Sunday, January 11, 2009

About Zend PHP Certification

What is Zend?
Zend is the PHP Company founded by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski. The name Zend is a combination of their forenames, Zeev and Andi.

What is Zend PHP Certification?
Zend PHP Certification is an industry standard for PHP Certification. For those PHP developers or IT managers who do not know what Zend Certification is, I quote a brief information from Zend website:
Becoming PHP certified is a measure of your experience in the world of PHP. The goal of the Zend PHP Certification program is to allow PHP professionals to attain the "Zend Certified Engineer" designation. This is identical in concept to other well know certification programs such as "Microsoft's Certified Professionals (MCP)" and the "Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP)" programs. The Zend PHP Certification program aims at creating a measure of distinction that employers can use to evaluate prospective employees. Becoming a Zend Certified Engineer will not make you a better programmer, however, it will most likely improve the chances of your resume standing out from among other applicants vying for the same position.

What are the benefits of being PHP Certified?
According to Zend Website there are three rewards we can get upon passing the certification namely:

Career Rewards

  • Differentiate yourself from competitors when looking for a new job
  • Boost your value at your annual salary review
  • Get your resume/CV noticed
  • Gain recognition from your employer
  • Have your profile displayed in Zend's Yellow Pages for PHP Professionals
  • Join the Linkedin Group Exclusively for ZCE's

Personal Rewards

  • Be recognized as a proud and dedicated supporter of PHP
  • Show your commitment to the spread and growth of PHP
  • Help the community prove that PHP is reliable, stable and dependable

Rewards from Zend

  • Be listed in Zend's PHP Yellow Pages
    • Used by employers and recruiters to find top PHP developers worldwide
    • Personalize your listing by uploading your photo, inputting your company information, CV details
  • Get special discounts on Zend PHP conferences worldwide

What are the topics covered in the exam?
There are 12 major topics that you need to focus/review namely:
  1. PHP Basics ( syntax, operators, variables, constants, control structures, language constructs and functions )
  2. Functions ( syntax, arguments, variables, references, returns, variable scope )
  3. Arrays (enumerated, associative, array iteration, multi-dimensional, array functions, SPL )
  4. Object Oriented Programming ( instantiation, modifiers/inheritance, interfaces, exceptions, static methods & properties, autoload, reflection, type hinting, class constants )
  5. Security ( configuration, session security, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgeries, SQL injection, remote code injection, email injection, filter input, escape output )
  6. XML and Web Services ( XML basics, simpleXML, XML extension, Xpath, webservices basics, SOAP, REST )
  7. Strings and Patterns ( quoting, matching, extracting, searching, replacing, formatting, PCRE )
  8. Databases and SQL ( SQL, joins, analyzing queries, prepared statements, transactions )
  9. Web Features ( sessions, forms, GET and POST data, cookies, HTTP headers )
  10. Streams and Network Programming ( files, reading, writing, file system functions, streams )
  11. PHP 4/5 Differences ( object orientation, E_STRICT, references vs. object handles )
  12. Design and Theory ( IDesign patterns, code reuse, OOP theory )

How long would you take the exam?
The PHP 5 exam is composed of a total of 70 questions, which must be answered in 90 minutes.

What are the types of exam?
Each question can be formulated in one of three ways: - As a multiple-choice question with only one right answer. - As a multiple-choice question with multiple correct answers. - As a free-form question for which the answer must be typed in.

What are the additional references for preparing the exam?
First, just go to Zend Certification page for an updated information about the certification because Zend might update their pages from time to time. Second, to help you prepare for the exam I would recommend you the following: Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide 2nd edition Book, PHP 5 Mock Exams and PHP 5 Power Programming. Lastly, if you prefer to learn from a professional instructor in an online setting, try the Zend PHP 5 Certification Training. The Zend PHP 5 Certification Training includes one voucher for the Zend PHP Certification Exam - a $125 value.

If you guys are now planning to take or has been in review for a while, you can visit my blog from time to time because I will be posting my review on each topic.

For those who will take the PHP Certification, Good Luck! :)

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