|By Brent Marinaccio||
|July 28, 2005 04:00 PM EDT||
Welcome to my first installment as a LinuxWorld Magazine writer. I'm taking over from my colleague Rob Jones and I hope to continue on the same track of providing information on certifications, as well as discussing the nuances in the Linux/Open Source recruiting landscape.
For this article, I decided to focus on one of the relatively new Open Source certifications that are permeating the marketplace: the ZCE, or Zend Certified Engineer, based on the popular PHP language from Zend, the PHP company. As the use of PHP in the enterprise grows, it's only natural that certification go along with it, as with ZCE.
Since it's less than a year old, I decided to take a different approach than in the past. I figured it would be best to go directly to the source of the most accurate information on it and its relevance in the marketplace. So I did a brief e-mail interview with Daniel Kushner, director of education at Zend.
LWM: How long has the exam been in existence?
DK: Since July 26, 2004. We launched the program at OSCON 2004.
LWM: What is the number of ZCEs now?
DK: Around 400. There's a high rate of adoption in the enterprise that's starting to use the Zend PHP Certification in the recruitment process.
LWM: What is their breakdown of location? How many in the U.S., Europe, etc?
DK: Back-of-the-envelope calculations would be approximately 40% U.S., 45% Europe, and 15% ROW.
LWM: What is the pass rate of the people that take the exam?
DK: Around 85%. This number is dropping as we emerge out of the early adopter stage. I expect it to reach 80% and then level off.
LWM: What is the amount of experience that you recommend for someone looking to take the exam?
DK: At least a year of daily PHP development. The exam tests real-world experience. Books, training, and cramming aren't enough to pass the exam and can't replace hands-on.
LWM: Do you advise people to buy the study guide?
DK: Definitely. Not only as a study guide, but to learn the important elements in the PHP language that you might not use on a daily basis or don't know about. This is what I hear again and again from professional PHP developers.
LWM: Do you happen to have any data that suggests the difference in salaries for people with the certification as opposed to without it?
DK: I don't have specific data, but on a recent survey I did with current ZCEs, at least 25% noticed a salary/revenue increase directly related to the Zend PHP Certification.
LWM: Is it strictly a multiple-choice exam? If not, what else is involved?
DK: On the multiple-choice questions we specify the number of correct answers. So, for example, if there's a question where three choices are correct, the candidates will be specifically asked to mark three answers. There are about 12% open-text questions. These are usually one-four word answers that are graded automatically by the testing engine. Open-text questions are normally about function names, code output, and variable types.
LWM: Where is the exam administered?
DK: Zend partnered with Pearson VUE to deliver the Zend PHP Certification at 8,000 test centers worldwide. Using a secure, reliable, and high-performance infrastructure, VUE handles most test delivery. We also provide paper-based exams at various conferences. Upcoming conferences would be php|works (www.phparch.com/phpworks/), and the Zend PHP Conference (http://zend.kbconferences.com/).
LWM: Do you plan on having any follow-on certification to the ZCE? Perhaps something that would encompass other parts of the LAMP stack?
DK: We're currently discussing the possibility of an advanced-level certification. This would be a natural extension of the current certification program. With regard to a LAMP stack certification, there are other entities that are looking into this. I'm in contact with them, and the Zend PHP Certification will the "P" in LAMP.
As a result of being able to get much of the core information about the ZCE, we wanted to go "to the street" to get the viewpoint of a company that has compensated its employees to get the ZCE. I wanted to find out firsthand why this company felt that it was necessary to have its developers obtain this certification. Gregory Stoltz, CTO of Direct Response Technologies, was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to have an e-mail chat with us about why it's so important. This is what he told us:
LWM: Could you tell me about your work/development environment and why the Zend certification was important?
GS: Our company provides a number of hosted solutions to our clients. All of these solutions are built on a solid LAMP platform and PHP is at the core of all of the software we create and support. Our company has had large-scale PHP-based applications in production for over eight years and having a qualified and motivated team is vital to our success.
|Peppie 06/18/07 09:56:36 AM EDT|
Any news on the layout of the new Zend Zertified engineer exam? Since Vip Malixi comments I am anxiously awaiting answers from Zend, but alas nothing. I am recertifying on PHP5 and would love to know if the exam has changed, eg open-book, etc.
|vip malixi 01/10/06 10:07:27 PM EST|
I thought you might be interested in comments about the PHP Certification exam (ZCE):
I was planning to take the PHP Certification exam but, as a Psychology Major who has studied Testing Methods, I am disappointed with how your test has been designed. It clearly fails to measure a person's understanding of PHP. It also does not measure a person's PHP coding ability. What your test does measure is a person's ability to memorize and understand manuals as well as handle trick questions.
A proper test must measure what it is supposed to measure. Thus, for example, a test to measure a person's spelling ability shouldn't require the examinee to know the meaning of the words being spelled. If the test was to measure the examinee's spelling and comprehension ability, then and only then, should questions about word meanings be included.
In your test, a lot of its difficulty stems from having to memorize large portions of the PHP manual, mainly function syntax. If part of your purpose is to measure the examinee's memorization capability, then this is valid. Unfortunately, this will more often than not run counter to your main goal of measuring a person's understanding of PHP. What I mean is, a person who is adept at PHP, may, for the sake of economy, speed and accuracy, always depend on consulting the manual or a glossary of functions to make sure their syntax is always correct and up to date--thus never really relying on memory. It is for a similar reason that pilots and astronauts go through a written checklist rather than depend on memory to avoid disastrous syntax/memory errors--but doing so, doesn't mean they are bad pilots or astronauts, it actually means they are thorough at what they do. Similarly, a good PHP programmer would invariably always consult with the manual or copy/paste from his glossary to make sure his syntax is correct. Thus for your test to require the examinee to memorize large portions of the PHP manual is actually counter to measuring whether the examinee has a good understanding of PHP.
It would be better then to allow examinees to have a copy of the PHP manual available during test taking and to inform them that it would be available. What this would do is allow the examinee to concentrate on his "understanding" of PHP rather than his memorization skills.
I suggest you make this correction to your certification exam. Another problem with the exam is the use of a lot of trick questions--questions that are not straightforward (in your exam, you can tell something is a trick question by asking yourself if the question-problem or code snippet example is actually used or can possibly be encountered in real-world situations--if it cannot, then it most probably is a trick question). Again, this is a "no no" in testing methods. If you are measuring a student's ability to uncover and overcome trickery, then well and good, but it has no place in a properly-designed test.
It would help greatly if you consulted with a good Testing Methods professional to check if your Certification Exam has other aspects that need improvement.
I suggest you have the people who developed the test to take a look at...
...which gives a good overview of proper Testing Methods.
Thank you and keep up the good work.
|LinuxWorld News Desk 07/28/05 03:36:45 PM EDT|
An In-Depth Look At The Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE) Certification. Welcome to my first installment as a LinuxWorld Magazine writer. I'm taking over from my colleague Rob Jones and I hope to continue on the same track of providing information on certifications, as well as discussing the nuances in the Linux/Open Source recruiting landscape.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Feb. 21, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 1,283
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 02:15 PM EST Reads: 400
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 3,540
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 431
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:30 PM EST Reads: 723
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,058
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,226
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Feb. 21, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,386
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 21, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,182
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 684
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 4,515
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 762
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Feb. 21, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 587
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,152
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
Feb. 21, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 7,965