Becoming a Salesforce System Architect

Have you become a Salesforce Certified System Architect yet? Travis has and he did it in an impressively short amount of time, so we asked him to share his experience. Before we jump into it, let’s get some background on Travis and learn more about him. 

  • He worked with .NET applications for about seven years.
  • Likes Salesforce’s certification paths because you can show your prior knowledge.
  • Changed his career path by complementing his prior knowledge with Salesforce.
  • Has been working with Salesforce for about four years.

 

Challenges to becoming a Salesforce System Architect

Developer, Designer, Architect?

 

Challenge Accepted

 

Switching to a new career path can be daunting. That’s why we asked Travis what challenges came along with the process of getting these certifications.

Whenever we start something new, there is a certain level of anxiety or fear. This situation, though expected, can hit us like a cold shower at 5 am. This is all part of the process of going in-depth on a new topic. Working with new information also opens up a new area to explore, requiring the necessary amount of research behind it. One of the main challenges Travis found is when working in areas where you have no past experience or you don’t yet know the basics. These areas bring more interesting challenges. 

I just had to spend a lot of time learning Salesforce well, before I moved into the more in-depth topics

Travis. Oktana Salesforce System Architect

For some people, time management is not an issue. But for us mortals, this may not be the case. Becoming a Salesforce System Architect will take a bite out of your daily routine and that will be an adjustment. This makes sense because most people work and study at the same time. Travis emphasizes the importance of staying motivated and finding the time to study.  Especially if you work in a different area where you are developing different skills. 

Set aside some time every day to go through the Salesforce recommended material

Travis. Oktana Salesforce System Architect

The path seems pretty simple, right? We start with Salesforce Platform Developer I Certification to get a handle on all the basics, then we continue onwards! One key point to remember though is not to get ahead of things. Each module deserves time and attention. It may seem intuitive to go into the nitty-gritty or jump ahead. However, you could bump into uncharted territory down the line, which may derail or put a stop to your master plan, and nobody wants that. That’s why Travis reminds us to give ourselves some space and take the time we need to work through each of the modules.

Focus on one area or topic at a time. It could get a little more confusing if you don’t.

Travis. Oktana Salesforce System Architect

Valuable Resources to become a Salesforce System Architect

Salesforce’s learning platform, Trailhead, helps you accelerate your digital transformation. The System Architect Certification consists of four different certifications, each with its own trails and trailmixes to help guide you. As was previously mentioned, Travis recommends completing the Platform Developer I Certification first,  then going on to the other three. These trails are hands-on guides with examples that allow you to experience what you’re working on. There is also plenty of documentation and other resources. On top of that, the gamified experience will surely help you keep motivated. On the whole, the trails, plus all the other resources, can be overwhelming at first. That’s why keeping calm and studying as much as you can before the exams are your best bet. 

Travis loves the data and seeing what works best. What about you? To get an idea of which module you are most interested in, here is a short description of the modules coming after the Platform Developer I Certification. You will also get an example of how to go about taking the exams. This was the path Travis followed. Let’s see if this works for you!

  • Integration Architecture Designer: This certification is more about active learning. Travis mentions following the recommended material. And he also highlights that general best practices were useful along with his prior experience and knowledge. The exam focuses on a specific scenario, where you’ll have to understand the requirements of the customer. This depends on the apps and data your customer needs and how they should be evaluated and handled. 
  • Identity and Access Management Designer: This certification gets more challenging. Experience in this area is a big factor. The exam focuses on details, configuration, and authentication. It’s all a matter of learning new concepts that will broaden your skills. Travis also points out that the customer and their technologies come into play and influence your decision-making process. Understanding the relationship between the customer and Salesforce is a must.    
  • Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer: Woohoo! We’re here. This one focuses on the development lifecycle. From development to production and testing, you will go through the methods and steps behind it all. Travis reminds us that the process will inevitably be linked to the customer’s needs. Again, the key is to find the best fit for the customer. 

 

 

A Day in the life of a Salesforce System Architect

Now you have an idea of how to tackle the certification, we also asked Travis what his daily work looks like. He shared that his actual work is similar to the exams. Good to know, right? Knowing the customer and their requirements is always a must. To do this, strong communication and learning how to ask the right questions are definitely game changers when it comes to dealing with customers. The following is a sample of questions you might ask yourself, he says:

Do we already have a lot of existing applications accessing them?

How do we need to sync all these things in real-time?

