Monday, September 13, 2010

Preparing for the ZCE exam | An ultimate Guide

I passed. 200 sample questions, 134 flash cards, and hours of studying later–I am now officially a Zend Certified Engineer. Three months ago, Daniel Kushner offered me a voucher to take the test for free, “to help advance PHP into the enterprise and to endorse PHP as the leading Web development language” since I am a “PHP community leader and professional developer.” In fact, I have over five solid years of PHP coding experience. So why so much studying? Frankly, I needed it–but more on that later.
-- Quoted from Robert Peake's Post on ZCE

Probably all who were visiting this blog had been wondering why the blog's title says ZCE Exam Guide and there's not a single post on Zend Certification at all. Yes it was my laziness and workload which diddn't let me.

Today I wont be writing much about ZCE exams. I'll try to share useful links which would help you get deeper and more ready approach to appear for the exam.

What is a ZCE Exam?
You can read this An In-Depth Look At The Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE) Certification

You should also read this as a must : PHP Qualifications: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


When should you appear?
When you have extensive experience of developing web applications from ground up for about 6months to 1year you are ready to go for the exam.

Take a note that, ZCE quizes are very tricky and sometimes experts fail to pass the tests.

You can assess your preparation by the mock exams like Rayhan


How to prepare and study?
You should collect the Zend PHP5 Certification Study Guide written by Ben Ramsey and Davey Shafik.

An important chapter for the exam is free from this book. Security: Chapter 10

You should have a .chm version of the latest PHP manual at your PC. Study that matching the syllabus from ZEND.

Have a look at some exam questions from Zend

Also for better understanding study the main documentation of PHP at php.net

Dont forget to make flash cards on the points you came to know first.

This is one good resource to make yourself prepared for such exams : Exam 1 - Programming PHP Practice Questions

You should be a member of the main php channels ie: php-general
Ask there questions as deliberately as you can. Try to answer people's problems in PHP web development. The more you help others, more is the chance you become witted enough to face exams. For myself, I had been answering and responding to almost all the mails coming in the Yahoo groups for phpXperts that grew my confidence to an utmost level.

And also sometimes participate at the community chat at irc.freenode.net #php


Testing Quick Code snippets
You'll need to test a lot of codes/snippets while preparing for the exam. A good way to do that anywhere you are online is to use the free code paste sites.
One of my favorite is CodePad.org
Another great one is: IDEone.com/


CheatSheets
CheatSheets are booster for studies and remembering everyday use functions better. These helps both pros and the newbies as well.
Some of the most popular PHP cheatsheets are:
1. Quick Reference & CheatSheets
2. Dream in Code QuickRefs & CheatSheets
3. CheatSheet PDF
4. www.cheat-sheets.org
5. www.scottklarr.com/topic/100/php-cheat-sheets/ 
6. www.addedbytes.com/cheat-sheets/php-cheat-sheet/
7. PHP PCRE(Perl Compatible RegEx) CheatSheet
8. CheatSheet by Zend.com : PHP4 vs PHP5 
9. Security CheatSheet by Zend.com


Exams
Don't miss to appear at the BlueShoes PHP Syntax exam

Abinash Grahacharya's Mock Exams 

Appear at the PHP Developer Tests

For further tests you should also appear at exams on oDesk and Elance. Their tests are powered by ExpertRating

Appear for PHP5 Test, PHP4 Test, Advanced PHP Test, LAMP Test, Internet Security Test

For a test of good grips on HTML you should also appear at HTML 4.0 Test as well.



Experiences
Dont forget to read the experiences from PHP programmers around who shared their stories about the exam.

1. Read the experience of David Fells at Devshed
2. Ferdous' All about ZCE
3. Lenin's Immediate Feelings after the Exam and some collection of resource links
4.  Robert Peake's Blog about ZCE


Are you just a n00b?
If you are all new to PHP, I wont suggest you to go for the ZCE exam at all. Please study and work on real projects. This nettuts collection can be a starter for you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Git And SVN on Mac OS X

I have an old Macbook 2,1 2Ghz Core 2 Duo with 1GB Ram. The OS is Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger). Really trying to upgrade to a later version thus I can start developing for the iPhone platform. But so far the DVDs I have collected wont let it install them. So far I think the Super Drive has a little problem. Anyways, for that reason I'll have to reside with Tiger for a bit and have to try the legacy ways to install softwares on it.

For my professional works I need Git and SVN as daily tools. There are so many solutions for mac. Some are paid and some are Free OSS. I love to use the free and OSS types. I tried to install the SVN and Git but found that macports was not installed.

So, http://code.google.com/p/git-osx-installer/ is my choice.

Before this I have installed the macports using http://distfiles.macports.org/MacPorts/MacPorts-1.9.1-10.4-Tiger.dmg

[Moments ago I just found this: http://guide.macports.org/#installing worth looking at!]

