oDesk’s tag line is: The Marketplace for Online Workteams. oDesk is a worldwide market for “buyers” of software projects needing completion and a marketplace for “providers” who are programmers and/or software development shops possessing the skills needed to complete those projects. Recently oDesk set up a group called Zend Certified Engineers and they require verification of eligibility via the providers certified ZCE ID #s in order to join this group.
Why is oDesk interested in providing a ZCE group to their users? Primarily this came about because buyers of software services who are part of the oDesk ecosystem requested from oDesk better ways of distinguishing experienced, trained programmers from those who are not as knowledgeable.
It provides a better way for buyers to understand and evaluate the skill level of their chosen providers (if you need to be convinced of this, please see the ZCE information provided on Zend’s site, link at bottom). This is because by providing better tools for buyers to evaluate providers, oDesk encourages more use of their marketplace.
Another reason is because by providing a mark of distinction (verified eligibility in a select group), oDesk helps those providers rise above the non-certified providers, showcasing the higher rates generally commanded by those providers and their developers. So this benefits those providers who’ve taken the time, energy, and demonstrated the skill to pass the Pearson VUE administered, subject-matter expert-developed certification examinations for PHP and Zend Framework that have been developed by a community advisory board and sponsored by Zend.
Here are a few statistics: On oDesk, ZCEs earn more than one-third more than non-ZCEs. They are also employed by their buyers for almost three times as long as non-ZCEs. More details are available from the article posted by oDesk CEO Gary Swart as part of the Enterprise PHP newsletter that Zend publishes from time-to-time.
Now with the new Groups feature at oDesk, providers can list their affiliation as a ZCE, and employers can now require group membership, and consequently they can make ZCE status a prerequisite criteria for their projects. With this new group feature buyers of software talent will also know that the providers' certification has
ZCE status, both PHP and Zend Framework, has been accelerating greatly at Zend as well. It took us nearly 4 years (from June 2004 to March 2008) to grow to 3,000 ZCEs and in less than 10 months we have certified (in January 2009) our 4,000th ZCE!
Here are some more links you may find useful to peruse:
- Current PHP trends at oDesk
- Zend Certified Engineer group at oDesk
- Learn more about becoming a Zend Certified Engineer
- Learn more about oDesk overall and the rights they help ensure
Happy PHP test-taking all!