Travis. Oktana Salesforce System Architect

In a Nutshell

Here are some of the best tips to remember:

  • Prior knowledge and best practices can be really helpful.
  • Try not to get overwhelmed by all the content.
  • Don’t memorize. 
  • Take your time to understand the content you are learning.
  • If you fail the first time, try again! Don’t be discouraged.
  • Don’t hurry! In the end, this is all to further your career.

 

We highly recommend watching our webinar about Travis’ experience. If you want to know more about the information Travis shared with us, we also recommend checking out our Salesforce System Architect: Tips, Role, and Responsibilities article.

We keep growing at Oktana. If you want to know more about new roles, check out our careers page

Expert tips for becoming Salesforce Certified

We know that taking a Salesforce Certification exam can be stressful, so we have put together some useful tips for before, during, and after the exam that you should keep in mind.

If it is your first time working on a Salesforce certification, we recommend you start with one of these three certifications as they do not have prerequisites. Regardless of which one you begin with, here are some useful tips to help you pass the exam and things you should consider when preparing. 

Before the exam

What should I consider before setting a date and time to take my first Salesforce certification exam?

Choose the right space

  • Pick a quiet environment where there won’t be any loud noises or sounds to distract you when you’re trying to answer complex questions. Because the exams are proctored, make sure you’re the only person in the room. Keep the space where you will take the exam clean. It is best to only have your computer connected. Remember, remove any distractions.
  • Schedule your exam on a weekend or another day where there are no other activities planned besides taking your exam. (No job, no projects, only the exam).
  • Take the exam at a time where the internet is stable (don’t take the exam during peak hours when your internet connection is likely to be slow).
  • Prepare the software and hardware in advance. In general, you will need:
    • Hardware
      • A stable internet connection. Using a cable is usually better than wifi.
      • A computer. Check that your CPU is working properly and if it’s a laptop, don’t forget to connect your charger.
      • Microphone and camera. Make sure they’re configured and fully functional in advance.
    • Software
      • A recent version of Windows / macOS with a system administrator account.
      • Install and configure the required software that they use for the exam.
      • Verify all software is working properly a day before taking the test.

Be prepared

  • Read up on how the exam is structured. Every certification has a different exam, but the structure is published for each of them.
  • Create a study plan. There are many ways to develop your study plan. How you approach it depends on your time, your studying technique, and other factors. Personally, I found that Jose Gomera has some really interesting articles on how to create a study plan. 
  • Speak with people who have already obtained the certification so they can tell you about their experience. This is one of the best things you can do!
  • Rest and concentrate before the exam. Don’t stay up late the day before. Just review, eat well, and be as relaxed as possible when you take the exam. 
  • Postpone the exam date only if there is a major problem or think you should review or study more. It is possible to cancel the exam or change the date, any restrictions would depend on the type of exam you are taking. 
  • We recommend taking a look at these resources for practice exams, past exams, free courses, and much more:

During the exam

Exam proctors 

Keep calm and be patient. Once the exam has started, time will start running. However, the exam supervisor or proctor can interrupt you at any time to verify everything is going smoothly and to ask you to show specific things, like:

  • Your ID
  • Your surroundings 
  • Your eyeglasses 
  • That you don’t have any devices in your ears (such as earphones)
  • That you don’t have any jackets or pockets. Wear something simple with no pockets or places where you could hide information. 

Before starting the exam the proctors may take some time to answer any questions that you have regarding the test. Verify the evaluation criteria, such as the number of questions, duration of the exam, and the time you will have available to answer each question. Once everything is ready you will be able to continue with the exam. Keep in mind that the proctor may interrupt you if you make any “suspicious” movement. Try to avoid this, as you will not enjoy being interrupted during the test. 

Organize your time and prioritize

Start by reading the questions carefully. If you don’t fully understand a specific question, read it again. There is no need to rush. If you don’t know the answer, try not to waste time on that question as that will leave you with less time to answer the ones that you do know!

How to organize yourself:

  1. Read the questions carefully and analyze them. These questions are designed to confuse you and may have keywords that can change the meaning of the question completely.
  2. Answer the “easy” questions first. Start by answering the questions you are sure you know or that may seem easier to you first. But be careful, some questions may seem simple but were designed to be tricky. 
  3. Skip (or leave for later) any questions that you do not understand, or that require extra time for calculations. By answering the easier questions at the beginning you leave yourself extra time for the questions that require more analysis.
  4. If a question is too long, save it for the end. They are designed to take extra time and confuse you. It would be better to answer them at the end.

Once you have answered all the questions, try not to change too many of your answers. Be confident in your work.

After the exam

I passed the exam, what should I do?

Verify the result. Salesforce sends your certification by email.

