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Salesforce User Experience Designer Certification: Mark Jones

Our Salesforce User Experience Designer Cert blog (by Luke Menzfeld) is one of our most read blogs of 2021. So when Mark Jones passed his exam, we thought it’d be good to get his thoughts on this exam too…

 

What made you decide to take the Salesforce User Experience Designer certification?

I’ve been interested in design for a long time. I first started doing design when I was 15 when I designed my first website (yes, this was back in the days of scrolling marquees). From there I started building my design skills in a variety of ways, including doing video editing and graphic design. I still do these as hobbies to this day.

When Lightning came out a few years ago I immediately fell in love with the updated interface. To me it was much more customisable and design-friendly than Classic. Since I’ve been using Lightning I’ve tried to work on implementing good design principles into the orgs I’ve worked on and built up, including the dev orgs I use to try out new things or build concepts I work on. So when the UX Designer exam was announced, it was a no-brainer to me to take it. In fact, I would say that out of the exams that I’ve sat and passed so far, this was the exam I wanted to take.

 

How did you approach the prep for your exam?

Honestly, this exam was a little different for me than the other exams I’ve sat. Normally I go through the cert prep Trailmixes on Trailhead for the exam, dive into FocusonForce and use their practice exams to study up. If there’s one available, I’ll attend a Cert Webinar Day.

However, for this exam there isn’t anything available yet on FocusonForce, nor were there any webinar days being held when I took the exam. So after I completed the Trailhead study modules for the exam, I turned to reading the Salesforce Design Blog and scouring for any resources I could find to help prepare for the exam.

 

Was it a difficult exam? You have any tips for people thinking of doing this exam?

Actually, this was the hardest exam I’ve taken so far. Like Luke, the first time I took the exam I failed it. In fact, I’ve yet to pass a Salesforce exam on the first attempt.

Failing an exam the first time around is absolutely fine. It actually might be a good thing as it allows you to review where we went wrong and to dive further into those areas. For me, the first-time around, the area I struggled with the most was the section around the Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS). To me, SLDS feels like a developer-centric area, so as someone with a background in Salesforce Admin, it took a bit more work to study up in that area.

The biggest tip I would encourage you to follow is to read up on that if you’re taking the exam. Make sure you’re familiar with the code-snippets included in the guide, chances are that you will get some code-based questions (I did on both attempts). Also, whether you pass or fail, use a score-checker to check your overall performance in the exam.

When you complete a Salesforce exam you receive an automatic email with a breakdown of how you did in each section, you can take that into a score checker and see how you performed as a whole. I tend to use the FocusonForce Score Checker, but there are other options out there that you can use. I also have an app that I built in one of my dev orgs where I can log my exam attempt and calculate the result, so you could potentially log your scores in Salesforce itself.

Mark Jones, Salesforce Consultant, Cloud Galacticos

What does passing the Salesforce User Experience Designer certification mean to you in terms of your daily work?

I think when we pass any exam it’s a validation of our knowledge on the subject. It’s also an encouragement to continue learning more in that area. Luke covered it in his answers, but I think I would add to that by saying one of the most important things we can do when it comes to designing solutions is to make sure it works for those who will be using it on a day-to-day basis. Any solution we build and design should be designed with the user in mind.

Like Luke said, let’s not sacrifice good design in order to offer a quick-fix solution. You’ll find that quick-fix solutions rarely end up being quick-fixes anyway, they often tend to create more work and headaches at later points in time. Building well-designed solutions from the get-go will ultimately result in there being less clean-up work to do later on.

 

Do you have any other Salesforce certs you plan to take in the future?

I’m always looking to grow in my overall knowledge. Currently I have two cert exams booked in to take in the first quarter of the calendar year. I will be aiming to pass both the Nonprofit Cloud Consultant and Advanced Administrator exams by the end of April. I’m also interested in studying for and passing the Slack Administrator certification sometime this year as well if I can.

There are other exams that are of interest to me. Though they depend on what I’m working on and how much time I can allocate to studying and revision.

