Later this year, the Platform Developer II certification will no longer have a programming assignment!
The notorious programming assignment is being replaced by four Trailhead superbadges.
That’s right! And no, this is not a joke! It’s really happening!
Now, the details about this change haven’t been fully announced yet. But, it’s fun to speculate what this could mean for those of us working towards the certification and those of us who already have it. What changes could this mean in the job market?
If you DO NOT currently have the PDII certification, this might mean…
If you DO currently have the PDII certification, this could mean…
What might this mean for the industry at large?
If you want to learn more about the upcoming changes, check out the upcoming webinar and the official knowledge article.
My thoughts on this change? Well, I’m keeping an open mind about things to see how it turns out. I need to earn those superbadges myself before forming too strong an opinion on this. I understand why Salesforce did this – it’s impossible to scale the cert if you need a team of human graders analyzing tons of lines of code.
But as someone who currently has the PDII certification, I’d be bummed if the cert suddenly became too easy to get. I’m hoping Salesforce has something cool up their sleeves, like Einstein, grading the challenges and preventing cheating.
But if the challenges are public, there’s no time limit, and there are unlimited free attempts to pass, I’m having a hard time seeing how they can keep the cert from getting devalued!
What if they changed the Technical Architect certification to be the accumulation of Trailhead badges, instead of a review board? Well, even though I haven’t earned that certification yet, I’m up for the challenge and I wouldn’t want them to make the exam any easier! I want to earn it!
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
David, really like your content, but I disagree on this one. Personal experience with a junior who was doing a PD2 assignment and we discussed tips. The assignment was really not that hard at all, of course you had to bulkily and aggregate etc and write good test classes, so what?! The current PD2 super badge requirements are a lot more strenuous and need serious time spent over a lot of in concepts. Even to cheat and copy you need to fix stuff, configure and everything, it really takes time. Not sure if you wrote this article AFTER completing the super badges, I doubt it. If a person invests as much time to complete these vast super badges, he is way better off than the limited assignment.
I would say superbadges are super good and super fun to do and learn all aspects of Salesforce in detail. I really liked the idea of salesforce going this route as now more people will be encouraged to do superbadges as now they have a value. EARLIER they were not holding a seperate value in Trailhead for the people who never attempted them.
Sure these days you can cheat with the super badges, but then you still have to pass the exam. If you can pass the exam, you probably can do the badges without cheating, right? So that means that getting the badges could be done as part of exam preparation – that’s what I intend to do.
In short, I believe PD2 only got a little bit less valuable and is still very much worth getting.
And Salesforce can always start a PD3 certification if too many people get this one. There are lots of architect and consultant certs, and only a few developer ones at the moment…
As Salesforce has posted All of the four superbadges, Apex Specialist, Data Integration Specialist, Lightning Component Framework Specialist, and Advanced Apex Specialist, I’m curious to know what are your thoughts.
If any developer is capable to do a white board in interview , that is 10 Times practical than having certification .
Nobody will ask to directly sit on the chair without the interview process, just because he/she is holding high skilled certification.
Very true! Though I will say some companies hiring their first developer may not have the experience to interview one well!
Hi David and Justin,
I see in Path to certification, the third Superbadge is updated as Lightning Component Framework Specialist.
Please take a look.
This is an old thread, I know, but its still something I feel is valid. I’d like to offer a counterpoint.
Given my own experience, Salesforce certs tend to be more a point of entry, rather than the final goal. If an employer sees that you got 2-3 or even more certs on your own, this tells them that you are a self starter and willing to go the extra mile to see the job done. This invites you to the table, but how you interview will truly open the door.
Once upon a time, having the Dev II cert was a “golden ticket” to any hiring manager in the know. This told them that whomever had this cert was the “bomb.com” and no other applicant without it was worth consideration.
But let’s hold back one second. Even the holder of this, older, cert might have had an Architect or other savvy Advanced Dev looking over his shoulder, telling him what was being graded, where to add a System.Assert method, etc. So he may still be the weaker coder feared by the non-graded Superbadges. He just knew how to game the system in his favor.