Check your certification expiration date. We recommend knowing the expiration date of your certifications so you can make plans to renew them on time.

What should I do if I failed my exam?

Salesforce will send you the results. After you have finished your certification exam, Salesforce will send you an email with the percentage you have achieved for each of the exam topics. This will help you know which areas in you will need more training on before you take the exam again.

Take it easy. Everyone wants to pass their exam on their first try, and not passing makes us feel frustrated. Don’t give up! Review the topics you have failed, study them again, practice, and remember that you already have experience.

The Best JavaScript Certification for 2021: Salesforce JavaScript Developer I

The Salesforce JavaScript Developer I certification, introduced in 2020, is an excellent way to demonstrate experience developing with one of the most popular web programming languages. JavaScript developers work with front-end and back-end development and even related technologies like Salesforce’s Lightning web components. This credential is a great way to further your development career.

Tips and secrets to obtain the Salesforce JavaScript Developer I Certification 

The JavaScript Developer I certification includes a multiple-choice exam that validates core JavaScript development skills. A huge benefit of the Lightning web component programming model is that developers write standard JavaScript. Passing the JavaScript Developer I exam demonstrates that you have the standard JavaScript fundamentals required to develop Lightning web components.

To learn more about this certification, we spoke with two developers from our team in Paraguay: Laura S. and David N.  They both decided to complete the certification to refresh their knowledge in Javascript and to demonstrate their abilities.  They both work closely with Lightning web components and wanted to expand their knowledge of JavaScript to help with that work.

The certification consists of two parts: the Lightning Web Components Specialist Superbadge and the JavaScript Developer I multiple-choice exam. These two parts can be accomplished in any sequence. Laura and David found that it can take approximately four weeks to finish the trail mix and study for the certification. But it all depends on the hours of study you dedicate to it.

The exam is structured around 7 main topics

Laura and David agreed that the most difficult topics are variables, types, and collections. Specifically about the types of data that Javascript handles since each one has its own methods. And, among the easiest topics to understand is asynchronous programming.  In the exam, they give you scenarios and ask you to apply asynchronous programming concepts like using event loop and event monitor or determining loop outcomes.

David considers understanding Javascript testing functions one of the more interesting topics. Other programming languages required additional libraries to do unit tests, while Javascript has built-in test functions. Laura considers server JavaScript (Node.​​js) more interesting. There are many languages that can be used ​​for developing on the server-side, but she prefers JavaScript.

Oktana’s training team was very helpful to Laura and David. The team guided them from the beginning through to obtaining the certification. They gave them access to platforms like Focus on Force and Udemy, where they could practice until they felt ready to take the exam.

Why do we recommend this certification?

There are many reasons to want a certification like this. For some, it’s a way to advance their career. For others, it’s an opportunity to structure and strengthen their knowledge of the language.  

In David’s case, he works front-end and handles web components, so having a deeper understanding of JavaScript helps a lot. Also, it helps you as a tool in some types of projects. For example, in the projects that you carry out for Salesforce, in which you have to modify some component, that work is 100% Javascript. Additionally, it helps to learn new elements that you were not exposed to before, and that are not very commonly taught in the certificates. There is always more than one way to solve problems, the certification helps you to discover new functions and approaches that can make your work easier. Finally, Javascript runs better in browsers, so it is the most logical thing to learn. It is very useful!

Laura and David highly recommend this certification and they believe  all developers should obtain it. It’s also a great way to learn more about Salesforce.

Certification preparation resources 

What are you waiting for? Start preparing for this certification. Also, if you are interested in other Salesforce certifications, our team strongly suggests following the Salesforce Platform Developer I.

 

 

Learn more about Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam

This Salesforce Administrator Certification will help you have a better understanding of Salesforce CRM fundamentals. Also, demonstrate your expertise and abilities in the platform. You should be able to maintain a Salesforce org. Respond to frequent business requirements and inquiries, and last but not least, execute Salesforce administrative tasks. You will have knowledge of the features available for end-users as well as the configuration options available. Learn more about the Admin role and the skills they need to succeed. Start completing this 10 minutes module on Trailhead.

Kevin, who has recently joined Oktana, became interested in Salesforce before joining our team. He had heard of Salesforce on another job, but he never really understood what Salesforce was. Time passed and he decided to finally study and get his first certification. Now he has completed this certification and believes that it is a great start for a Salesforce career path. Even though this is not a certification that requires development. It motivates you towards achieving even more certifications, such as Dev I. 

