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Thread: Zend Certified

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Zend Certified

    Is anyone around here going to attempt to become "zend certified" ?

    I took the practice exam and was pleasantly suprised that the questions weren't just simple walk throughs. Although they weren't real world examples of things people should do, it made you think. Which is good because it will lower the pass rate which means it might actually mean something in the future.

    I ordered the study guide yesterday so I guess I'm planning on taking the test.
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    It's a bit late for me to attempt these exams as I'm pretty good at scripting PHP. Proberly would be interested in the exams were available a few years ago though

    But at the end of the day, what is more important is how the industry takes these certifications? Not doubting the quality of the examinations of course, but are they worth the paper they're written on, in regards will they help you at an interview for example?

    Nothing like experience in my view, and if someone had done a couple of sites and they were live, I'd be more inclined to deduce someone abilities from those sites more than a certificate. But in saying that I'd need source files to back those sites up as well

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    I'm hoping it actually holds value with employers
    IE would you take a network admin that has an MCSE or just someone who doesn't?
    90% of the time the MCSE gets the job because its a respected test and you have to know your stuff. I'm hoping this applies to the Zend Cert.

    If you're up against a programmer with the same experience as you but you have certification, $200 seems reasonable if you get the job over them. You might think you're good at scripting but thats your opinion, getting a 3rd party to verify your skills means, hey other people know I'm good too.
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    I'm not saying certification is bad or inadequate, far from it, but take an example that someone who has passed the examinations required to gain Zends certification (or any other certification for that matter) but has little or no experience in programming, generally speaking that is.

    Just because some one has the certification to do something doesn't mean they're fully capable of doing it. An appitude test would I think help route out the inadequate candidates to a certain degree though experience matters just as much, even today still

    I don't have a certificate of anything, and have no plans of sitting exams but I'd like to think that I'd at least be on a level playing field with someone with certifications

    Certifications I suppose just reinforces a point of knowledge if nothing more, but I don't personally feel insecure enough to sit an exam to gain a certification just to back up something I already know

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    Though certification is is good, along with any type of qualifications, if I was employing someone, i certainly wouldn't use it as a benchmark. Nothing replaces experience & good projects and being able to interactly show some of your skills in an interview. We often get people trying to apply for jobs who have left uni etc. Most of the time my boss bins these applications as generally we have looked at the quality of work they are capable of, it's generally utter crap. To me qualifications are over hyped and a waste of time in most (not all) cases. It's just a way for dumb personnel depts and agencies of being able to filter through job applicants when they have sod all knowledge of who they are trying to employ.

    At the end of the day I have no qualifications relating to computing (not even basic GCSE's etc). I don't have much of a problem, and any good employer who knows their stuff will realise that qualifications shouldn't be the main reason for choosing an candidate.

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Version0-00e
    but take an example that someone who has passed the examinations required to gain Zends certification (or any other certification for that matter) but has little or no experience in programming, generally speaking that is.
    My point was if two canidates are equal in terms of experience levels, could the zend cert push them over the edge and get the job. In a world where 200 resumes are sent for each job posting anything that could seperate you from the crowd is in your best interest... no?
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    simple tester McGruff's Avatar
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    Hi Jplush.

    I'm curious: does the test include questions on testing or OOP design or is it all just basic vocabulary like how to use preg_replace_callback etc?

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    actually the only test I've seen is a small 8 question sample, I'm getting the study guide in the mail so I assume whats in that will be on the test. I'll post what I see.
    you can go to zend.com to take the test, under certification.
    From what I gather it will be on OOP, mySQL, structures, math, pretty much all facets of php programming
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    In a world where 200 resumes are sent for each job posting anything that could seperate you from the crowd is in your best interest... no?
    Yes, a certification in that situation may well put you closer to the top, and gain a second reading.

    Weather Zend could have that much imfluence though I don't know, to gain you a second reading, to make the interviewer stop for a moment and think, who knows?

    Zend in the last 18 months or so have been gearing themselves towards a more enterprise/business focal point, whereas before that they were merely a stopping off point for PHP developers.

    But now they've (Zend) have grown up and going by the amount of business they generate for themselves, and for PHP I suppose they just might have some clout

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    Hi

    To me Zend does not carry much influence, why I say this...

    In today's IT market, I never hear of Zend in daily conversation! It just is not widely accredited as a true creditable certification! sure it will find it's place in the IT market, but at this time it has no value! One of the reason for this is that PHP is used by more non IT type programmers than accredited IT programmers! This will change in time, but that process is slow!

