Over the past couple of years Salesforce has been very busy formalising a program for its certifications, and so was born, Salesforce U. Salesforce University handles with all of the training as well as the many exams and assessments methods that come with the certifications. When I first started taking my certifications in 2012, there were 4 main certifications routes, Administrator, Developer, Consultant & Technical Architect (For me I kind of think of these as the “classic” routes).
As the ecosystem grows and new products come into the limelight, the certification types and routes need to change. Over the past couple of years (mainly 2015), Salesforce has gone through a big transformation of its routes and certifications in order to fit it around their long term strategy. This does make a lot more sense but for people that are used to the “Classic” routes, it can be a bit confusing, let’s take a look at some of the new certifications and routes…
Platform App Builder
The Salesforce Platform App Builder replaces the Salesforce Certified Developer (DEV401) certification. The main reasons for this is to separate declarative developing and programmatic developing. In the classic route you had Developer and then Advanced Developer, where Dev was declarative and Adv Dev was programmatic. This got pretty confusing as when you think of a Developer, you think of programmatic coding Apex coding, not point and click.
The Platform App Builder takes elements from the old Developer exam as well adding in new elements such as new Lightning features including Components and the Process Builder. Looking through the Platform App Builder study guide, the format is nearly identical, $200 registration fee, 63% passing score and 90 minutes to complete the exam. If you already hold the now “retired” Developer certification, you can take the transition exam which is cheaper and only has 20 questions.
The Marketers track is a brand new certification route which includes two new certifications. This has been setup for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and experience using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
The first of these certifications is the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist. This certification has been designed to test yourself around email marketing best practices, message design, subscriber and data management, inbox delivery, email automation, tracking and reporting metrics, and external integrations with the Marketing Cloud Email application.
Pardot is part of the ExactTarget package that was acquired by Salesforce in the middle of 2013 and specialises in B2B marketing automation that is now part of the Marketing Cloud.
Now, before the Salesforce police get ahold of me, the Pardot Consultant did come out at the end of 2014 if I remember correctly, but I think it fits well into these “new age” certifications.
The first certification in the Pardot track is the Pardot Consultant. This certification is designed to test for individuals that have experience implementing Pardot solutions in customer facing roles. This certification will test you in areas around, Managing users, prospects & data, Maintain and customise the Salesforce integration, and building emails, forms and automation tools.
The Pardot Specialist certification is the newer of the two and has come out very recently. This certification is designed for individuals who wish to prove their skills with building marketing workflows through the Pardot platform and opposed to the implementation side for a customer facing role. You should be able to, design workflows to support business processes and reporting requirements. Be familiar with native integration and the options available to deploy connectors and manage those processes. Build marketing assets like email templates and forms. Troubleshoot and solve basic platform issues.
As mentioned above the Platform Developer track has been developed to really separate building app’s and customising the Salesforce platform with code, and clicks. The old Salesforce Advanced Developer certification has been loosely split into two certifications, Developer I & II. The reason I believe Salesforce did this is because to jump from the old Dev401 which was basic clicks, to the Advanced Developer which was almost all code was a HUGE jump. This way makes a lot more sense and gives developers interested in the Salesforce platform and easier way to obtain their certification but also reward those more experienced with the Developer II.
Platform Developer I
The Platform Developer I is designed for individuals that are interested and have experience building custom applications on the Force.com platform. As opposed to the App Builder exam, this is for individuals that have experience extending the Force.com platform using Apex & Visualforce. You will need to know about designing the data model, user interface, business logic and security for custom applications. Develop custom applications using Apex & Visualforce. Be familiar with the development lifecycle from development to testing, and have knowledge of the available environments.
Platform Developer II
The Platform Developer II credential is for individuals who want to prove their skills in having an Advanced knowledge of the programmatic capabilities of the Force.com platform. You should be able to design, developer, test, and deploy programmatic solutions that are maintainable and reusable. Follow Apex design patterns and object-oriented programming best practices.
Everyone in the Salesforce ecosystem knows that Salesforce Certified Technical Architects (CTA) are at the top of their game and is currently the hardest certification to achieve. CTA’s have to go through a self evaluation, multiple choice exam and finally reviewed by a Salesforce board. Earlier this year there was no real “path” to become a CTA, you just had to have enough real world experience. This has all changed since Dreamforce and Salesforce have officially released an Architect Academy.
The academy includes two brand new certifications to create 3 in total, the Domain Specialist, Domain Architect & CTA. As these certifications are not to be taken lightly and have a lot more content than a normal exam, Salesforce have split these certifications into “Domains” which are basically sections of the exams you will need to revise for.