“If we always helped one another, no one would need luck.”
It’s Monday, and we’re back with another helpful post centered on helping you overcome some of the most commonly asked questions about the APIs we work with here at Kloudless. Every Monday, we will aim to help answer some of the oft-asked inquiries into the world’s most popular APIs. Today, we will be focusing on the industry’s leading solution for all things CRM: Salesforce.
Salesforce is not only a popular integration choice for applications looking to offer their users CRM functionality. It is also popular among developers looking to add to their already-robust skill sets. There are many positions available for those that can navigate and build out functionality in the customer relationship manager, and developers looking to pad their income can find wonderful opportunities by learning more about the platform and its capabilities.
In order to properly get accreditation in Salesforce, the best route is to procure Salesforce Developer Certification through Salesforce themselves. Let’s dive into the exam’s details and the best way to set yourself up for success when taking the multiple-choice test!
The exam is comprised of 60 multiple-choice questions, with a time limit of 110 minutes to finish all of them. A passing score requires 65% or higher, so the maximum number of questions you can answer wrong and still pass is 21. The exam costs $200 to take, although retake fees are only $100 if you do not pass your first time taking the exam. The test is administered at official testing centers, or in an online proctored session, so if you do not reside close to a testing center, you can still take the exam without having to travel a long distance.
Salesforce recommends preparing for the test by a mix of in-app experience, as well as their robust Trailmix training. They also offer instructor-led classes for those that have the option of taking the class in person. While the exam can be passed with self-study and preparation, it is always best to receive the training through an official instructor as they will be more likely to be able to offer robust and current information. The test does change constantly, due to the ever-evolving nature of the Salesforce platform, so having an official instructor can end up paying off immensely.
The exam spans a handful of different key categories that should all be studied in advance of the test. Some are given quite a bit more weight than others though, so when preparing, take into account what is the most important category to focus on. The following is the breakdown of each category of focus:
Salesforce Fundamentals: 10%
- Describe the considerations when developing in a multi-tenant environment.
- Describe how the Salesforce Platform features map to the MVC pattern.
- Describe the capabilities of the core CRM objects in the Salesforce schema.
- Identify the common scenarios for extending an application’s capabilities using the AppExchange.
- Identify common use cases for declarative customization of the Lightning Platform.
Data Modeling and Management: 12%
- Given a set of requirements, determine the appropriate data model.
- Describe the capabilities of the various relationship types and the implications of each on record access, user interface (UI), and object-oriented programming.
- Describe the impact of schema design and modifications on Apex Development.
- Describe how to visualize and create entity relationships.
- Describe the options for and considerations when importing and exporting data into development environments.
Logic and Process Automation: 46%
- Describe how to programmatically access and utilize the object schema.
- Describe the capabilities and use cases for formula fields.
- Describe the capabilities and use cases for roll-up summary fields.
- Describe the capabilities of the declarative process automation features.
- Describe when to use declarative automation features vs. Apex classes and triggers.
- Describe how to declare variables and constants in Apex and how to assign values using expressions.
- Describe the primitive and complex Apex data types and when to use them.
- Describe how to use and apply Apex control flow statements.
- Describe how to write and when to use Apex classes and interfaces.
- Describe how to use basic SOSL, SOQL, and DML statements when working with objects in Apex.
- Describe the basic patterns used in triggers and classes to process data efficiently.
- Describe when to use and how to write triggers.
- Describe the implications of governor limits on Apex transactions.
- Describe the relationship between Apex transactions, the save order of execution, and the potential for recursion and/or cascading.
- Describe how to implement exception handling in Apex.
- Describe how to write Visualforce controllers.
- Describe when and how to use standard Visualforce controllers vs. Apex custom controllers and controller extensions.
- Describe the programmatic techniques to prevent security vulnerabilities in Apex and Visualforce.
- Describe how Apex impacts the ability to make declarative changes.
User Interface: 10%
- Describe how to display Salesforce data using a Visualforce page.
- Describe the types of web content that can be incorporated into Visualforce pages.
- Describe how to incorporate Visualforce pages into Lightning Platform applications.
- Describe the benefits of the Lightning Component framework.
- Describe the resources that can be contained in a Lightning Component.
- Describe the testing framework and requirements for deployment.
- Describe how to write unit tests for triggers, controllers, and classes.
- Describe when and how to use various sources of test data.
- Describe how to execute one or multiple test classes.
- Describe the differences between invoking Apex in execute anonymous vs. unit tests.
Debug and Deployment Tools: 10%
- Describe how to monitor and access various types of debug logs.
- Describe the capabilities and security implications when using developer tools.
- Describe the different processes for deploying metadata and business data.
- Describe how the different environments are used in the development and deployment process.
As you can see, the section Logic and Process Automation takes up almost half of the entire exam, so naturally, you should focus the brunt of your studies on the bullet point sections that fall under that category. However, since the test requires a 65% or better to pass, make sure that you know enough of the other information to ensure that you will be able to at least hold your own on the other topics you will encounter on the exam.
The main strategy to ensure your success on the exam is to spend as much time as possible on the Salesforce platform itself. Reading and studying can only do you so much good if you are unable to properly identify and navigate Salesforce itself. Spend as much time as you can diving into the platform and seeing what you can learn on your own. If you have the means, take the official courses, as you will have an instructor at your disposal to answer any questions that may require more time to search out yourself on the internet. The test is not exceptionally hard if you put in the time and work necessary, but remember that if you end up not passing the first time around, you can always retake the test after more study and preparation.
Remember, all the tools to succeed are at your disposal. You’ll be a Salesforce developer before you know it.
So You Passed the Test. Now What?
So, now you’re a certified Salesforce dev and you landed yourself a job at a company that leverages Salesforce for their CRM needs. However, if your application is providing CRM integrations, why offer a single service when you can provide your users with any of their preferred CRM platforms? In the same amount of code it would take to connect to a single service, you can provide your users with up to dozens of competing CRM providers through the Kloudless Unified CRM API. Click here to learn more, and good luck on the test!