I’m a senior software engineer who’s working with Salesforce for more than 5 years. I’d like to have your recommendations about how to become a Salesforce Technical Architect. As a person who became Architect from admin, you probably knows better that anyone else which skills and technologies we need to concentrate on to get to a new career step.
I’m working for big ISV and my Salesforce experience is more about software development, not configuration, like creating Portals, settings up Sales/Service cloud, etc. I got two Salesforce certifications, and have a plan to obtain another four ones. Is that a right way? What else should I concentrate? Getting certified, ETL, Portals, Chatter, Mobile?
I’ve viewed your webinar and saw my question asked, but, personally, I didn’t like Mike’s answer: “continue coding and wait for upcoming opportunities”. Just been able to code well doesn’t mean being a good architect. Could you please share your ideas on that and give an advice what the optimal way to convert developer experience to architect success.
Thanks in advance,
Architect in Training
Hey Architect in Training,
This question is a source of confusion for many in the industry as it’s honestly not well documented anywhere!
The source of the confusion lies in that the architect title gets thrown around everywhere in the industry all willy-nilly. You have a Solutions Architect, which is basically a non-coding admin with expansive knowledge of the platform. You have a Developer Architect, who’s essentially a very senior developer (like a Staff Engineer). Then you have a Technical Architect, a title with a corresponding certification (with ~100 people who’ve ever passed) that actually has zero code covered on its exams.
Looking around the industry you’ll find all sorts of people who are architects in title – coders and non-coders. The truth is that the title is often granted because it’s synonymous with any senior level Salesforce professional. For whatever reason it’s just the naming convention we’ve adopted in the industry, probably because it’s a less technical industry in general with less respect for this title. That’s why you see jokers like me with that title =)
So what’s the true meaning of a Salesforce Architect? I go by the Technical Architect certification definition, but note that you do not know how to write a single line of code to pass that exam. You just have to know everything else about Salesforce, with a focus on large deployments and having the business sense to have these conversations with C-level executives.
In your case, you’re looking to reach an architect level of coding. For you, I’d recommend focusing on a few things to reach this level:
In a nutshell, you need to become the one resource that can solve any Salesforce question thrown at you! Frankly though, with 5 years of development experience you can probably get the architect title just by applying to the right opening.
Hope this helps!
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Very helpful in shedding a guiding light.
Maybe its because this article is 6 yrs old but currently you need to pass the PD1 exam before attempting the CTA board exam. Ie. You would need a base level of apex coding knowledge as this is what the PD1 focuses on.
Great question and Finally I found the answer to my question which is roaming in my mind for 2 years. Just tell me where I can learn more concepts about salesforce. Thanks in advance.
Hello Salesforce experts, I have a 10+ years experience in Software engineering with hands-on experience on the complete software life cycle. I have project management experience also for more than 10 years. I want to venture into Salesforce and The Technical Architect profile attracted me. Kindly guide me a path from start to reach my goal. Thanks
As someone who is working toward this certification myself, I’m glad you pointed out that you do not need to know how to write code to pass the exam. DEV 501 certification is not required to take the exam. However, they recommend you take DEV502, integrating with force.com, which has a significant level of programming experience as a prerequisite. It seems like most people who take the exam are coming from a programming background but over and over again in interviews with TAs, I heard people say “I thought it would be a lot more code”. I think the background in code can be helpful for understanding trade-offs and design decisions, which then obviously need to be communicated to a non-technical audience.
It seems to me that TAs take the best of both worlds–understanding complex software architecture as well as understanding business needs and how best to use the platform to achieve that (with code or with clicks!). Finally, they need to have excellent presentation skills, as the review board requires that you can explain design choices clearly and quickly.
100% right on the money, Mary!
I was slightly disappointed when I learned the test didn’t cover code, but, it’s wayyyy too high level to need to elaborate on that amount of detail!