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Thread: Zend Certified

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHPCamp.com
    If they don't know that Rasmus created PHP, that the Zend guys took over the engine and PHP is a recursive acronym, big deal...that is the most irrelevant piece of information I could possibly hear.
    You're looking at it from a very practical perspective, which I can appreciate, but from a theoretical perspective, those who have a passion for the language and who are involved in the community are the best developers. History has proven this.

    Quote Originally Posted by PHPCamp.com
    Even Rasmus himself never envisioned, and really doesn't support, PHP in business critical applications so why is it relevant that he got the ball rolling?
    Maybe you should tell this to Yahoo! :-)
    Chris Shiflett
    http://shiflett.org/

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Chris that is funny you mention those issues with the study guide... while studying it seemed the questions did push you towards memorizing function parameter orders. That is why I made audio cds of every array function with its parameters, every string, socket, filesystem, etc function I would think would be tested

    what pain!

    the funny thing is I didn't get one question on the real exam that tested my parameter order knowledge, however I'm glad I learned it because it has really sped up my development not having to look things up anymore.
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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    Maybe you should tell this to Yahoo! :-)
    lol I was just thinking that

    our application supports the security footprint of over half of the fortune 500 companies in the country and a good deal of the government agencies
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    Even Rasmus himself never envisioned, and really doesn't support, PHP in business critical applications so why is it relevant that he got the ball rolling?
    When was that made public though? I suspect that the statement is a number of years out of date yes

    PHP has moved on from them days, so lets all embrace PHP and grab the future by the ...

  5. #55
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    Of the two, I would prefer to test theory, and I see where this can add value to the certification. However, once we get into testing to see whether someone can program in general versus program in PHP, where do we stop?
    This is a rock and a hard place, because if you add general programming ability then someone for sure will be irritated by it's impurity. However I think the credibility gain by phrasing these theoretical questions in PHP examples would be great. You could have a decorator or observer snippet in code and ask the examinee to deduce the possible purpose of the design.

    It doesn't have to be a large part of the exam, but it would give the general developer a chance to pass without knowledge of PHP minutia (except to read code) and would allow star performers to demonstrate that they have reached a high level of proficiency. As people climb the skill ladder the individual langauge becomes unimportant, so I don't see a way for an exam not to reflect this.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    There are questions on OOP, but because the exam is PHP 4, they're not that impressive. The PHP 5 exam will be much better in this regard, because the language itself is much better. :-)
    Which is encouraging, but you can do OO just fine in PHP4, or at least well enough to test patterns and practices such as refactoring. If a developer can create a pattern in PHP with all the right ampersands then that would demonstrate a familiarity that is a positive discriminator.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    I think the real questions are better than any that I've seen presented as practice questions.
    I think it is these questions that put me off. I think you should pull them pronto. They are doing real damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    "Chris Shiflett" PHP
    I would go "Chris Shiflett". Ah, I see you are top. Fancy working in London?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    I don't see SF projects as being anything special.
    Sorry, that was just illustrative. A willingness to publish code to help others.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    ...and I'd also know that your social skills are good enough to get the packages accepted. :-)
    Don't get me started...

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    That's fine, but make sure you actually disagree with someone before you say so. :-)
    I was just disagreeing with that particular point, about the language being that important. Especially as a typical web environment will involve XSLT, Perl, CSS, Ruby, etc, etc. Tha part about using the exam only for screening, not for selection, I totally agree with.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    Again, these are things you can learn from an interview. My point was that things specific to your environment (version control systems, development methodologies, specific technologies, etc.) should not be covered by a general exam but rather by your interview process.
    But we don't want to screen developers on their PHP knowledge. I accept that we ae not typical in this regard (due to the comlexity of the application).

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    It depends on what you mean. Hopefully you don't mean that ZCEs have a poorer chance of getting hired, otherwise you're being very foolish. :-)
    Not at all. I mean that if we ask for ZCE we will put our desired candidates off. They will see our attitude as negative and a little petty, and so we do'nt want to ask for it.

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
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    I am from the old schoold and believe that a Degree is the best qualification you can get.....At university they teach you to apply you skills to respond to change, so it is in my opinion a waste of time going and getting a MCSE or even a CNE etc......these are just ways of making money....