 

Anything else you want to add?

Similar to Luke, I also want to acknowledge the work of Angela Conway in helping to put this exam together. Angela is a regular attendee of the User Group that I co-lead. She’s also located in the North East of England. I think it’s a real highlight to the North East contingent of the Trailblazer Community that we can say that someone in our region was part of putting together this incredibly important exam. As a fellow North Easterner, this makes me very proud and grateful.

I’d also like to shout out the Salesforce Design blog, there are regularly interesting blogs being published there, so do go and check it out.

 

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. Our Salesforce consultancy has people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London.

So if you are looking for a Salesforce Gold partner with experience to help you make the most of your org, why not get in contact?

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How to pass the Salesforce Process Automation Accreditation

The Salesforce Process Automation Accreditation is the latest exam success for Val Southern. The exam covers the likes of Process Builder, Approval Process, Workflow, and Einstein Next Best Action. We spoke to Val to find out more about how she approached the exam, as well as any tips she might have for other Salesforce professionals thinking of taking this exam. 

 

What made you decide to take the Process Automation Accreditation?

As a self-confessed process automation fan (flow-natic??), I’m always on the lookout for ways to test my knowledge. I like to keep up with the latest automation features to recommend or implement for Cloud Galacticos customers. When the Partner Learning Camp launched some new accreditation exams, I immediately searched for an automation exam to have a go at! 

Salesforce Process Automation Accreditation

 

How did you approach the prep?

I’m normally very methodical about the approach to any exam. Usually I’ll go through the exam guide carefully and make a list of the areas I need to prioritise for learning or need refreshing. Then I’ll search for resources, prepare my own notes for revision and make sure I’m ready before exam day. 

With this exam, I was feeling confident because, as part of my role, I work with all types of Salesforce automation tools regularly and I recently refreshed my knowledge through Trailhead and research. On stepping through the specific exam prep curriculum, I found I had already recently completed most of the modules, so I finished the rest, stepped out of character and signed up to take the exam on the same day!

 

How difficult was the Process Automation Accreditation? Any tips for people thinking of doing it? 

I’d say it was reasonably tough. As usual there were straight questions and scenario-based questions. I certainly didn’t attain a 100% score but managed to secure a pass! 

As always, I would not recommend a ‘flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ approach. But I did learn to relax a little in an area I know very well.

My advice would be to absorb as much information as possible. Cover all areas of Salesforce automation through researching release notes, completing the curriculum for the exam, and feel confident in your own experience!

 

What does passing the accreditation mean to you in terms of your daily work?

This accreditation confirms to me that I am on-track in keeping up to date with the automation tools available to do my job well and will hopefully provide customers with the confidence of my experience and knowledge in this area.

 

Do you have any other Salesforce certifications you plan to take in the future?

I plan to complete Certified B2B Solution Architect as soon as time will allow. This follows on from the Certified Application Architect which I gained this earlier. It will help to re-cement my studies from that, plus hopefully hone my Architect skills further.

 

About Cloud Galacticos

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce consultancy / 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, Oxford, 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?

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Salesforce User Experience Designer Certification

At Cloud Galacticos, we encourage our team to stay ahead of the curve. So we are proud to confirm that on of our consultants, Luke, has recently passed his Salesforce User Experience Designer certification. We spoke to him to get his thoughts on his latest exam success.

 

 

 

What made you decide to take the Salesforce User Experience Designer certification?

I’m passionate about design and user experience. The exam presented a great opportunity to formalise these interests. It’s a real positive to see how much work Salesforce have put into recognising and formalising the disciplines and professional practice of User Experience, Design Thinking, Inclusive/Accessible Design and Service Design in a systems setting.

 

How did you approach the prep for your exam?

I followed the Trailmix provided by Trailhead in the first instance which covers the core topics of the exam. In addition to this I did a lot of research into the Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS). This is a vast area which is a key part of the exam. I also widened my research to look at company examples of patterns. I also watched some helpful videos on YouTube, and generally refreshed my knowledge.

