Training and Certification
Demand for Salesforce developers is growing rapidly and companies are looking for proven, certified professionals. There are three levels of developer certification
- Developer - The Force.com Developer Certification is a base-level accomplishment that shows you know how to use the declarative (point-and-click) tools on the platform. You may not know how to code, but you know when it's required and when the declarative functionality is the best option.
- Advanced Developer - The Force.com Advanced Developer Certification shows you know how to do everything in code. You can create Apex triggers, custom Visualforce controllers, and integrate with external systems using APIs, migrate metadata and create unit tests. The Certified Developer credential is a pre-requisite for the Advanced Developer credential.
- Architect - The Technical Architect Certification means you can assess design secure, high-performance technical solutions on the Force.com platform. You can communicate technical solutions and design tradeoffs effectively to business stakeholders, and provide a delivery framework that ensures quality and success. Current status as a Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer is a prerequisite for Technical Architect Certification.
Why Get Certified?
Earning a credential from salesforce.com demonstrates that you have skills and confidence. Keeping that certification up-to-date shows that you're schooled on the latest technologies.
- Certified Salesforce developers are sought after like never before. There's been 159% growth in demand for Salesforce talent since 2008 (Hire On-Demand 2012).
- Since many companies search specifically for credentials, getting certified can open doors in your career and allow you to compete for more complex projects.
- Companies who use certified cloud developers have smoother deployments which allows you to build customer confidence.
- Maintaining your certification ensures that you are on top of new Salesforce functionality as it rolls out 3x per year.
To learn more, visit the Developer Certification home page.
Salesforce.com certification exams recognize experience as well as study. In fact, some exams are based as much on industry and real-world experience as on formal training. For some people, that will include taking the recommended online or classroom training courses; for others, self-study and experience are enough to be successful in the program.
Registration & Exam Schedule
Many certification hopefuls find it useful to go ahead and register for an upcoming exam and select a date to aim for in their training and/or self study. That way you can decide the pace of your preparation and work against a deadline.
To view the exam schedule and register, you must first create a Webassessor account and then select which exam you'd like to pursue. Go ahead and do this now, we'll wait!
Training vs. Self Study
Most people find instructor-lead training to be the most effective, offering the highest return on your time investment, as it allows for real time feedback, discussion, and curriculum amendments based on the instructor and the attendees. If that's not for you then Premier Success customers have access to over 100 online training courses and third-party training companies, such as Pluralsight also offer Force.com self paced fixed curriculum training for a monthly fee. Self study is another option, and is virtually free. You can find much of that content right here on Developer Force.
The following table sums up the various training options:
|Salesforce Training||3rd Party||Self Study|
|Cost||$4000||$30-50 month||Almost nothing|
|Time||1 week||Depends||Your own pace|
|Effectiveness||Very effective||Depends on course||Depends on you|
|Content||Designed for certification||Depends on author||Ad hoc|
The Developer Certification exam tests your knowledge of various parts of the platform. How these features are weighted in the test is listed in the following table. You'll also find some useful resources from Developer Force (DF) articles, the Force.com Fundamentals book (FF), the Learning Center (LC), online help (OH), and workbooks (WB). Note that this isn't a complete list, just some reference material to help you study.
- Visit the Salesforce Certification homepage.
- Download the Salesforce Certified Force.com Developer Study Guide to map out your study plan.
- Read The Road to Advanced Force.com Developer Certification
- Download the Boost Your Career: Get Cloud-Trained and Certified webinar slide deck.
- Review other Salesforce training options.
- Access Help & Training to find online training videos.
- Search for Salesforce documentation.
- Just getting started? Check out this point-and-click development page for beginners
- Reach out to the Salesforce Developer community for help via the Developer Force Discussion Boards or #askforce on Twitter.
- Register for the next exam and view the exam schedule.
- Signup for the Building Applications with Force.com and Visualforce (DEV401) training class.
- Create your FREE Developer Edition account now to practice your skills.
- Download the Force.com workbook and create your first app.
- Create a developer profile on the Salesforce AppExchange.
- Watch the Boost Your Career: Get Cloud-Trained and Certified webinar recording for an overview of the entire process of getting developer certified.
- Watch the Elevate Your Career as a Cloud Developer webinar recording to learn about the job landscape and opportunities for Force.com developers.
- Listen to the Building Applications with Force.com podcast from the Salesforce Training team to learn about the declarative capabilities of the Force.com platform.