About the exam:

The Salesforce Administrator Certification consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. And 5 additional non-scored questions to be answered in a 105 minutes exam. The passing score is 65% and the registration fee is USD 200, according to the laws of your country, extra applicable taxes may be required. 

Certainly, there are no official prerequisites for this certification. However, it is highly recommended to complete the Salesforce Trailhead Trailmix Prepare for Your Salesforce Administrator Credential before scheduling the exam. In this trail, you will find almost everything you need to know to pass the exam and ensure you’re an expert in the area. Additionally, we encourage you to complete the Study for the Administrator Certification Exam Trailmix to review your knowledge and learn more about the exam itself.

Also these Trailhead Superbadges can also be used before the exam to help prepare:

Exam structure:

The exam is structured around 12 main features and functions: 

  • Organizational Setup – 3%
    • Salesforce Platform Basics
    • User Authentication
    • Preparing the Salesforce org for users

  • User Setup – Weighting 7%
    • User management
    • Customization of an org to support new business units

  • Security and Access – 13%
    • Data Security
    • Identity Basics

  • Standard and Custom Objects – 14%
    • Data modeling
    • Lightning Experience Customization
    • Customization of Salesforce Objects

  • Sales and Marketing Applications – 14%
    • Accounts and Contacts for Lighting experience
    • Lead and Opportunities for Lightning experience
    • Products, Quotes, and Contracts
    • Campaign basics
    • Customization of a Salesforce path for a team

  • Service and Support Applications – 13%
    • Service Cloud for Lightning experience
    • Cloud Efficiency
    • Knowledge Basics for Lightning experience 
    • Build a community with Knowledge and chat

  • Activity Management and Collaboration – 3%

  • Data Management – 10%
    • Data Management 
    • Import and export with Data Management tools 

  • Analytics—Reports and Dashboards – 10%
    • Reports and Dashboards for Lightning Experience 

  • Workflow/Process Automation – 8%
    • Lightning Flow

  • Desktop and Mobile Administration – 3%
    • Lightning App builder 

  • AppExchange – 2%
    • Appexchange basics 

Final recommendations

Kevin shared that the hardest topics for him were Service and Support. Why? Because he did not have background expertise in the area. He also suggested paying extra attention to the reports-related modules because there is a wide variety of topics and can easily confuse you. He recommended not underestimating this certification. Also, take extra time to review all features and functions before taking the exam to ensure that you have the knowledge you need to pass. 

Even though the Salesforce Administrator Certification is in the career path of Quality Assurance and Devs, most usually start with the Dev I Certification. Kevin, on the other hand, recommends taking this certification first to get a solid foundation in Salesforce. It will help you take future certifications.

At Oktana, after new employees complete their one-month onboarding process they are ready to sit for this exam. We provide all the resources mentioned above as well as exam mockups and additional tips to ensure success. 

We are now hiring! Check out our open positions here

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Get started with Salesforce Platform Developer I Certification

The Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I is probably one of the most important and complete certifications that Salesforce offers. Additionally, it is a prerequisite for many other certifications such as Dev II and it is the first step to becoming a System Architect. At Oktana we encourage our developers to achieve this certification in order to empower their Salesforce careers. It is an excellent asset to demonstrate to their peers and customers that they have the required skills to provide a successful project.

If you have already taken this certification, we recommend you to read our Salesforce Developer II Certification article.

For the purpose of this article, we have interviewed Bruno and Stefania, two new Oktana employees who completed this certification before starting to work with us. We’ll take a look at the certification description, prerequisites, and the exam itself.

Certification Audience Description:

Salesforce claims that this certification targets people who have “experience developing and deploying basic business logic and user interfaces using the programmatic capabilities of the Lightning Platform”.  Bruno and Stefania agree and extend the target audience of this report to “anyone willing to undertake a developer path in Salesforce”. 

Prerequisites: 

There are no official prerequisites for this certification. Salesforce claims that generally, people who undertake this certification have at least 2 years of experience as a developer and 6 months of experience on the Salesforce Lightning Platform. Our developers, on the other hand, believe that you can start preparing for this certification after only 4 weeks of experience with the Salesforce platform. 

About the exam:

The Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I exam has the following characteristics:  

Content: 60 multiple-choice questions + 5 non qualified 

Time: 110 minutes  

Pass mark: 65%  

Exams can either be taken online or onsite at a testing center.

No hard-copy or online materials may be referenced during the exam.  

Exam Outline:

The exam is structured around 6 main topics. These are: 

  1. Salesforce Fundamentals – Weighting 7%
  • Describe the tools and technologies that power development on the Salesforce platform.
  • Demonstrate expertise in working with Apex and Aura components.

