Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book - chapter nine available for download

I've put a PDF copy of chapter nine up on for download here. Chapter nine is two things - a seminal chapter in terms of the exam content it covers (Parts II and III of the SCEA exam) and also one that Safari Rough Cuts (SRC) keep missing out on in updating it. The version of the book on SRC is a lot older than this version. I'll keep this download link live until SRC is updated with the latest version. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Google Go overview for JEE and .NET architects / developers

A few days ago, Google released a pre-release / early look copy of a new programming language and platform - Google Go - for general consumption and feedback. After working with Go for a couple of days, I took my notes and thoughts on how it compares to the Java (J2EE / JEE) and .NET platforms - specifically as far as enterprise computing goes - and wrote them up into this article. All feedback appreciated.

From the Conclusion: "Go has the potential to completely supplant both C and C++ in the systems programming space and that is clearly it's first goal, but it also has the potential to do much more than that - to reach into the enterprise computing / web+application tier as well. It would be short-sighted in this day and age to design a platform that was restricted to low-level systems programming only, when most companies invest far more time and effort in building applications that are used by consumers to communicate, collaborate, transact ecommerce and more. In this author's opinion, Go has the legs to go further".

Another book update (aka where is it..)

The book is still moving through pre-production at Pearson. I'm sure a good number of you will be wondering what kind of impetus can be administered to push it along and I feel the same way myself!

It looks like the book content got caught up in a major upgrade to Safari Rough Cuts that is just about sorted now. A new version has just published, but I know that it does not have the latest chapter nine content that I wrote last month. Chapter nine is a key chapter in the book, focusing as it does on the JustBuildIt scenario that I outlined at JavaOne 2009 and solves it completely. This chapter maps onto Parts II and III of the exam, where candidates download a business scenario of equal complexity and have to propose and defend a solution to it.

I'm waiting to see when this chapter will show up on Rough Cuts. If it's only a few days away, I'll write another post advising that it's there. But if the delay is going to be as long as the previous delay (essentially four - six weeks to get some content updated), then I'll publish chapter nine as a PDF file on, like the other sample chapter and the JavaOne 2008 and 2009 slides. Again, apologies for the delay - I'm pushing as hard as I can.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Addressing book comments on previous post

I just wanted to address some of the comments posted against the previous post in a standalone post (posting my comments against previous comments inline isn't a great way for people to see replies).

A new version of the book was pushed to Rough Cuts late last week and there is another one waiting to go as well. As I understand it from Pearson, Safari are in the middle of a software upgrade at the mo, hence the tardiness in pushing updated content onto Rough Cuts.

Once, the next version of the book makes it onto Rough Cuts, I'll be happy that it represents the content for most of the chapters that you'll see in the published book, i.e. go ahead and use it to revise. The one exception is chapter nine, where I consider the content in that chapter to be the bare minimum you need to provide in part two of the exam to pass. We'll be beefing up the UML diagrams and associated English text in that chapter. So the content in chapter nine is correct, but not yet sufficient, for part two.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SCEA study guide - progress update

We're pretty much finished with the book edits now. One chapter still looks light and that content will be finished this weekend. But we've underestimated the time the publication process takes at Pearson. Greg tells me that we're looking at late December / early January for the book to be physically on the bookshelves.

Apologies for setting expectations of mid-October in my blog posts - I didn't realise the time the publication process takes. To mitigate this publication delay, we'll be getting the Rough Cuts content updated with the latest version as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Addressing Rough Cuts feedback received

Since the book draft has been released on Safari Rough Cuts, I've received feedback on it, both as blog comments and also directly through the Rough Cuts feedback mechanism.

Focusing on the areas of improvement that people have commented on:

1. The final version of the book is significantly longer than the rough cuts version, but it is no weighty tome either. The whole point of the book is to focus on the material that we believe is directly relevant to the JEE Architect exam, as opposed to the JEE platform itself;

2. The next version of the book contains chapter six (JEE security) which is missing from the current Rough Cuts version - that was a trade-off that we took - to get the book on Rough Cuts in order to get reader feedback, without chapter six; and

3. The next version of the book contains a completed chapter nine - a fully-worked Part Two and Three solution to an assignment (the JustBuildIt business problem) of similar complexity to the exam assignments.

Thanks for all the feedback so far - it helps us to make the book better. Unfortunately, time does not permit me to respond to feedback left anonymously, but rest assured that your comments have been read. Finally, we're still shooting for the October date to production.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book update

Well, the book edits continue apace, and most of the artwork has been sent to the Pearson graphics team to be transformed from the raw, blocky diagrams that we have created into beautiful images for the book.

We're basically left with chapter six and nine edits now. There's a bank holiday tomorrow so I'm planning on using that to get my work done and then send it to the editors for review. We're almost there!


