New Salesforce architect exams – Integration Architecture Designer and Development Lifecycle & Deployment Designer

It has been a while since I added a new blog post. Actually it has been 6 months and it is sobering indeed. I promise to blog actively henceforth.

In December last year, I took a life changing decision. I made up my mind to move to Hobart, Tasmania from Dallas. Quite the move indeed! I am not going to delve into the kind of changes and challenges(Spelling differences between US and Australian English – You will see quite a bit of both in this post!!!) involved in this but it is safe to say that I was indeed very busy these last few months between the move and with work. We are working to build a team here but I am one of the few Salesforce certified professionals in Hobart. In fact I know of only 3 people including myself including the junior programmer that was trained by me 🙂 So Tasmania has lot of scope for for Salesforce certified professionals to emerge and I will do my best to help with this.

Anyways just before leaving Dallas, I took a gamble and spent 15 days on my Advanced Developer prog assignment (Blog post coming!). It was great to get the results when I was in Hobart that I had passed it. This cert was my holy grail!
A few weeks later, I was happy to see that I was invited to take a bunch of new certifications which are related to Salesforce architecture.

As you know, Salesforce has initiated the Architect Academy to help individuals to achieve specialization in certain architecture areas such as Integrations, Life-Cycle management, Data Management etc.
http://www.salesforce.com/campaigns/success-services/architect-academy.jsp

I was invited to take up two BETA exams. They are quite a mouthful.

Salesforce Certified Integration Architecture Designer
Salesforce Certified Development Life-cycle & Deployment Designer

The thing about BETA exams is that you have to take them at a testing center. They are not offered online. This was a huge disappointment to me as Kryterion does not have centers for regular SFDC exams here in Tasmania. But imagine my surprise when I found that I could take the exams at the University of Tasmania!!!!! It was a joy beyond belief!!!

So I registered with alacrity and then it hit me that I have mere days to study and pass these exams in the midst of a busy time at work. The practice lead at work was kind enough to share some of the study materials from the Architect Academy but overall I felt that looking at the study guides and studying topics from the Salesforce online help is the best approach.

Anyways the exams were scheduled 2 days apart. So I did my studies for the Integration Architecture Designer exam and went to the University. I went to the address as mentioned. One of the big difference between Texas and Tasmania is the parking. We take it for granted in the US but its very tight here. And you have to know parallel parking :). I had to park a mile away from the testing center and run to make it on time. When I got to the address and found the room, there was nobody there who looked like a proctor.

This was a typical college computer lab and there were tons of students crawling all over. I found a senior looking person and explained why I was there. He didnt know a thing about what I was talking about. It didnt help that I looked and dressed like a student. He thought I was taking some university exam.

I was trying to say that this is a Kryterion testing center to no avail. After running helter skelter, it hit me like a ton of bricks. NOBODY here knew what was going on. I was unable to reach Kryterion and so 15 minutes later I walked out dejected and disillusioned. I was coming back from the testing center after studying and cramming for this exam without even taking it let alone anybody acknowledging my presence as a test taker.
It was also between work hours so I had taken permission from work and I had to make up this time later.

I came back to work and then sent a letter to Kryterion support. After a day I got a response that my proctor was there but due to some confusion, he missed meeting me. This gave me some hope so I indeed was not hallucinating. Perhaps I would take a Salesforce exam in Hobart after all. I then sent a mail to Salesforce support and they rescheduled the exam for the next day so now I had exams back to back.

The proctor sent me a text message explaining what happened and offered to meet me outside the hall for the next exam. That was so kind of him. Sure enough he was there the next day and I was going to take a Salesforce exam in Hobart. He followed the pre-test instructions to the letter and after 15 minutes I was inside that computer lab taking the exam. He told me later that I was only the second person to take a Kryterion exam at this testing center and the first for Salesforce. 🙂
The next exam was also a breeze. After another night of studying. the proctor helped me take the exam without any delays.

I am very indebted to him (Doug), Salesforce support and Kryterion support for their help. I was able to take these important BETA exams in Hobart and I still cannot believe it. If only Salesforce allows us to take the regular exams here too that will be great. Overall it was a surreal feeling to be able to take these exams in Hobart.

A few weeks back I got the results from Salesforce. I passed both exams and now am 10x certified!!! Still many more certs to get!

Sweet emails of success!
Sweet emails of success!

Anyways here are the important topics to study for both exams: Please note these links are not exhaustive. Stick to the study guides for both exams. You can find more resources there.