 

  1. Data Modeling and Management – Weighting 13%
  • Give your data structure with objects, fields, and relationships.
  • Demonstrate expertise on how to import and export data in Salesforce.
  • Customize without writing code by using point-and-click logic

 

  1. Logic and Process Automation – Weighting 38%
  • Automate processes for every app, experience, and portal with declarative tools.
  • Use Apex to manipulate data 
  • Write Apex triggers to perform custom actions
  • Show expertise in search solutions

 

  1. User Interface – Weighting 25%
  • Use Visualforce to build custom user interfaces for mobile and web apps.
  • Build reusable, performant components that follow modern web standards using Salesforce Lightning Web Components

 

  1. Testing, debugging and deployment – Weighting 17%
  • Write robust code by executing Apex unit tests.
  • Describe the testing framework and requirements for deployment.  
  • Describe how to monitor and access various types of debug logs.  
  • Demonstrate expertise in capabilities and security implications 

 

Bruno and Stefania agreed that the most interesting thing about this certification was learning how to break with the “developer paradigm” of wanting to make all changes using lines of code. This certification teaches you how to customize your platform by using the tools provided by Salesforce. This allows you to work more efficiently and effectively!

Preparing for the exam:

 

It is highly recommended to complete the Salesforce Trailhead Trailmix “Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform Developer I Credential” before scheduling the exam. In there you will find almost everything you need to know to pass the exam and ensure you’re an expert in the area. Additionally, we encourage you to complete this Study for the Platform Developer I Exam Trail to review your knowledge and learn more about the exam itself. You can also choose to take a Trailhead Virtual Bootcamp for Platform Developer I certification. The 30-day course will teach you everything you need to know and includes a $200 USD voucher to sit for the exam. The price for the course starts at $450 USD and you can register by clicking here. Bruno recommends finishing all Trails related to this certification before starting to practice on Focus on Force, which provides study guides and practice exams.

At Oktana, after new employees complete their one-month onboarding process they are ready to sit for this exam. We provide all the resources mentioned above as well as exam mockups and additional tips to ensure success. 

Both of the developers we interviewed for this article think that this is a GREAT certification to have and would 100% recommend it to everyone working with Salesforce. What are you waiting for?

We are now hiring! Check out our open positions.

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Salesforce Certification: Informatica Specialist

Okay, it’s not an official Salesforce certification, but hear us out.

Informatica enables you to migrate data from different data sources and transform data according to business requirements. Founded in 1993, at its core, the company is an enterprise-grade extract, transform, and load (ETL) tool used in building out your data warehouse. The company’s technologies are frequently used to migrate or connect data into Salesforce.

Salesforce + Informatica 

If Salesforce is the heart of your business but you’re only using it to manage your sales pipeline, it’s time to think bigger. 

  1. Your customer data needs to be integrated across all of your systems
  2. Your data needs to be clean and accurate
  3. Users need to be able to efficiently access the data whenever they need it

Salesforce enables all of this, empowering your business teams with direct access to data and reporting. Many companies store all of their data in Salesforce, but if you are working with legacy systems, Informatica can help you connect your data, wherever it lives, for a unified view of your business. You can integrate Informatica with many Salesforce products including:

Sales Cloud

Speed up sales cycles, increase agility, and reduce operating costs by synchronizing Sales Cloud with back-office systems such as SAP, Oracle EBS, Siebel, Microsoft SQL Server, Marketo, NetSuite, Workday, and many others. 

Service Cloud

Use Informatica to build efficient client service processes to update case data in real-time across Service Cloud, mobile and on-premises systems. Support agents follow process wizards that automate tasks, eliminate data entry errors and improve their time-to-resolution statistics.

Salesforce Platform

Build your custom Salesforce app more efficiently and safely applying best practices for Salesforce sandbox management. Informatica can help you to quickly create discrete and referentially intact test data sets. 

Analytics Cloud

Understand your customers with data sets populated into Salesforce with accurate, clean, and consistent data from your data warehouse.

Marketing Cloud

Enhance campaign ROI, improve marketing segmentation, and boost Salesforce Marketing Cloud reporting accuracy when you synchronize massive amounts of account, contact, and lead data between Salesforce Marketing Cloud data extensions, traditional enterprise systems, and enterprise data warehouses. 

