software development. I am doing this in route to a BSCS.

    Any comments are welcomed.
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    Hmmm.... Well I guess this cert isn't that popular. Well can anyone who has taken the test speak about its difficult? (without breaking NDA)
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    I should note that I do NOT want to be a developer NOR do I have an extreme interest in software development. I am doing this in route to a BSCS.
    You are getting a CS degree and don't want to be a programmer? What are your career goals? Have you looked at CIS degrees instead?

    And if you only want the basics of programming in Java, the SCJA will be more than enough for you. The SCJP is definitely for programmers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMurray View Post
    You are getting a CS degree and don't want to be a programmer? What are your career goals? Have you looked at CIS degrees instead?

    And if you only want the basics of programming in Java, the SCJA will be more than enough for you. The SCJP is definitely for programmers.

    My immediate career goals involve network security and *nix engineering. I'd like to be a Network Security Engineer. I have looked at CS degrees but non of the schools close to me have a CIS program (or a BS IT program).
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    #5
    Have you looked into online universities? That's not be best learning environment for everyone, but it offers more variety in degrees. The major drawback for you would be the lack of hand-on lab experience online programs have. There's nothing better for learning than getting your hands dirty on real equipment.

    Because you will be working as a system and network admin, I would suggest heavily favoring languages that you will most likely be using on Windows and Linux/UNIX systems, such as shell scripting (cshell, bash, ksh, etc.), perl, VBscript, and PowerShell. Languages like C++, C#, Java, and BASIC are used for writing actual applications, which is something that a sys/netadmin rarely needs to do. Because UNIX/Linux and the C language are inseparable, I would suggest making an effort to become a real C programmer. When you need to know how, you'll be able to tweak code in system modules as rebuild the kernel. This is a valuable "hackish" skill for any system security professional to have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMurray View Post
    Have you looked into online universities? That's not be best learning environment for everyone, but it offers more variety in degrees. The major drawback for you would be the lack of hand-on lab experience online programs have. There's nothing better for learning than getting your hands dirty on real equipment.
    This is a MAJOR concern for me. I need the hands on interaction with my professor/classmates. The school I am at does a 2+2 with a semi major university in the area so it just makes sense for me to do it this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDMurray View Post
    Because you will be working as a system and network admin, I would suggest heavily favoring languages that you will most likely be using on Windows and Linux/UNIX systems, such as shell scripting (cshell, bash, ksh, etc.), perl, VBscript, and PowerShell. Languages like C++, C#, Java, and BASIC are used for writing actual applications, which is something that a sys/netadmin rarely needs to do. Because UNIX/Linux and the C language are inseparable, I would suggest making an effort to become a real C programmer. When you need to know how, you'll be able to tweak code in system modules as rebuild the kernel. This is a valuable "hackish" skill for any system security professional to have.
    Thanks for the tip. I don't have my C++/Java classes for a while, do you suggesting picking up a C book and going through it first, before tackling the C++ material?
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Thanks for the tip. I don't have my C++/Java classes for a while, do you suggesting picking up a C book and going through it first, before tackling the C++ material?
    C++ is built on ANSI C, so any time you spend increasing your C expertise will also pay-off when you take C++. And the C++ experience will help you with Java and C#. You won't hit C++/Java/C# until you get into Object-Oriented Languages/Programming/Design/Architecture/etc.

    And by the time you finish your CS degree you will be a programmer, but you may still not like programming. Time to go into management!
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    Metasploit: Penetration Testing: Learn Assembly? rekindled my desire to get back into programming. I think I'm going to focus on C, assembly, and Ruby (at least to get started ).

    I have no desire to be a software developer, but now that I'm getting all the networking and systems stuff under control, reverse engineering is becoming more appealing to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMurray View Post

    And by the time you finish your CS degree you will be a programmer, but you may still not like programming. Time to go into management!
    Honestly, the one of the reasons why I want I want to do a BSCS is just that lol. Plus I am pretty sure I can get it at little to no cost to me and the school I will go to offers a concentration in Business and Finance so its a win win win.

    Are you a self taught developer? If I recall correctly, your BS is not IT related (not that there's anything wrong with that YouTube - Seinfeld- Jerry and George )


    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    Metasploit: Penetration Testing: Learn Assembly? rekindled my desire to get back into programming. I think I'm going to focus on C, assembly, and Ruby (at least to get started ).

