I'm preparing to Sun Certified Enterprise Architect exam and read Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Technology Study Guide book. Of course this short book does not explain anything - it is just short remainder. I read (remind) simultaneously other good (baseline for each developer) books:
- Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
- Head First Design Patterns
- Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design
- Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development
- Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB
- Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies
- Mastering Enterprise JavaBeans
... and some other stuff e.g. about UML, RMI, CORBA and things like that, and many many more (yes, I read almost all (almost means that I started all of them but finished not all of them) enumerated books - I have them all :)...
OK, that's knowledge - I read many books and maybe have good knowledge of many technologies, frameworks, etc. I also have experience in many mentioned technologies but... Knowledge is nothing without Experience (it reminds me great advertisement of Pirelli tires Power is nothing without Control ;) - reality is more cruel than books and tutorials say. I encountered many problems that in books were referred as rare - in my cases they were normal :)
During exam preparation I have to remind myself all those technologies, protocols, design patterns, UML diagrams, etc. - the subject is quite vast (it's certificate for an architect). I must say that without experience (with plain-old-book-knowledge - POBK ;) it's almost impossible to pass this exam. More so, it is rather impossible to be a good architect (Java/JEE) without such knowledge and solid experience.
If you have knowledge without experience you may easily fall into dangerous pitfalls. Read books of good and well known authors but don't trust them too much - use your own brain and common sense - authors are not the wisest architects, the best developers, the greatest engineers. We are all the best - trust in your own knowledge, experience, ideas and ambition - and, of course, use these assets as often as you can.