It’s been three weeks since I passed the Zend PHP Certification Exam, and I’ve been waiting to receive my certificate before I blogged on it so that I could scan it and display an image of what it looks like.
Unfortunately, I haven’t received it yet.
I’m not sure where the certificate is or even whether I’ll ever get one. I’ve not received any correspondence at all from Zend, so I’m not even sure if they know I passed. In all, I think the most disappointing part of the test is the lack of communication or details about what happens after you pass.
My thoughts on the test now seem in the distant past. The test itself was not altogether difficult, and there were no horrific questions on it like those that appear in the Study Guide (which led me to believe I would fail). Perhaps the least compelling reason to take the test is the cynical idea that such tests prove only one’s ability to retain information; a great programmer makes use of the resources at hand: Google, the PHP manual, and the mailing lists. None of these resources were available during the test, so what I was truly tested on was my ability to recall.
Still, certifications have their place, and in a business world, it looks great on a resume. The only problem is that many employers don’t know who or what Zend is, so the name of the exam means little to them. I imagine that a brief description must be provided in the resume to explain what the certification means, and I’d like to see Zend supply this concise definition of PHP and the Zend certification to its exam participants.
To inform my company as to what Zend certification means, I sent them this description from the Study Guide:
The Zend PHP Certification formally confirms the recognition of specific abilities and skills acquired and developed by the examinee. In other words, how predictably is the person likely to perform when applying PHP technology to a business problem? Have the examinees reached a predefined minimum standard in both academic and practical experience needed to produce quality work?
Of course, I also had to explain what PHP is. I think the description on the PHP Web site is in great need of updating. The best description I’ve found thus far is on the New York PHP Web site.
Finally, a word of advice about the exam: I finished with twenty minutes to spare. While I don’t expect everyone to finish so quickly, what I would like to advise is that you use every last spare minute to check and recheck your answers. I probably changed at least ten to fifteen answers during my review that I clearly recognized as wrong, and I’m convinced that made all the difference. So, double-check your answers!