Considerations for Salesforce and Informatica integration

Informatica has put together a list of best practices to consider for Salesforce data and application integration:

  1. What data and apps do you need to connect?
  2. How frequent do you need to sync your data – batch, real-time, or, do you opt for a hybrid approach that utilizes both batch and real-time?
  3. Who will maintain your integration, business users or developers?
  4. How will you maintain data quality?
  5. Are you prepared to maintain an intelligent data catalog to help provide order and visibility to the data available to your users, and manage who sees what?

Informatica Specialist Certifications

So, we’ve established this is not technically a Salesforce certification, but a complementary certification nonetheless.

Informatica certification is in heavy demand by enterprise companies who have large databases they would like to connect to Salesforce. If you work with Salesforce, this certification will expand on the methods you know to integrate Salesforce plus enable you to provide additional value to your internal teams or clients.

The Informatica Secure@Source Certification covers product installation, architecture, server management, configuration, discovery, dashboard, user access and activity, security policy and actions, and, anomaly detection. 

To understand a little bit more about this certification, we talked with Isidro, a member of our development team at Oktana. He told us this certification is oriented to consultants who want to be specialists in database administration. It helps you learn how to manage large databases in the cloud, and it doesn’t require code because it’s all at the configuration level. But, it does require prior knowledge of information security, database security, protocols and encryption.

In Isidro’s circumstance, he had prior knowledge of network protocols and monitoring, so he found that section was easier to understand. He recommends 10 to 15 hours of study to earn this certification.

If you are part of our team, Oktana will provide you with some extra resources to help you successfully pass the exam and continue to develop your career with Salesforce technologies. If you’re interested in joining our team, checkout Oktana Careers.

Salesforce Certification: MuleSoft Certified Developer

What is MuleSoft?

Acquired by Salesforce in 2018, MuleSoft is a SaaS company with a world-class industry presence. MuleSoft provides integration software to connect applications, data, and devices. At its core, it allows you to:

  • Efficiently build APIs
  • Manage your API users
  • Easily connect existing systems, regardless of the technologies used

From a developer perspective, MuleSoft streamlines the process of integrating various systems, whether that includes new APIs, Salesforce, ERP, or legacy applications. It is a unique technology in that you can program from a graphical abstraction and create flows with simple tools – a very different environment when it comes to software development.  

For the customer, MuleSoft means you can connect all corners of your system, including Salesforce, and also reduce development time when building new APIs. 

As the platform grows, MuleSoft is only becoming more powerful. 

  • With MuleSoft’s Anypoint Security, security and threat protection can be automated at every layer for ISO 27001, SOC 2, PCI DSS, and GDPR compliance. 
  • The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform™ allows themes to launch applications 3x faster and increase productivity by 300%.
  • API Community Manager enables MuleSoft customers to manage their API users in a community, leveraging Salesforce Community Cloud technology.

Over the years, our focus has been helping customers integrate their systems with Salesforce, whether through custom methods or integration with third-party services. We have encouraged our developers to achieve the MuleSoft certification. This has allowed us to partner with multiple companies that needed help integrating with MuleSoft. 

How one of our partners uses MuleSoft

We recently completed a MuleSoft integration that allowed new data to be entered into a field within a mobile app, then copied and inserted into Salesforce as a new record. To complement this, we also built new automated email workflows to save Sales time when communicating with customers. 

The first step of this project was a synchronization between Mulesoft, Web Services and a REST API. Using AWS and Python, we batched normalization of data. To automate this process, they used Salesforce Process Builder.

MuleSoft Certification

Isidro and Isaias, two developers who have become certified as part of their growth plan at Oktana, agreed that a month of full-time studying is required to pass the exam for the MuleSoft Certified Developer Level 1 exam. For those not dedicating this amount of time, they suggest you allocate two months to study. 

Even though there are no prerequisites for this certification, they recommend having a background knowledge of REST API services, the basics of web concepts, HTTP requests and that you know how these work from a server perspective. 

Isaias found the hardest topic was error handling, given that MuleSoft has its own logic to solve these issues and it is not easily related to other programming languages. The solution he found was to put the theory into practice by creating a fairly simple app and run flows, this way you understand the behavior of the app and what needs to be done for the app to behave differently. He mentioned that MuleSoft is highly versatile and offers multiple tools to use without the necessity of learning every existing tool.

Isidro thought the most interesting thing about this certification is that it allows developers to develop what can typically take several weeks in only a few days. 

Here are some study materials as you prepare to become a MuleSoft Certified Developer:

The developers on our team who have worked on MuleSoft projects agree certification is fundamental to working with the technology. The material covered ensures you have the necessary knowledge of APIs and architecture required to work efficiently and to integrate other services. MuleSoft is widely used and growing within the market.

