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 December 19, 2000      TIPS to search 1billion Web pages fast!

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Sudhakar Venkat

If thereís one thing to be said about programmers, they have a lot of dreams. Thereís Silicon Valley, for one. Then thereís the money that entices. And then, thereís that desire to get certified by the market leaders which, in effect, is the sole route to making the other wishes happen.

Iím a programmer, with those dreams and desires. Which is also why I wanted to get certified by one such leader Ė Sun Microsystems, the creators of Java.

Why Sun? Because its certification has become a requisite for many programming jobs in India, as well as abroad. Wanting it is, as with everything else, merely the beginning. I had loads of questions. How much would it cost to get certified? Where could I give the certification exams in India? Where could I find out about the kind of objectives on which I would be tested? Where and what would I have to study? Which books would I have to refer to? What would the test be like?

My answers came via the Internet.

My first stop was the Sun Microsystems certification Web site. Sun conducts exams for both, Java and Solaris platforms. So before you decide to register for the exam, itís important to decide which platform you would like to be tested on. You can purchase an examination voucher from your local Sun Educational Services office, the addresses to which can be found here: http://suned.sun.com/USA/certification/globalcontacts.html

You can even contact your local Prometric Testing Centre, where you will be giving your exam. The address for these centres are available at http://www.prometric.com or http://www.2test.com.

After registration, candidates will have to inform the centres 15 days before the preferred date for the exam. This date can obviously be decided upon only after you get your Java fundamentals in order.

A good way of doing this is to try a couple of mock tests. Sites like JavaRanch , for example, offer these tests to make you feel more confident before choosing an exam date. There are also loads of tips on giving these exams at JCHQ along with tutorials.

Other interesting sites that should help include JavaPrepare and Worldonline Java.

Hereís a tip. Apart from these sites and the plethora of information they provide, thereís a book called The Java Language Specification written by James Gosling and others. Itís a tome I would readily recommend, and it can be downloaded at the Sun site

If you prefer working offline, JavaRanch also lets students download exam simulation software for practice. In fact, some of these are actually tougher than the Sun Certification Test.

That done, the only thing left is to get in all the practice you can, along with a thorough knowledge of the API -- specially IO and Util packages. Thanks to what you get online, info about the test is easy to come by. What you score eventually depends on what you put into it.

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