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Review Of Zend Certified PHP Engineer Certification Exam Topics

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Review of main topics come on Zend Certified PHP Engineer certification exam

By Editorial Team on 2018-11-20

PHP is very popular programming language used by millions of web developers around the world. Learning PHP is easy; however, to become a professional PHP developer you need lots of training and practical experiences. This article reviews the main topics and subtopics that come in Rogue Wave Zend Certified PHP Engineer exam.


The Rogue Wave Zend Certified PHP Engineer is an industry-wide standard that recognizes PHP expertise and is a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees. This article covers the main topics and subtopics that come in its certification exam. The most challenging topics are number 9 or Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and number 11 or Security. Mastering said two topics requires a great deal of training and project-based exercises. The good news is that if you have software engineering background meaning you are familiar with any OOP coding language like Java, C++, C#, Python, .Net, etc learning OOP topic would be a piece of cake.

1- PHP Basics

  • Syntax
  • Operators
  • Variables
  • Control Structures
  • Language Constructs and Functions
  • Namespaces 
  • Extensions
  • Config
  • Performance/bytecode caching


2- Web Features

  • Sessions
  • Forms
  • GET and POST data
  • Cookies
  • HTTP Headers
  • HTTP Authentication
  • HTTP Status Codes 


3- I/O

  • Files
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • File System Functions
  • Streams
  • Contexts


4- Arrays

  • Associative Arrays
  • Array Iteration
  • Array Functions
  • SPL, Objects as arrays 
  • Casting

5- Strings & Patterns

  • Quoting
  • Matching
  • Extracting
  • Searching
  • Replacing
  • Formatting
  • PCRE
  • NOWDOC
  • Encodings

6- Error Handling

  • Handling Exceptions
  • Errors
  • Throwables

7- Functions

  • Arguments
  • Variables
  • References
  • Returns
  • Variable Scope
  • Anonymous Functions, closures
  • Type Declarations

8- Object Oriented Programming

  • Instantiation
  • Modifiers/Inheritance
  • Interfaces
  • Return Types
  • Autoload
  • Reflection
  • Type Hinting
  • Class Constants
  • Late Static Binding
  • Magic (_*) Methods
  • Instance Methods & Properties
  • SPL
  • Traits 

9- Databases & SQL

  • SQL
  • Joins
  • Prepared Statements
  • Transactions
  • PDO

10- Data Format & Types

  • XML Basics
  • SimpleXML
  • XML Extension
  • Webservices Basics
  • SOAP
  • JSON 
  • DateTime 
  • DOMDocument

11- Security

  • Configuration
  • Session Security
  • Cross-Site Scripting
  • Cross-Site Request Forgeries
  • SQL Injection
  • Remote Code Injection
  • Email Injection
  • Filter Input
  • Escape Output
  • Encryption, Hashing algorithms
  • File uploads
  • PHP Configuration
  • Password hashing API 

Now that you’ve learned the main topics that come to Zend Certified PHP Engineer exam, you can plan and prepare for its exam. Once you obtain this certification, you have a few career choices: 1- Become a Content Management System like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal specialist, 2- Learn Linux and Apache and work as back-end developer, 3- Learn JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React and even Node and Express and work as FullStack developer, and 4- Continue your training on PHP Zend by obtaining Zend Framework 2 (latest framework version is 3).


It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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