Certifications are „in“. Nowadays you can get certifications for almost every aspect of life. Admittedly, some of those certs you can just get by surviving a boring day in a classroom or more luckily for having joined a 2 week 20k yacht trip offshore hawaii that was just regularly interrupted by attending conference speaches, workshops or lessons.
After successfully passing the MySQL 5.0 Developer exams earlier this year the next step was preparing for the Zend Certified Engineer.
For preparation I first took php|architect’s Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide from the bookshelf and started reading. The book gives a good overview of the topics covered in the exam and I even learned a few things while reading that I did not knew of before. Unfortunately it contains too many errors and mistakes in the printed examples and there is no errata on the internet.
After reading through the book I first did not really knew how to proceed in preparing for the exam. I did not have the feeling of being prepared to pass an exam, although I would think myself of a quite good and experienced PHP programmer. A really good thing is that everyone at Mayflower has the possibility to take some text exams at Vulcan, the Zend PHP 5 Certification Simulator (also from php|architect). I passed the first test exam but afterwards I knew which topics needed more attention and some serious learning. So back to the book and the PHP manual for some days reading. After passing another test exam I felt prepared enough for the real one.
Some days ago I finally went to the local testing center with some of my colleagues and all four of us passed the real exam.