IMHO, Superbadges will do the same as other certs. They will tell the hiring manager, “This person put in the time to learn and do the work” but should never imply that they are the Apex Superman they’ve been dying to find. Any company hiring for a position that requires an advanced knowledge of Apex Development should have a technical interview that challenges the applicant via whiteboard or other Q&A to see where their skills are, compared to the company’s technical requirements. This will separate the wheat from the chaff.
I honestly feel for those of you who came by your Dev II cert honestly, and feel that the new requirements denigrate the value of your cert. But in the long run, I think those who succeed under the new requirements will only validate your hard work and skills. They will be the few who truly take the time to understand the material and can articulate solutions to a hiring manager during an interview or customer interaction.
The rest of them will be raising cases with Support, wondering why they’re hitting SOQL limits…
Thanks for the sharing info.A week back i received email from sales force saying that i no longer needed to take the programming assignment(i cleared MCQ back in December 2016 for PD2). A part of me was happy that because i already cleared 2 of those super badges, but on the other hand, the value of that certification will no longer add any value to our resumes.
May be its time for architect Journey path :)
I think many of us out here pursue the certifications and the Trailhead Badges with the hope of finding a better job. In fact that is exactly what I am doing. However, if employers discount the value of the certs and the badges it leaves many of us in the same spot having spent a lot of time and money for no advancement.
SOLUTION: What Salesforce should implement is a real apprentice program which is simply aimed at helping people enters the job market. Something real which employers will value without a doubt. Everything seems to be getting confused at this point. There is a huge gap between a ton of Salesforce jobs and the group of over certified, over badged people. (I include myself here – still pursuing Certs like mad). We need help bridging the gap. To do this Salesforce will need to connect with those who can hire us – the hiring managers and project managers and ask, “What would it take for you to hire an entry-level person?” Then build a program around this dialogue. The effort to get these certifications is, as you know, enormous. The failure to secure a better job is very discouraging. Perhaps you could help.
Thank you for all you’ve done for us thus far.
Thanks for the Information
David, thanks for your posting. I just finished the assignment in this May and waiting for the results. Now they told me all my one month effort are worthless to help me hunting a entry level job in the market. Yes, I googled online and find open solutions for all super badges. I think salesforce maybe want save money on reviewing the assignments. However, this change will hurt the reputation of their own certification system in a long run because everyone can claim they are advanced salesforce developer from now on. Maybe I need to learn something about dynamics 365 at least maybe it’s easier to find an entry level job.
I tend to agree with you – and you bring up an interesting point. So far I’d rather them keep the cert as is today but raise the costs so they can keep paying the reviewers. From a marketing perspective though this would never work!
I agree with you on devaluation of certification after changes. I was preparing for MCQ for few months now as I really thought this would be a career boost. But now after the changes I am doubtful about even giving it and rather prepare for architect level certification. I chose to prepare for PD2 first as I thought it has more value than archjtect certifications.
Anyways I still may give as I am prepared but I dont think it would be off much help.
Thank you for sharing! If it does get devalued, I think it’ll take a year or more before you employers catch on. So there should be some short term value at least to the PDII.
That said, I feel ya 100%
Thanks for the info David! Nicely written
I read this change was coming and must admit it will bring a new perspective to the PDII certification. As a budding developer, I would not attempt the PDII certifcation, but I am certainly thankful for the Superbadges for personal/professional development. These Superbadges definitely present an opportunity to work through a scenario to gain some “experience”, but they challenges don’t change and will/do create threads to work through them. This will definitely create a diluted pool of experience.
With that said, I had a difficult time obtaining a role in the Saleforce ecosystem even with the 5 certs I had. Now with 6 certifications under my belt, I receive many recruiter emails and calls. However, I have seen even Administrator positions requiring 3+ years of experience. I still wonder how much influence certifications have in the eyes of an employer.
