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My journey to SCJP :

I started learning Java around January 1999. Initially, I started with all free tutorials and online books. First ,I downloaded the Java1.2 SDK and Java API documentation and installed. Next, I read Sun's Java tutorial (free on the internet), Sam's teach youself Java in 21 days(downloaded from internet),. Java in a NutShell   (Got it from local library and renewed  and renewed...till I finished), Thinking in Java   (downloaded from internet and read offline). Then I started learning servlets /JDBC /jsp from sun's site and other online resources. I wanted to use Java as an Object Oriented Langauage in a project . So ,I started defining requirements for an Online Account Management System which is basically a web application. My husband and myself discussed and defined the system requirements. He also partipated in the inital design of the system and I developed and tested this web application. This system  is written with 14 servlets, 36 JavaBeans, 40 dynamic jsp, 28 static html pages. For this project, I also learnt NetObject's NetFusion to design and develope the html/jsp pages. I also used litte Javascript to validate the user entries in the front end (browser) html form. I used JDBC to connect to the database at the backend (Access) and tested the web applicatiion using the  the free webserver which comes with the jswdk package from Sun. I implemented the popular and well known MVC Design Pattern which is also called as Model-View-Control pattern in this project where  I designed the system with JavaBeans as Model, jsps as View and Servlets as Control .I downloaded the free TextPad text editor from and used for this project.

So, after I used Java as an OOP language throughout this project and got an experience of about 1 year with this web application and satisfied myself  Java as a very good language to work with, I decided to go for SCJP certification in January 2000. I bought 2 books R&H book (Java2 Certification Study Guide by Roberts , Heller and Ernest) and Java2 Exam Cram by Bill Brogden . I started my preparation for SCJP Certification From Jan 2000 to April 2000, 4 full months. I almost spent 8 hours per day on an average. After I bought the above 2 books, I started reading each chapter(same topic) from both R&H and Exam Cram simultaneously so that I had better and clear idea about the particular topic. , did all the exercises at end of each chapter from both books. Sometimes we may think we are making a slow progress since we are reading both books together. But the benifit is we are clear in the particular topic. This is a slow and steady process I think. Then I started participating actively in . Due to some reason this site went down. So myself found another good discussion forum in . By trying to clear others doubts , I learnt a lot which could not be compared with anything at all. That's a very good learning experience. Then I was asked by the javaranch site owner Paul Wheten to be a moderator for a Java Discussion group. I try my best to help others here in  Then I read many tutorials and others notes which I have listed below. Then I felt I need to read JLS (Java Language Specification ) to strengthen Java knowledge. Throughout my study I referred Sun's  Java API Documentation . For each concept I wrote a small test program and convinced myself. This is how I learnt all easy and complicated concepts in Java. Then I went for a 2nd round of reading for R&H book. Next I read Java2 Exam Cram Book by Bill Brogden. During this study I found an error in this book (pg no 287) regarding writeUTF(..) and readUTF(...) methods which is accepted by the author Bill Brogden as an error. You can refer to the discussion with author of Exam Cram book, Mr.Bill Brogden  about this error here. After I felt confident enough to takle (almost all) questions asked by the participants in, finally for the last month , throughout April 2000, I started taking Mock Exams available freely on internet. Each time I took a sample test , I benchmarked the results in a textfile with  MockExamName/ Date/ %got/ # questions / Mistakes made / Areas to improve like that. This really helped  to gauge myself. I also started taking the mock tests from the easier ones to harder ones. Totally took around 32 sample tests. When I started getting around  95 to 98 to 100 % in the tests I scheduled  the SCJP Exam on May 6, 2000. I bought the voucher in March 2000. (I think so). On May 6th, 2.00 pm I took the Exam and got 93% . The same week May 9th I received the REAL SCJP2 Certificate along with the SUN CERTIFIED JAVA PROGRAMMER badge and an  agreement for the Java "logo" artwork  from Sun . So,this is my long journey (1 year and 6 months) from 0 knowledge of Java to SCJP level with an experience of 1 year of using Java in a .Java Web Application.

You can also find some of my discussions which helped others and myself , in  our 'Discussions' link of our site here, which I really enjoyed in participating.

                                                               I am listing the only resources which I personally used and found good . - Maha Anna


Resource Name

Mahas's Comments




Java2 SDK download page

First thing I did. Downloaded the SDK and installed. /


Online Java2 API Doc

This is a must to have the API Doc in our harddisk for quick and easy reference. /docs/index.html


Java Byte Code Generator

Not necessary for SCJP2 exam purpose. Just to peek the source code from .class files itself. ey/Bridge/8617/jad.html



A very good free text editor I enjoyed. It is also Java enabled and displays the keywords ,comments, braces etc . of java in different colors.




Sam's teach yourself Java  in 21 days -  by Laura Lemay

When I was really new to Java, the '21 days' in the title attracted me. So I just downloaded and studied in a week and liked it. The authors explains the concepts in a easy way.Become a member of this online books library for free and download this book.


