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florin
Junior Member

Registered: Aug 2002
Location:
Posts: 11

Passed today with 85%

Hi all,
Today I have passed this certification and as many "silent" members of this forum, I want to thank all of you for all. I have only discovered the forum about a month ago...
The ICE test is a good measure of one's knowledge IMO. I scored 80% before the exam and 85% in the real test so the margin I think comes from the concentration.
I have prepared for about 5 months for this. Started with Fowler and continued cu Larman (Larman is the hardest one, not to comprehend but to finish...).
The biggest advantage that I have gained using this forum was that I was really encouraged to take the exam. Before I was just postponing it for different reasons but when I came across the forum, I had the opportunity to test myself again (some of Bala's world-class questions were really deep...). Then I just scheduled the exam three weeks in advance (just to be sure that I won't cheat myself again) and here's the result.


Best of luck for everybody!
Florin

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Old Post 09-12-2002 10:49 AM
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bparanj
CTO, Zepho Systems

Registered: May 2002
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 277

Hi Florin,

Congratulations on passing the exam with flying colors. Can you please do a favor for other candidates who are preparing for the exam ? Point out the topics that you think are not covered by Fowler and Larman books and which can be found in other resources (books, websites etc.,).

This will help people without asking direct questions such as what did they ask in the exam ?

Regards,
Bala

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Old Post 09-12-2002 07:02 PM
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florin
Junior Member

Registered: Aug 2002
Location:
Posts: 11

Hi Bala,
Actually almost all the topics are covered in the two books. I have found some really hard questions (between 5 and 7) that are not covered by any phisical book and/or resource that I have studied, but really demand the real life experience of the candidat. Those were the hardest ones, as the answers are not to be found in the books, but searching throughout the OOA/D experience of each candidate.
My personal favourite questions were those about applying the patterns. I was sure that these kind of questions will come up so here's what I did: I studied the basic patterns(GRASP and GoF, not only those ones covered in Larman's book but some other GoF patterns as well although out of the scope of this exam), the corresponding UML diagrams and their applications. Larman book is the one but also Fowler's website (www.martinfowler.com, check the Analysis Patterns section. It's a work of art and it will really help anybody doing OOA/D). If you get the patterns right (I also try to apply them every day) it's likely that you'll recognize the UML corresponding digarams at the first glance, not to mention the questions in the exam that sometimes claim the response by using the right pattern!
My personal weakness were the questions regarding choosing of the use-cases to support some requirements. The trick that I have used was to apply the EBP rule. If the use-case does not bring _value_ to the actor, then it is not a candidate for a valid use case. I have briefly studied Kruchten's "The Rational Unified Process an Introduction" 2nd Ed. and one of the most valuable things that I have learned was about identifying an use-case. Kruchten talks about some ATM case study and he asks the question: Is inserting your ATM card and validating it a valid use-case? Well, imagine that the ATM machine is happy with your authentication and gives you the card back. Where's the value of this? Would you be happy to receive the card back without doing anything? Well. this is the key concept, the value of a use-case. If it does not bring any measurable value to the primary actor, than this is no primary use-case candidate. Another trick is another quote from Larman's book: "What is the goal of that goal?". But this one is related to the same EBP rule...
I think the most important is for everybody to try to find the weak spots and to try to cover them as good as possible. What I also did was to record all the mock ICE exams that I took (about 4) across my preparation and to try to analyse the weakest points. I have found that some areas were just not climbing at all by the end of my preparation (the same old learning curve) but the techniqe told me what were the areas not enough covered.
The score that I took in the real exam (no 100% at any section but around 85% at each) showed me that I have missed at least one question from each category. Well, I'd like to believe that I'll get to those answers right as I'll go deeper and deeper into OOA/D and I can't wait to get there.
After all, this is the value of all the study we take. Apart of the strong vocabulary you end-up learning and then using, the ultimate value stands in the ability to apply the concepts in the real life projects and this must be the goal of all of us here.

florin

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Old Post 09-12-2002 08:17 PM
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Vikrama
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location:
Posts: 101

Hi,
Tremendous Score!.Congratulations...

