PHP 5.5 Zend Certification Study Guide


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PHP 5.5 Zend Certification Study Guide

A guide for programmers

About the Book

Please note that a new version of this book is available at

Welcome to what I hope is an accessible reference that helps you quickly find and learn relevant facts about PHP programming. I’m writing it with the following readers in mind:

  1. Intermediate PHP programmers with two or three years of experience who are hoping to sit the Zend certification exams.
  2. Programmers who are proficient in another language but want a quick reference book to dive into PHP.

This book is specifically not an introduction to programming and no attempt is made to introduce basic topics. It is purely a reference to learn the idiosyncrasies of PHP. Additionally it does not intend to replace the PHP manual but rather to focus the reader’s attention on aspects of PHP relevant to the Zend certification exams.

The books chapters focus on the exam topics that you will be tested on in your certification examination and serves as a guide through the material.  The guide makes reference to the source pages in the PHP manual that allows you to dip into the manual in a structured and understandable fashion.

About the Author

Andy Beak
Andy Beak

Andy is a cloud software architect working for a leading IPTV tech company in Cambridge, UK. He has 7 years of experience with the PHP language, with more than half of that time being in senior roles.  During his time in the industry Andy has worked on applications for large financial institutions, dynamic startups, payment processors, as well as a slew of smaller web applications.  

Reader Testimonials


Certfication guide/ Reference for Programmers,

I like the way this book is structured, it closely follows the zend php certification guide, but at the same time it can be used as a reference, and it does not need to be a 500+ pages book to be reference book, every php featured is explained clearly with examples, it uses an efficient way to describe the most important details of the particular feature. Overall i really liked this book, the book structure allows for a very efficient way to prepare/review for the php zend certification exam


A good supplement to Zend's study guide.

If you've downloaded the study guide from Zend, you'll notice right away that it's lacking in the amount of information it gives to prepare you for the actual exam. This book helps to fill in some of those holes in Zend's study guide, and I'd recommend reading it as a supplement to the Zend study guide. It gives an overview of the subjects on the test. However, to get a better idea of what questions will be on the test, I'd recommend the Hexa Marathon Guide

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Zend Certification Syllabus
  • 1. Syntax
    • 1.1 Inserting PHP into web pages
    • 1.2 Language Constructs
    • 1.4 Representing numbers
    • 1.5 Variables
    • 1.6 Operators
    • 1.7 Control Structures
    • 1.8 Errors
    • 1.9 Configuration
    • 1.10 Performance
  • 2. Functions
    • 2.1 Arguments
    • 2.2 References
    • 2.3 Variable Functions
    • 2.4 Returns
    • 2.5 Variable Scope
    • 2.6 Callables, Lambdas, and closures
  • 3. Strings and Patterns
    • 3.1 Declaring Strings
    • 3.2 Referencing characters in strings
    • 3.3 PHP and multibyte strings
    • 3.4 Matching Strings
    • 3.5 Extracting strings
    • 3.6 Searching Strings
    • 3.7 Replacing strings
    • 3.8 Formatting Strings
    • 3.9 Formatting Numbers
    • 3.10 String Patterns – Regular Expressions
  • 4. Arrays
    • 4.1 Declaring and referencing arrays
    • 4.2 Array Operators
    • 4.3 Quirks of PHP array keys
    • 4.4 Filling up arrays
    • 4.5 Push, pop, shift, and unshift (oh my!)
    • 4.6 Comparing Arrays
    • 4.7 Combining Arrays
    • 4.8 Iterating through arrays
    • 4.9 Sorting Arrays
  • 5. Object Orientated PHP
    • 5.1 Declaring Classes and Instantiating Objects
    • 5.2 Visibility or Access Modifiers
    • 5.3 Instance Properties and Methods
    • 5.4 Static Methods and Properties
    • 5.5 Working with Objects
    • 5.6 Constructors and Destructors
    • 5.7 Inheritance
    • 5.8 Interfaces
    • 5.9 Exceptions
    • 5.10 Reflection
    • 5.11 Type Hinting
    • 5.12 Class Constants
    • 5.13 Late Static Binding
    • 5.14 Magic (__*) Methods
    • 5.15 Standard PHP Library (SPL)
    • 5.16 Generators
    • 5.17 Traits
  • 6. Security
    • 6.1 Configuration
    • 6.2 Session Security
    • 6.3 Cross-Site Scripting
    • 6.4 Cross-Site Request Forgeries
    • 6.5 SQL Injection
    • 6.6 Remote Code Injection
    • 6.7 Email Injection
    • 6.8 Filter Input
    • 6.9 Escape Output
    • 6.10 Encryption, Hashing algorithms
    • 6.11 File uploads
    • 6.12 Database storage
    • 6.13 Avoid publishing your password online
  • 7. Data Formats and Types
    • 7.1 XML
    • 7.2 SOAP
    • 7.3 REST web services
    • 7.4 JSON
    • 7.5 Date and Time
  • 8. Input-Output (I/O)
    • 8.1 Files
    • 8.2 File System Functions
    • 8.3 Streams
  • 9. Web Features
    • 9.1 Sessions
    • 9.2 Starting a Session
    • 9.3 Session Identifier and Session Variables
    • 9.4 Logging a User Out
    • 9.5 Session Handlers
    • 9.6 GET and POST data
    • 9.7 Encoding data into URLs
    • 9.8 File Uploads
    • 9.9 Forms
    • 9.10 Form elements
    • 9.11 Cookies
    • 9.12 HTTP Headers
    • 9.13 HTTP Authentication
    • 9.14 HTTP Status Codes
  • 10. Databases and SQL
    • 10.1 Introduction to Databases
    • 10.2 Working with SQL
    • 10.3 Joins
    • 10.4 Prepared Statements
    • 10.5 Transactions
    • 10.6 PHP Data Object (PDO)

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