How to study/prepare for the Salesforce Developer Certification

I am fairly new to development (less than a year). I did not learn it from the ground up. So I think it will be good to study for the developer exam to strengthen my basics and improve my overall knowledge of + it will be great to have this certification.

Now it’s surprising that there is not a lot of great information on the web about how to go about obtaining this certification. Most other major certifications have dedicated study guide books available but there are few for and I don’t think any of them are official.

The official page has little information. The Study guide gives a broad description of the topics in the test.

I see a lot of the esteemed members are here certified developers. I think if you guys could give us a little information, hints/tips and some advice on how to prepare for this exam, it will really be of great help. Also is DEV401 required/helpful?

Also if we could get recommendations for great resources(books, online training etc) and practice tests it will be awesome.


While the study guide is minimal, it is intended to be. And the topic list is essentially your list of what to learn in order to pass. Don’t worry about the big topics, but look at the small ones, rate yourself on a scale of 1-3.

  1. I know it
  2. I kind of know it/I need a little bit of review
  3. I have no clue/I want to build it to see if I understand it

Forget the 1’s

Start learning the 2’s

Work your way into the 3’s

I would say that this advice could be followed for any of the certification exams.

As for the developer certification specifically, the Fundamentals is good. The workbook. And don’t overlook the online help and training. When the exams are reviewed, the first point of reference for any question that needs to be modified/clarified is the help and training.

A few weeks before your exam, go through the current release training. Every question for every exam is reviewed every single release. If you began your prep in Winter 13, but your exam will be on Spring 13, you might be relying on old information.

Finally, I always caution people about practice exams. Because of the always changing nature of the platform (and by extension the certification exams), that person who wrote those practice questions a year ago, may have been spot-on correct then, but a year later they may be out of date. Unless the questions you are using list the release they were written for, don’t rely on a successful practice exam to tell you you will pass our certification.

I teach our Developer curriculum (including DEV401). That’s my job at SFDC right now. Those people who go on and get their Developer Certification after DEV401 invariably tell me that it was a huge benefit to take the course. Everyone who teaches it themselves has to be Developer certified, as well as go through our rigorous instructor certification process. So if that is an option for you. Yes. Take DEV401. You will not regret it.

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