Monday, August 14, 2006

Question from Java Certification Test

I found this question at
Which of these is a correct fragment within the web-app element of deployment descriptor. Select the one correct answer.

1. <exception> <exception-type> mypackage.MyException</exception-type> <location> /error.jsp</location> </exception>
2. <error-page> <exception-type> mypackage.MyException</exception-type> <location> /error.jsp</location> </error-page>
3. <error-page> <exception> mypackage.MyException </exception-type> <location> /error.jsp </location> </error-page>
4. <error-page> <exception-type> mypackage.MyException</exception-type> </error-page>
5. <error-page> <servlet-name> myservlet</servlet-name> <exception-type> mypackage.MyException</exception-type> </error-page>
6. <exception> <servlet-name> myservlet</servlet-name> <exception-type> mypackage.MyException</exception-type> </exception>
Does this ask for the abilities for writing correct XML files, or does it ask for whether someone understands how to specify an error page in the deployment descriptor (web.xml) of a Java web application.

I think this confirms my concern that someone who is "certified" does not necessarily have to be an expert on the subject he/she has been certified.

My suggestion to an agile leader is therefore: Ignore the certifications and focus on the real output of your candidates. Use auditions, for example design sessions or pair programming, to assess the real skills of your candidates.

I don't believe that certifications will help you to determine whether a candidate has excellent social skills. And I also don't believe that this kind of questions helps to determine whether a candidate is able to find novel solutions.

At best the candidate can repeat previously learned canned answers. Is this what you are looking for?

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