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I mentioned on Twitter a while ago that I’ll be taking the Zend PHP 5 Certification exam at the end of this month. Well, the time has come! Exam is tomorrow noon. I’m quite excited about it, cause with this startup thing I had no time to study at all! I did read the Study Guide by php|architect and it’s quite good, but outlines only some aspects on each topic. It doesn’t really prepare you well for the exam, as according to the test sheets, they’re missing some questions ;)
Browsing the web, I came across a PDF book which contained the most common questions and detailed answers to each. It actually helped me out a lot, as they describe all the questions in detail, including the tricks, such as typos, operator priorities, etc. Speaking of typos, I cam across a dozen reading the first 4 sets of questions, and the guys said that typos are very common in the exam, as it tests our ability to analyze code and locate them, so if you’re taking this exam in the future, watch out for typos, don’t rush!
Rush? You’re given over an hour for the whole exam, which is a set of 70 questions. Personally, I took the practice exams a few times, and it took me no longer than 20 minutes to answer all 70, but honestly, I did rush in some of them, especially ones I didn’t know.
Interesting fact is that as soon as I signed up for the examination, I’ve been given these 10 practice tests I could take online. Without opening the book I took the first test, and guess what. I passed! Although I did miss quite a lot when it came to databases with PDO, XML manipulation and OOP design patterns, which is where I’m not too good at. PDO, well, I’ve been using procedural calls to databases all my entire life. I did know that there’s PDO, but I never realized that life is so much easier if we used that ;) XML manipulation, well.. Who cares if you’ve got JSON services ;)
And design patterns. It’s a very interesting topic indeed and seemed like something new to me at a first glance. Soon I figured out that we’re using such design patterns in all our products, but we just didn’t know they had names – Singleton, Factory.. MVC is different, and quite complicated. If the exam wouldn’t have been an online test, we could have easily defined MVC in our own words, as just like the guys at Google say, nobody knows what MVC is. Everybody thinks of it in their own way, which is why Google presented the MVP pattern – Model View Presenter.
Well, that’s about it. Just hope I don’t forget everything by tomorrow. Oh and by the way, I actually called the testing center and asked them if I could use my iPhone during the exam ;)