    I have no desire to be a software developer, but now that I'm getting all the networking and systems stuff under control, reverse engineering is becoming more appealing to me.
    One of these days your gonna end up turning into a encryption algorithm or like backtrack or something. That is going to be pretty awesome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    One of these days your gonna end up turning into a encryption algorithm or like backtrack or something. That is going to be pretty awesome.
    To be completely honest, I'm very far from being that good. The more you learn, the more realize you don't know. There are some people out there that terrify me.
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    I know what you mean.... there are people on this board that make me feel stupid. All the CCIEs, CCXP, MCSA/E's and MCITP's on here really make me feel like what have I been doing for the last three years (my first years in IT). Oh well all I can learn and grow.

    I think I will end up going for this cert next year after I take my Java classes. Just to get an extra notch above my fellow classmates.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Are you a self taught developer? If I recall correctly, your BS is not IT related (not that there's anything wrong with that YouTube - Seinfeld- Jerry and George )
    I am self-taught. I'm one of those weird people who did programming as a hobby and eventually found a way to earn a paycheck from it. That was over 20 years ago. Now I'm ready to make programming just a hobby again and do InfoSec full-time for a living instead. I'm still trying to find an opportunity to do just that.

    And my BA is in Cultural Anthropology. It would have been in music (bass clarinet) if only I could have finished my BM at night.
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    #13
    My next career goal is to be a Network Security Tech or a Linux admin (or some mix of both) so learning scripting and C will be my next non cert goals.


    Have you decided on what concentration you want to pursue in InfoSec? Are you trying to get away from development entirely?
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Have you decided on what concentration you want to pursue in InfoSec? Are you trying to get away from development entirely?
    I would like to stay with software development, just not being one of the developers. My assumption was that there would be a lot of organizations interested in secure software development, configuration, and maintenance, but I don't see a lot of jobs like that (in Southern California). Those are usually part of the duties in much broader "security analyst/architect" job postings. I may need to go that route, but rather than generating tons of code I'll be generating tons of documentation instead.
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    #15
    Always good to know Java. Lots of Java jobs available out there. If nothing else you can always take a job programming and be alright. Software Development is suppose to be the second hottest field to be in right now.

    The SCJA is too easy. It was created mainly for people in Japan, for whatever reason. Do the SCJP if you want to be Java certified. I like the Java Headfirst book. It does a good job introducing/explaining OOP. If you want to persue the SCJP I recommend reading the Sybex book after you finish Headfirst.

    http://www.amazon.com/SCJP-Certified...6122673&sr=1-5

    I just finished reading it, and I loved it. Everything is explained very well and in a way newbies can comprehend.
    Last edited by mindCoder; 06-09-2010 at 11:36 PM.
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  17. Objectives my friend! varelg's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could enlighten us mindCoder how did you arrive at the conclusion that SCJA is meant for the japanese?
    Prepping for Java programming job isn't at the issue here- of course you could get the Java coder job without SCJP. And indeed there are some very skilled Java coders without SCJP. Regardless, their employer and their customers are happy with the solutions they provide. I am sure there's no shortage of solid prep literature on Java programming.The problem is the SCJP test itself. It tests you on code that somebody wrote after taking some illegal pharmaceutical "enhancements". This is truly a test made for you to fail. Unwilling to give up on the obscurity ($$$- maker, why should they) but facing the inevitable obscurity of the cert itself, exam creators came up with SCJA- sort of an entry level easier-to-get cert that will keep prospective candidates invested in SCJP road in both attention and $$$. Hey, you took the first step, why don't you take the final one? You have to stuff your resume with something more than SCJA, right?
    If you have Java coding projects lined up mindCoder, would you drop all of them, go for SCJP prep and fail several times before passing it?
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    Hallo Var,

    I arrived on that conclusion based off what I've read from right here in this forum... lol.

    SCJA 310-019

    As for the rest, you are right. The code is very difficult to read, but it is ligitimate code, and you could inherit code that looks like that. I also frequent Javaranch a lot and people there pass the test daily without issue. It's not trying to set you up to fail. I don't think Sun makes too much money off selling certs. Just my opinion.

    I never said you had to have it either. I am just trying to be helpful.
    Last edited by mindCoder; 06-10-2010 at 01:55 AM.
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