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

SCEA study guide now on Rough Cuts

Well, the book draft has finally made it onto Rough Cuts here. All feedback is truly appreciated and we'll be looking to get a more rounded / completed version up as soon as possible.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sample SCEA book chapter for download - web tier

In anticipation of the full book going up on Rough Cuts any day now, I wanted to share one of the chapters to get early feedback on it. The chapter I'm sharing is the third chapter focusing on the web tier portion of the exam and is still in draft status, but with the exception of the graphics needed, is more complete than not. All feedback appreciated. Link to chapter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

SCEA study guide book update

Just a short update on the book for all of the comments asking for an update. I put the content on the Pearson FTP server for peer review and editing the Saturday before JavaOne. Unfortunately it's taking longer than expected to get it pushed through that review process - I'm asking pretty regularly and I'll keep asking on your behalf. As soon as it goes up on Rough Cuts I'll let you guys know.. thanks for the continued interest in the book!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Slides from JavaOne BOF on the SCEA exam

I've posted the slides for my BOF talk at JavaOne - enjoy! (including the obvious typo on slide 16).

Sample assignment for the SCEA exam - part two

So, as a follow-up to part one of this little series, below is the exact list of deliverables that you are required to develop for part two of the exam.

It is your task to create an architecture and design for the System under Discussion (SuD) with the given business domain model, information provided above and requirements in the use cases. The architecture must be built using the JEE platform. All deliverables will be accepted as HTML only and each diagram must be UML compliant.

1.Create a class diagram for the SuD. Public method names referenced in other UML diagrams (e.g. sequence diagrams) should be provided.

2.Create a Component diagram for the SuD showing the components used in the system and their interaction. Examples of components are EJBs, Servlets, JSPs, major POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects) and important Managers / Controllers / Design Pattern implementations.

3.Create a Deployment diagram that describes the proposed physical layout of the major tiers of the SuD.

4.Create either a Sequence or Collaboration diagram for each use case provided.

In addition to these UML deliverables, the exam requires you to:

1.List the top three risks and identify a mitigation strategy for each risk.

2.List any assumptions made during the process of coming up with the architecture and design.

Your architecture and design will be graded on how well it supports the requirements detailed in this document and on the clarity of all information provided in both textual and diagrammatic form.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sample assignment for the SCEA exam - part one

Following up on last week's BOF at JavaOne, I promised to put the slides online as well as the expanded version of a sample scenario for part two of the exam. The slides are coming later, and here is the expanded version of the JustBuildIt scenario. As per the talk, the goal here is to expand on this scenario over time and create a fully-worked solution from it. In subsequent posts, I'll be posting the domain model, deliverables and use case diagrams so that you can see the full complexity of a scenario that I believe is of the same complexity as an actual scenario in the architect's exam today.


You are the architect for JustBuildIt Corporation, an international, vertically-integrated construction company with significant operations in the US and Canada, Europe and the Pacific Rim. JustBuildIt operates its own forests, quarries and steel foundries to supply its own building sites with wood, concrete and steel. This end to end style of operation has helped JustBuildIt to keep its costs of raw material down in an era of soaring commodity prices. The management team has recently concluded a business-wide review from leaves to roots of the entire company and one fact is apparent – JustBuildIt pays a lot of money moving raw materials to construction sites, even when there are materials just as suitable nearby.

JustBuildIt has decided to build a building commodities exchange to allow it and some of its competitors to pool excess capacity in a co-opetition model. In the future, raw materials for a construction site will be sourced through the exchange, rather than exclusively from JustBuildIt inventory.

Based on the management’s report and also interviews with key senior staff, you know the following:

• JustBuildIt have recently invested in an inventory and order management system which tracks capacity of their production facilities and also individual orders coming in from construction sites around the world. This system is accessed via a JMS Queue;

• JustBuildIt have decided to expose the interface to their exchange as a web services API;

• In order to counter accusations of unfairness, JustBuildIt has agreed with all participants that 95% of all transactions to and from the exchange will execute in 5 seconds or less, with the remaining 5% executing in 10 seconds or less;

• The system has an uptime requirement during core working hours (GMT -8 to GMT +8) of 99.99%; and

• The actual placement of orders into the exchange is a manual process – JustBuildIt site foremen place orders daily based on individual construction site requirements.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Short book update

Just a quick update on the book. As with all things literary, this book has taken on a life of its own, and Mark and I missed our self-set date of end Feb to have the book with Pearsons for final review and publishing. But the good news is that we're close to having a draft copy up on Safari - i.e. we're shooting to have the book up on Safari in the next two weeks. I'll post the link as soon as I have it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Presenting at JavaOne 2009 - SCEA Take Two!

Sun have accepted my BOF proposal for JavaOne 2009, so it's time to start looking for flights to SFO again and making sure that the hotel I'm staying at isn't right in the middle of the Tenderloin..

My proposal this year built on the material covered in last year's BOF, and I'll also take time to dig deeper into Part Two of the exam (where a lot of people come a cropper) and work through exactly what the examiners are / aren't looking for and why.

If you're going to JavaOne in this crunch year, looking forward to seeing you at the BOF!