    Then there are other problems...

    Because PHP learning curve is very easy compared to Perl or Java or other scripting languages, people are drawn to it. This causes problems for PHP, because 7 out of 10 PHP coders don't want to take the time to really learn PHP, and only want to just do enough to make their script work and nothing more! Go to Hot Script or other places like it and you might find a script you might like, but many of them are really dangerous, because they follow the rule 'make it run' and not 'make it safe'. You will find this problem more problematic in regards to PHP, than any other scripting language! This scares IT type companies away from using PHP, there are other reasons to, but I don't want to turn this into a story, hehehe!

    I don't think personal I will go for the Zend Cert, if one of the companies I develop for wishes to pay for it, then maybe I will go! I think the MySQL and Oracle courses and certifications were the most difficult for me. My 2 Cisco and 3 MS cert's were easy!

    If you go for any, I would say go for MySQL first, there are many F500 companies moving away from MS type DB systems and are flocking to MySQL!


    J!

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    interesting post jbr, appreciate it. Does MySQL offer the cert or is it done through a different company?

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    SitePoint Guru OfficeOfTheLaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbr
    Hi

    To me Zend does not carry much influence, why I say this...

    In today's IT market, I never hear of Zend in daily conversation! It just is not widely accredited as a true creditable certification! sure it will find it's place in the IT market, but at this time it has no value! One of the reason for this is that PHP is used by more non IT type programmers than accredited IT programmers! This will change in time, but that process is slow!
    Funny you should Zend does not carry much influence... I honestly think that being able to say you are certified by the company that personifies PHP would be a good indicator you probably know what you are doing....

    Of course, I'm aiming at building a good code library and use that as a portfolio... but a cert would definately add a special bonus!

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    Because PHP learning curve is very easy compared to Perl or Java or other scripting languages, people are drawn to it. This causes problems for PHP, because 7 out of 10 PHP coders don't want to take the time to really learn PHP, and only want to just do enough to make their script work and nothing more!


    Enough said basically, and it's this point that is really worrying. It is a worry as there are people out there who pawn themselves off as developers, and a fact of the matter is that they are not, regardless of what certification they may have.

    For an example of a badly developed website, look at www.portpcs.co.uk

    I know of the person responsible, maybe not personally but I know enough to suggest how and why the sight should be redeveloped, properly and all I got were excuses. Speaking to the owners is pointless it seams as they're happy enough with it.

    Happy enough in that it ain't gonna cost them 2500 to make it a viable ecommerce site that is w3c complaint that is. From what I can tell, they paid about 150 for it, and you know what?

    They got exactly that - a pile of s***e

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    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficeOfTheLaw
    Funny you should Zend does not carry much influence... I honestly think that being able to say you are certified by the company that personifies PHP would be a good indicator you probably know what you are doing....
    How many PHP jobs are listed in your local paper? Jobhunters? Temp Agencies? I live outside Los Angeles and haven't seen any in the last five years. That is what makes certification valuable, jobs to fill. If there are no jobs for what you are certified in, then it isn't worth your time.

    I do however understand that PHP has a much larger following outside the US than within its borders.
    Wayne Luke
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    The best method regardless of what technology or langauge you use is to register with an online agency.

    You see very few vacancies for web developers as such as our selves advertised in newspapers, but in my view the problem is not because of the (web) industry it's self but that the fact is IT crosses over any number of industries in it's self.

    If your looking for work outside the web development then you may find that you need additional skills that are non web related

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    How many PHP jobs are listed in your local paper? Jobhunters? Temp Agencies? I live outside Los Angeles and haven't seen any in the last five years. That is what makes certification valuable, jobs to fill. If there are no jobs for what you are certified in, then it isn't worth your time.
    where have you been looking??
    I get calls from headhunters every week it seems with new PHP jobs opening up in orange and LA counties. 2nd of all tech jobs aren't "temp agency" type jobs, and most tech jobs don't advertise in the paper.
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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Version0-00e
    It is a worry as there are people out there who pawn themselves off as developers, and a fact of the matter is that they are not, regardless of what certification they may have.
    thats the whole point of certification summed up right there!
    there are people that read half a book on php and go and market themselves as freelance developers or full time php programmers. The zend test doesn't seem an easy one and it will at least prove you know a great deal about the language.
    I can bet my life after taking that practice test that the pass rate will be lower than you think.

    certs can separate people who talk smack from people who can back it up. If you can pass this course outline: http://www.zend.com/store/education/...objectives.php
    then you show you have a well rounded exposure to PHP programming.
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    The zend test doesn't seem an easy one and it will at least prove you know a great deal about the language.
    What it proves is that you can dumbly stuff a lot of itty-bitty facts in your head. The fact that you may have learned something about the language in the process is a probable side effect, IMHO.

