What is it?• The Salesforce.com Certified Technical Architect program is designed for technical architects who want to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and capabilities to assessing customer architecture; designing secure, high-performance technical solutions on the Force.com platform; communicating technical solutions and design tradeoffs effectively to business stakeholders; and providing a delivery framework that ensures quality and success.
By the numbers*• Around 45 TA’s worldwide – From zero about 2 years ago• 6 in Australia – 5 at Salesforce.com – Me *As far as I know
What are the steps?• 3 parts – Self assessment (Online, Free) – Multiple choice exam (Proctored, $500) – Review Board presentation (Presentation/Discussion, $6000)
Candidate background… (From Salesforce.com’s Study Guide)• 5+ years of implementation experience, including development, across the full software development lifecycle• 2+ years of experience in an architect role• 1+ years of experience with Force.com as a technical lead• Experience with other development platforms, preferably .net, java, and ruby• General experience with real-time integration; experience with integration on the Force.com platform• Experience with multiple, complex, and at least one large Salesforce implementation project involving multiple releases, change management process, and/or multi-locale deployment• Understanding of best practices and design trade-offs, with the ability to communicate design choices• Experience with multiple, and at least one object-oriented, development patterns/principles• Awareness of mobile solutions and considerations• Awareness of data migration considerations, design trade-offs, and common ETL tools• Awareness of common third-party solution providers for Salesforce• Experience designing test plans and evaluating effectiveness• Experience with lifecycle methodologies• Participation in knowledge sharing and mentorship• Proven success with projects involving the skills and technologies above, with a portfolio of references to speak for the work• Knowledge of internet and cloud architecture paradigms
My Formal Preparation• Self assessment – None• Multiple choice exam – ~24 hours reviewing Salesforce documentation• Review Board presentation – 2 x ½ day group workshops at Salesforce offices – 1x 1:1 coaching with Salesforce – 1 x dry walk through with Salesforce.com staff – 40+ hours self study – 2 x Sleepless nights.
Also• ~16 years of Software Development/Integration/Project Management• 2 years project experience with Salesforce technology• Other certifications – Developer Certification (Pre-requisite) – Advanced Developer – Admin – Advanced Admin – Sales Cloud Consultant – Service Cloud Consultant
My Timeline• 25 October 2011 – Passed Self Assessment• 8 July 2012 – Passed Multiple Choice• 29 October 2012 – Cleared 5/7 competency areas, invited back for abbreviated session• 28 January 2013 – Passed Review Board, Granted Certification
The Review Board My Review Board was in Sydney via Video Conference with San Francisco About 4-5 people were ‘Judging’Start Time End Time Session6.00 AM 6.05 AM Check-In6.05 AM 7.20 AM Hypothetical Scenario Prep7.20 AM 7.30 AM Break7.30 AM 8.00 AM Hypothetical Scenario Presentation8.00 AM 8.30 AM Hypothetical Scenario Q&A8.30 AM 8.45 AM Break8.45 AM 9.15 AM Case Study Presentation9.15 AM 10 AM Case Study Q&A
What was hard• The Hypothetical – 7-8 pages of requirements – 1 hour 20 minutes to design and present• The Uncertainty – Knowing (really knowing) all the areas they could ask you questions on. – Knowing if my Case Study was going to be ‘big enough’ – Was I hitting the right mix of pragmatism and Architectural theory?• The reputation of the Review Board – 4-5 people who probably know more than you know• Waiting for the results – 1-4 week wait.
In SummaryIt’s not an certification that’s about cramming factsor the giving the right canned answer…. …It’s about being able to get up in front of a Salesforce.com customer and deal with all their project needs at an Enterprise Architecture level