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Zend Certification, Worth Doing?


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Currently Zend updated its PHP certification to PHP 5.5, I am thinking whether it's worthy to prepare for the exam and take it. The exam is not cheap, and many people say all kinds of certifications by those companies are just their way to make money, well, in a sense, I agree.


If I take the Zend exam:


Pros??(I'm not sure...)

I browsed the exam guide, seems a lot of stuff is covered. I plan to apply for some PHP developer jobs (in two months maybe) after I gain more experience (by doing some small web apps using what I have learned and plan to learn: procedural PHP --> OO PHP --> Frameworks). I guess in a job interview, I will be asked many questions on the knowledge of PHP, so maybe prepare for the Zend exam will also benefit my future job interview??



Time for preparing the exam is a major cost. Some people might believe I should spend the time used to prepare for the exam actually programming PHP apps.



Any suggestions?




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Thanks Larry. Surprised to know that you have not been in the job market. If you don't mind, could you share how did you gain those project experience and great programming skills? By doing freelance projects?


Currently I am reading your book to learn PHP and JS, and at the same time do my small projects so I can use what I have learned in your book. After months of trying and experiencing, I found that strategy suits me well, because it's a balance between reading books and doing projects. If I just do projects and not read books, then what I can do is quite limited; if I just read books and not do projects, then what I have read will quickly fade away from memory because only doing can make the knowledge part of me. How do you think of my learning-and-doing strategy?


I just got your Advanced PHP book and started reading the OOP part like mad. After that, I should go with the Yii book or the E-commerce(2nd edition) book? I have the impluse to buy them at once and read them at the same time, but experience tells me it's not possible and not effective.

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Hey Christopher. I certainly don't mind. I started doing web development in 1999, more or less on a whim (it's a long, but interesting story). I learned PHP and MySQL in 1999, when both were still fairly unknown (PHP was version 3; MySQL was still talked about as mSQL/MySQL). 


I learned mostly by doing as there weren't many good resources on the subjects, including very few books. At the time, online job markets like elance where just coming up, and I was able to get my initial work through those sites. I took jobs slightly outside of my expertise, worked very hard, learned, practiced, and repeated until I got it right.


Writing books also improved my programming skills tremendously, because you end up thinking in great detail as to why you do X or Y. 


Once I started writing books, I got a lot of work because of them, with people reaching out to me. So to this day, I've still never applied for a conventional, full-time web development gig where they'd look at your CV or experience or certifications...


I think your strategy sounds great. 


As for what book next, thanks for your interest in more of my work. The e-commerce book has some cool stuff in it and is a great extension of skills. I think it's the one that HartleySan likes best of mine. The Yii book is more specific, and would be applicable when it's time to learn a framework. Thanks again!

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Larry, thanks for the sharing! You mentioned when you was learning these technologies, you worked very hard, learned, practiced, and repeated until you got it right  --- At that time how many hours on average did you spend on learning & practicing each day? I have a friend who is also a great programmer(Java), and he says when he was learning Java, he did coding 10-12 hours a day, non-stop except meal breaks. When I started to learn HTML and PHP, I could just focus on the topic for like 2 hours at most, then I took a break or changed a subject. After observing people who are really good at what they do(be it programming, engineering or other disciplines) in person or through reading, I found that they have one thing in common: they can focus on working for many hours a day. That's what makes them successful in their own fields. Through continuously trying, now I can keep learning and coding for a relative long time frame. :)


I know almost all PHP frameworks use OOP, does the E-commerce book use procedural style or OOP style?

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I don't know how many hours I spent, or that it took, but becoming proficient is definitely more than 2 per day. You do have to really stick too it. Doesn't have to be 10-12 hours/day, seven days a week, but I'd think you'd need to spend more than 40 hours/week to get strong.


The e-commerce book uses procedural. 

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