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For the amount of web developer job interviews I've been to, I'm somewhat surprised that no one has brought up Zend certification. Has anyone ever been certified before, or is it a waste of time/money?

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I imagine it will mostly help if you are applying to companies that are heavily invested in Zend (but even then, I'm not so sure it will make a huge difference, I am guessing only a slight difference if you and other candidates are otherwise equal). –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Nov 8 '11 at 15:19
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

As a full time PHP Developer, I have never had anybody ask if I was Zend certified.

I have not taken the certification exam, and I don't foresee myself taking it in the future. While it may give you one up on your competition in an interview, I think the same thing can be achieved by simply knowing your craft.

By all means, take the exam if you like, but I don't think it will help you in your PHP career.

--Edit--

Also, when I DID look at the Zend certification (back in the early PHP5 days), I noticed there was a lot of weight put on memorization of function names and parameters. I don't feel this makes you a better programmer, which had a huge weight in my decision not to take the exam.

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Thanks. You confirmed my hunch. –  Zach Rattner Nov 8 '11 at 15:38
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I tend to shy away from technology-specific certifications for the reason that Craige mentioned in his answer - they focus on things like functions, parameters, and language features that change (sometimes rapidly) over time. I would rather see projects and work history using technology, rather than certifications. These would demonstrate your grasp of language functions and show me how you design and implement systems. The certifications that I would look for are those by well-respected organizations that offer technology-independent validation of knowledge about a given set of concepts.

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I would agree with your comments. I would even go a step further to say that certifications in a certain framework or disciple within a framework only shows your ability to review that material then pass an exam. A college degree in a broad subject like computer science goes a great deal further, although I suppose one can say the same about said degree, but as somebody who earned that degree there is more to getting that degree then knowing the answers to a bunch of tests. It taught me how to approach problems, how to solve them, and how to adapt to a situation. –  Ramhound Nov 8 '11 at 15:42
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Maybe a company that is a programming consultancy likes to claim their devs are Zend certified. They would probably just hire good programmers and require taking the exam which they would pay for. This is big in the Microsoft world (To be Gold Certified?). Not sure how much it applies here.

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That is what I've seen too - it's mainly a thing for consulting firms so you can advertise that all your staff are X certified, and it helps increase your credibility. For an individual it's usually a non-issue for developers, although certs carry a lot of weight in the DBA/Sysadmin side. –  Wayne M Nov 8 '11 at 15:40
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