Java developers get 'Jedi' force

A group of IT vendor heavyweights yesterday officially announced "Jedi," a testing and certification program for Java developers intended to provide a standard set of requirements to become certified in the popular programming language.

IBM, Novell, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and the Sun-Netscape Communications Alliance announced the initiative, which will help employers to know that programmers have a particular Java skill level, officials from the various companies said at a press conference yesterday.

Other vendors are expected to join the certification program, executives said. Jedi is intended, in part, to help shore up the ranks of Java programmers because there is a shortage in that area, and also will help companies ensure that programmers are up-to-date with their skills, officials said.

Vendors must be willing to promote an open system for Java development and must also follow the single skills roadmap established by the initiative's founding companies, said Bill Richardson of Sun.

"Now that the initial roadmap has been defined and agreed to (by the program's founding vendors) I think it's going to be very easy for other vendors to join," said Sandy Rankin, who oversees Java at IBM.

The program has three certification levels, with some training available now and remaining educational components of the initiative set to be in place in the second half of this year. These are the certification levels:

-- Level 1 Certified Programmer demonstrates proficiency in Java. Programmers must successfully complete one exam for certification.

-- Level 2 Certified Solution Developer shows competence in Java application development, design with universal markup language (UML) and object-oriented analysis. Certification requires two exams.

-- Level 3 Certified Enterprise Developer has competency developing Java programs for corporations using application servers. Two tests are required for certification.

The vendors intend to review the tests every six months to make certain the exams remain valid for certification. The companies also will follow changes in standards and Java technology and make updates part of the certification process, officials said.

Additional information about the initiative is available at

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