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How to Become A Salesforce Certified Platform Developer

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Do you know which tool is used by businesses that focus on enhancing customer experience continually?

It is Salesforce.

If you have not heard about Salesforce before, this post is a must-read for you.

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a cloud computing service-as-a-software (SaaS) company that was founded in 1999 by a group of experts – Marc Benioff, Dave Moellenhoff, Frank Dominguez and Parker Harris. It was the first company to have successfully leveraged cloud-based CRM software for business. Salesforce focuses exclusively on customer relationship management (CRM) – by using cloud technology. Salesforce allows businesses to connect with both potential customers and business partners.

Salesforce is an integrated CRM platform designed to provide a 360-degree view of your customers to every single department of your business. This facilitates better decision-making and strategizing at every level of your business. You can identify the pain points of your customers, offer efficient solutions for the same, build, and deploy customer-oriented apps, and most importantly build a lasting bond with your customers. In other words, Salesforce has revolutionized enterprise software that is delivered and leveraged by businesses.

Of late, Salesforce’s popularity has been skyrocketing, so much so that, Jim Cramer, Founder of The Street, declared it as a ‘Cloud King‘. In the third quarter of 2018, Salesforce awed investors when it brought home a $3.39 billion revenue.

Is a Salesforce Certification beneficial for your career?

Given that there’s a huge demand for technical skills in the market right now, having a Salesforce Certification can do wonders for your career. According to a recent IDC study, the Salesforce Ecosystem is estimated to create around 3.3 million jobs by 2022 and $859 billion in new business revenues globally.


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To add to that, in the Indeed best jobs of 2017 list, two of them were Salesforce-oriented jobs – Salesforce Administrator (4th rank) and Salesforce Developer (6th rank).


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Even Burning Glass maintains that Salesforce skills are one of the top 10 digital skills for a career in Marketing. A Salesforce Certification can be your ticket to higher salary packages. In 2018, the average annual salary of a Salesforce Administrator was $95k, while a Salesforce Developer earned around $125k. As for jobs that demand specific Salesforce skills like that of Sales Cloud and Visualforce, one can earn over $100k annually.

Apart from these benefits, a Salesforce Certification has the following benefits:

  • It will train you on how to use different tools along with cloud-based technology to obtain customer insights and improve sales and customer relations.
  • You get hands-on experience while working on real-world scenarios, industry projects, and case studies, thereby giving you a glimpse of what you will be doing.
  • Once you gain a good understanding of Salesforce, you will learn how to leverage its different services to handle customer requests, and boost business processes with strategic planning.
  • Using the platform to gain more in-depth insight into customer data will help sharpen your analytical skills.
  • Since you can help companies to enhance their CRM services, you will become a valuable asset for your employer organization.

Last but not least, it will revamp your resume and add credibility to it!

How to become a Salesforce Certified Platform Developer?

To become a Salesforce Certified Platform Developer, you need to pass the Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I exam.

The Salesforce Platform Developer I exam is designed for aspirants who have the basic knowledge of and prior experience in developing and deploying custom business logic, applications, and UIs using the Lightning Platform.

To appear for this exam, one needs to have at least six months of experience in working with the Lightning Platform or 1-2 years of working experience as a Developer. Furthermore, a candidate must possess the following skills/knowledge/experience:

  • The ability to develop custom business logic and interfaces using the programming features of the Lightning Platform.
  • The ability to extend the capabilities of the Lightning Platform using Apex and Visualforce.
  • The ability to employ the relevant declarative capabilities of the Lightning wherever appropriate.
  • The ability to distinguish between the use-cases of declarative vs. programmatic methods.
  • The ability to know when to use an Apex Trigger and when to use the Lightning Process Builder.
  • Possess the basic knowledge of the Salesforce Mobile app features and capabilities.
  • Possess a fundamental knowledge of various development environments and familiarity with the development lifecycle (from development to testing).
  • Proficiency in working with OOP languages like Java, JavaScript, Ruby, and C#.
  • Experience in working with data-driven applications and relational databases.
  • Experience in working with both component-based architecture and Model View Controller (MVC) architecture.

Details of the exam

The Salesforce Platform Developer I exam comprises of 60 multiple-choice questions that are to be completed within 110 minutes. You must obtain at least 65% to pass the exam successfully.

While the registration fee is $200 (plus taxes as mandated by the local law), the retake fee is $100 (plus taxes as prescribed by the local law).

The exam judges a candidate’s skills and knowledge based on the following objectives:

  • Salesforce Fundamentals: 10%
  • Data Modeling and Management: 12%
  • Logic and Process Automation: 46%
  • Logic and Process Automation: 46%
  • Testing: 12%
  • Debug and Deployment Tools: 10%

Since this is a closed-book type exam, you cannot refer to online materials or any hard-copy during the exam.

To prepare for the exam, Salesforce recommends that candidates invest in both self-study and training course completion to master the areas/objectives mentioned above. There are two primary self-study materials for the exam:

Salesforce even has instructor-led, online training courses that you can find here. Two of the best Salesforce instructor-led training courses for this exam are:

You can also check out other online training courses for the Salesforce Platform Developer I exam. Whichever course you choose, one thing is for sure – the best mentors in the domain will train you so that you can nail the exam in the first attempt!