Ok, now with that out of the way, I think this boils down to the interview process. This will show the experience and resourcefulness of the applicant. In attempt to make my point, my current employer set up a developer org, asked questions in chatter, requested changes, and presented “real world (Staples related) business requirements/story”. I proposed a solution to the business requirement, which they ended up implementing.
Whether they implemented it or not, I believe this was a great “interview”. It allowed for the time to discuss and work-through the “real-world scenario”, because not all solutions are created on-the-spot. At least they shouldn’t be as this may lead to an inferior option. I think these org specific “real-wold scenarios” present a unique situation and will really help test knowledge
At least this is my perspective as a new entrant to the world of Salesforce.
It was nice seeing you once again at TDX.. So far Salesforce certs have been a reliable signal when it comes to hiring.. While it may seem like the new path will bring in a set of less experienced developers in reality most penial test takers aren’t as motivated as you would expect.
I think it will end up being just ok.
LOL nice take! Good seeing ya too O!
I don’t have PDII cert yet, but is the programming assignment given to you much harder than the four trailhead badges? I agree that now you have unlimited time and you can find solutions online, but for those who want to cheat, can’t they also get help with the programming assignment?
I am not sure how I feel about this change.
Also, it was great meeting you at TrailheadX David and thank you for the awesome tshirt :)
I think it’s a lot harder to cheat the programming assignment because you have a proctored essay to write about it, plus you don’t know the challenge in advance.
Theoretically now people can just post the answers online whereas before the challenge was totally unknown.
Oh ya great meeting you too Bhavana!!
I’d looked forward towards completing the PD II certification, primarily because of the expertise I’d have to demonstrate in the assignment that would ultimately be evaluated by other developers. To say that I’m disappointed that they’re reducing it to a glorified workbook exercise would be an understatement.
Ah yes you enjoy the challenge as well!
Nice, informative post Dave :)
BTW: What happened to the Facebook integration for comments?
Thanks Jose! I had a Facebook integration? LOL
Yeah dude! I used to log on and comment with FB :)
Anyway, its not paramount :P
Rock on bro!
I haven’t taken the certification yet, heck I’ve only begun thinking about Pd1, but I found the superbadges to be quite challenging, not as challenging as employer technical reviews but close enough. Ive gotten all of the super badges and cannot wait for the next ones but understand that the proctored challenge would be so much better.
Good to know the super badges are tough!
Thats sad, i passed theory part in march and was waiting for a free slot to register for second part until now and now its just a trailhead. All code you can find on dev forum. Of course now for me its better that i will do trail, because now there is no real knowledge behind this cert, so it make no sence to spend weeks to get it. But imho, better to keep it on high level and do everything to prevent cheating. I dont like the way they decided to go.
An honorable choice from someone who has not passed the certification yet! Thanks for sharing!
Just curious to know, whether you cleared all four superbadges for PDII yet ?
Hi David, It was great to meet you in person at TDX17. I heard this news at the conference as well and first reaction was super happy. I have PD| cert and this could mean a motivation to get one of the most important salesforce certifications. But I am also wondering if this is not challending enough (in terms of coding), will it affect our performance at work? I can’t wait to see and experience this.
Hey Mirzat heard you had a good trip this past weekend! =P
I’m curious to see that too! The superbadges need to be super challenging to prevent cert inflation! Otherwise companies won’t trust the value of that cert on resumes anymore!
Yes, Indeed. We had a great trip and it was truly amazing to be on top of Angle’s Landing. We had great conversations about work, life and of course you, which was positive and motivational as always :D .
As you said, I hope this change that Salesforce made is worth it. The last thing we want is for companies to devalue our certifications and resume.
Anyway, thanks for bringing such great information and contents to salesforce community. Hope you have a great day and take my regards to your family. Talk soon.
David, as someone who has passed the programming assignment, I also wonder where SFDC is going with this change. I’ve felt that the difficulty of passing the PDII is what sets it apart, from other SFDC certs, and other programming related certifications.
Good point Tyler! Today, the PDII certification is a rare badge of honor! Happy Friday night, LOL!
Always! Thanks for the awesome posts!