We’re happy to announce that Amasty’s Magento developer Stanislav Pomaleyko successfully completed the Zend PHP Certification exam and became a Zend Certified PHP Engineer. Congrats to Stas on his achievement! We caught him for a flash interview about his experience with acquiring the badge.

The Rogue Wave Zend Certified PHP Engineer is an industry-wide standard that recognizes PHP expertise and is a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees.

 – Stas, could you please explain why you decided to pass the certification test, and this particular one?

 – Mainly I did this because I wanted to improve my expertise and competence level. I can’t say that I was looking for any other option specifically, Zend certification is a popular career asset, and we do have Zend certified developers here at Amasty.

What is more, I looked through the description of the test and decided that I had some blind spots in my knowledge of PHP which needed to be eliminated.

 – How did you prepare for the exam?

 – I’ve gone through Zend Certified Engineer Exam Study Guide, Shafik D. – Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide, 3rd Edition – 2015, http://php.net, and Google, of course! Also, I did a lot of running, debugging and dissecting the code examples which weren’t absolutely clear for me at first sight.

 – How long did it take to prepare?

 – I started researching the exam and areas I needed to be more confident in approximately six months ago. The active preparations and revising took about a month.

– Now that you’ve completed the test and received the certificate, how can you describe what’s special about the certification?

 – Well, to pass the exam, you have to know a ton of details and small nuances when it comes to PHP. Just being a PHP developer is not enough here – I think that some PHP developers with 10 years of experience won’t necessarily be able to complete the test without additional education and efforts.

What is more, some answers of the exam should be typed manually. In other words, it’s not always radio buttons or multiple choice selection. And here all these details come to the stage (setcookie or setcookies?) – and you have to be serious about each one of them.

 – Did you face any particular challenges during the text completion?

 – I would say that the main challenge was with complex questions that cover several areas of knowledge, and when you don’t understand a single detail of the question, you can’t answer it altogether. That is, you require both system vision and knowledge, and understanding of tiny details at the same time.

What is more, to pass the test you also should possess knowledge in related domains, such as server configuration. And last, but not least: you have to focus all the attention you can get to read and answer the questions properly.

To avoid these troubles, my advice is to study the exam materials thoroughly and to dig into each and every point you don’t understand completely. Dig it until you’re absolutely and 100% sure you get the idea top to bottom, or read, run and debug the code again and again. Don’t let yourself leave any spots behind!

That’s a wrap for today! We thank Stas for this brief interview and wish him good luck on his career path.