Equipment requirements for the exam:

  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Minimum operating system: Windows Vista / Mac OS x10.5 
  • Compatible browser: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. 
  • Minimum RAM: 1024 MB

If you are part of our team, Oktana will provide you with some extra resources such as mock tests to help you successfully pass the exam and continue to develop your career. If you’re interested in joining our team, check out our job offers at Oktana Careers.

Mulesoft Certification

Salesforce Certification: Platform Developer II

Congratulations on passing the Salesforce Platform Developer I certification exam and deciding to put your knowledge to the test, even further, by taking the Salesforce Platform Developer II certification exam. It may seem daunting at first, but with some studying and determination, you’ll get that certification under your belt in no time! Coming from someone who has only been familiar with the Salesforce platform for a few months, believe me when I say it is hard but certainly achievable. 

My Background

I’ve been working for Oktana as a Staff Software Engineer a few months and, prior to joining, had never heard of the Salesforce platform. Since then, I’ve completed numerous trails on Trailhead, worked on a few projects and passed both developer exams. I’ve learned a lot since I started working with Salesforce. By studying for the exams as well as working on the projects I was assigned, I feel as though I’ve learned more than I would have by just doing projects. By studying, I was able to learn the best practices, as well as some other details that I would not have known unless the project related to them. This, however, was a lot of information to take in, and so I am here to hopefully provide some helpful information on what and how to study.

General Recommendations

As with any certification exam, there are a number of recommendations that could help to get a better score. Things like:

  • Schedule the test at a time that is convenient for you. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule it in the morning. Do it at a time that you will be most awake and focused.
  • Make sure you know the time that you have to take it. Set a reminder on your phone, your calendar, anything to help you remember. I had to learn the hard way on my second attempt, as I didn’t pay attention to the fact that it was on a 12-hour clock, and I thought it was at 12:15 PM when it was really at 12:15 AM, 12 hours earlier (yes, they schedule that late). Luckily I was able to retake it the following day.
  • Eat a healthy meal that promotes focus and doesn’t make you feel sluggish.
  • Take your time and don’t rush. You have two hours, and you should use every second to your advantage.

Salesforce Developer II Exam Overview

The exam is broken down into eight sections. They are currently weighted as follows:

  • Salesforce Fundamentals – 8%
  • Data Modeling and Management – 5%
  • Logic and Process Automation – 20%
  • User Interface – 20%
  • Integration – 14%
  • Testing – 13%
  • Performance – 15%
  • Debug and Deployment Tools – 5%

When compared to the first test, the second test is much harder and covers a wider range of topics. This is to be expected as it is a higher certification, but should not scare you. To prepare for it, here are some tips about this specific test.

Focus on Force

The site, Focus on Force, has plenty of great practice tests you can go through that are pretty similar to the actual questions. In fact, they also do a good job of breaking out and describing each section of the test which you can see here: Salesforce Platform Developer II Certification Contents

As you go through each section, I highly recommend carefully examining and learning why you got a question wrong, and what the correct answer is. Keep doing so until you take all the practice tests, and do them over and over until you get perfect scores. One test in particular that helped me was the question bank test. It is a collection of 20 questions picked at random from each of the sections. The low question count allows you to quickly complete a test, see the results, and then retake it. If you are on the go, the mobile view of the website is good as well and can enable you to study anywhere. I found this to be the most helpful because I would take the practice test while I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, outside, etc.

Apart from the practice tests on Focus on Force, they have study guides that are extensive and very helpful. If you read through them all and take notes, you’ll end up with an abundance of information to study. Using these notes, I was able to make flashcards that I used to study.

Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. In my case, it was mainly beneficial to write down and make the flashcards, as opposed to just looking and memorizing things. When you type or write out flashcards, I find it helps commit information to memory. I was able to make flashcards out of the notes I took on the Focus on Force study guides and used Quizlet to flip through them while I was out and about. This helps especially with memorizing specific information pertaining to numbers, percentages or, everyone’s favorite, governor limits. When faced with those types of questions, there isn’t a way to work through and narrow down the answer as much as the others. It’s either you know the answer or you don’t, and this helps to make sure you are able to answer confidently.

