Which certification should I get? Zend Framework 1 and/or Zend Framework 2?

Please bear with my ignorance but the lack of proper explanation on the Zend website is adding to my confusion. I have also written to them a few days ago but have had no reply yet.

At present I am studying to sit for my Zend PHP Certification exam next year. I would like to follow it up with a Zend Framework Certification. I have these questions:

1) Am I right in assuming that for someone with very basic PHP knowledge the right order to follow is Zend PHP Certification > Zend Framework Certification?

2) Which Zend Framework exam should I sit for - Framework 1 or Framework 2? What I can't understand from their site is the difference between these two. I ask this because I would like to know which would be better choice keeping in mind what prospective employers look for these day.

Any advice would be most welcome.

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Ray PaseurCommented:
Zend Frameworks are numbered sequentially, with higher numbers representing technological advances, so I would not consider ZF1 to be useful any more.  Looks like ZF2 will soon be eclipsed, also.

The Zend frameworks are not really that popular.  I have my own ideas why, but that doesn't really matter -- the broad surveys tell the story of framework utilization and popularity.

If you use several frameworks and then turn to Laravel, you will immediately understand why Laravel is so well-regarded.

Good learning resources (aside from nearly flawless documentation):

HTH, ~Ray
badwolfffAuthor Commented:
Hi Ray

thanks for the information. I read all the links and they were very informative.
The only think I could not work out is whether Laravel actually has an internationally recognizable certification. Basically, what I mean is, something to put on a CV. Any more suggestions are always welcome.

Also you mention that if I am interested in using "several frameworks" then it would be best for me to learn Laravel. Could you expand on that please? Does that mean that by learning zend 2 or 3 I would be able to use only zend while if I learned Laravel it would allow me to use any php framework with ease?

thanks in advance
Ray PaseurCommented:
Hi, badwolfff.  Here's my thinking about the question.

I believe that Laravel has no internationally recognizable certification along the lines of Zend.  If I were looking for recognition as a Laravel expert, I would write an article or two, or present a paper at a conference and put that fact on my CV.  This may not be as well-recognized as the Zend cert, but it is certainly more current and up-to-date.  I mean no offense to Zend, but being "certified" in an old technology might not be as professionally valuable as being able to demonstrate competence in a current technology.

PHP frameworks exist for the same reasons that all programming languages exist - they help make us better programmers. And none of them are perfect (far from it) but all of them can help us learn different ways of thinking about computer-related problems.  In the case of PHP, we have a language that is 20+ years old with hundreds of configuration options and thousands of functions.  This level of complexity is nearly beyond human comprehension.  PHP frameworks consolidate these myriad and diverse capabilities into understandable units of work, giving us access to the things that all web sites must do.  If you learn only one framework you will have a very narrow view of the world, indeed.  This would be like speaking only one natural language; you're isolated from people who speak other languages.  A better idea might be to learn a bit of several languages -- a comparative view, and then specialize in the languages that are most valuable to your career path.  Most of my colleagues know some of C, Java, PHP, and JavaScript, in addition to the frameworks.  And most of them can find their way in almost any programming language or framework because all languages and frameworks have common design characteristics.  I would never get hired as a Java developer because I'm not really a rocket-to-the-moon in Java, but my specialization in PHP is professionally useful.  Nevertheless, I can read Java programs and understand the designs and ideas.  And I can find my way in ZF applications, even if I could not originate the code.

So, executive summary:  Make sure you understand the SOLID design patterns, the MVC concepts, and how they are implemented in Slim, Codeigniter, Zend and Laravel.  Develop some opinions about each of them, and consolidate your thinking well enough to talk about them in a job interview.  If you do that your professional opportunities will be greatly enhanced.

Does that help?  If not enough, let's keep the dialog going!

Best regards, ~Ray
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badwolfffAuthor Commented:
Hi Ray,

sorry about the delay in replying but I read carefully all you shared with me.
I would like to separate two things here: what goes into the CV and what I actually learn.
It goes without saying that I want to learn Zend, Slim, CodeIgniter and Laravel thoroughly after learning the necessary level of PHP. However at the moment I am equally concerned with that goes on the CV. Here when I look for the better paid job offers most IT companies look for Zend Certifications. It is either fashionable or it just means that users with those certifications AT LEAST have a certain level of understanding which might even correspond to the minimum requirements for such jobs. So for now I am initially interested in all those qualifications that might allow me to get recognizable and commercially usable certifications. Of course I will keep studying during and after to achieve futher knowledge which was my intention all along anyway.

Give this background would you say I should study for the Zend PHP Engineer certification and later the Zend Framework Certification (by the time I finish with the prior, maybe the Zend Framework 3 will be out and so will PHP 7)?

Of course if there are any other certifications that you think might help please point me towards them. The other ones I often see mentioned are MySQL developer and MySQL architect. I am open to all suggestions.

thanks again
Ray PaseurCommented:
PHP 7 will probably be here sooner than any further iterations of Zend Framework!

I would choose Zend PHP Certification.  The Zend Frameworks are just not very popular (at least not where I see jobs) but some experience with Drupal or WordPress, and to a lesser extent Joomla is very helpful.  With these I do not know of framework-specific certifications, but a couple of papers presented at a conference, and a good slide deck will get you interviews, I promise.

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badwolfffAuthor Commented:
I am quite familiar with wordpress (not coding though) and joomla (some coding). Not yet tried Drupal. I've tried OpenCart and have edited some mvc tpl files. I guess I need to improved upon these. Magento by the way has a certification right? Any good that?
Ray PaseurCommented:
Can't speak to the value of the Magento cert, but there definitely is one:

Drupal has a bit of a long learning curve.  WordPress a little less so - it's mostly decades old legacy code and has a lot of spaghetti still in there, but there are "hooks" that let you do things with the system in productive ways.  WordPress coding is well supported (and getting better all the time) by the WP codex infrastructure.  You might want to sign up for "Make WordPress Core" newsletters.  Any core contributor is recognized as a prominent individual in the community and is likely to get top consideration in hiring.
badwolfffAuthor Commented:
Thanks again Ray. That Magento Certification sounds interesting and also it appears often on job listings. I really can't find the sense in learning Drupal if you say the code is old and also I saw the disappointing statistics on its usage: less than 2% of sites use it. However the Wordpress Core contributor idea is very smart indeed. I think that is certainly worth looking into and I suppose I will have to study WP API very well before I can even make a useful suggestion.

On a different note, are there any certifications related to the mobile development world (ios, android, windows mobile)? I checked the Phonegap site but they don't have any certification or plans to implement it. Any ideas will be most welcome.

thanks for everything
badwolfffAuthor Commented:
By the way you forgot one very important thing... Getting a good rating/ranking on Experts Exchange might also be a very handy thing in an interview :P
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badwolfffAuthor Commented:
Hey Ray
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