General Question

frankielaguna's avatar

Getting certified in PHP and MySQL?

Asked by frankielaguna (256points) May 1st, 2009

I’m looking to get a certification in PHP and MYSQL. I know that MySQL offer a developer certification test, but are there others beside this?

For PHP where are some reputable places I can get a certification from?

Thanks in advance!

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8 Answers

phoenyx's avatar

I think Zend, the company behind PHP, has some kind of certification.

Is this required for something? I’ve honestly never seen a job requiring a “certified” PHP programmer.

Edit: This looks like it.

frankielaguna's avatar

@phoenyx Not required but it’s something I want to do for myself to better my skill in PHP development..

Also I think it would look good no matter, :)

cwilbur's avatar

If you have the skill, certificates saying that you do are irrelevant. If you don’t have the skill, certificates saying that you do are wrong.

Work on your skills, pick projects that challenge you, and leave certifications to the diploma mills.

noyesa's avatar

I think certification is a good idea in PHP, where programmers are a dime a dozen. PHP is such a widely used and accessible language that it’s difficult to examine potential employees without going in-depth. Contrast PHP with a language like Python; simply by virtue of knowing Python, programmers are significantly more likely to understand, adhere to, and be passionate about writing clean code using modern best-practice conventions and design patterns. Most of the PHP programmers I’ve met in my time couldn’t care less about MVC, abstraction, and proper object-oriented design. Simply stated, many PHP programmers are not computer scientists.

Certification does a number of things for you—namely, it separates you from the herd, will generally bring you higher wages, and also gives you footing to climb the ladder at the company. Comparatively, PHP programmers don’t get paid as much as those who program for other languages. Certification gives you footing to argue for a higher wage/salary and ensures that you’re taken seriously as a programmer. Also of consideration is the fact that most PHP programmers, i.e. the people you’re competing with, aren’t going to be certified. The push to make yourself recognized by industry leading bodies speaks of your professionalism and quality as a programmer.

With all that said, the only real option is Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE), the industry standard. Even if your employer doesn’t know what the ZCE is, if you put it on your resume, they can look it up on Google and quickly find that it is the most reliable way to certify you’re a skilled PHP programmer, not one who writes pathetic spaghetti code and uses boorish design patterns (if any). Certifications jump off the page when your resume is held up against the countless others which will lack definition and certifications.

frankielaguna's avatar

@cwilbur I have to disagree with your statement about having the skill.. Even if employers aren’t don’t care about certification with a PHP developer, it will still look nice no matter.

@noyesa I completely agree with you. and thank you for your answer. I’ve looked into the ZCE, and was really the only one I found.

Thanks so much for your answers!!

cwilbur's avatar

@frankielaguna: I’ve been in a position to hire programmers. There are some certifications that are beneficial to a resume, but unless you’re talking about a Sun or Cisco certification, it’s more likely to be a detriment. If you put a certification on your resume that nobody’s actually heard of, or that’s known to be a bunch of scam artists (Brainbench falls into this category), then it will actually hurt you significantly.

@noyesa: Everything you’ve said in your second paragraph, in my experience, is somewhere between glossy brochure text and wishful thinking. Especially the part about “being taken seriously as a programmer.” Writing good, clear, maintainable code and communicating effectively with non-technical management get you taken seriously as a programmer. Every programmer and manager out there has run into a programmer who’s certified up the wazoo but couldn’t program his way out of a wet paper bag, and if all you have to show for yourself is certifications, you’re not going to be taken seriously.

As I said before: if you have the skill, the certification doesn’t matter. If you don’t have the skill, the certification doesn’t matter. And I say this as someone who’s interviewed and hired programmers.

noyesa's avatar

@cwilbur: I’m not trying to argue that certifications are the end-all determinant between joblessness and employment. I am also not trying to imply that a certification like a ZCE is foolproof evidence of skill. We’re not talking about establishing programming integrity, we’re talking about something that gets your foot in the door. The assumption that every certification was printed off by a cert mill is short sighted and ignorant. The ZCE certification is not known as a joke throughout the industry, and PHP certification is relatively uncommon. In many other cases this would pose a problem, but in the case of PHP programming, I think certification helps. The market of PHP programmers is known to be chock full of programmers that, as you said, couldn’t program their way out of a wet paper bag. Searching for a PHP programmer is a process of white-listing, not black-listing. There’s not much in the way of standard practice. The best set of standards available are those published by Zend themselves. They did, after all, write the current PHP scripting engine.

I don’t think the ZCE certification is a detriment to your ability to get a job. It is, at the very least, going to get noticed by anyone looking at your resume. Your portfolio ultimately does the talking, but that doesn’t amount to anything if they never look at it. I don’t think a ZCE certification hurts your chances of getting noticed, and once you’ve established your integrity, they will take you (and your certification) seriously.

cwilbur's avatar

@noyesa: And I’m saying that certification doesn’t even get your foot in the door. You’re going to need to look at code samples and interview the people anyway, and it’s just as likely that someone who has the skills you want is not going to be certified as that someone who doesn’t have the skills you want is going to be certified.

You’re welcome to your opinion; I’m pointing out that as someone who’s hired programmers in the past, I think certifications are not even worth the paper they’re printed on. You’re welcome to differ, but you’re not going to argue me around to your point of view. I’ve seen too many certified idiots and un-certified geniuses.

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