This week hasn’t been too good; for the first time in ages, I failed an exam. I won’t lie, I spent two days with my tail tucked firmly between my legs. I was hacked off. But I wasn’t massively surprised. Here’s why.
By Andrew Hart, Delivery Director – Architects and Certified Technical Architect at Bluewolf, an IBM Company
Elevator pitch incoming…
Hi, I’m Andrew and I lead the architects at Bluewolf (an IBM Company) in the UK. I have a background in CRM delivery, which I’ve been doing nearly 19 years. My first 14 years were with Siebel, but I’ve since moved to Salesforce, the company and the technology, before joining Bluewolf at the beginning of 2017.
I’m also Gemma’s boss, friend and I hope – mentor for her CTA journey. She asked me to share my CTA experience, which I’m pleased to do. The speed that this came out of me suggests that maybe it’s been something I’ve been ready to share for a while. 🙂
I’ve decided to have a little break from architecture exams and take on something quite interesting and useful. Chris and I set ourselves a target to pass the Community Cloud certification together and booked our exams for the same day, one after the other. While Chris has practical experience of setting up a Salesforce community, as he is currently working on implementing one at work, I have never implemented one; I’ve just been involved in the design discussions at a very early stage. This makes for an interesting challenge!
This morning I had a conversation with a man, concerning work and Salesforce-related events and how they stand with regards to family time. It was a simple chat, which stayed with me all day. I feel compelled to discuss it with you, dear reader, but first, I must paint you a picture.
A few people have asked me, whilst on my CTA journey, in which order I’d recommend taking the certifications.
Opinion is undoubtedly divided on this matter. There are a few overlaps between the certifications in terms of content but the main thing I’ve learnt to date is that as you piece it all together, you start to gain a broader understanding of how the Salesforce platform is orchestrated, so it all ties in, probably to ensure you are as prepared for the Certified Technical Architect review board as you can possibly be.
What I can remember from the exam
After successfully completing the development lifecycle and deployment designer exam a few days ago, I’ve attempted to write up what I can remember of the topics I was asked about. Of course, the most sensible thing you can do is to work through the resource guide provided by Salesforce in order to prepare, but hopefully, this will give you some additional insight on what to expect.
For the last month or so I’ve been thinking a lot about using downtime at work to improve my skills and standing as a Salesforce professional. When I started working at Bluewolf, I scoffed at the thought of jumping up the triangle and reaching Certified Technical Architect. I went as far as to say that there was “absolutely no way” I would even attempt to do it.
It was my privilege to attend Salesforce’s Lightning Now tour in London, with colleagues and friends. It was a fantastically productive couple of days and we learnt lots about how easy it is to switch to Lightning Experience, even in spite of having lots of incumbent Visualforce and code to update in order to make the switch.
I’ve been using much of my time lately revising for my first Salesforce Architect exam: Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer. I’m really happy to say I passed it last week, so I’m going to share a few key tips with you – it won’t make you pass the exam – only you can do that – but it may help to get some more recent confirmation of the topics covered. Salesforce changed the resources only about 10 days ago and their Inkling guide has now gone.