As we move into 2021, the focus on professional development at Cloud Galacticos continues to gain momentum. We like to encourage our team to keep on developing and learning new skills. Our new Salesforce Certification Help page is continually being added to, and one of the latest exams to be included is the Data Architecture and Management Designer Certification. We caught up with our Senior Consultant, Val, who recently passed this exam:
What made you decide to take the exam?
As a fan of Trailhead, I’m a big believer in constantly challenging myself to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of Salesforce. I have enjoyed completing some superbadges to cement knowledge gained from working with Salesforce.
In January 2020, I decided to embark on a journey to become a Certified Application Architect and subsequently passed both Certified Salesforce Platform Developer I and Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer towards that. I needed a total of three more certifications and this one was the last requirement.
How did you approach the prep for this exam?
I conducted some research into other people who had taken and passed the exam. And as a member of the Ladies Be Architects group, I found some great posts and links there, which helped focus on study areas.
The consensus seemed to be that the first approach is to review the exam guide. Then to conduct a self-diagnosis of the areas I knew well, those I knew fairly well (and may need to refresh) and finally, those which I was aware of but had never touched before. From there I focussed on the items in my list which needed the most attention.
I’d heard from colleagues and Trailblazer communities that FocusOnForce was a good resource for practice questions and exams. Although not a free resource, it was worth the small fee for trying out the type of scenario-based questions that I was likely to face. As I completed each subsection test one by one, it let me know which areas needed more work.
Then I embarked on a mission of completing Trailhead badges, trails and projects to gain some understanding & experience in completing some of the tasks involved in designing the type of solutions required of a Data Architecture and Management Designer. Not everything is covered in Trailhead, so I combined this with reading up from help.salesforce.com. I also created online flashcards for the areas I would need to revise later.
Was it difficult and any tips for people thinking of doing this exam?
As with the Salesforce Sharing and Visibility exam, it was harder than expected. When I hit ‘Submit Exam’, I honestly had no idea whether the result was going to be pass or fail!
Although FocusOnForce had prepared me to an extent, these questions were very different. On some questions, it was answering on instinct more than anything else. In the end, I think what really helped was having lots of real-world experience designing and building applications. Also fixing badly designed ones!
There were more questions than expected about query efficiency and, surprisingly, none about Customer360. Mine was the Winter 21 version of the exam, so undoubtedly, Customer 360 will be included in later versions.
What does becoming a certified Salesforce Application Architect mean to you in terms of your daily work at Cloud Galacticos?
As a Senior Consultant at Cloud Galacticos, my role includes designing and implementing solutions on the Salesforce platform, so it is important to make sure the knowledge that goes into providing our customers with advice and solutions is correct and up to date. That includes studying areas of functionality that I haven’t personally touched on but which could come up as important in my next project.
About Cloud Galacticos
Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?