    The fact that you need certificates instead of some good foundation knowledge (i.e. you need training instead of education) is worrying. If all we learn about is how to use products (like PHP), how on earth are we going to learn how to make better products?

    Something to think about...

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    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jplush76
    thats the whole point of certification summed up right there!
    Looking at the "self test", I feel that yes, it could distinguish between someone who know nothing, and someone who has read a book about PHP, but I don't believe the test could ditinguish between a programmer who had a little experience, and one who was actually skilled and well experienced.

    Knowing what count("123") outputs says you know what count does, it says very little about how well the person can write software.


    Douglas
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    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jplush76
    where have you been looking??
    I get calls from headhunters every week it seems with new PHP jobs opening up in orange and LA counties. 2nd of all tech jobs aren't "temp agency" type jobs, and most tech jobs don't advertise in the paper.
    Mostly in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Really not willing to relocate or commute 3-6 hours each way to work in Orange County. Mostly been looking through agencies like KForce which always got me jobs before and I could take any number of other programming language jobs. Headhunters are nothing but highscale temp agencies. The mode of operation is the same, the job qualifications are different.

    Doesn't really matter. Have a decent job now working for a company in the UK, from home, and will be getting out of the technical field completely in the next couple of years. Computers have become boring for me. Even if that wasn't the case, I don't see having PHP certification on my resume increasing my yearly salary.
    Wayne Luke
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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone here is reading my posts when I say if you're up against someone with similar experience. If one of you has a zend cert and the other doesn't would it increase your chances any having the cert if all else is comparable.

    obviously someone in the field with 20 years experience with no cert would be more valuable (on paper) than someone out of high school with a zend cert.
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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Proton
    What it proves is that you can dumbly stuff a lot of itty-bitty facts in your head. The fact that you may have learned something about the language in the process is a probable side effect, IMHO.
    Something to think about...
    you're logic doesn't make any sense. whats the point of education at all? whats the point of highschool? college? med school? Don't doctors stuff a bunch of itty bitty facts into their heads that they may or may not need?

    You have to set a base standard of knowledge. I had to take a 10 page php test to get my job here to prove I at least could back up my resume. Pretty much the same layout as the zend test, basics, OOP, sockets, XML, etc... If I had a cert I probably could have avoided all that, being the employer here certainly knows Zend.

    right now all PHP programmers are lumped together.. you're compared equally with someone who can modify hotscripts. out of personal pride you should at least want to separate yourself from the pack.
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    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jplush76
    If I had a cert I probably could have avoided all that, being the employer here certainly knows Zend.
    Legally, they would have to still give you the test. Otherwise they can be sued for discriminatory hiring practices. If they give the test to everyone, it isn't. If they only give it to some applicants it is.

    Honestly, each situation is different. If you think it will get you a jon then go for it. If I was hiring someone for a programming job and you had that and another applicant had a degree in computer programming but no other experience then I would probably hire the person with the degree. If you were fresh out of high school and applying for a programming job, I would tell you to call me when you finished college.
    Wayne Luke
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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    Honestly, each situation is different. If you think it will get you a jon then go for it. If I was hiring someone for a programming job and you had that and another applicant had a degree in computer programming but no other experience then I would probably hire the person with the degree. If you were fresh out of high school and applying for a programming job, I would tell you to call me when you finished college.
    thats all I'm saying.. if all else was equal. most people would take a cert over no cert. Its just common sense. experience almost always wins out but alot of times people have similar backgrounds and you need more to distinguish yourself. I already have a good enterprise level PHP job so I'm just going to get it for personal satisfaction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougBTX
    Looking at the "self test", I feel that yes, it could distinguish between someone who know nothing, and someone who has read a book about PHP, but I don't believe the test could ditinguish between a programmer who had a little experience, and one who was actually skilled and well experienced.

    Knowing what count("123") outputs says you know what count does, it says very little about how well the person can write software.


    Douglas
    I can't agree with you .... more.


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