What is the best way to prepare for a super difficult test that confirms your skills on the Salesforce platform? For me, one major component was walking through Trailhead modules to confirm my knowledge.
Catch up with part 1 in our Trailhead series: How Trailhead uses gamification to engage Salesforce users.
Last week, I discussed how I used Salesforce’s free, online training program, Trailhead, to learn the platform. This week we will be looking at how to use Trailhead and other tools to earn Salesforce certifications.
Salesforce offers certifications for many different Salesforce-related skill sets, and some are more advanced than others. If you’re an administrator, you can earn the Administrator or Advanced Administrator certification. If you’re a developer, you can test for the Platform Developer I or II certification. Salesforce offers an ever-growing variety for architects, implementation experts, marketers, Pardot experts, and app builders.
Salesforce certifications are beneficial for multiple reasons. For one, they show that you know your stuff. They help clients determine if you have the right skills for the job, and allow you to show off your expertise. They also make you a more attractive employee to your company; and the company can broadcast your unique skill set to potential clients.
But let me tell you, earning these certifications is not easy. They’re generally about 60 questions long, they’re timed and proctored, and they’re very difficult.
Salesforce publishes a study guide for each of its certifications at the Salesforce University site. Each guide details the main areas the certification will cover, but doesn’t get into much more detail, so it’s on you to plan your studying.
Salesforce recommends training courses for certifications, and Trailhead is a very instructive source to study.
Salesforce recommends training courses for the certifications, but the company also starting to recommend Trailhead, and I found the training on the site very instructive.
For example, one of the larger categories in the Admin certification relates to analytics, reports, and dashboards. Sure, you can go read Salesforce knowledge articles to learn the impact of the sharing model on reports, and I did see value when I created my own study guide from these articles. But it was even more helpful for someone like me, who learns by doing, to walk through the Reports & Dashboards Trailhead module. The superbadges weren’t available when I took the certification exams, but the Reports & Dashboards Specialist superbadge would allow for even further preparation.
Many of the modules include notes and good points to remember when completing the challenges. In many cases, these notes relate directly to important points within Salesforce documentation, which are always good to know for the certification exams.
Some exams, such as the implementation expert versions, may not focus on as many areas that are directly covered by Trailhead modules. Still, using the platform can still help people taking those exams remain familiar with the platform and keep up with new releases.
So, if you’re prepping for a Salesforce certification exam, sign up for Trailhead if you’ve never joined, or dust off your account and refresh your memory on the modules that make sense to your desired certification. Don’t make that the only way you study — by all means take a training course, build out a study guide, read Salesforce documentation, and find some sample exams. But never underestimate the value of a free tool with real-world applications that can give you a leg up in your studying for a difficult test.
Check back next week for the final post in of our Trailhead series.