Salesforce-Platform-Developer-II

Salesforce-Platform-Developer-II-Quizlet

Superbadges

In order to receive your certification, you must complete the required super badges. They are currently:

  • Apex Specialist: Use integration and business logic to push your Apex coding skills to the limit
  • Data Integration Specialist: Demonstrate your integration skills by synchronizing external data systems and Salesforce
  • Advanced Apex Specialist: Build complex business logic using advanced Apex and Visualforce programming techniques

These superbadges can be completed before or after the exam, but I strongly suggest that you complete them beforehand. Of course, if you’ve passed the Salesforce Platform Developer I exam and received your certification, you’ll already know how beneficial they can be. But, it doesn’t hurt to stress the importance of these superbadges. They force you to look up information in the documentation and then implement that in the exercise. If you do these superbadges beforehand, you gain experience and hands-on knowledge before you take the test so that you can get a better, more informed, perspective on the question.

When You’re Ready For the Exam

The most important thing to remember about taking the test is to read each question and answer very carefully. The questions and answers are extremely tricky. The questions usually come down to two possible answers. From there, you must go through both choices to examine the small details or differences between the two. Don’t be afraid to mark the questions for later if you don’t know the answer right away. Once you get the questions that you know for sure out of the way, you can use the available time to go through the skipped questions to see if you know it now or not. If you don’t pass, remember those questions you were stuck on and research the subject pertaining to them so you can see why you didn’t get it. Once you know this, the second attempt will go by a little smoother.

If you don’t pass, don’t get discouraged! Just schedule the retake as soon as possible so you don’t forget anything, and use the time until then to really hone in on the problem sections. Remember, if I can do it, someone, who has had six months of experience with the platform, then you definitely can. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now, go get that certification! 

We recently shared tips on how to study for the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant certification exam and plan to share more soon. Want to join us? Checkout Oktana Careers.

Salesforce Certification: Nonprofit Cloud Consultant

At Oktana, we are committed to Pledge 1%, an initiative founded by Salesforce that encourages companies to give back to their local communities. We’ve also worked with several nonprofit organizations for years, helping them integrate with Salesforce products.

What is Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud

Salesforce believes business should improve the state of the world, so shortly after the company was founded, they created a foundation now known as Salesforce.org. Over the years, Salesforce.org has directed effort to enable nonprofits and educational institutions with Salesforce solutions to meet their needs.

When Salesforce.org first moved down this path, they launched the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) which provided a basic set of functionality that made Salesforce more nonprofit “friendly.” With the Nonprofit Starter Pack, nonprofits could migrate their data and customize Salesforce to manage fundraising, donation management and satisfy a variety of other nonprofit use cases. In 2018, they took it to the next level and launched Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud.

Over the past few years, we have helped nonprofit organizations do everything from build full apps to implement custom communities. In 2020, we were accepted into the Salesforce.org Partner Program, a program many nonprofits rely on to integrate Salesforce products.

Part of the process of becoming a Salesforce.org partner required becoming certified on the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud. We spoke with two members of our team, Lucas and Nery, on what it took to earn this consultant-level certification. They both happen to work in our Paraguay office and are passionate about giving back – throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Nery has 3D-printed face masks.

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Certification

The Basics

  • Being a Salesforce Certified Administrator is a prerequisite.
  • The certification enables you to design and implement solutions that are maintainable, scalable, and meet nonprofit business requirements.
  • Both Lucas and Nery agreed it takes approximately 3 to 4 months to prepare for the exam.

 

Nery, who is a developer, suggests you change your mindset from Admin to Cloud, grasping the bigger picture. Considering you already have your Admin knowledge as a base, you primarily need to focus your study on the nonprofit-specific functionality of Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud. He recommends reviewing the permissions and import/export rules because this can be confusing at first. 

Lucas offers additional advice. As a QA engineer, he considers it important to understand very well the table of triggers that work with the Success Package. For each of the packages Salesforce offers, there are external roadmaps that help you learn the specifics and give you detailed information that can help you pass the exam. This certification doesn’t need code, it is only about managing the platform efficiently and effectively.

They both agree this certification greatly helps when working with a nonprofit organization. Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud provides very practical solutions to manage grants, organize volunteer hours, implement forms that can be integrated into volunteer communities and many other functionalities.

How Nonprofits use Salesforce

We recently helped a nonprofit organization build a community platform focused on empowering breast cancer patients with resources for diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The goal of the platform was to guide patients along their journey, facilitating connection between individual patients and health providers. Built on Salesforce, you can read the complete story.

Should you become a Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant?

If you are already a Salesforce Certified Administrator, the Nonprofit Cloud Consultant certification will provide a more specialized Salesforce career path. If you are interested in working with nonprofit organizations, you should definitely consider this path. 

Here is a list of some resources that will help you out:

If you are part of our team, Oktana will provide you with some extra resources to help you successfully pass the exam and continue to develop your career with Salesforce. If you’re interested in joining our team, check out Oktana Careers.