On thursday 25th of November 2010 I passed Zend Certified Engineer exam for PHP 5.3 thanks to certification program in company where I work – XSolve. It’s quite new exam, because of PHP 5.3, so I will describe my feelings and recomend you some helpful sources.

First of all, exam was quite tough (more than I excepted). Maybe I got such questions set and others are easier, I don’t know 😉 I used to work with manual for finding functions or parameters order, so I need to memorize some of them during learning phase. In many questions I wasn’t able to eliminate even one answer on the begining without analyzing rest of them.

How did I prepare to exam? First of all I read Zend PHP5 Certification Guide e-book. It’s quite good position, but it doesn’t include PHP 5.3 and it isn’t much detailed. Other e-book which I studied was Zend PHP 5.3 Study Guide, which is free and available to download from zend.com. Please note that is beta version and it has some gaps. The most important thing was reading PHP manual, especially Language Reference, Security, Features and some chapters of Function Reference. PHP manual is the best way to dive deeper into PHP and get to know some Tips and Tricks. If you are thinking about passing ZCE you should read at least once whole manual! It’s also very good way to get familiar with the new features included in PHP 5.3.

Additionaly I took two mock tests (which unfortunatelly aren’t available anymore on zend/phparch pages, but company bought them with exam vouchers) with excellent result. I’ve used also test.php.pl, which is 15 questions quiz, only in polish.

So, what’s new from PHP 5.3 was in the exam? There was aprox. 7-8 questions from PHP 5.3 including namespaces, closures, late static binding. Many of questions focused on streams (more than I thought) and array operations, aswell as strings, control structures or database access. SPL knowledge is also helpful, not only becouse of exam 🙂

Passing this exam was good choice, because I found some new neat features and functions, which I wasn’t aware before.

You can find me on the PHP  Yellow Pages.