Salesforce Certified Integration Architecture Designer

White paper on Architecture
Backup options-1
Restore options -2
Enterprise Integration patterns(Skim through this!!!)
The MOST IMPORTANT integration whitepaper ever! (By far the most important!!! You should know this fully)
http://resources.docs.salesforce.com/202/6/en-us/sfdc/pdf/salesforce_app_limits_cheatsheet.pdf
https://developer.salesforce.com/blogs/developer-relations/2015/06/integrating-force-com.html
CTI toolkit
Integration APIs
SOAP REST best practices
http://developer.force.com/cookbook/recipe/setting-up-your-salesforce-com-web-services-api-applications
https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewSolution?id=000004760&language=en_US
https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.api_asynch.meta/api_asynch/asynch_api_planning_guidelines.htm
Security Keys
https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=connected_app_overview.htm
OAuth 2.0
Named Credentials
Remote Proxy

Salesforce Certified Development Life-cycle & Deployment Designer

Development life-cycle guide (Read this twice!!!)
https://developer.salesforce.com/page/An_Introduction_to_Environments
Trailhead-Deployment
https://developer.salesforce.com/page/Fifteen_Things_to_Consider_Before_Your_Next_Data_Migration
https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead/app_deployment/app_deployment_governance
https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewHelpDoc?id=changesets.htm&language=en_US
Trailhead – Deploying from sandbox
https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewHelpDoc?id=data_sandbox_implementation_tips.htm
Trailhead-Production deployment
https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=changesets_best_practices.htm
Trailhead-Deployment tools
Metadata API developer’s guide
Trailhead-Force.com migration tool
https://developer.salesforce.com/page/Bestpractices:Continuous_Integration_Techniques
Webinar – CI using Git
Webinar – CI using Git, jenkins and Force.com
9 steps to effective change management

As always please send me your feedback or any questions in the comment section below. Please do follow me on Twitter if you are on there.

  • fuchs

    Hi Calvin – thanks for this great post. I’m thinking of taking the “Salesforce Certified Development Life-cycle & Deployment Designer” exam. I really don’t feel like purchasing the $400 ebook from Salesforce, from reviewing the links you list above along with the Study guide topics, do you feel that is sufficient?

    • Decoding the cloud

      Hey fuchs,

      Thanks a lot. Yes I think reviewing the links I added above along with going through the study guide should suffice in my opinion.It will also help if you have done some Continuous Integration(source control) management with Salesforce. If not please look it up. Please feel free to add any other questions that you might have. Good luck!

      • fuchs

        Thank you Calvin – I appreciate the response. I’m very comfortable with most of the topics, although I will admit Continuous Integration (source control) is not one of them, so I will brush up on it. From reviewing the material and the practice questions in the Study Guide, it seems this exam is a lot of “Salesforce common sense” – basically if you have been on Salesforce projects for a long time, you just know this stuff. This is how I felt about the Sales Cloud exam…I didn’t really study for that one- just sat and took it.

        • Decoding the cloud

          I completely agree fuchs, If you have the time, I suggest setting up source control for some of your code and going through the deployment process to get an idea. As you rightly mentioned, having some practical experience will help you answer questions on the exam. For the CI portion, here is a list of products you can use. I recommend using the Atlassian suite but they are all pretty much the same.
          https://developer.salesforce.com/page/Continuous_Integration_How-To

          • fuchs

            Thank you again for all the great advice!

          • Decoding the cloud

            You are welcome my friend. Once you smash this exam please do give me an update and any tips that could be updated here. Thank you.

          • fuchs

            Thanks again Calvin. I decided to actually take the Platform I Developer Exam first (which I studied for and passed last week). As I don’t plan on taking the Platform II Developer Exam (as I am not a full-time Developer), this will be the next exam on my list.

          • Ray Smith

            If you need more help, you can email raysmith.sfdc@gmail.com

        • Decoding the cloud

          The other thing I would say is: Overall the exam questions were not that hard. I took the beta exam and answered more questions but am sure the standard exam will be a little easier. I recall that most questions could be solved directly by reasoning and leveraging your experience. So my friend, I think you should be good if you review the topics above + make sure you know the contents in the study guide. Good luck!

  • Abhishek Powar

    Great Post. If anyone need Integration Architecture Designer and Development Lifecycle & Deployment Designer related help contact abhishekpowar76@gmail.com