I noticed a story right here on the PITC site recently, that begins as follows "Pearson IT Certification has partnered with SOASchool.com to provide IT Professionals with helpful information, tips, and guidance for preparing for SOA Certified Professional (SOACP) exams." Recognizing that it was unusual for Pearson to partner with a training company's credentials, I realized there had to be more to this new relationship than meets the eye. Some quick investigation showed me that this was the case.
Let me start off with a link to the original PITC content, entitled "SOASchool.com SOA Certified Professional (SOACP) Program." It explains that SOACP is a vendor-neutral program developed in cahoots with well-known and popular SOA author Thomas Erl, along with various SOA trade organizations and academic institutions. SOASchool.com has an excellent reputation, and is regarded as a leading developer and purveyor of training and certification material in the general area of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) for computing. Turns out, by no coincidence whatsoever, that Thomas Erl's books are published by Pearson imprint Prentice Hall, and are known as the Prentice-Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl. Go figure!
The best overall perspective on the SOASchools and the SOACP cert program I found comes from Kai Wähner, through a post to his Blog about Java EE/SOA/Cloud Computing entitled First-hand Report about the Certification "SOA Certified Professional" (SOACP) of soaschool.com. With typical and welcome Teutonic thoroughness and rigor, he explains the SOA certification landscape, including offerings from IBM and ZapThink as well as the SOASchool.com stuff. From there he goes on to describe the training materials and the certification experience in great detail. If you're interested in SOA certification this is where your further investigations into doing something about it should definitely start.
Kai also explains the deal on the Self-Study Kits available for each SOACP credential, and how costs accumulate on the way to completing such certifications. He even describes a reasonable and workable methodology for preparing for the exams, and surprisingly indicates that the exams come from Prometric rather than Pearson VUE (go figure again, but scratch your head this time, please! ;-). Great stuff, and definitely worth a serious, attentive read-through.
Other useful items for the SOACP quest include:
Lots of interesting stuff here so please enjoy!