Monday, December 26, 2005

Sun Certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD!!!)

Hi all,

This time around it is my experience with SCBCD Exams by SUN.

Somewhere in the month of October, me and my close friend registered for the next level in Java Certification - Business Component Developer. The process of registering to the certification was initiated by NIIT (Prometric Center) who on seeing their old records found us eligible for receiving a discount for the up coming certification Needless to say we fell for this Markeeting gimic :)

We had initially registered for a date in November for the certification. I thought that 2 weeks of study would have been more than sufficient - It was not to be. BCD exams are more vigours and a little more tougher than SCJP. Lots of concepts are involved and much to understand.

I found the following links / books very useful during the preparation stages
1. Head First EJB - Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
2. SCBCD Exam Study KitJava Business Component Developer Certification for EJB
Paul Sanghera

Additional link of books to be used can be found in Book Review Section

Web Links
1. Java Ranch - The ultimate resource on the net for any Java / EJB related stuff.

2. Ejb - There are lots of practise exams here with ANSWERS!!. I would advise on going thro the exams ONLY AFTER reading the books.

3. - Lots of mock exams here too. good site overall.

4. - contains all necessary links for the preparation for this exam.

After many postponds and many delays (self induced and otherwise) we finally wrote the exam on Dec 24. I scored an okie 71%. It was pretty average considering what I knew, but wonderful considering the fact that i just intended to pass the exams!!!.

Hope this blog was useful for all. keep posting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Flights of Fantasy

" Flight number 07529 now boarding.....". We put down the coffee that we brought from a Taj Counter (for 25 per cup and undoubtedly the worst coffee I had till date) and proceeded to Terminal II. The First Class, Business Class passengers were first in Queue, followed by women with kids . Then it was zone wise boarding in to the flight for lowly Economy class passengers (us!!).

The way into the flight was linned up with security and some beautiful stewards. This lifted the spirits within... Smiles everywhere. We turned to see who was behind us and we saw director/ actor/ producer Visu along with u. One the final approach, a elderly Air Hostess Welcomed us in to the flight. There I had the first look of the interiors of a Economy Class of Lufthansa Aircraft. Pop burst the bubble that bloomed out side expecting a comfortable ride. This looked more like a PTC bus with all seats so close and no leg space!The seats by themself looked more like a medival torture seat ( or modern dentist chair)..... Totally there were three column of seats. Two near the window (2 seats each) and one in the middle (5 seats). The leg space, well the less said of it better.. I was horrified!! The seats allocated to us were rite in the back of the air craft.
We fought our way to the place where our seat was with a heavy hand luggage and finally "parked" ourselves in to the "Luxurious" seats. Well to admit it, it was a bit better than what it looked; but not to the extent I had expected.

"Hullo and welcome aboard Lufthansa - 07529. This is your Captain speaking. The flight is about to take off in a few mins. Please wear your seat bealts please".

The flight take off was a nice experience. It was like a roll-a-coaster ride. It started slowly and picked up speed and whoosh... it took of in few seconds. After we gained cruise altitude, I looked out of the window. Chennai never looked more beautiful. Weird feeling looking at Chennai from that altitude. Singara Chennai from 7500 ft.

The flight lights were dimmed, and a movie was started - Coach Carter. The stewards came and offered some drinks, which we gladly accepted as our throats were parched. The movie was good, but it was interrupted by frequent visits to loo... ( too cold up there). Since I was seated in the middle row, it was a annoyance. The movie ended at 3 am IST and still could not get a wink of sleep.

At 7am the captain announced that we are approaching Frankfurt. From there we were to take a flight to Boston. At that point I asked from some water, the stewards ask me to get it myself!! Amazing Service..unforgettable.

The flight landed at Frankfurt at around 8.10 am. We were amazed at the size of the Airport. It was H-U-G-E.
More importantly the airport was very clean. The boarding gate that we were to take was nearly half mile away and there were shuttle service inside the airport!!. The connecting flight was 3 hour away. So we had to time to kill.

We decided that we would explore Frankfurt Airport. The airport was beautify filled with beautiful beings :-)
Water was sold here at $2!!! It was a great Airport.

We needed to do our morning chores and found restrooms there. Unfortunately, in the rest rooms we were in for a great shock. No water. Only tissue paper!!! Felt very uncomfortable.

We brought a few chocolates, and then had a choco meal. The connecting flight was some 30 mins away, so we started to join up the queue.

Only 30 mins separated my journey to the U.S where on landing i felt like An alien in an alien world..

Friday, June 10, 2005

Begining of the flight fantasy..

"Hi are u interested to coming onsite?" asked my boss. Was dumb struck... To be in a company of this size and for so less time, to be offered a onsite request was something like a reward for all the work I had put in.

All those hours waiting for HR appointment, all those hours travelling hungry, all those hours working in the lab, and all those hours taking coffee from mom's hand for an extra effort...

All those hours spend finally seemed paid off... The flight was scheduled after a period of 3 months, before which I had to clear the Visa. The three months wait, well, was the longest 3 months in my life. Each day began with a count down to the "VISA DAY" and invariably ended with my sister pulling my leg for the same!! and me buying an ice-cream to my friends...

The Visa process was by itself a new experience..Prepared on all sort of questions they mite ask and all sort of details filledup, forms rechecked, dress well creased. I went to the consulate at 8.15 AM and came out at 10.00 am. The process was it self well organized, but it was scarry!!. The fear of rejection hung in the air! After the initial documentation check, we had to wait for the interview process. The interview was by it self so easy... Just took 30 seconds, and viola I had my Visa!. Once out of the consulate, I felt as if a huge block had been removed from my chest, felt that the world had been finally conqured and the last frontier had succembed. Now that the Visa was obtained, it was necessary to start the next set of procedures - The approval process and the packing.

The packing was entirely handled by my lovely sister and mom. In fact, I just ended up nodding to them when they said this is packed here, that is packed there .... The Visa was got on May 3rd and got the Visa on-hand on May 5th. I was supposed to leave on May 7th but I postpond it to May 9th as May 7th was getting to be a problem. On May 7th I took up my SCJP Exams. Scored 81% in that and was happy!!!. May 9th finally dawned. I reached office with the expectations of getting my tickets to US when the bombshell was dropped, my trip was not yet approved by the local director who had lost that approval mail... After much running around and delibration, we finally we able to say that I will not be leaving on May 9th as planned. It was heart breaking.... Was exhausted both physically and mentally. Finally around 8 pm, the approval was got for the trip; then we booked the tickets for the forthcoming Friday- May 13th early morning IST .

I was leaving for US on Friday the 13th!!. Preceeding my departure from my home, my close friends and my relatives had come for to see me off.On Thursday nite 10.30 P.M we reached Anna International Airport. The imigration process started at the airport. The boarding pass was taken and We went in for the security check at 112.30 am. At 1.00 A.M we boarded the Flight and the Flights of fantasy had begun.....