 

Was it a difficult exam? You have any tips for people thinking of doing this exam?

I actually failed the exam the first time round. After I reviewed my performance using the Salesforce Certification Checker (by Sean Cuvanov) to identify where I needed to focus my efforts, I tried again five days later. 

Here are my tips:

  • Know your SLDS: Guidelines, Patterns, Blueprints, Tokens, Frameworks, LWC. There was a focus on Buttons, GRIDS, Branding & Themes.
  • Know when and where to use declarative tools. Sounds simple and is relatively straightforward but it links the tool to the impact on the user experience rather than just functionality of the tool.
  • Be confident on discovery, design thinking, inclusive design, accessible design, engaging with users, ideation, prototyping and iterative development.
  • Know what Heuristic testing is.
  • Anyone who has completed the Administrator or Platform App Builder Certification may recognise that they have covered a good deal of the Trailmix content when they first view it. Don’t underestimate that this may be old knowledge that needs a refresh. Make sure to look at the exam guide. Prioritise where you individually need to focus. It’s easy to chase down 50% of remaining modules to complete the Trailmix without going back over things you may have covered some time ago.

 

What does passing the Salesforce User Experience Designer certification mean to you in terms of your daily work?

Passing the certification reaffirmed a key intention that I use on a daily basis. Don’t sacrifice design to deliver a quick solution. Also, don’t create a solution before correctly understanding the requirement, and who you’re designing for.

 

Do you have any other Salesforce certs you plan to take in the future?

Yes, I’m always looking for certifications that will help to further knowledge or improve performance on a live project so I will likely try to pick one more up in 2021. 

 

Anything else you want to add?

I just want to credit and thank Angela Conway for spreading the word about the User Experience Certification at the Newcastle Salesforce Community User Group which I co-lead. Angela, like myself, is based in Newcastle and she was part of the team that developed the certification which is a huge success story for the region. Connect with her to find out about her unique story! In addition to this, a shout out to Adam Doti and Melanie Wachs from Salesforce for engaging on Social Media and looking for ideas and suggestions to improve and receive feedback.

 

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, York, 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?

 

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Salesforce CPQ Specialist Certification

The adoption of CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) has increased over the years as more companies realise its potential within CRM. And at Cloud Galacticos, we encourage our team to stay ahead of the curve. So we’re proud to confirm that our developers, Nkosi, has recently passed his Salesforce CPQ Specialist certification. We spoke to him to get his thoughts on his latest exam success.

 

What made you decide to take the Salesforce CPQ Specialist certification?

I took the exam because I had been introduced to CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) while on a contract with one of Cloud Galacticos clients. I then discovered that the current client uses CPQ extensively, so it made sense to get certified.

 

How did you approach the prep for your exam?

The approach was based mainly on building on the knowledge I gained when I looked at CPQ for a previous client.  I also did  CPQ superbadges and an Udemy course.

 

Was it a difficult exam? You have any tips for people thinking of doing this exam?

It’s probably one of the most difficult cert I have taken. It’s about 90% scenario based. You have to know Products, Pricing, Approval rules, Quotes, Contracts and obviously Universal Containers the company.

 

What does passing the Salesforce CPQ Specialist certification mean to you in terms of your daily work?

It means I can set up or overhaul the client’s CPQ instance, which unfortunately is currently not in good shape.

 

Do you have any other Salesforce certs you plan to take in the future?

Yes, I would like to take the Javascript Developer cert since I am on the systems architect path.

 

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, York, 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?

 

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Salesforce Meetings & Maintenance Exams – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #445

Tip 1 – Salesforce Meetings

The Founder and CEO of Slack this week tweeted how much he enjoyed the “Salesforce updates includes sales info overlay for Zoom meetings!”. This is all a part of the new ‘Salesforce Meetings’ functionality which is now available. TechCrunch states that, amongst other things “Salesforce Meetings gives an overlay of information, whether it’s advice to slow down the pace of your speech or information about the person speaking. It also can compile action items and present a To Do list to participants at the end of each meeting to make sure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks.”

