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Becoming a Zend PHP engineer

Preparing for the exam

I have finally passed the test for the Zend PHP certification. The exam consists in 70 questions and you will have 90 minutes. You have to answer right at least to 70% of them (49 questions). You need to buy the voucher from the official Zend website and, optionally, the Zend Study Guide for PHP 5.5. Be sure to select and buy the right voucheer that will expire in 1 year. At this point, the next step is to schedule an exam on a test center through the Pearson Vue website. There are different certfications:

PHP 7

PHP 7 is knocking on our door. The certification will be updated and there will be many news.

TRAINING and RESOURCES

You can buy the training program for your certification from the Zend website but they are very expensive. You can study from the guide, the online PHP manual or download it and complete questions on the practice test (PDF). Here are the resources:

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here we are with my favorite part! I needed time to search and find questions and presentations about the exam but now I have a good resource list:

PRO and CONS

PRO: the certification will give you the proof that you have a very good knowledge of PHP, it will help you to learn many things about PHP. If you pass the exam, you will have many benefits: your name on Zend yellow pages, you will become member of the linkedin group only for engineers, have a Zend Studio license and discounts for Zend events and conferences. CONS: the certification can't prove you can write and organize good and clean code. In any case we must continously learn, practice and test clean code. Studying more about data structures, algorithms and design patterns will bring us what we need to be a good developer and be able to solve problems in the real world using all tools we need (PHPUnit, frameworks, BDD testing tools and so on). Read this article on sitepoint that will give more informations about pro and cons.

MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPTS

  • Understanding PHP basics, functions, arrays
  • Perform OOP
  • Configuring and managing session security
  • Perform pattern matching
  • Understanding and implementing cookies and HTTP headers
  • Difference between PHP4 and PHP5 and language design

Let's see all topics more in detail:

PHP BASICS

  • Embedding PHP, Variables, Constans, Data Types, Strings Type Conversions, Operators, Conditions, Loops, Namespaces, Extensions, Config, Performance/ bytecode caching

DATA FORMAT and TYPES

  • XML Basics, SimpleXML, XML Extension
  • Webservices Basics, SOAP, JSON, DateTime, DOMDocument

 FUNCTIONS

  • Declaring Functions, Functions Parameters, Referencing, Scope, Variable Functions
  • Arguments, References, Returns, Variables, Variable Scope, Anonymous Functions, Closures

ARRAYS: Creating, Filling, Splitting

  • Adding & Removing Elements, Looping, Checking for Values, Sorting Comparing, Merging

PHP and OOP

  • Classes, Properties, Methods, Objects, Static Properties Methods, Inheritance, Abstract Classes, Interfaces, Autolooading, Reflection
  • Instantiation, Interfaces, Exceptions, Type Hinting, Class Constants, Late Static Binding, Magic Methods, Instance Methods & Properties, SPL (Standard PHP Libraries), Traits

STRINGS and RegEX

  • Substrings, Comparing & Counting String, Phonetic Functions, Strings and Arrays, Formatted Output, RegEx Essentials

PHP 4\5 Differences

  • OOP, Other areas

DESIGN and THEORY

  •  Design Patterns, Active Record, Factory, Iterator, MVC, Proxy, Singleton

FILES, NETWORKS

  • Resources, Output Files, R\W, File Operations, Wrappers, Streams

WEB FEATURES

  • Sessions, Forms, GET and POST data, Cookies, HTTP Headers, HTTP Authentication, HTTP Status Codes, Accessing Form Data, File Uploads

XML and WEB SERVICES

  • XML, SOAP, WSDL, Create and consume a web service, Debuggin

DATABASE

  • Keys, SQL, Sorting, Grouping, Joins, Prepared Statements, Transactions, PDO

SECURITY

  • Rules, XSS, CSRF, Injections, Sessions, Secure Configurations, Uploads

SUMMARY

Main topics to cover

  • XML & Web services
  • Database Access
  • Basic Language
  • Function
  • PHP 4\5 differences
  • Arrays
  • String Manipulation and Regular Expressions
  • Web Features
  • Security
  • Streams and Network Programming
  • Design

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