Salesforce Certification Tips from Salesforce MVP; Aldo Fernandez

Salesforce MVP and Program Architect, Aldo Fernandez talks all things Salesforce certifications, offering his top tips and advice, as well as discussing key certifications for 2021. With 17 certifications Aldo is a veteran Salesforce Application and System Architect, co-organizer of Montevideo Salesforce DUG, Salesforce MVP (Winter’19), and Event Chair of @PuntaDreamin.

How can certifications provide value to Salesforce professionals?

In the last 5-6 years the industry decided to standardize the way to measure how savvy a Salesforce professional is in a given area through certifications. But credibility in my opinion is a side effect of a more important asset: knowledge. Continuous learning is a fundamental part of the Salesforce ecosystem. What you know today, it will be obsolete in a couple of years, so certifications are a mechanism to keep you always up to date.

What are your thoughts on the debate of experience vs. certifications?

It’s an endless discussion. Both have pros and cons but ultimately they are two sides of the same coin. Experience is priceless but certifications are the way to make it visible and measurable.

You are x17 certified, is there a particular process you go through when attaining a certification? Is there anything to consider before taking a certification?

With time you find your own studying framework for certifications, the Trailhead team has done a great job with trailmixes and defining learning paths but everything is reduced to three simple terms: curiosity, dedication, and willingness to learn.

What resources would you recommend for people considering becoming Salesforce certified?

Trailhead is the must stop when considering a certification. Salesforce help docs are the most raw and technical resources, there are great podcasts, tutorials, videos that are specifically tailored to a given profile. Also it’s worth considering paid eLearning platforms as an investment.

What are your top certification test day tips?

Take time to read and understand the intention of each question. Understand the mechanics of multiple choice exams. Don’t drink too much water/coffee.

In your opinion what are the key certifications Salesforce professionals should be looking to complete in 2021?

The certifications landscape is always evolving and changing. With the newest Salesforce acquisitions new tools and specialized topics will arise. But I think it depends on what profile you have; in my opinion Javascript for developers, Salesforce Industries for admins and B2C domain for architect are the skills on high demand

Finally, what is the main piece of advice you would give those starting their first certification?

Congratulations, you are not in a race, you are in a journey. The journey goal is to learn. We all study and prepare certifications for passing them but that can’t be the only goal. Don’t get disappointed if you don’t get approved. Learning from failure is a critical skill for any good Salesforce professional.

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