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How to get an answer to your Java Cert question

I have spent many hundreds of hours building this site. I run this site to help other people and to refine my own knowlege and skills.I am very keen to get any feedback that might improve this site, and many people have sent suggestions and corrections.I am keen to help out the maximum number of people studying for Java certification, and I would rather not spend my time answering questions I have already answered elsewhere.

Stuff I Know very little about

I know very little about the Architects exam, Developers exam or exams that are not from Sun. If you ask me about them I will probably send you the URL of this page. Try following any links I have in my FAQ.

I also I get a considerable amount of email some of which asks me to solve individual programming problems. I am unlikely to reply in much detail to such requests as my aim is to help as many people as possible. So how can you optimise your chance of getting an answer to your question?

Do a search

I have a search facility at the front of the site and you may find a solution in the results to a search.


Read the Fabulous FAQ. A FAQ is a Frequently Asked Questions list relating to Java Programmer Certification. Is a general rule of the Web and net to try to find the FAQ before asking questions. My frequently asked questions page prints out to around 20 pages and around 4,000 words. It answers more than 75% of ll the questions I get asked in emails. Take a look at it at

Ask in the discussion forum

Check out the old questions in the discussion forum (see the link from my front page) . You can download a zipped up file of hundreds of old postings from the front of the site. If nothing seems to help, try posting a question. That way you may get answers from several experienced people. If you just ask me my answer might not be the most correct (or indeed correct at all).

Be nice to me (most of you are)

If you make a constructive suggestion or point out an error in my work in detail I am more likely to find time for any follow up message. There are many people around the world who I feel I know because they have sent me suggestions, corrections or answered other peoples question on my discussion forum. When it comes to replying to a question these people go right to the top of my priority list.

Be specific

Be specific in your question. Thus if you ask a question like

In question 12 you say that and Integer can be assigned to an int, surely this is not correct.

I may not reply, you need to tell me exactly which question 12 on which page you are referring.

If I provide a code example that asks

Does this code produce





If my answer says it produces zebra and you think it will output elephant, please please please try running the code first. The java compiler is a very good learning tool.

Read your question out loud

This will help ensure your question makes sense. Try reading the words of your question backwards, this is a proof reading trick to ensure that your brain is not "auto correcting" your words to read what you mean rather than what you say. You may also find that you actually know the answer to your question when you read it.

Your urgency is not my urgency

I occasionally get an email asking a question and asking for an answer quickly because the person is taking the real exam in 24 hours (or whatever). From my perspective this is not a situation of urgency it is a situation where someone I don't know has not prepared properly. It also indicates that someone is taking my time and effort for granted, is this person going to pay for my time, do I care if they are prepared or not, would they help me I asked them a question and told them I had a deadline?

Stuff I probably cannot help you with

I know quite a lot about the subjects covered by the syllabus for the Sun Certified Java Programmers exam but I am not especially knowlegable about Java in general. Although I have contributed some questions to the gEs simulator I cannot help with any download, purchase or "please give me a free copy" issues.

A Question I do not appreciate

I get a steady trickle of emals from people asking me to email them more mock exams. It takes a huge amount of time to create a comprehensive mock exam with answers. I just do not understand the mental process of anyone who expects me to be sitting waiting for that special person I have never met to send a mock exam just for them. Maybe there is no mental process.

I'm a real friendly guy

Don't be put off by all of this, I'm a real friendly guy and I like to help people. I love to hear of people sucesses especially if my materials have helped. You can send me an email at