    A degree should hold you firm in any situation...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    This is a rock and a hard place, because if you add general programming ability then someone for sure will be irritated by it's impurity.
    Exactly. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    However I think the credibility gain by phrasing these theoretical questions in PHP examples would be great. You could have a decorator or observer snippet in code and ask the examinee to deduce the possible purpose of the design.
    That's a pretty good idea. If I understand you correctly, you're suggesting that we ask some theoretical questions, but we "disguise" them with code. In other words, the question itself is pretty straightforward, but someone with a solid theoretical foundation will have a better chance of answering it correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    It doesn't have to be a large part of the exam, but it would give the general developer a chance to pass without knowledge of PHP minutia (except to read code) and would allow star performers to demonstrate that they have reached a high level of proficiency.
    There are quite a few questions meant to distinguish between the top-tier developers and the rest. However, at the moment, there is no public score except pass or fail. So, a top-tier developer will get a higher score on the exam, but someone who barely passes has the same public score - pass.

    There is an ongoing discussion about what to do about this particular scenario, whether it's a large problem that needs to be solved, etc. I'd be happy to hear opinions on this, and I'll certainly pass your suggestions along to the board.

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Which is encouraging, but you can do OO just fine in PHP4, or at least well enough to test patterns and practices such as refactoring.
    There are a few questions about patterns. Out of curiosity, what would you consider to be a question about refactoring? Are you thinking of a practical question or a theoretical one?

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    I think it is these questions that put me off. I think you should pull them pronto. They are doing real damage.
    I'll mention this to Zend. Due to recent discussions (this one included), I am seeing that you are right. I think many people have a poor opinion about the exam based upon the poor quality of various practice questions. I think the exam itself is quite good - it serves its purpose very well.

    The problem is that practice questions are being supplied by various entities. For example, Zend has its own self test, which it can control, but other entities include Sams and php|architect. There may be others of which I'm not aware. Now, I don't mean to suggest that everyone is publishing poor practice questions (I've never read php|architect's book, for example), but I am noticing that people do form an opinion based solely upon the practice questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    I would go "Chris Shiflett". Ah, I see you are top. Fancy working in London?
    I plan to visit London after ApacheCon in a few weeks. We should have a beer or something. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Sorry, that was just illustrative. A willingness to publish code to help others.
    I understand now, and I completely agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Not at all. I mean that if we ask for ZCE we will put our desired candidates off. They will see our attitude as negative and a little petty, and so we do'nt want to ask for it.
    I can see that. There is a bit of a problem with a new certification program in that it takes a while to become established. I imagine it could take 2 or 3 years to really be where it needs to be.

    I would hope that employers can mention ZCE as being benefitial, and as long as it isn't used to reject candidates, it seems like a positive thing. Jim mentions ZCEs being put at the top of his list, for example, but he doesn't mention truncating the list at that point. :-)
    Chris Shiflett
    http://shiflett.org/

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by dd1313
    I am from the old schoold and believe that a Degree is the best qualification you can get.....At university they teach you to apply you skills to respond to change, so it is in my opinion a waste of time going and getting a MCSE or even a CNE etc......these are just ways of making money....
    I'm not against people making money. I think money is great. :-)

    I agree with you about the value of formal education. I have a computer science background, and I truly appreciate what that education has given me.

    However, I think it's important to realize that theory by itself is not as valuable as a nice balance of theory and practice. Those who seek to attain practical skills are not wasting their time. It's true that their theoretical foundation will outlast these skills, but theory is most useful when you apply it.
    Chris Shiflett
    http://shiflett.org/

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    simple tester McGruff's Avatar
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    Since this is turning into something of a "customer feedback" session I should acknowledge that my earlier comments about the standard of the exam may not be correct. These were based on a read through the objectives page which for example lists items such as "open file; close file". If this doesn't reflect the actual standard of the exam it might be worth looking at the way it's presented.

    I'm still not sure if it's fair to claim the exam provides evidence of expert level skills - but again I'm at a disadvantage not having taken it. However, I do support the overall aim of providing a recognised qualification.

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    SitePoint Zealot solutionsphp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    However, I feel obligated to voice my concerns about the book. It was very rushed (we each had a couple of weeks to write our chapters), and the production time was nearly cut in half. As a result, the book has more errors than the average technical book.
    I ordered a copy of the certification guide yesterday from php|architect. After ordering, I found the book listed on Amazon.ca and noted comments from one reviewer who claims the book is "ridiculously riddled with mistakes". Mistakes happen. My concern is learning something incorrectly from the book. What's the nature of the errors? Are they significant enough that I will pick up any bad information? More importantly, has an errata been published anywhere?

