Montag, 17. Dezember 2012

Passing OCMJEA Exam Part II & III

I have now passed the Oracle Certified Master Java Enterprise Architect (OCMJEA) exam parts II & III. My score is 129 of 160 - I actually expected to get a better score but I still want share my experiences.

Which assignment did I get?
  • Wireless Phone Company.

Did I change the domain model?
  • Yes. It made no sense to me, so I changed nearly all the cardinalities.
  • I explained in detail why I did this.
  • Please note that my score could have been affected by this (I will never know).

How detailed were my UML diagrams?
  • Definitely a lot more detailed than the ones in the Cade/Sheil book.
  • I also used a lot of notes to explain the diagrams.

Why I did I choose StarUML for designing the UML diagrams?
  • I tried out several free tools from this list at Wikipedia.
  • Some were old and incomplete.
  • Some were complicated to use.
  • StarUML was nice and easy to use. It may not be 100% UML2 compliant but I don't think this is important.

What tool did I choose to design the HTML pages?
  • My HTML editor was Kompozer. It's free and very easy to use.
  • Images exported from StarUML were BMPs. To convert them to PNG I used Paint (yes, the standard Windows program).

How long did I work on my assignment?
  • Many evenings and weekends for several weeks.
  • You should set yourself a reasonable time limit - or you will end up changing your solution again and again (as I did to some extent).
  • I spent quite some searching for sample assignment solutions on the Internet. The ones I found were less than helpful - and you can never know if the guy who posted them actually passed (in most cases I doubt that!).
  • I also spent some time searching for the HTML and UML tools.

How long did I wait for the results?
  • I got an email that I can view my results at the Oracle CertView site about 4 weeks after I submitted the assignment or 3 weeks after I took the part III exam.

Where did I lose points?
  • I will never know. To quote the Exam Score Report: "Details of a passing score are not displayed in order to maintain test security. This score report is the only information you will be provided."
  • It may have been my interpretation of the domain model.
  • It may have been my changes to the domain model.
  • It may have been my choice of integration technologies (where I used web services and JMS).
  • It may have been my deployment diagram with a rather complicated replication solution.

How should you prepare for the part III essay?
The part III essay is really easy. If you take it shortly after you submitted part II you should know good answers to all the questions. A few hints:
  • For each of the non-functional requirements (performance, scalability, availability, ...) think about how your solution handles it and why.
  • Think about alternatives to your proposed solution.
  • Think about patterns used and why.
  • Think about frameworks used and alternatives.
  • Think about changes to the non-functional requirements - What if...

That's all I can do for you. As you may know, I am not allowed to help you with your assignment or to send you my solution - please don't ask for it.

Good luck for your exam!

Sonntag, 13. Mai 2012

Passing OCMJEA Exam Part I

Passing OCMJEA Exam Part I

I recently passed the Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect (OCMJEA) exam part I with 93%. I would like to share some hints on how to prepare for the multiple-choice test.

General information:

  • There are 64 questions in the exam.
  • You have 2 hours time, which is more than enough.
  • Passing score is 57%.
  • You are always given the number of correct answers (usually 1 to 3 out of 4 or 5 choices).

Tips for the exam:

  • You should have plenty of time. Carefully read each question (the text can span several lines).
  • Look for hints in the question text, e.g. do we have experienced developers, is there synchronous or asynchronous processing, is future-proofing important, etc.
  • Use the 'strike-out' function (right mouse key) to eliminate answers that are obviously wrong. Sometimes it's easier to find the correct answers by eliminating all the wrong ones.
  • Use the 'Mark for review' checkbox to review difficult questions after you answered all the other questions.

 How to prepare:

  • Just reading the Cade/Sheil book is definitly not enough. It only provides an overview about what to learn and examples of what exam questions can look like.
  • You need to know about the most important features and characteristics of all the technologies and APIs mentioned in the book. This includes seldom-used technologies like RMI, JCA or JAXR.
  • Good knowledge of the 'modern' technologies like JSF, JPA and JMS is recommended.
  • Very good knowledge about design patterns is required. Again, forget the information in Cade/Sheil book, you'll need more than that. Expect questions like 'What is a characteristic of the XXX pattern?' or 'Which design pattern is most suitable for ...?'.
  • Very good knowledge about non-functional requirements is required. You must know what scalability, availability, maintainability etc. really mean, especially when comparing 2-tier and 3-tier architectures.
  • Use Google to search for information by people who have passed the test. Try search terms like 'OCMJEA exam hints' or 'SCEA exam preparation'. Most search results will point to ads for test software, but some will lead you to sites like this one.

Good luck for your exam.