But one problem occurs!

When I enter at terminal the following and hit return:
sudo port -v selfupdate

I get this error message: port: command not found!

Man, how come its possible? I have just installed it.
Sometimes, acting like a dumb helps you a lot! I just googled the error message to see if anyone exactly had fallen in such problem. Yes! a lot.

So the blog says, I gotta edit the .bash_profile file and paste in the following codes in.
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/local/bin
export MANPATH=$MANPATH:/opt/local/share/man
export INFOPATH=$INFOPATH:/opt/local/share/info

I did so and saved that file. If you are a newbie(dont be ashamed! everybody is at first :)) then you might wonder how to edit the file?

Just open up terminal and type:
sudo nano .bash_profile
paste in the codes above and press ctrl+x so it would save the file.

Yet after I saved it, the port: command not found error was still the case! So, I read the comments at that post. At one place it said you gotta close the terminal after saving. So the .bash_profile gets reloaded :) Yeah thats the idea you just showing the bash that you have macports executables installed somewhere.

So, now its time to update port.
sudo port -d selfupdate

Yes it upgraded it successfully! :)

Now its time to install the git but at http://code.google.com/p/git-osx-installer/ page there's no Tiger compatible installer. What to do?

sudo port install git-core +svn
hitting return after entering the above at terminal would produce the following output:
---> Computing dependencies for git-core
---> Dependencies to be installed: curl curl-ca-bundle perl5 perl5.8 libidn gettext expat libiconv gperf ncurses ncursesw openssl zlib pkgconfig p5-error p5-libwww-perl p5-compress-raw-zlib p5-crypt-ssleay p5-html-parser p5-html-tagset p5-io-compress p5-compress-raw-bzip2 p5-uri p5-svn-simple subversion-perlbindings apr apr-util db46 sqlite3 readline cyrus-sasl2 neon serf subversion p5-term-readkey rsync popt

And it will continue to show more and more outputs of the installation process.

It will install git and svn together. But the process will take a long time. Make sure you have highspeed line before applying this command at the terminal.

Guide to get your mac ready!

Its a craze nowadays, that every computer user is tending towards having an iMac or a MacBook or MacBook Pro! Whatever the platform they are working on is not being the factor.

No doubt the Designers(Digital Artists) or DTP professionals use mac if they afford it. But LAMP professionals, .NET professionals (@elijahmanor) and whoever not? Everyone is converting to using this closed and proprietary hardware + software thing. I wont debate about its being too expensive or not. Or, the way Apple restricts us. For me it was relying upon the hardware mainly. My other laptop, which was a cheap HP 520, was damaged due to bad hardware originating from China and the sluggish and then it was stolen(harddisk saved as I kept that with me). So, after that I cant really rely on any other manufacturers laptops. I frequently see laptops dying within 2/3years of use :( I really cant afford to lose my machine so early!

Anyways enough talkative! Let me guide you to make your Mac ready for getting the most out of it.

At first as an OSS lover I would recommend you to have a look at: http://opensourcemac.org/

Then dont miss these two 50 Essencial app for Mac Beginners
20 Apps of Editors choice by Nettuts.com

If you are a developer and you care about the browser compatibility issues for your users then you might need Internet Explorers with the Help of WineBotteler Didn't talk about other emulators as the above links already cover them.

You'd definitely love the Open Source Window management tool Shiftit at Google Codes

I have become a fan of Jeffrey Wey of Nettuts watching his nicely made screencasts. And one of his most favorite tools is the TextExpander(not free :()

If you are a Twitter freak like me then you'd need twitter apps here's a list : 50 essential twitter apps for you can try on your mac

If you are on primitive OS like I'm (Tiger) then you might need legacy X11 for the free Photo editing solution GIMP you definitely would need this link then! Installing X11 for GIMP without an installation CD/DVD

Are you a bangladeshi? Or a Bangali? You'd need the Bangla font or writing tools from Ekushey.org

Wondering which SVN client is best on Mac? You might enjoy this StackOverflow debate

Tips, Shortcuts or guides which might save your time!
1. How do I see an invisible file on Mac OS X?
2. Top 50 Terminal commands to customize the way of Mac OS X looks and behaviors!
3. How to make the Mac OS X's Terminal Accessible via hotkey?
4. Looking for cheatsheet? Or Keyboard shortcuts? Get the ultimate resource here.
5. Some code/snippet sharing tools on Mac along with other web tools.
6. Customize the file management with tweaks.
7. Macbook's battery health monitor.
8. Best image editing apps on Mac.
9. Dont forget to keep at eye on www.lifehacker.com for newest and innovative tips-n-tricks on any platform.
Find it at Blessed Herbs.com!