Much later than planned (check my post when I revealed intent to pass SCWCD) I managed to get this certificate. The result (94%) is in my opinion more than good 🙂 Preparations began fairly long time ago (over a year ago) but since this time there were some unexpected circumstances (mainly project which seems to grew and grew) and that’s why SCWCD mission took me so long.
I started preparations as usual, by downloading specifications and adding API to Firefox bookmarks (list of links here). Then I bought Head First Servlets and JSP, the most recommended book for this certificate. I had ambitiously assumed that I will be able to write more detailed posts about what I learnt but unfortunately lack of time didn’t allow me to do it.
I read the book twice in a fairly considerable period of time. First reading was to revise servlets and read about areas I hadn’t met before (mainly Custom Tags). This time I didn’t concentrate on details, it was the purpose of the second reading. Simultaneously with reading I started experimenting with NetBeans and writing simple JSP’s, creating web.xml manually, etc.
The final impulse to take the exam was promotion from Sun connected with Kirk Pepperdine’s talk at Warsaw JUG (more about this promotion in Polish can be found at Jacek Laskowski blog). I saved about 300 Polish Zlotys, bought exam voucher and e-simulator with example questions which at the end turned out to be very similar to real exam (not surprising at all 🙂 ). This simulator, free mocks and notes available at JavaRanch Forum and questions from Head First book was more than enough and this time I didn’t buy simulator from WhizLabs or Enthuware.
And what I think about SCWCD itself? Unfortunately I didn’t like it as much as SCJP. That time I felt that everything I was learning would be useful, and now at SCWCD learning path, I had to memorize things I DEFINITELY won’t use in real projects (custom tags especially). Although some chapters were interesting and I think every developer should know how to manually build a web application , how servlet works and what design patterns could be useful for various scenarios. Obviously knowledge about JSP tags is also desirable, especially when you are joining older project written in this technology.
To sum up, SCWCD certificate is good to have but some stuff you have to familiarize with could make you sad/sick/depressed/angry (choose at least one).