    Thanks in advance!
    SAM

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    SitePoint Evangelist jplush76's Avatar
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    errata has been published in the php|a forums

    as far as hindering your ability to pass the test, I read that book religiously for 3 weeks and passed without being affected by the errors. The great thing is when you find an error and you think "wait that can't be right" you realize you're correct and you'll never forget that lesson. There aren't that many mistakes to make you want to throw the book away.
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    SitePoint Zealot solutionsphp's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim! I found the Practice Test book errata in the php|arch forums, and while I was there, I also learned that an errata has been published in the second edition of the Study Guide:
    http://www.phparch.com/discuss/index...42/0/#msg_3942
    Sweet!
    SAM

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    You're looking at it from a very practical perspective, which I can appreciate, but from a theoretical perspective, those who have a passion for the language and who are involved in the community are the best developers. History has proven this.
    Maybe I messed-up, I thought that's what said. I agree 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    Maybe you should tell this to Yahoo! :-)
    Yeah, I found that really confusing back in 2002 when I saw him at PHPCon which was sponsored by Yahoo. He gets up on stage and says he was surprised people were putting PHP in business critical applications. Then later that day Jeremy Zawodny describes the process Yahoo went through to come to the conclusion that PHP/MySQL could be used in Yahoo. Weird.
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Livingston
    When was that made public though? I suspect that the statement is a number of years out of date yes

    PHP has moved on from them days, so lets all embrace PHP and grab the future by the ...
    Yes it was some time ago at the first PHP conference in San Francisco in 2002. It kind of blew the audience away a little bit. I agree, I've made a nice living with PHP and look forward to helping it have more adoption in companies. One way to do that is to have more, not less, programmers out there. In this case competition is a good thing because the "oh, PHP, how cute" phase is over and business is focusing on what matters, the bottom line. With more programmers and non-programmers who understand the power of PHP businesses, including my own, will feel the talent pool is robust and plentiful and be willing to invest more capital to hiring the talent. Or I'm delusional. One or the other. I hope it's the former.

    Cheers.
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.

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    Currently Occupied; Till Sunda Andrew-J2000's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I've been waiting a long time for the books from amazon...

    Order Date: 20 May 2005
    Order #: *****
    Recipient: Andrew Johnstone Items not yet dispatched:
    Delivery estimate: 14 Jun 2005 - 21 Jun 2005 1 of: Zend PHP Certification Practice Test Book - Practice Questions for the Zend Certified Engineer Exam, The

    Items dispatched on 20 May 2005:
    Delivery estimate: 23 May 2005 - 24 May 2005 1 of: My SQL Certification Study Guide

    Items dispatched on 5 Jun 2005:
    Delivery estimate: 31 May 2005 - 7 Jun 2005 1 of: Zend PHP Certification: Study Guide

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    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...


    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    There is an ongoing discussion about what to do about this particular scenario, whether it's a large problem that needs to be solved, etc. I'd be happy to hear opinions on this, and I'll certainly pass your suggestions along to the board.
    Thinking aloud...

    Most exams are graded, except perhaps a driving test, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to grading. You have questions that are discriminators for each grade for example. When the exam is changed, some questions are repeated. This makes it possible to keep the grades in sync. over time and prevents an exam getting harder or easier over the years.

    The downside of grades is that dumb managers will always ask for an "A" and the rest of the exam becomes redundant. That "A" doesn't tell you much, because it's too sensitive to luck unless you significantly invest in the exam.

    One solution is to have two separate exams. One a PHP technical exam (PHP minutia) and one a PHP developer exam (can you code with examples in PHP). the problem is that I see the first one as being pretty useless except for a one week contractor. And dumb managers will ask for both...

    I guess pass/fail it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    There are a few questions about patterns. Out of curiosity, what would you consider to be a question about refactoring? Are you thinking of a practical question or a theoretical one?
    Refactoring is tricky, because most refactorings are bid********al, so you need a reason for the change. I guess code "smells" could be accommodated. I am thinking practical here, such as critiquing code snippets. It's a very long drawn out process writing exam questions, so I won't attempt it here .

