Zend Awards 10,000th Certified PHP Engineer

Zend Technologies announced its 10,000th certified Zend engineer trained in PHP development.

Zend Technologies, the PHP company, announced that continued growth in demand for its PHP software as well as demand for trained PHP engineers is driving momentum for the company and for PHP as a language.

As such, Zend also announced its 10,000th Zend Certified Engineer. Geert Bergman, a Utrecht, Netherlands based technical adviser, is the 10,000thZend certified engineer (ZCE).

Bergman works at Yard Internet, a development shop that provides consultancy, design, technical implementation, hosting and support to clients such as the Dutch Association of Banks. Bergman is one of seven Yard Internet employees to have passed the Zend PHP Developer Certification.

Zend, which provides PHP development platforms and tools such as Zend Server and Zend Studio, calls itself the PHP company because it has helped establish the PHP language, which today powers more than 200 million applications and Websites.

“At Yard Internet, our entire back-end is PHP,” Bergman said. “We use PHP to build in-house solutions in social networking, e-learning, e-commerce and more, including Scrivo, our open-source CMS that targets professional environments in which front- and back-end developers work together to create new designs and functionality. The Zend certification has improved the overall programming quality for our entire team, so that we can provide even better PHP service-side experience for our customers.”

Indeed, PHP powers more than 240 million Websites, according to Netcraft. Surveys have shown that PHP continues to be an increasingly popular choice for Web and mobile development, with 91 percent of PHP developers working on mobile apps and a growing number deploying apps to the cloud. Last year’s Zend Developer Pulse survey also found that three-quarters of PHP developers find the language easy to learn and say they can get things done faster with PHP.

“More than any other language, PHP gives us the ability to develop apps rapidly and iterate frequently to help our clients achieve their end result,” Bergman said. “It’s always easy to give clients direct, ongoing feedback about the things we change.”

In a Q&A with Zend, Bergman said Yard Internet is developing mainly front-end apps, in HTML, JavaScript and jQuery and jQuery mobile. “PHP is one of the best languages to use on the back-end, and all of our back-ends are written in PHP,” he said. “In that sense, it drives 100 percent of our business.”

Zend provides PHP developers and software development organizations with two certification tracks–Zend Certified PHP Developer, which the company said has become a standard and a measure of distinction for PHP development skills, and the Zend Framework Certified Architect certification. Over the last year, Zend has seen more than 1,500 new engineers pass the certification.

An industry-certified and audited certification, ZCE is built to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, with exams held in proctored testing centers. Because Zend Certification exams are created with specific skills, knowledge and competencies that are matched to real-world job functions, Zend Certifications provide a measure of technical distinction that employers also use to evaluate prospective employees, the company said. Every year, hundreds of PHP developers complete the certification to build their skill set and resumes, differentiate themselves from the competition, earn raises at work and more.

Bergman emphasized that becoming ZCEs also helped Yard Internet better leverage the PHP language and bolster productivity. He said seven Yard Internet engineers studied together for the exam, testing one another’s knowledge while studying. All seven of them passed the test, improving their own skills while boosting the firm’s capabilities as a whole.

Bergman further noted that becoming a ZCE alerted him to blind spots he had in his PHP skills.

“At Yard Internet, we pride ourselves on the quality of the solutions that we build for our customers,” he said. “Even for advanced developers like us, some solutions take a lot of work to build and maintain. Only after the ZCE exam did we realize that we could have found some of these as existing best practices ready to go out of the box. The harder things in PHP, like references, are much better understood so they can now really be used to aid development. As a company, we’re excited to use the Zend Certification to indicate to the outside world that we have an A-grade team, and also to boost the average quality of our programming work.”

Moreover, Bergman said he is an enthusiastic user of Zend Studio. “As a company, we believe that our development procedures should be channeled in such a way that our tools adhere to our procedures and processes,” he said. “Often, the more complicated the environment, the more complicated the tool, but Zend IDE gives you access to quick, simple tools that do what they’re supposed to. I also have a Java background, which makes Eclipse--used by Zend Studio--a great platform for me to work with.”