PHP ranks among the most popular programming languages. It has become the programming language of choice for small to medium sized websites due to its low/no costs, simplicity to learn and the abundance of qualified programmers. It is also the language behind many Content Management Systems, such as WordPress, which keeps the language in heavy demand.
With ample PHP programmers around, you need to differentiate yourself from the pack as a knowledgeable, skilled, proven programmer. The best way to do that is by becoming a Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE). There are other companies that offer PHP certification, but Zend really is the industry standard.
Zend Technologies was founded in 1997 by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski. They rewrote the PHP parser (originally developed by Rasmus Lerdorf), and are credited with making PHP the popular choice it is today. Zend continues to be the worldwide leader in PHP software.
There are nearly 2,000 ZCE’s in the U.S. and 5,000 worldwide. ZCE’s are able to distinguish themselves by placing the ZCE logo on their resume and business cards. Zend Certified Engineers are also listed on Zend’s directory, Yellow Pages for PHP Professionals.
The PHP 5.3 Certification exam covers the following topics:
- PHP Basics
- Data Format & Types
- Web Features
- Object Oriented Programming
- Strings and Patterns
The exam is offered for US$195 through Pearson VUE testing centers around the world. To locate a testing center near you visit http://www.vue.com/zend/. Zend also provides a study guide for free to help you prepare for the test.
Although obviously not a requirement to be a PHP programmer, it will definitely help get jobs and promotions. As someone who has hired many programmers, I strongly encourage folks to get certified. When you’re comparing two qualified similar resumes, certifications are an easy tie-breaker. Personally, I’m planning on taking the ZCE test next month or so.
Good luck to those who take it!