    Quote Originally Posted by shiflett
    I plan to visit London after ApacheCon in a few weeks. We should have a beer or something. :-)
    I'll make time, mail me. When is ApacheCon?

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
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    SitePoint Guru OfficeOfTheLaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solutionsphp
    I ordered a copy of the certification guide yesterday from php|architect. After ordering, I found the book listed on Amazon.ca and noted comments from one reviewer who claims the book is "ridiculously riddled with mistakes". Mistakes happen. My concern is learning something incorrectly from the book. What's the nature of the errors? Are they significant enough that I will pick up any bad information? More importantly, has an errata been published anywhere?

    Thanks in advance!
    SAM
    When I glanced through the first chapter, I remember encountering A LOT of errors. I thought perhaps I was wrong, but then coding a simple test of the question revealed I was right.

    James Carr, Software Engineer


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    I took my certification exam back in January and I am still one of only a handful of people in the UK to have one http://www.zend.com/store/education/...UE_Search_Form

    I actually persuaded my employer to pay for my exam so I took it for free. One aspect I enjoyed about the exam was that it covered topics I had never had the need to use in PHP before and gave me a more 'overall' perspective on PHP. I bought the prep guide which, despite the errors, I found very useful and helped me to pass.

    It certainly isn't a replacement for experience but I believe it adds credit to any CV and demonstrates someones desire to learn/grow/prove themselves in the field of PHP. It's not a be all and end all but I would rather have one than not!

    Matthew

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    Currently Occupied; Till Sunda Andrew-J2000's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I've been waiting a long time for the books from amazon...

    Order Date: 20 May 2005
    Order #: *****
    Recipient: Andrew Johnstone Items not yet dispatched:
    Delivery estimate: 14 Jun 2005 - 21 Jun 2005 1 of: Zend PHP Certification Practice Test Book - Practice Questions for the Zend Certified Engineer Exam, The

    Items dispatched on 20 May 2005:
    Delivery estimate: 23 May 2005 - 24 May 2005 1 of: My SQL Certification Study Guide

    Items dispatched on 5 Jun 2005:
    Delivery estimate: 31 May 2005 - 7 Jun 2005 1 of: Zend PHP Certification: Study Guide
    Book arrived on the 22nd.

    I read & went through the questions and got up to page 96 of 150 that day (I haven't read the rest yet). I'm glad to hear that the questions in the real exam are nothing like these. Admitedly I did get caught-out on a couple of the typo questions, however most of the questions were really dumbed down compared to the problems I come across & face daily.
    Also I haven't used PHP4 commercially for about 5 months, so I am curious to know when the exam will be based on PHP5 rather than PHP4?

    Most of the object-orientated questions were hardly challenging, I have not had a chance to read more than a few pages from the actual guide, however I find the description between language and platform very poor.

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    Admitedly I did get caught-out on a couple of the typo questions, however most of the questions were really dumbed down compared to the problems I come across & face daily.
    Not exactly real world challenges that we face are they?

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    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    Just a little follow up to my earlier post. I am now a ZCE



    Got the official notification today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Kushner
    Dear Jason Sweat,

    Congratulations on passing the Zend PHP Certification exam!

    As a Zend Certified Engineer you are now among an elite group that leads the
    growth of PHP.
    Jason Sweat ZCE - jsweat_php@yahoo.com
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    SitePoint Zealot metacube's Avatar
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    @ Sweatje: Congrats


    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.
    Agreed. I think the test shows nothing about how well a person can program (PHP). I can code some pretty nifty stuff, nothing too fancy, but functional, modular and well thought out. But I don't know what 'count("123")' returns, as I've never ever thought of passing a string to count. I might look in the manual though, if I ever came across a string in a count() statement. Does that make me a bad programmer? That I don't know all of PHP's 6000 (wild guess) functions off by heart? Of course not. The self-test is misleading, and I really hope the real cert exam isn't like that. Sweatje... how was the exam?

  23. #73
    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metacube
    @ Sweatje: Congrats
    Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by metacube
    ...
    Sweatje... how was the exam?
    Here was what I said earlier in the thread

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    now among an elite group that leads the
    growth of PHP.
    What the... So you are now amongst the elite category? Spare a few thoughts for us commoners then (and don't get too big headed )

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    The elite group category of people who cannot convince their employers of their programming skills without the certificate


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