I successfully passed my Zend Framework certification exam couple weeks ago. It has certainly been a challenging preparation for the past one and half month considering the scarcity of information about this exam available online. So I thought of sharing my exam prep in this post which can be useful for others who might take the exam in the near future.
Materials that I used:
- Zend Framework Certification Study Guide
- “Zend Framework in Action” book by Rob Allen
This is a great book about ZF by Rob Allen. I strongly recommend this. I would also suggest going through his website, it contains excellent resources for Zend Framework and ZFCE.
- ZF Programmers Reference and ZF Source code (v1.5)
Every other blog post on ZFCE preparation will point you in this direction. It is so very important to go through the code and understand the real functions. As developers we might find it hard sometimes to read pages and pages of documentation. I have felt it, like when I was reading one chapter in the study guide, I felt very boring, but the moment I browsed through the code, It was like I grasped everything in 1/10th the time.
- Version is Zend Framework 1.5
Always remember this exam is based on v1.5 and anything introduced in the newer versions will not be asked about in the exam. So if you are only looking from the exams perspective, you can limit your scope to just the 1.5 version.
My preparation for the exam
- Went through the study guide twice or thrice, and familiarized myself well enough with the chapters and sections
- Made a list of all the Classes, Methods and Constants used in the study guide
- Cross referenced the stuff in the ZF Study guide and studied the concepts in Rob Allen book. Didn’t have to spend too much time studying outside the scope of the book. I would say you wouldn’t even have to study the entire book, just reference the chapters in the study guide. At this point you would have covered all theory concepts that you need to know.
- Now I had a list of all the Classes, Functions and Constants, just studied them and their related functions and classes with the help “ZF Programmers Reference”. E.g. If the study guide talks about Zend_Memory::factory() and the book talks about Zend_Memory_Manager::create() also read up about Zend_Memory_Manager::createLocked() — related function, can be found in the ZF Programmers Reference. At this point I had covered all ZF Technicals (class/fn/constant names) that were needed scoped in the exam curriculum.
- Exams will be a mix of PHP Concepts, ZF Theory and ZF Technicals. I am not sure if you are already a ZCE, but as far as I know ZFCE is also a “unit-wise-pass” exam like ZCE. So studying all units is mandatory (I am just doing a presumed guess… I may be wrong by 99.9999989% here).
- I found a lot of trick questions, so beware!! One of my colleagues suggested a way to handle trick questions in exams: “Never look at the choices until you are sure that you don’t know the answer”, I think it works well. The choices are the confusing part in the trick questions, and they can confuse you even if you had known the answer, so try to find the answer before looking at the choices.
- Exams is for 75 Question in 90 mins, I finished it in about 30 mins and took 10 mins for review.
- If all goes well you get to use this logo in your CV
All the best!![ View Post ]