Java in a NutShel  -  by David Flangman

I am basically from 'C' language background. I heard from many people that this is a very good book for such people. So I searched in the local library and studied and it is also really good. The author of this book has a online Java API reference which is organized with methods , classes, and packageswise alphabetically. I found this reference  also very useful at times. s/ASIN/1565924878/electricporkch op/002-8958979-4708037


Thinking in Java  - by  Bruce Eckel

Next I read this book.This is a good book which explains Java as an object oriented language in a very good way. We can understand the concepts in this book easily if we have some prior knowledge of what Java is all about. This is also free in the internet. But it is worth to have our own printed book. asp?WebPageID=314


JLS- Java Language Specification  -   by James Gosling

This book is from the designers of Java Language itself. It needs a careful reading .Each word in this book really means a concept. Reading and understaning this book's information will definitly take our knowledge of Java to many steps up. ml/index.html


Sun's - Inner class Specification

Like JLS this Inner class speciffication also will really improve our knowledge of Inner classes. This is also from Sun. Worth to read. /docs/guide/innerclasses/spec/innercl asses.doc.html


The Java Language Environment-  A White Paper by  by  James Gosling , Henry McGilton

A small and very good free book . Worth to read. nv/



The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide by Roberts, Simon / Heller, Philip / Ernest, Michael

In my opinion and also understood from others comments, even for experienced Java Programmers, to get Certified as SCJP , we need a special preparation. So I decided to buy a Certification related book and read.

This book, popularly known as R&H book, is considered as 'Bible for Java2 Certification' by many people who took the SCJP2 Certification Exam. I found this book is good but it has lots of errors in the printed book. But almost all the errors are reported and corrected . The errata page is available on the internet.

The first thing I did after I bought this book was, I took a pencil and corrected all the errors from the Errata page in the printed book itself. Then I  found that this book is really good. PID=124003463&PAGE=http://sea earch/search.d2w/Details%3Fcode %3D0782127002%26mediaType% 3DBook%26searchType%3DISBN UPC


Roberts and Heller - Errata page .

A must to have , preferrable as  a printed format. It is good if we correct the errors in the book itself with a pen or pencil.



Java 2 Exam Cram, Exam Cram Ser. by Brogdon, Bill

This small book is really a good book which has all the important points to know for the SCJP2 Exam in a concentrated form. I used this book as a supplement to R&H book. s/ASIN/1576102912/o/qid%3D94 0708825/sr%3D8-1/002-8958979- 4708037


JAVA2 - EXAM CRAM by Bill Brogden Errata page

Bill's errors are less compared to R&H's.


The rating I gave for the resources listed in this table is just based on my own reading of them and from that reading I rated them. It is not based on any other scale.

[*****]  -  Very Good   |         [****] -Good        |          [***] - Fair


Sun's online Java tutorial - [*****]


Marcus Green tutorial - [****]


Jyothi Krishnan tutorial- [***] k/3693/


Richard Baldwin - tutorial - [****]


Michal-Thomas tutorial - [***]


Sun's AWT - tutorial - [****] ion/download.html#OLDui


GridBagLayout Tutorial from Sun-[****] Training/GUI/AWTLayoutMgr/shortcourse.htm l#gridBagLayout


GridBagTutorial - [****] ridbag/gridbag.html s/missgable/index.htm


A java appln I used for GridLayout-[***]

Download the Java Appln and use Use in this format. (java  DynaGrid  rows  cols totBtns)


Hex and Octal Representation - [****] sc102/ch3.html


Binary Number Presentation -[****] sc102/ch2.html#neg_num_bin


Art of binary numbers - [****] mbly/CH01/CH01-1.html#HEADING1-30


A good chart on java events - [***] ndcomponents.html ndard.html


Roedy Green's Java Gotchas -chart - [***]

View them


Java cheat chart - [***]

View them


A good Java Language syntax reference chart - [***]

View them


Java convertibles -cheat chart -[***]

View them


A good chart on Component hiearchy-[****] ml


JavaClassLibraries - Examples - [*****]

Code Examples for
The Java Class Libraries: An Annotated Reference
by  Patrick Chan and Rosanna Lee

Very good Code Examples for Java2 API. ment/examples.html ition/examples.html


A good series of Thread articles - [****] dex/jw-ti-threads.html


Java In a Nutshell - online reference -[****]

Download and use them


John Hunt - slide show -[***]

Download and use them


java-skinny site - [***]


Carl's - notes -[****]

View it


Dylan walsh notes -[***]


Swami's notes -[***] otes.htm


Heather - notes -[***]

View it


Design Techniques (Bill Venners) (Not necessary for SCJP2 Exam. But worth to read) chniques.html


Sun's Collection Framework -[****] e/collections/index.html


A Good garbage collection tutorial[***] 0197.html


Brewing Java -[****] #xtocid45974


Good 'Garbage Collection' of objects tutorial [*****] calArticles/ALT/RefObj/index.html



I started my Java Discussion interest from this site only. Found many friendly people like Jim,Tony,Marcus,Kathy and many more. Due to some reasons this site is down. The owner anounced that he will do some archive on all the discussion threads and will come back. So myself found another good site


Joined this site during January 2000 when the Programmer certification Forum had just around 500 messages. Now this particular forum alone has 11,000 messages. I am very proud of working as a moderator here. Really enjoy it. Has loads of Java info. /ubb/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topi cs&number=24&SUBMIT=Go


Marcus Green's Java Discussion Group

I think this humble and helpful person from U.K is the most well known individual in all (past,present,future)SCJPS. His site has got it all information related to Java Certification. I also less-frequently participate in his discussion forum. His site is also called as 'Java Certification HeadQuarters'.

Last Updated 5-12-03