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Why Get Salesforce-Certified? Here’s the Real-World Value

Trailblazer Amnon Kruvi in a Trailblazer hoodie against a pale pink background
I thought I knew at all, until I found out during interviews that I didn’t actually know as much as I thought.

Discover how staying up-to-date and understanding both the theory and practice of a feature can help you become Salesforce-certified and find new opportunities.

It was never my ambition to become Salesforce-certified. But after conquering my fears and putting in the time and effort, my only wish is that I had gone through this journey sooner.

In early 2013, I was newly married and had just left a contract role so that I could start my immigration process to the U.K. “If you’re going to stay with us for a few months,” my father insisted, “you can’t just slack off—find some work!” Shortly after, I was developing a mobile application for a small London agency that just happened to use Salesforce.

I had experience using many different software platforms, and, backed by that knowledge, I pieced together my understanding of Salesforce through trial and error. The Trailblazer Community and the Salesforce Developer forum made it easy to find answers online whenever I got stuck.

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After a “temporary” 5 years on that project, I started to believe I had independently learned everything there was to know about Salesforce. Passing the Platform Developer I exam only confirmed to me that I was invincible.

That feeling only lasted until I needed to find a new job.

Your past experience can actually work against you

I thought I knew at all… until I found out during interviews that I didn’t actually know as much as I thought I did. Sure, I was well-versed in everything I needed to know for my old position, but many of those concepts turned out to have no bearing in a different environment.

Some of the approaches that worked for me in the past were actually detrimental to the creation of fast, successful applications.

Salesforce is built around new ideas, and some of mine were obsolete before I even started! One interviewer even laughed when I incorrectly answered what was (in my opinion at the time) an utterly irrelevant question.

After many interviews, I finally had one promising opportunity, but only if I could obtain three certifications. “Well,” I thought, “how hard could it be?”

Those of you who have worked hard for your certifications know that it wasn’t long before the smug look was wiped from my face. After investing absolutely zero time in studying for it, I failed the Platform App Builder exam spectacularly. I finally had a long-overdue “Aha” moment and committed to improving my knowledge before any future exam attempts.

Evolving from a know-it-all to a learn-it-all

Before I could approach the exam again, I needed to understand why I had failed it the first time. That’s where the Salesforce certification exam guide came in handy. There’s a guide for every exam, listing all of the topics covered in the test, along with their relative weight, so you can be sure to study the right things.

There are also entire Certification Prep trailmixes on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform. These curated learning paths are devoted to helping you prepare with real-world, hands-on exercises. My first step was to follow and complete the Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform App Builder Credential trailmix.

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What an eye-opener it was to really study Salesforce in a dedicated way! Reviewing the various modules revealed details about the way the platform works that I’d never completely understood before, and it also taught me why those things work the way they do.

I learned that having hands-on experience means you may know how to do something, but you don’t necessarily know the best way to get it done.

These gaps in my knowledge had cost me the exam the first time, but now I felt much better prepared. I retook the exam—and passed!

Combine theory and practice

If you’re relying solely on your practical experience to become certified, ask yourself: Do you understand the reason for things working the way they do? Do some features strike you as lacking logic? If so, then you may also benefit from reading the fine print about how Salesforce works and understanding why.

It’s only when you understand both the theory and practice of a feature that you can become certified.

But passing this first exam was only the beginning for me. I continued to study for more certifications and began to really understand the theory and reasoning behind the Salesforce Platform. I improved in all aspects of my work, whether I was performing an administrator role, developing code, or architecting solutions. I applied this knowledge when I designed my newest application for the AppExchange, and the experience this time around was entirely different!

You, too, can achieve success

Trailhead helped me get to where I am today. The ideas and knowledge shared on the platform are the basis of my daily work in building enterprise-level applications. But there’s more to it than that—Trailhead gives me insight into other fields and roles that I would otherwise not be exposed to. It helps me relate better to my clients and colleagues as well as members of our community.

I never expected that the one tool I needed to dramatically transform my career would be completely free!

If you want to become a great Salesforce Developer, I recommend the Architect Journey: Programmatic Architecture trailmix. This trailmix focuses not only on writing code for the platform but also on how to use it as part of scalable solutions that make full use of the capabilities Salesforce offers.

When you succeed everyone around you succeeds

While learning Salesforce is free, taking an actual certification exam is not. Learning can be its own reward, but certifications will definitely make you stand out to potential employers. Many higher-paying positions require a certain level of Salesforce Certifications, so choosing the right ones is important for the advancement of your career.

Employers definitely recognize the importance of having certified employees. We bring better value by making fewer mistakes and getting the job done faster.

Many companies sponsor their employees’ certification journeys because they benefit from the increased efficiency they get in return.

Trailhead isn’t the only way to learn and grow your career with Salesforce. Regular events such as Dreamforce—where speakers from around the world discuss challenges they’ve solved, new and amazing features, and how to work better as a team—are also great learning opportunities. Trailblazer Community Groups are a way to not only learn from your peers but also grow the network you’ll need to support your career.

Earn role-based Salesforce credentials

Time to get Salesforce-certified

So, now, it’s up to you. To get started, pick the topic most relevant to you (check out this handy Salesforce Credentials Quick Look for inspiration) and get your manager’s full support. You may want to ask them for dedicated study time during your workday or to cover exam costs.

Remember: A company that invests in you is also investing in itself via the results you’ll deliver.

Here are my top six study tips:

  1. Badge up
    Start a new topic and complete all the Trailhead modules you can, especially those projects that help you gain practical experience.
  2. Get involved
    The Trailblazer Community has so much information and guidance to offer and helps you connect with others on a similar certification journey.
  3. Check out articles
    Once you’ve identified the specific subjects that apply to your exam, find posts and articles that will give you in-depth insight. Also, see The Trailblazer Blog.
  4. Use your own experience
    Think back to what you’ve previously done that relates to the topic and consider what you’d do differently now.
  5. Learn directly from experts
    Get to a Trailhead Academy class! In-person, expert-led training with your peers is exceptionally helpful in solidifying your knowledge.
  6. Put in the time
    Set aside dedicated blocks of study time. Spend at least an hour each day—with no interruptions—and even more than that in the days prior to your exam.

Start today

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming Salesforce-certified. All you need to do now is ace your exam and experience the benefits for yourself. If you don’t pass on your first try, don’t worry—it’s all part of the learning experience.

You’ll even get section-level feedback after every exam, which will highlight the areas you need to brush up on for your retake.

I’ve gone from one certification to 14, and this journey has made me a more well-rounded Salesforce professional. Every certification leads to increased interest from both recruiters and employers. Companies that didn’t return my messages are now chasing me with offers, and my professional network has doubled in size over the past year.

The value of becoming Salesforce-certified is real. Join me! Start your path to #CertifiedPro today!

The Trailblazer Blog

Discover expert insights to help you develop your career, connect with Trailblazers, learn Salesforce, and earn certifications. Explore practical how-to guidance, authentic peer perspectives, and inspiring Trailblazer stories.

A group of 9 Trailblazer all sporting their iconic black Trailblazer hoodies.
Amnon Kruvi Director, Kruvi Solution

Developer, architect, part-time singer, and—when I have the time—I run an ISV business.

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