Zend Certifications Tips & Tricks – Hear It From Zend Certified Engineer Eric Hogue

Purpose Of This Interview

This is the 3rd set of Zend Certification Tips and Advice to help anyone taking either of the two Zend Exams powered by Zend Technologies: the Zend PHP Certification Exam and/or the Zend Framework Certification Exam. The aim being to help people who want to sit for those exams and inform them what it is all about & what to expect by hearing it from (pro) PHP Guys who have already been through it, that is => Hear It From Zend Certified Engineers!

7PHP Zend Protip Series also has a group on FB and G+, do join us there!

  1. Zend Protip group on Facebook
  2. Zend Protip group on Google+

Keywords Used Throughout This Article

Refer to:

  1. ZCE as Zend Certified Engineer
  2. ZPC as Zend PHP Certification
  3. FC as Zend Framework Certification

Hear It From Zend Certified Engineer Eric Hogue

>> Tell us a bit about yourself

Eric Hogue – A Zend Certified Engineer

I’m a web developer from Montreal in Canada. I started programming when I was around 14. At first in Basic on a TRS-80. Since I started my career 13 years ago, I have worked with a few different languages. But it’s been mostly PHP since 2005.

>> Which of the certifications did you take?

I did the PHP 5.3 certification in April 2011.

>> Benefit you see after having completed the exams

The real benefit I get is from studying for the certification. It made me dive deep in the language. I had to look at parts I don’t use much. And learn about stuff I didn’t even know existed. Knowing about these things saved me from reinventing the wheel a few times.

>> What is the pass mark?

I don’t know. You don’t get a mark anyway. You will just get a pass or fail at the end. I think if you fail, you will get a breakdown of how you did on the different topics.

>> Is the result classified in some kind of grades/scores, for example A+, A, B..etc

No just pass of fail.

>> How did you prepare yourself for the Zend Certification exams

I read the Zend PHP 5.3 Certification Study Guide first. Then I bought the php|architect’s Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide From Davey Shafik and Ben Ramsey. It’s for the PHP 5 exam, but most of the content is still relevant. Just skip the chapter on PHP 4 and read on the features that were added in PHP 5.3.

Lastly, I went through the documentation. I did not read every pages, but I looked at all of them to know what it was about. It took time, but it was worth it in the end.

>> Can you give us an idea of what need to be studied and what kind of stuffs we should expect..etc

The study guide gives a pretty good idea of what needs to be studied. If there is anything in it that you’re not familiar with, look it up in the manual.

>> Resources that you have used to learn?

Mostly what I mentioned in the preparation. I also did some quiz from PHPRiot. They are not complete, and easier than the real exam, but I did not find any other practice tests when I did it.

>> Parts of the modules that you think is more complex and one should pay special attention to?

That’s different for everyone. Pay attention to anything you don’t use regularly. For example. I’ve used DOM a lot at work. But never really used SimpleXML. They are both covered in the certification, so I needed to study SimpleXML in depth.

>> Rate the difficulty of the exams from 1 to 10 (ten being the toughest)

I give it a 9. This is not an easy exam. I’ve been using PHP every day for a few years and I studied a lot before it but I still thought it was hard.

>> Can someone pass the ZPC & ZFC exams without spending money on the paid Zend’s certification products?

Yes, I did the ZPC without any of them.

>> What TWO questions can you remember that you can share with us

Before taking the exam, we are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. So even if I remembered some questions, I would not be able to share them.

>> Do you think studying for the ZPC exam will necessarily make the guy a better PHP programmer?

No. Studying for the exam will help you with your knowledge of PHP. This can help a good programmer, but programming is more than just the language.

>> Do you recommend PHP guys to get certified?

Yes, it is not something you must have, but studying for it should help you master the language.

A Response To Some Frustrations Around The Web

Source 1written by Sumit Khanna

>> Poor Study Guide

“the study guide wasn’t a study guide but a PHP manual repeating a lot of documentation that can be found on the official PHP website”

The guide is just there to show what needs to be studied. You still need to look in the manual for any part you don’t master.

>> The Exam gears more towards knowing the manual inside-out

“The exam tested on things like order of parameters and lots of stuff that can be found in the PHP manual. It’s much more important for new hires if they have problem solving skills, including being able to go to the manual, instead of memorizing it. Real skill comes from experience and being a good PHP developer means writing maintainable, secure and scalable code. Not being able to know the manual inside-out.”

He is right, being a good programmer requires a lot more than memorizing the manual. This exam does not test if you are a good developer. It check your knowledge of the language. I think my certification means that when I passed it I had a decent knowledge of PHP, nothing more than this.

Now Do Your Part!

1) LIKE 7PHP dot COM on FaceBook – if you appreciate what I do

2) Help diffuse this interview to the PHP ecosystem – Share, tweet and spread the word to your audience ==> That would be a FREE way to thank me 😉

3) Make a comment below using the comment form – I’m sure you can at least say 1 word about this interview

{I’m thankful to your response(s)!}

2 Comment(s)

  1. So would you recommend taking the exam if I hardly have any practical experience? I\’ll give it 2 months of focused 8 hours studying per day. But I\’ve just learnt the language along with MySQL and have close to none working experience with it, just some exercises online !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.