Well, u have discussed a lot in ur last post.But still i have to ask:
1:-On which design patterns u have emphasized more?.
2:-How can one (non-practical) can improve the understanding of patterns and which to apply when?.
3:-What is EBP rule?.
Bye,
Viki.

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Last edited by Vikrama on 09-12-2002 at 09:00 PM

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Old Post 09-12-2002 08:56 PM
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florin
Junior Member

Registered: Aug 2002
Location:
Posts: 11

Thanks for your thoughts Vikrama!
Actually Larman's book emphesizes the GRASP as well as about some Gof patterns in his first part of the book. Also get the feeling of the patterns he explains by the end of the book (including the Template Method, Virtual Proxy and State patterns). Get to know the layers pattern as it will help you not only on this exam. My personal best is the GoF Decorator pattern (no questions asked there and I think it is not covered by this exam although I cannot be sure).
All of the patterns are practical. I have tried to understand them by using real code examples and try to see what it is being achieved. The internet has a wealth of informations about this. About applying the patterns, this forum has good informations as well. Patterns come from real situations. Really, Larman's book will unveal everything for you in a comprehensive style.
Though, keep in mind that the questions asked in the exam that required pattern knowledge were not so many. That was only my favourite subject. The questions asked covered all the points highligted in the exam requirements so focus on all of them equaly.

Good luck!
florin

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Old Post 09-12-2002 09:23 PM
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bparanj
CTO, Zepho Systems

Registered: May 2002
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 277

quote:
Originally posted by Vikrama
Hi,
Tremendous Score!.Congratulations...

Well, u have discussed a lot in ur last post.But still i have to ask:
1:-On which design patterns u have emphasized more?.
2:-How can one (non-practical) can improve the understanding of patterns and which to apply when?.
3:-What is EBP rule?.
Bye,
Viki.



Look at the intent section of the pattern, also consider the forces involved in the problem and how the pattern resolves it. Using a pattern resolves the forces and creates new forces that can be resolved by applying other patterns.

Selecting the right design pattern is a skill that you acquire as you gain more experience.

When you study the design patterns, you will begin to notice common design principles that are being applied.

They are :

1. Separation of concerns.
2. Separating interface from implementation.

You find the "hot" spots in the system, these are the places where you need the flexibility and extensibility. Then you encapsulate these hot spots behind an interface thereby creating plug-in points in your system. These plug-in points will allow you to extend your system functionality.

An EBP is a task usually performed by one person at one place and time in response to a business event. The task adds measurable business value and leaves data in a consistent state.
Refer Larman for examples on how to apply EBP design guidelines.

Join the J2EE design patterns mailing list. There are very good discussion on real world problems and how GOF patterns are used in real world projects.

Good luck.
Bala

__________________
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http://uml.zepho.com

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Old Post 09-12-2002 09:36 PM
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Vikrama
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location:
Posts: 101

Hi,
Thanx Florin on ur valuable insights.I hope u'll stuck here and help others to break ur record.As we need u!


Bye,
Viki.

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Old Post 09-12-2002 09:41 PM
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Vikrama
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location:
Posts: 101

quote:
Originally posted by bparanj

Look at the intent section of the pattern, also consider the forces involved in the problem



What do u mean by forces?.


quote:
Originally posted by bparanj

Join the J2EE design patterns mailing list. There are very good discussion on real world problems...



Is it yahoogroups mailing list.Plz give the exact address.

Bye,
Viki.

__________________
Count the flowers of ur garden,NOT the leafs which falls away!

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Old Post 09-12-2002 09:52 PM
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bparanj
CTO, Zepho Systems

Registered: May 2002
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 277

quote:
Originally posted by Vikrama


What do u mean by forces?.




