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What are the best PHP certifications according to the market requirements? Actually, I want to get the PHP certification which has the greatest demand.

Also, I want to know more about the future of PHP:

  • When will PHP 6 be released?

  • Could you tell me something about the PHP 6 exam availability please?


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closed as not constructive by Yannis Dec 28 '12 at 7:51

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I heard about Zend PHP 5.3 certification but no more knowledge about this certification & also if i will certified then is it realy provide me gud job opportunity? – Harsh Jun 2 '11 at 5:03
the frameworks edit you have added is completely orthogonal to your original question. "What's best for me?" questions are also usually completely unanswerable, because we aren't you. What are you really asking here? You should consider separating your questions about frameworks to a question that isn't already about certifications. – Charles Jun 6 '11 at 7:18

4 Answers 4

up vote 37 down vote accepted

Certifications will only look good on a resume if the person reading it would be predisposed to trusting the certification and the authorities that offer it.

The PHP community as a whole has not accepted certification as a sign of competence or knowledge... especially not the former.

Only Zend's certifications are worthwhile, and maybe not even then. Zend has posted a study guide for their 5.3 certification. At 155 pages, it's pretty chunky, but it's also pretty thorough. If you learn nothing by reading it, then chances are that the certification will be entirely useless to you.

With regard to PHP6... forget it exists.

Yeah, really!

This is a set of slides from Andrei Zmievski, one of the core PHP developers. It explains what the plan for PHP6 was (Unicode everywhere), and why it's stalled.

One of the big problems has to do with what happens when you impose Unicode rules on programs that aren't fully equipped to deal with Unicode. For example, read this Unicode rant by famed Perl developer Tom Christiansen. While the rant is about Perl's Unicode support, the general theme and lessons learned are completely applicable to the PHP6 Unicode effort.

In short, it's going to be the world's biggest backwards compatibility break ever, and will introduce subtle bugs in every script. In fact, it was going to be so bad that they had to introduce a "turn Unicode semantics off" mode just to make sure that old scripts would continue to work.

I personally doubt that we'll ever see the current branch in the PHP source repository called "PHP6" in production. It's both too wide-ranging and, as noted in Andrei's slides, doesn't have a lot of developer support.

Meanwhile, PHP 5.4 is moving forward They're working on the formal release process. Here's a rough list of current TODO items, including a few "last minute" features to discuss, like a built-in simple web server for dev testing, an optional, more terse array syntax (which was, incidentally, already in discussion again before all the recent hubbub about it being voted down months ago), and an option for a JSON-inspired syntax, with implicit stdClass creation. That last one has been particularly controversial on php-internals.

Features already implemented for 5.4 include function call array dereferencing (the ability to say foo()['bar'] and have it work), and most interestingly, traits, a way to extend classes via composition rather than inheritance. Recently there was also a change to always permit the <?= syntax, even when short tags are off.

It's also worth noting that type "hinting" was briefly implemented, but has since been reverted because nobody could agree on what happens when a "hint" assertion fails and all of the available options sucked in bad ways. Various blog posts elsewhere documented the initial implementation.

However, 5.4 is still quite a while from being in production. Development isn't finished, and we're surely a few months from a beta, no less a usable beta. (I'm irritated at this, as my current project could really use traits...)

The SCJP study guide is around 850 pages, Zend's study guide isn't chunky at all. – Mahmoud Hossam Jun 2 '11 at 9:53
@Hary, did you bother to click on the link? – Charles Jun 3 '11 at 7:27
@Charles:)is this certification covers the topic of latest release of PHP 5.3.6 (March 17, 2011; 2 months ago) – Harsh Jun 6 '11 at 4:06
@Hary a very interesting discussion about Zend Certification you can find here… and regarding the study guide, check… – sica07 Jun 6 '11 at 12:31
+1 for a goodly worded reading. I've been waiting so long for function array dereferencing. – zzzzBov Jun 7 '11 at 2:11

About certificates

Certificates are only worth if the authorities are trustworthy and relevant, and no authority could have more credibility than the main company behind PHP, Zend Technologies.

Having a certification is definitely a plus and would get you somewhat ahead of others, but its not a requirement nor guarantee to get employed, employers —intelligent ones— also look for human traits, its not like they are looking only for specs as if they were buying a new computer.

Also, nowadays the language won't suffice, you should also get into a framework. Personally I like Symfony the most, but there is also the Zend Framework and there is a certification for that.

About PHP 6

Regarding your question about PHP6, you should better not wait standing, because it could be still a long way, although there is certain progress going on right now.

PHP is currently getting ready for 5.4, and the biggest thing there will be traits. You must know that the way PHP develops internally is IMHO highly chaotic (and even trollsy), but stuff is starting to get formalized and the community is getting together a formal release process and, if this is to happen, and the timeline is to be believed, PHP 6.0 should arrive around 2012 and 2015.

But don't get scared, when PHP 5.3 was released it was kind of regarded as PHP 6 without unicode, including features like closures, late static binding and namespaces.

So, PHP 5.4 is the thing to look forward to right now, not PHP 6 (unless you are crying for unicode).

) +1 for gud explanation – Harsh Jun 6 '11 at 6:04
)actually i never use any framework in my project, i heard about some of the framework like cakephp, as wel as zend, but never use this. – Harsh Jun 6 '11 at 6:14
@Hary It is highly recommendable to learn one, even when you can get by with plain PHP, using frameworks lets you mature as a coder. Also, I'd say using a framework and putting that in your resume is the rough equivalent of a certification (depends on the certification) to an employer's eyes. – dukeofgaming Jun 6 '11 at 6:53

I've never been asked about certifications in a job interview, I've also never brought it up while interviewing a candidate. I assume most employers want to be sure their candidate will be able to be productive as soon as they start. Having a certification does not mean a candidate knows how to practically apply their skills.

Displaying communication skills is much more important in an interview. Having code samples and being able to prove your problem solving skills to interviewers are also more important than line items on a resume.


Certification isn't worth much, when you compare it to:

  1. Experience using either of the Symfony or Zend framework;
  2. A solid understanding of data modeling, databases and SQL query planning;
  3. Active involvement in open-source development (got an account?).

I'd pick the latter three over any amounts of certification.

I'd add that if two candidates are roughly equivalent except for a certification, it's the kind of detail that would barely register. I'd pick the one who I'd rather have a beer with.

PHP6 will be released when they make unicode work properly. 5.4 is the next best thing.


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