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Sun, Java Industry Open Up Java U.

For those Java developers still wanting to broaden their horizons, Sun Microsystems Inc. and company have put together a Java University to educate the masses.

IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., Novell Inc. and the Sun-Netscape Alliance are also founding members of an institution aimed at training professionals in a cross-section of development suites so the developers can move from job to job without losing a step.

"Ranging from programmers who use core Java technologies to developers using skilled enterprise Java technologies, we think this is more productive for Java developers because they only have to certify once," says Sandy Rankin, IBM director of Java software. "IBM is a participant since we're providing these technologies as we see a strong increase in server-based applications development in Java."

So where are other leading Java technology vendors in all of this, such as Sybase Inc. (www.sybase.com), Inprise Corp. (www.inprise.com) and Symantec Corp. (www.symantec.com)? Bill Richardson, vice president and general manager of Sun educational services, says those vendors will be added over time and that this is just the beginning for the educational alliance.

To join the alliance, vendors will have to meet certain guidelines, however. First, they must support open-systems Java technology. They must provide exams for one or more of the skill levels and align their programs to the standard roadmap. The companies must recognize the prerequisite exams from the initiative participants. They must have training solutions that support each skill level and finally, the company must agree to cross-sell common tests from other vendors.

There are three levels to becoming a certified Java programmer under this structure. The first level is called Certified Programmer and only requires a proficiency in Java programming and one exam for certification. Level 2 is called Certified Solution Developer. There, programmers must demonstrate competency in Java applications development, object-oriented analysis and design with UML. Two exams are required for the second level of certification. Finally there's Certified Enterprise Developer. These students must demonstrate competency with enterprise connectivity with the Java platform and enterprise development with an application server. Two more exams are required for final certification.

The certification for level 1 will be available next month while the other two exams will be released Fall '99. Exams are being distributed through Sylvan Prometric (www.sylvanprometric.com). -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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