I am officially a Salesforce Advanced Developer!

As Peter Chitum suggests in his well read article, The Path to the Advanced Developer Certification, when you do finally pass this arduous certification process you should, “Say it loud, say it proud“….cert_dev_adv_rgb

So, I am happy to announce that today I was informed that I have Passed the Advanced Developer Assignment and I am officially an Advanced Developer.  YEAH!!!!

It took me one year longer than I expected, but it was very much worth the wait…and all the fuss. Actually, I am glad it was so hard to get. It makes getting it more worthwhile.

Several years ago, I went through both the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) and Microsoft Database Administrator (MCDBA) certification tracks, which were also long and exhausting. But, I have to say that I am a little prouder to have achieved this latest Salesforce certification. Even though the number of exams was less, I felt like the one Advanced Developer exam I did take was much more exhaustive in what it tested. I also was never tested with a programming assignment, which ensured that I followed best practices.

I also have to admit that I spent a lot more than the suggested 20 hours on my assignment (60 hours to be exact), but that is just because it was so important to me that I passed. I agonized over everything and questioned myself a hundred times. Glad I did now. I also dedicated an entire week towards doing it (with no other distractions). I think that helped a lot and I would suggest it to anyone else taking the exam (if you have that option).

Good luck to anyone else working the track. Stick with it and read, read, read…


20 thoughts on “I am officially a Salesforce Advanced Developer!

  1. Hey Sara,


    It seems you can guide other developers.

    I have 3 question on advance developer assignment part.

    1) What Salesforce people check while evaluating test classes for your assignment and how was your approach while writing test classes?

    2) In the essay exam., what type of questions come, and what is their expectation from the candidate while writing the essay exam.

    3) What is the waiting period between submission of exam and result. People says it is 8-10 weeks. What was the duration for you ?

    Once again. good job and all the best for your future.

    1. Hi Rudra,

      1.) I wrote a lot of test units and made sure I covered all angles: bulk testing, positive outcome, negative outcomes, and testing for specific profiles. I doubt you can have too many tests for this thing. When in doubt, add more. Unit testing is VERY important in this.

      2.) As long as you completed the assignment, the essay should not be a problem for you. If you do it online proctored, make sure you call WebAssessor before the day of your test and make sure that your web cam is all set up properly. It has to be at a specific angle and show so much of the room and if you call them, they will walk you through checking that out in advance, so you are not figuring it out on the day of the exam and getting yourself flustered.

      3.) It was 8 weeks from time I submitted to when I got the results. I imagine that is typical. They have so many submissions and they take it very seriously, so I am not surprised that it takes a while to complete grading. More than one person grades you and they all have to agree.

      Good luck. Practice a lot, read a lot, and read from multiple sources.

      Thanks for touching base,

  2. Hi Sara,

    Congrats for you!

    I have cleared my multiple choice exam on 18th Oct 2014. But, I haven’t get any mail regarding programming assignment so far.

    In salesforce Webassessor, there is no option for register second level process in advance.
    So, Could you guide me how to register for Programming Assignment, once I get mail from Salesforce?

    Also, as per this link http://certification.force.com/pkb/articles/Public_KB/Registration-Policy-for-the-Certified-Force-com-Advanced-Developer-Programming-Assignment-and-Essay-Exam/, seems who completed first they will get chance for assignment. I don’t know, how will it work in my case.

    1. Hi Sankar,

      From what I understand there is a backlog occurring at the moment because so many people are wanting to complete this very prestigious track. Yet, because it is so rigorous, they can only accept a limited number of people at a time.

      You can refer to this post (https://saramorgan.net/2014/05/31/huge-backlog-for-registration-of-the-advanced-developer-programming-assignment/) in which I detailed the current schedule. It depends on how many people have completed, so I would wait for your official email from Salesforce. But, as soon as you get it, be ready to register immediately (even if it is the middle of the night) because there are a limited number of spots.

      Best of luck

  3. Hi Sara, Its late to congrats but still I will congratulate you on this achievement,
    Not many girls I have seen as enthusiastic as you .. and that is just awesome ..

    Now as a questionable user , I will throw few questions ,
    1) How much time did you took to get prepared for 501, I mean you said ok lets pay 400$ now?
    2) How much OOPs concept plays role in 501 multiple and assignment? For example , If you need to use interface and you didn’t used does that effect in somewhere on the assignments or multiple questions

    Looking forward for your answer. keep motivating people Great job

    1. Hello,

      All in all it took me over a year to get the 501 and as I am sure you read two attempts at the multiple choice test. The process was long, but well worth it. You really need a lot of hands on experience with the code to do the programming assignment and you will need to really understand how to use best practices. I strongly suggest you go through all the applicable Trailhead modules. They may seem basic, but they all cover best practices that are covered both in the exam and assignment. They also allow you to test your knowledge and challenge you a bit, which is good. I would implement as much code as possible in your own org and really play with it to see how it works.

      As far as Object oriented concepts, they kind of play a role in that you will be expected to move trigger logic and unit tests into separate classes. You should also be prepared to use a wrapper class, but beyond that, you do not really need to know much about interfaces.

      Good luck and know that they are in the middle of changing things so if you have not gotten started on the track, you may want to wait until everything is finally announced (which I expect will be around the Dreamforce time frame).

      Take care.

  4. Hi Sara,
    I received assignment on Nov 30,2015 and finished/submitted on Dec 7. I am sure I followed all instruction of submission including changing the email to cerfitication email address and checking ‘Generate new password and notify user immediately’ checkbox.

    But I have not received submission confirmation yet. I have opened THREE cases but not a single message from Salesforce except, on Dec 12th, I received email from Salesforce regarding some clarification of the assignment (the assignment has lots of typos,errors).

    In the instructions, it says essay exam needs to be done before Dec 31,2015.

    When I go to webassessor.com website, my essay exam registration button is still disabled and it says pending on assignment.

    I just want to know,based on your experience, if essay exam has to wait assignment confirmation and how soon you received the submission confirmation.
    What would you suggest for escalating my issue? Salesforce won’t reply any of my three cases so far.


    1. Hi David,

      Sorry to hear you are having so many problems.

      From what I remember I registered for the essay exam before I even submitted the assignment. I did not have the problems you are having. I would escalate it and get an answer immediately. You do not want that deadline to pass I think.

      Good luck and let me know how you do.


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