Salesforce has recently started to upgrade its certifications and launched a new certification website
In a nutshell, the old “force.com Developer” certification is retired (even though it will continue to be valid), and developers are encouraged to upgrade either to the “App Builder” certification or to take the “Platform Developer 1 / 2″ exam. Also there is new exams emerging for the Marketing cloud.
The skillset required to pass the force.com Developer exam was rather limited. Essentially the exam required the knowledge of relationship types (lookup vs. master/detail), formula fields, rollup fields and some basic sharing and deployment. No deep understanding or mastering of the platform was really required. Many consulting companies sent their newbies to pass the DEV401 exam before or parallel to entering the first Salesforce project. The DEV401 was the easiest exam to reach.
As I expressed in a former blog, the “Force.com Developer” exam was discouraging for real Salesforce developers. It is discouraging for them to grant a “developer” certification to people who arent developers at all. I did frequently hear clients ore Salesforce Partners say that Salesforce “developers” are easy to find and their skill has rather low value. That may be true for customizers but certainly not for the real advanced Salesforce developers.
In real life, everyone with a good it-background will learn the basic customizing in a limited amount of time, but no way can they be good developers. Why do I meet governor limit problems in essentially every global installation (mainly implemented by global and platinum partners) ? Certainly not because advanced development is such a common skill. Instead it seems to be common to copy/paste triggers from the web (such as for rollups along lookup relationships) into the ORG, and add some rubbish code in more separate triggers, and to carry out field updates in “every time” workflows.
The new Platform Developer examps will put a lot of Salesforce partners under pressure. The “App Builder” exam (even though not easy) will not be sufficient to maintain partner credentials and Salesforce Partners will need several individuals who can make it to Platform Developer.
This will cause tremendous pain to the partner community. According to my experience, and knowing the different exams, only one out of ten “force.com developers” will pass the “Platform Developer” exam, unless the questions become more commonly known. Personally I am happy about this new trend, and I forecast the platinum and global partners to loose the majority of their “developer certificates”.
The new certifications will cause a higher appreciation of the smaller specialist firms (like Cloud Professionals) with higher skillsets.
This blog is from first hand experience. I have recently passed the Certified Platform Developer, Certified App Builder and Certified force.com exams. Follow me on my twitter or connect with me on linked In.