Preparing for the Java 1Z0-815 & 1Z0-816 1Z0-819 Certification Exams

Because Oracle didn’t think I had enough to do! 1Z0-815 and 1Z0-816 were retired without notice. But it’s not as bad as you would think for those who are prepping for these exams. The new 1Z0-819 is the replacement for these 2 exams and the designation you’ll receive after taking this 819 exam is Java SE 11 Developer instead of the Java SE 11 Programmer designation.

As the Technical Curriculum Manager for Pluralsight over Java and .NET, part of my responsibility was the curriculum design of two certification paths. The Java SE 11 Programmer I Certification and the Java SE 11 Programmer II Certification certifications.

My first thought when I began white-boarding out these certification learning paths  was “How do I successfully prepare learners to take this exam?”.  The answer? Take the exam myself!

Prior to planning out the steps a learner would need to know in order to successfully pass these exams, I decided to personally take the journey to certification.  I have a Microsoft SQL Server certification so beginning with the lessons learned preparing for and taking that exam, I began to plan out going about achieving the Java SE 11 Programmer I certification.

This is a methodology I know works based on personal experience from taking a certification exam:
  1. Take inventory of the concepts you’ll be required to know. For the 1Z0-815 certification, you will find these here.
  2. Find a good practice exam platform to benchmark your current knowledge base and take the first pass without studying.
  3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses from the practice exam.
  4. Now, concentrate one at a time on the exam topics you need work on. I found that a cycle of watching tutorials, reading, creating some hands-on examples, and then repeating the practice tests worked best.
  5. Can you apply what you’ve been practicing and create a sample application without referring back to the study material? This is where you will know the difference between memorization and application. If you can apply what you have learned and understand what you’ve written, you are ready!
How many years of experience should you possess before sitting for a certification exam?

The answer isn’t the number of years you’ve been programming. It’s how well-versed you are with best practices and familiarity with the basic foundations of good programming concepts. Your knowledge of these foundational concepts is what will result in successfully passing the certification exam. For instance, in the Java certification exam, you will encounter questions on conditional logic, iteration, data types, the scope of a variable, etc. While you may find the syntax different from another language you may have been working with, the fundamentals of these key programming concepts remain the same. So you can see how it isn’t a matter of how many years you have worked with Java but rather how well you know and fully comprehend programming concepts. This is not to say that you won’t need to be familiar with Java but that the number of years programming only with Java isn’t the answer.

I will be writing future posts on each of the topics covered in the 1Z0-815 exam. This isn’t meant to teach the test. It is designed to provide some insight into the knowledge you will need to be fully prepared to successfully complete the exam and gain your certification.

I will be writing the posts that will cover each the topics found on Oracle’s page for the Java SE 11 Programmer I exam you will find these here.

These topics are:

  1. Understanding Java Technology and environment

    Describe Java Technology and the Java development
    Identify key features of the Java language

  2. Working With Java Primitive Data Types and String APIs

    Declare and initialize variables (including casting and promoting primitive data types)
    Identify the scope of variables
    Use local variable type inference
    Create and manipulate Strings
    Manipulate data using the StringBuilder class and its methods

  3. Working with Java Arrays

    Declare, instantiate, initialize and use a one-dimensional array
    Declare, instantiate, initialize and use a two-dimensional array

  4. Creating and Using Methods

    Create methods and constructors with arguments and return values
    Create and invoke overloaded methods
    Apply the static keyword to methods and fields

  5. Reusing Implementations Through Inheritance

    Create and use subclasses and superclasses
    Create and extend abstract classes
    Enable polymorphism by overriding methods
    Utilize polymorphism to cast and call methods, differentiating object type versus reference type
    Distinguish overloading, overriding, and hiding

  6. Handling Exceptions

    Describe the advantages of Exception handling and differentiate among checked, unchecked exceptions, and Errors
    Create try-catch blocks and determine how exceptions alter program flow
    Create and invoke a method that throws an exception

  7. Understanding Modules

    Describe the Modular JDK
    Declare modules and enable access between modules
    Describe how a modular project is compiled and run

  8. Programming Abstractly Through Interfaces

    Create and implement interfaces
    Distinguish class inheritance from interface inheritance including abstract classes
    Declare and use List and ArrayList instances
    Understanding Lambda Expressions

  9. Applying Encapsulation

    Apply access modifiers
    Apply encapsulation principles to a class

  10. Describing and Using Objects and Classes

    Declare and instantiate Java objects, and explain objects’ lifecycles (including creation, dereferencing by reassignment, and garbage collection)
    Define the structure of a Java class
    Read or write to object fields

  11. Using Operators and Decision Constructs

    Use Java operators including the use of parentheses to override operator precedence
    Use Java control statements including if, if/else, switch
    Create and use do/while, while, for and for each loops, including nested loops, use break and continue statements

  12. Creating a Simple Java Program

    Create an executable Java program with a main class
    Compile and run a Java program from the command line
    Create and import packages

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