Are you passionate about programming as I am ?
Why do you use php ? is it because your work requires it or the fast paced environment really suits you ?
First of all I want to be clear about my option on php, it’s not that I don’t know how to get my work done in ruby on rails or python with django, but I enjoy more that my work sees results than doing something for fun, so that I started exploiting the oportunities that came my way. I only had offers on php, based on my work history I think.
Let’s get on :
Why take a cerification exam on php ?
I’m not gonna bore you with pros and cons, I found an interesting article on this The Pros and Cons of Zend Certification , althought it’s not the first time I documented on it, I found it pretty encouraging.
My motivation on taking the exam ? Well, it might not be a life changer, but I count on it beeing a boost to my career. On top of that, my new workplace promotes the certifications and have created a really nice vibe around it.
After all of that, getting certified on PHP 5.5 means for me an ocassion on getting up to date with all php releases along with a piece of history that might be helpfull on really understanding the code and maybe improve it in the future.
How to get prepared ?
I scouted the net for info. It’s not so much, as I expected it to be somehow popular throught native english speaking people.
First resource I found interesting was Lorna Jane’s post as it comes with a dozen of usefull resources and some hot tips. The price of only 25$ on the sample questions pack sounds juicy. I plan to buy it, after I finish this post. Between all of her resources, I found of high value her study guide: Zend Certification Preparation Tutorial from Lorna Mitchell. The second resource that I found really cool is Chris Bell’s guide on How to become a Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE) on a budget, i this the title of the article really sells this one .
I came across over a study guide made by links, very usefull, be aware that it’s for PHP 5 not PHP 5.5 .
What about the exam experience ?
If you have ever taken an exam outside school or college you should know that you want to get familiar with question types even if you are a genious, as most of programmers think about them, most of them are right, but getting some confort takes you a step further on passing the exam. You should read this guy’s opinion too. I imagine that the experience should be on the same side as his, althought he took the exam some years ago.
What next ?
If you love the taste left after this experience, one can take on another challenges. In my line of work I plan to boost my career with all of this certifications:
framework specific certificate - Symfony 2 for me
database development - Mysql - this one is a two exam step, be aware
linux certification - in this field there are more than one posibility, I think one should begin with lpic 1 as it is lifetime valid, also a 2-step exam, I consider the first this as suficient for a programmer. I took the first step exam and failed, so, be prepared !