One of the reason I wanted to move closer to London is make further training more practical. There is a greater concentration of resources in London, than most of the UK.
Firstly let me state:
- Maintenance qualifications to ensure you have not forgotten anything are a good idea.
- As IT keeps moving, qualifications to encourage learning new systems are a good idea.
- Utilisation of standard frameworks is a good idea.
- I like to separate myself from some categories of web-page-maker, as I note their coding style is entirely different to mine. New qualifications should support this.
- I wrote this before the exam. My opinions on multiple choice exams are common across people in “learning” rather than “qualifications” or “examination”.
- PHP is running on about 75% of the web, says a survey 1 2 . I think there are alot of sites that don't report this type of information, but if you look at the method the surveyors used, its quite a good guess. A larger percentage of Russian sites are using PHP.
- I note that Perl has no qualifications really. There have been a list of attempts, but the greater community squashed them 3.
My concerns on ZCE are 
- Some of the courses cost about the same as a my MSc. My MSc is administered by a unit of part of an international meta-organisation which supports, endorses and partially invented critical reading and peer review. Universities as a group have a thousand year history. The college of my first degree has a long and prestigious history. I could start a “IT skills course” with “web design” units, and sign people to be good at making websites. If I did after the completion of iceline, they could produce quite reasonable sites quite fast. Other than a software engineer, who am I?
- The published book by Zend contains spelling errors. If that was my CV I wouldn't be hired.
- From an industry perspective, the ZF1 qualification is ancient. Things in IT move fast; I don't think I have ever used ZF1. Thus I have no wish to pay for a ZF1 exam. At the appropriate points, I can present you ZF2 code, which I wrote. I hope that is what you would hire me for.
- Questions that ask “tell me what I'm thinking” are easy to write, and quite stupid. Multiple choice questions encourage this.
- Practical subjects are best done by creation of artefacts, like c0d1l1ty (which I have passed). I understand the ZF and ZF2 units are more practical qualifications.
- After reading the published Zend book, as a counter note; I do value the observation that the section of questions is mostly a psychology test. This is likely to catch people too nervous to think or are guessing.
- Positive credit for due diligence on PHP version locking.
- If I can pass this without effort, its a waste of money; if I fail first, its important. I had the same problem with my GCSEs.
- As a certificate in web architectures, rather than software engineering, it is a valuable study. I am a software engineer. As the people running Zend wrote a large part of the current PHP interpreter, them managing the qualification about it makes sense.
I value examination as an externally regulated statement of ability. I can say I'm really good, but how does one substantiate this? I wear suits more than many developers, but I don't want to be a position where technical ability is judged by clothes.
Updated: I passed the exam, see here. Apparently I am in the vicinity being the 10,000 person with one of these 4 on the planet (figures from second half 2013, when I got this). These are professional maintenance qualifications, to demonstrate currency. I do thank my employer for favouring and endorsing quality in operational process. These exams should not be taken like driving licences (where you are prohibited from driving before you have one). I have written lots of code; the exam is a marker that people outside of IT may understand. For people inside IT, I just show them some source that I wrote recently.
As a due diligence measure, I will cover several Perl tests. I won't particularly mention this later on, but I do note there is alot of the “stuff in CPAN” it would be useful if I knew about, e.g. “Perl as a platform”. In the last few months, my handling of complex structures inside Perl has improved.
There is a long delay while Zend the corporation writes the ZF2 exam. I have used ZF2 alot more than ZF1. As such spending large large amounts of money on a out of date qualification is abit pointless.
This has nothing to do with my current employer, but I am looking at a Symphony cert. I use MVC, I have degrees emphasising MVC, I build large structures, which are MVC. I would need to concentrate not to write as MVC; separation of responsibility means you wind up making MVC again. But as a tickable box for HR people, I don't have it. Symfony2 having a different release cycle, have already published their courses.
There are short courses at the BCS which look interesting, as they cover gaps in what I am certified in.
I am also thinking about a Prince2 qualification, to broaden the PM aspect.
There is another platform popular in contracting called “expression engine”, this has some qualifications, which I will invest in, in the future. I also found this.