Pros and Cons of ZCE

If I had to narrow down my assessment of the Zend Certified Engineer exam to just three pros and cons, here is what they would be:


  • bolsters enterprise adoption of PHP with a clear standard for quality developers
  • important, sometimes overlooked concepts like pass-by-reference are covered
  • knowing key functions at the required level of detail can make you code faster


  • need to know some functions by heart does not represent a real-world environment
  • no case study or project, no real free-form responses
  • no publicized passing score means no target to shoot for when studying

The pros are significant and valuable, and the cons could certainly be addressed, for example, with a second, more advanced certification or even by revamping the ZCE. All in all, the very existence of the ZCE is a huge shot in the arm for PHP in the enterprise, where certificates and badges play critical roles in legitimizing not only the developer but her development language of choice.

Written from: Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA