Sunday, November 08, 2015

Salesforce Platform Developer I Certification

I m glad to pass the Platform Developer 1 certification today and thought I will share my experience on how the exam was and what sort of questions came up and what topics to read to prepare for the exam

Exam Format
  • Total questions => 60
  • Time allotted => 105 minutes which give close to little less than 2 minutes per question 
  • Pass Percentage  => 68% which means we have to get at least 41 out of 60 as correct that leaves a margin of 19 questions to either go wrong or miss out.
Preparation
Anyone who's been working with the salesforce platform for at least 6+ months doing both declarative and programming work can easily clear this exam by just revising the topics listed in the certification guide. no magic.

but if you are a beginner & getting started with the platform, then we need to do some work in understanding the platform basics and the world of declarative and programmatic customization parts of the platform.

Topics Covered
The questions are pretty much taken from the topics listed in the certification guide and the % of questions from the topics are close to what's mentioned in the guide..

50% of the questions are across the below 5 topics (say close to 10% for each topic)
  • Platform Basics
    • Multi tenancy architecture - read thru the benefits & constraints of sharing a single instance with multiple clients and how enforcing limits helps to share the resources between the clients 
    • MVC - what parts of the platform corresponds to M , V , C
    • Appexchange - when will you use managed package, unmanaged package, buy vs build scenario
    • where will you develop managed packages
  • Data Model & Management
    • Data Import - how to update existing records during import by mapping external id
    • Schema builder use cases - example : how to delete a field if its referenced in apex
    • Object Relationships - Lookup vs Master Detail, how object / record security works between parent & child in both these relationship types
  • User Interface
    • Visualforce 
      • Merge fields, data binding between your VF page and Controller properties & methods
      • Using Global variables
      • Accessing Custom Settings value based on Current User's profile
    • Lightning Components
      • Where does the controller logic exist ?
      • what's included in the resource bundle ?
      • identify the benefits of lightning components
  • Testing 
    • understand the normal flow of a test method 
    • Creating & Accessing Pricebook and product data in test methods
    • using TestVisible to allow test methods to access a class private methods
    • preparing test data for the test methods using testdatafactory, test setup methods
    • where to store test data and load them in test methods for bulk testing
    • where all you can run your test classes and check the results
  • Debug & Deploy
    • Go thru the log filters, know how to set the filters on apex classes & triggers
    • Developer console - how to use the checkpoint window , log viewer
    • Changesets - possible source & destination in a changeset, deploy / rollback in a changeset, deployment connections
    • Force IDE - what can be updated thru the IDE

and the bulk of the remaining 50% comes from the topic
  • Logic & Process Automation
    • Apex Classes
      • Limits Class - how to get total limits and limits used
      • Schema Class - how to find get record type details, picklist values, object & field information, etc..
      • Exception handling - multiple catch blocks, identify which catch block gets run
      • Anonymous Execution - user vs system permissions
      • Accessing sharing information in apex
      • Inheritance, Interfaces & Inner Classes
      • Variables - Primitive, SObjects, Scope of variables 
      • Collections - List vs Set vs Map 
      • how a multi picklist field value is represented in apex
    • Apex Triggers
      • Order of execution - when the data change gets committed
      • Bulkification- what should be avoided in a loop
      • DML - direct CRUD vs Database methods, using AllOrNone flag to allow partial records to be committed.
      • Error handling - how to pass error back to the user from triggers, how to identify if we are approaching a limit and warn the user
      • Best practices
      • when can we change values of incoming record in a trigger without doing any additional DML
    • Apex Controllers for Visualforce
      • when to use Standard, Standard Set, Custom & Extenstion controllers
      • Constructors for the controllers
      • pagination with standard set controller
      • which controller is a correct fit when overriding standard page with VF
    • SOQL
      • handling the results of the query
      • SOQL for loops
    • Declarative World
      • Workflow rules - cross object field updates,
      • Validation rules - making a field mandatory based on a picklist value
      • Process Builder
      • Rollup fields - where can you declare rollup fieds, possible rollup fields between Standard objects
      • Formula fields - should be able to identify valid operations in a formula field from the given list

Hint
There are both scenario based questions as well as code snippet based questions. most of the code snippet based questions looked fairly straight forward without much twists, if you get stuck try to reverse engineer from the answers available and match it back to the flow of code to see which options is the right fit for the given code.

Summary
Out of 105 minutes, It took me close to 60 minutes to complete all the 60 questions and I took 15 minutes to revise all the answers few times just to make sure I didn't leave any question unanswered and I have selected the required number of answers for all the multi-select questions and mainly focused on the questions I have marked for review.

Overall I would say its easy to pass this one by just revising the topics listed in the certification guide without depending on any question dumps. gook luck friends..

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