In my work, I often have to find the right people for the job. Whether I’m hiring someone to work with me, or assisting a client in filling a position, vetting candidates is challenging. Salesforce does help in this regard because of their extensive certifications. Whether as an admin, or a developer, earning a credential from salesforce.com does say something about you to prospective employers.
Earning these credentials is no small matter, and it shouldn’t be. As stated above, such credentials need to say something meaningful to the world—that those who hold the credential are highly qualified, skilled, and dedicated.
When asked about the Salesforce Certified Developers exam, I listed the following suggestions for a colleague who was preparing:
This exam is not about writing a program. It’s about your ability to understand the Force.com platform and when and how to use its various pieces. By analogy, knowing how to use the Microsoft Office suite of programs says nothing about your understanding of how those programs are built and interact.
Transforming data into information is one the core competencies of Salesforce. Understanding how the platform’s reporting engine runs is key to understanding how and when to use certain types of reports and dashboards.
Study up on the details. A large portion of the exam questions you on permissions—how to enable or restrict who and how objects and data are accessed. Know when and under what circumstance these settings should be used.
Be sure to have a comprehensive understanding of the platform, even the beginners stuff. You might be the best programmer of one aspect of the platform, but the certification covers the entire thing, and earning the certification says you’re qualified in all of it.
Know about available options that Salesforce can enable within individual orgs. Not all features and functions come standard in a new Salesforce org. Some need to be enabled based on request, and programmers need to know what these are.
This list is really just an overview to help focus your study planning. There are great resources freely available for each of these areas. Make sure you don’t neglect any one of them.