Saturday, September 30, 2006

Rocky wallpaper collection

boxing
Sep 29, 2006 - 7 Photos

Here are some of my favorite star (Sly Stallone's) pics from his movie Rocky (which i adore - as i adore boxing sport) and someday in this lifetime i will want to look like the above pic ;) ... and will update this blog post then with my pics by his side. Just kidding! Enjoy this small collection for now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Preparing for SCBCD 1.3

Sun certified Business Component Developer exam (SCBCD 1.3)
is the exam i am going to take next on the coming monday (30 th Sept, 2006).
This exam covers EJB 2.0 spec (of J2EE 1.3). I am going to prepare for it inthe following way:
1. First refer to my notes from Mastering EJB 3rd Edn book by Ed Roman et al (covers EJB 2.1 and not 2.0 as required by exam).
2. Read Head first EJB book by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates.
3. Mocks from Enthuware's EJBPlus.

Thats all of it i will do (or rather i can do) with 1 week of preparation.

Update 30th Sept, 2006: I passed this exam with 85% (85.7% in fact ;) ). Read my post on javarach of the customary how-i-prepared-for-it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

H1B Visa Stamping Experience

I got my H1B visa stamped yesterday (8th Sept, 2006) at USA Consulate in Chennai, India. My appointment time was 8am in the morning but i was allowed in at 7am itself. Then i was asked to wait for my turn in a seated queue in the first building where the documents are verified before you are asked to proceed to the next building (where the actual visa interview happens). At about 7.30 i was asked to stand in the queue of the first building when all people who had their appointment at 8am where asked to stand in the queue. Here they verified the documents and matched the barcode on the visa fee receipt with the passport number as mentioned in their system and finally they took one barcode sticker from the yellow receipt and pasted it on the back of my passport. They also put one form which reflected at what stage i was in, in my visa stamping process (ie docs verified, finger printed, visa approved). Once the docs verification was done we were being asked to go to the next building. There again we had a queue outside the building. I waited in the queue for some 10mins and then a security personnel allowed us in based on our visa appointment time. Once in, two ladies were coordinating the seating of ppl asking them to keeping moving in a seated queue. First, one of them asked us to stand in the queue for being finger printed. This counter was in the center of the hall. First the left and then the right index fingers were scanned and this record was stored against our passport details (as the lady on the counter took first the passport and then asked to put the finger on the scanner). OK, hereafter, i was in another queue waiting for my turn for the final visa stamping interview. The guy just before me was from TCS and he got a 221(g). His was an L1 case. I saw a few oft repeated questions to L1/H1B:
1. What is the project on which you will be working in the USA?
2. Whether you will be working at the client site or in your company's USA office? If you said client site, then you may be asked to present the client invitation letter and probably if the client is lesser known name then some photographs of the client and probably its annual revenue etc.
3. Why have you been chosen to go to USA for this project (why not someone else from your company)? Basically i think they want to know how your skills map to the requirements of the project and how confidently can you state them.
4. Your academic qualifications? If you are not a comp. sci. graduate then probably you will be asked to tell where/how you learnt software development skills.

The communication skills matter alot. Some ppl i saw were asked something and they answered something else, and this irritated the VO. Note: The VO has a very short time span to gauge you and so you should give all positive signs about you (especially so by communicating well - ie speak good english). As they say, if you have the right skills then it shows by the way you talk.

My visa interview was brief (lasted 1min or so). The questions asked were the following:
1. Which project was i going to work on in USA?
2. What client?
3. What is my academic qualification?
4. Since i am a non comp. sci grad (a BE in electronics) she then asked me how i learnt software development skills. (any training etc). I said i am working for the past 7yrs in the industry (so most of the skills were acquired on the job plus i had a post graduate diploma from National center for software tech).

Thats all! I hope this post is useful to you. May you have a good experience in your visa interview as i had :).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Book Review: JUnit in Action


Well i dont have anything to add as of now as i just bought this book but as i read some reviews (especially the one on eXtremeComponents site) i decided to benefit by learning how to unit test from this book. Yes the contents are very impressive as it covers mock objects, stubs and in-container testing strategies using JUnit and derivatives of it. The author is also a creator of Jakarta Cactus web-testing framework.

Preparing for SCWCD 1.4

I have decided to take the SCWCD 1.4 (CX-310-081) exam and have booked a slot for taking the exam at the local prometric test center on 18th Sept, 2006. I had already read the book Head First Servlets and JSP by Bryan Basham, Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates before but it was some 10 months back that it did so, and i needed some time to recap on the theory. I am using MZ's WCD Study guide to prepare and practice using the exercises from Head First book. I plan to use Enthuware JWebplus mock exam together with the mock exam with the Head first book and the mock exam at JavaRanch.com.

Update 18th Sept, 2006: I have passed the exam today morning and could complete it 45mins earlier (ie i took 1hr 30mins of time to complete the exam). Refer to my post on javaranch about how i prepared for it and where i went wrong to end up with the low score of 82%.

Book notes: Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems, by Martin Kleppmann

My notes from the excellent book on how software has evolved to handle data from hierarchical databases to the NoSQL -  https://www.goodrea...