Credit here to TechCrunch – https://techcrunch.com/2021/03/24/salesforce-updates-includes-sales-info-overlay-for-zoom-meetings/

Tip 2 – Maintenance time

Don’t blame the messenger…but if you have not done this already you will want to make sure you complete your Spring ’20 maintenance modules. Deadline is April 9th, 2021. See here for the full breakdown. If in doubt, make sure you are signed into Trailhead, click each relevant Cert on the list and check they show as ‘Completed’. Better safe than sorry.

Final Tip – Sign up

Remember if you have enjoyed this week’s tip then sign up for the weekly email, direct to your inbox here!

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Service Cloud Consultant Certification Tips

We like to encourage our team to keep on developing and learning new skills. And our new Salesforce Certification Help page is continually being updated. One of the latest exams to be included is the Service Cloud Consultant Certification. It was one of our newest recruits, Luke Menzfeld who passed this exam. Below are his thoughts and tips on passing this Trailhead cert.

Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification

 

What made you decide to take the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant exam?

Mainly to test my knowledge of Service Cloud having worked on a number of practical client projects. 

 

How did you approach the prep for the exam?

Assess: I started with a detailed review of the exam guide and evaluated my strengths and weaknesses pre-preparation. I then prioritised the development areas based on the topic weighting.

Study: To study I used Focus on Force, Salesforce Help, Salesforce Answers and YouTube. I found a mixed method approach helpful. 

Test: Mainly it was testing my knowledge using Focus on Force in the initial stages, but this exam suits practical testing. Ask yourself, could you configure it, could you evaluate one function vs another, or could you make an informed recommendation given a scenario? If you’re unsure, it’s good to get hands on and test the functionality out for yourself. 

Repeat: I repeated the assess, study and test cycle multiple times to ensure that I felt confident prior to taking the exam. If there are questions or topics which wasn’t 100% clear, start from the beginning and work it through until it was clear

 

Was it a difficult exam? And any tips for people planning on doing the exam? 

The Service Cloud exam covers a broad range of topics, don’t underestimate the time involved in preparing for the exam. Be comfortable with what each section of the exam is assessing using the exam outline, then prepare accordingly with that in mind. I would never say there’s an easy exam. It’s much more a case of being sufficiently prepared. If there’s something you’re a bit rusty with or haven’t experienced first hand then get hands on in a developer org. Establish escalation rules, build/customise a service console. Don’t forget to test out Onmi-Channel skills routing to make sure you’ll have no surprises.

 

What does passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification exam mean to you in terms of your daily work at Cloud Galacticos? 

Passing the exam was really just the beginning. The Service Cloud offers great business value for clients in terms of what it can deliver out of the box. I look forward to working on additional projects for further knowledge and practical delivery. Formalising the exam means that I can pass that knowledge on and make informed recommendations to help service organisations run efficiently.

 

Do you have any other certs you plan to take in the future? 

Yes. There are a number of the Consultant Certifications I’m interested in. I have a goal of completing the Platform Developer certification in 2021 to enhance my project delivery.

 

Anything else you want to add?

Book the exam! The rest will fall into place. It all starts with that first step…

 

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, York, 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?

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

UX Cert and 9to5 – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #438

UX Cert

Keep an eye on the @SalesforceUX Twitter feed for updates on a proposed new Certification in User Experience design. There is a great opportunity to register your interest with the team to get involved with the exam design and content!

The Trailhead Credentialing team is creating a new certification specifically for those designing great user experiences – we are looking for subject matter experts that can help us define, develop, and set the standards for this exam.

 

 

What a way to make a living!

This week Salesforce seems to have declared the “9-to-5 workday is dead”! Before we celebrate too hard, I don’t think it is recommending a 9 to 4.30 day. But that Salesforce employees will not be expected to be in their ‘old’ offices as much in the future, and ‘Employees who do not live near an office are free to work remotely indefinitely.’ Take a read of the full article here. And take a minute to think what your working life will be like in 2022.