Is it yahoogroups mailing list.Plz give the exact address.

Bye,
Viki.


Instructions for joining :"http://archives.java.sun.com/archives/j2eepatterns-interest.html"

From"http://www.enteract.com/~bradapp/docs/patterns-intro.html"(Brad Appleton's website) :

The problem occurs within a certain context, and in the presence of numerous competing concerns. The proposed solution involves some kind of structure which balances these concerns, or "forces", in the manner most appropriate for the given context.

A pattern is a named nugget of instructive information that captures the essential structure and insight of a successful family of proven solutions to a recurring problem that arises within a certain context and system of forces.

Bala

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Old Post 09-13-2002 12:26 AM
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florin
Junior Member

Registered: Aug 2002
Location:
Posts: 11

Hi Viki,
I'll stick around. As for the mark that I took, there are members here that got above my score and not by a stroke of luck.


Smooth path!

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Old Post 09-13-2002 06:33 AM
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Vikrama
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location:
Posts: 101

Hi,
To bparanj,

I have read both the links which u gave.Brad Appleton's website is a great resource for beginner's of Patterns.
Can u tell me which Pattern's are included in UML certification given in the Core J2EE Pattern Catalog?.
The term forces is now clear to me.Thanx for ur help!.

To Florin:
Thanx for remaining with & helping us here.

Bye,
Viki.

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Old Post 09-19-2002 12:36 PM
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bparanj
CTO, Zepho Systems

Registered: May 2002
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 277

quote:
Originally posted by Vikrama
Hi,
To bparanj,

I have read both the links which u gave.Brad Appleton's website is a great resource for beginner's of Patterns.
Can u tell me which Pattern's are included in UML certification given in the Core J2EE Pattern Catalog?.
The term forces is now clear to me.Thanx for ur help!.



You are welcome. Be familiar with all the 23 GOF patterns for the exam. MVC and Layers patterns are absolute must for the exam, these two are part of the Architecture section objectives.

You need know anything about J2EE patterns. You might find the book "Applied Java Patterns" by Stephen Stelting & Olav maassen to be useful to come up to speed with GOF patterns.
My only complaint against this book is there are not enough Sequence diagrams.

Bala

__________________
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http://uml.zepho.com

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Old Post 09-19-2002 05:51 PM
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bparanj
CTO, Zepho Systems

Registered: May 2002
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 277

quote:
Originally posted by bparanj


You are welcome. Be familiar with all the 23 GOF patterns for the exam. MVC and Layers patterns are absolute must for the exam, these two are part of the Architecture section objectives.

You need not know anything about J2EE patterns. You might find the book "Applied Java Patterns" by Stephen Stelting & Olav maassen to be useful to come up to speed with GOF patterns.
My only complaint against this book is there are not enough Sequence diagrams.

Bala

__________________
Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform
http://uml.zepho.com

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Old Post 09-19-2002 05:53 PM
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bparanj
CTO, Zepho Systems

Registered: May 2002
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 277

You are welcome. Be familiar with all the 23 GOF patterns for the exam. MVC and Layers patterns are absolute must for the exam, these two are part of the Architecture section objectives.

You need not know anything about J2EE patterns. You might find the book "Applied Java Patterns" by Stephen Stelting & Olav maassen to be useful to come up to speed with GOF patterns.
My only complaint against this book is there are not enough Sequence diagrams.

Bala

__________________
Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform
http://uml.zepho.com

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Old Post 09-19-2002 05:55 PM
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Vikrama
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location:
Posts: 101

quote:
Originally posted by bparanj


You are welcome. Be familiar with all the 23 GOF patterns for the exam....



As far as i heard, Not all the 23 Pattern's of GoF are part of UML certification.However the patterns discussed by Larman, which includes GRASP and some GoF patterns are pursely part of UML certification.

Bye,
Viki.

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