David’s note: Michael is now the third SFDC99 reader to get 5 certifications in 6 weeks! What will you accomplish in the next six weeks? Or six months? I hope Michael’s story will give you that extra push to achieve more! Welcome to the 5 certification club and congrats on the baby!
After being inspired by your blog along with the great successes of Mayank and Adam, I was determined to complete the “5 certifications in 6 week challenge”. I’m proud to say that I hold the Force.com Developer, Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud certifications!
I have been working for a Salesforce Partner since late 2014, and using Salesforce since early 2012. In early March 2015 I was scheduled to fly to San Francisco to take the Dev 401 class (with the hopes of taking the Force.com Developer exam right after), but my flight was cancelled due to snow. As my wife was due with our baby a few weeks later, I wasn’t able to re-schedule and didn’t think about certifications for a while. Fast forward to June, and I started thinking to myself, “let me do some research on the Force.com Developer exam, maybe I won’t even have to take the class after all to pass”. The more I researched and looked over the material, the more I realized I knew most of it already. I then decided to take the test and figured the worst that could happen would be that I would be out $200 and could always take it again. When I passed the exam on 6/20/2015 I was really thrilled, and thought to myself my journey was over.
Then when driving home it hit me…why stop with the Force.com Developer Certification, why not grab the Admin as well. So that very night I started preparing for the Admin exam, and came across your blog. At first, I figured I would take the Admin exam, and then be “done”…boy was I wrong. I prepared for the test over the next two weeks, and went back to the same testing center and passed again! While it was a great feeling that I passed, the good feeling went away quickly and I knew I had to keep going! It was then that it hit me, that I wanted to join the others who got 5 certifications!
While driving home, I decided I would next go for the “forgotten exam” aka the Advanced Administrator exam. I did all the online trainings and read the study guides over the next 10 days. While part of me thought I wasn’t ready yet to take the exam, I decided to go with my gut and register. Once again I was so happy to pass a (actually clapped my hands in the middle of the testing center…sorry other test takers!), but knew there was more to go. The celebration was again short lived.
The Sales Cloud Exam was the test that I did the least studying. I was at this point very comfortable with Salesforce security and the Sales Cloud in general from my everyday experience. To be honest, I maybe only studied 2-3 hours total for the exam, booked it the next time I had free time on my calendar, and was very confident when I hit submit. It felt great to have four certifications…I could see the finish line!
Finally, it was time for the exam I dreaded the most…the Service Cloud. I have used the Service Cloud very sparingly, and knew I had to learn a lot. While my studying was going well, I figured I would probably need a couple extra weeks since the material was new to me, and I had a wedding to attend. I figured I would complete the challenge in ~8 weeks, instead of 6. Then one night while having some insomnia, I had this strange urge to cram hardcore, and take the exam before 6 weeks were up. I went to book the exam at my testing center, but they were “sold out” for the next week. Determined (and likely a bit obsessed), I realized I had an old webcam in my house, and decided to take the test from home right then and there. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the online remote proctoring, I’m happy to say that I passed the exam on 7/29/2015, I felt amazing and really proud of my accomplishment.
What’s next for me? Well, now these exams have become my Mount Everest. After I finish taking a few week “study break”, I plan on looking into the Pardot exam. Also, Salesforce will be releasing some new exams around Dreamforce, and I’m sure I will take them at some point over the next year. I also have a bit of an itch to start learning code! In the meantime, besides having 5 shiny new certifications on my LinkedIn Profile, I’ve actually used a lot of the material I learned in the last 6 weeks in my actual day job! Furthermore, when introducing myself to new customers, I mention my certifications, and it definitely brings about a sense of respect and credibility. I’m very lucky that management at my company has been supportive of me during the process as well. I’ve also been active in User Groups sharing my success story and trying to “pay it forward” with study tips….of course I won’t reveal any test questions, but happy to talk about some of the tips I used to help me prepare.
So David, thank you so much for your blog post and inspiration. Thank you Adam and Mayank for posting your success stories, and I’m happy to join your club. I’m excited to see where my Salesforce story goes next, as well as the next person in the “5 certifications in 6 week club”.
All the best,
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