Quote from the Guardian Newspaper: ““As employers, we have an opportunity to create an even better workplace – one that allows us to be more connected to each other, find more balance between work and home, and advance equality – ultimately leading to increased innovation and better business outcomes,” said Brent Hyder, the chief “people officer” at Salesforce, who heads its employee policies.”
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Salesforce Data Architecture and Management Designer Certification Tips

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:

 

Salesforce Application Architect Certification

 

What made you decide to take the Data Architecture and Management Designer Certification?

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.

 

Salesforce Data Architecture and Management Design Certification

 

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?

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Certification News – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #430

Certification News

This week saw the launch of the latest Salesforce cert, B2C Solution Architect certification. It states “This new certification path expands our Salesforce architect community and allows customers and partners to build the expertise needed to connect marketing, commerce, and service to deliver personalized consumer experiences”.

The first thing to note is the 3 Prerequisites:

  • Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
  • Salesforce Certified Integration Architecture Designer
  • Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist

And here are the Trailhead materials recommended for this exam:

The split of subjects :

Discovery and Customer Success: 18%

Functional Capabilities and Business Value: 19%

Architecture Design: 23%

Data Models and Management: 21%

Integration: 19%

If you want some inspiration of where to look for your next Certification take a look at this resource from Salesforce. The certification resource seems up to date, but things change regularly…as you can see!

London’s Calling 2020 (and before)

After the London’s Calling announcement last week they have also now added all the sessions from the 2020 event on the YouTube channel. With some great sessions covering areas such as Platform Events, Salesforce Labs Free Apps, Einstein Analytics, and VS Code. There’s our Christmas viewing sorted then!

 

Spring ‘20 Exams

Don’t worry you have until April 2021, but here is the link to all the maintenance exams for Spring ‘20. And here is the schedule for the full overview of what we need to do throughout 2021.

For Winter’ 21 there are a new set of ‘Designer maintenance module’ exams to maintain any Architect Certs, so make sure you don’t forget them. They are not due until December 2021, but they are available now.

 

Happy Holidays!

I will be back on Christmas Day for next Friday’s Tips, I will try to keep it ‘light and festive’. I wish you a Happy Christmas, and here’s to a happy and especially healthy New Year for you and your family!

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Mastering apex & events news – Phil’s Salesforce Tip of the Week #429

DreamTX

DreamTX is split over 14-17th Dec (or 15-18th in EMEA/AsiaPac regions). As well as the full details here, there is also a Developer focused blog post here which highlights some recommended viewings and Q&A sessions.

The Developer focused post highlights sessions covering areas like Lightning Web Components, integrations and APIs, and Salesforce Developer Tooling. But there are plenty more sessions to get booked on your agenda!

And just in case you wondered…’DreamTX’ is the name Marc Benioff decided upon to signify a full ‘Dreamforce Trailblazer Experience’.

 

London’s Calling 2021

Kudos to the London’s Calling team for announcing that they will be back on 19th March 2021 for a virtual event (this time a planned virtual event!) . Just a date for the diary so far, but keep an eye out for registration & tickets. Fingers crossed maybe it could be the opposite for 2021, where we may be unexpectedly allowed to meet in person due to the success of the Covid vaccine, and Francis, Todd, Louise, Kerry, and Amanda may be looking for a last minute venue!? (I don’t wish anyone extra work, but I will still have my fingers crossed for this!).

 

Mastering Apex

Congratulations to our COO Paul Battisson on his new book, out this week, ‘Mastering Apex Programming‘. Publishing his first book earlier this year was a major achievement, but TWO whilst being overworked and in a global pandemic is seriously impressive! I am sure we will write a future guest post with Paul so we can hear more about the book, and the differences between the two, but it is fair to say this builds on top of ‘Learning Salesforce Development with Apex’, and is the next step once you are comfortable with the fundamentals.

STOP PRESS – use code ’25APEX’ for 25% off the ebook on packtpub, or 25% Amazon.com with this link.