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So I am interested in working towards are few specific certs. Namely Oracle 11g, MySQL, and Java. I know there are tons of books out there, and I do plan to hit up my local library on these subjects in the near future. However, I find myself wanting to get some digital info, and was wondering if anyone knows of a repository that would have pdf books on these subjects, or knows of a better way to pursue the knowledge. Seeing as how I don't have $3k a pop for the classes, I'm looking for ways to get my knowledge a little cheaper?

Thanks for the help in advance.

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You won't find anything for free, at least not legally. –  Mahmoud Hossam Apr 6 '11 at 19:42
    
cough cough *search torrent sites, cough cough –  programmx10 May 29 '11 at 18:02

3 Answers 3

I think it depends on your goals for obtaining certifications. Certification books, guides and commercial practice tests for popular certs like Cisco, Oracle 11g, and Microsoft are plentiful and they will prepare you to pass the exam. If you need certs for continuing education credits, promotion, this is a fine way to go. You'll cover the topics required for certification and that's all. The problem with all certifications is that these topics are selected on what the company or publisher thinks are important to learn, which at times may not reflect skills needed by an employer.

If you're interested in going beyond the certification requirements, and I highly suggest that you do, research the requirements and topics for a given certification and develop your own study guide. If possible, download the software, or find simulators. Take the requirements and test your answers on a development system. You can use Virtualbox to create an entire "lab in a box" to understand why the answer is correct. Read the manuals, break things then fix them. If your current employer uses the same technology you want to get your certification in and you work with it every day, that'll help tremendously. This approach will help you pass the exam and interview well.

Personally, having certifications has helped me get interviews, but experience is what got me the job.

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This is a nice answer but it doesn't answer the question that is asked. There are a number of 'Are certifications worth it' questions that this would be a great answer for though. –  DKnight Jan 4 '12 at 18:01

I passed OCP Java exam using the Sierra/Bates study guide and these practice exams . I found the practice exams much harder than the real thing, but that's good practice.

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I gave the SCJP 5 exam a few years back and used the Sierra/Bates guide as the main source for my study –  Amit Wadhwa Apr 7 '11 at 0:36

The java exam topics are freely available (eg JSE5,6 on Oracle's web site). You can then compile your own study guide from free sources (the java API being the ultimate reference).

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also look at this related question: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/45386/… –  louisgab Apr 6 '11 at 20:15

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