If you pass, you know you've arrived!

In many ways the Advanced Developer Certification process is a bit mysterious. In this article, I attempt to answer some of the questions you might have and shed some light on:

  • What is the structure?
  • What is expected of you in the assignment?
  • How are the assignments evaluated?
  • What is that essay all about anyway?
  • What can you do to best prepare yourself so that you have the greatest likelihood of success?
I’ve also gathered together a slew of links and resources into a single place to guide you on your path through this difficult but worthwhile process.

Read the Article

Other resources?

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  • Cory Cowgill

    Great article. I blogged my experience about completing the journery here: http://corycowgill.blogspot.com/2011/05/passing-forcecom-advanced-developer-501.html

  • Cory Cowgill

    Great article. I blogged my experience about completing the journery here: http://corycowgill.blogspot.com/2011/05/passing-forcecom-advanced-developer-501.html

  • Cory Cowgill

    Great article. I blogged my experience about completing the journery here: http://corycowgill.blogspot.com/2011/05/passing-forcecom-advanced-developer-501.html

  • Cory Cowgill

    Great article. I blogged my experience about completing the journery here: http://corycowgill.blogspot.com/2011/05/passing-forcecom-advanced-developer-501.html

  • Peter Chittum

    Thanks for sharing Matt and Corey. I hope others take some time to write up their experiences and share with the community and post here.

  • Peter Chittum

    Thanks for sharing Matt and Corey. I hope others take some time to write up their experiences and share with the community and post here.

  • Peter Chittum

    I’m going to put on my branding hat and ask everyone who reads this to help out with a little personal crusade. It has to do with this:

    There is no 501 certification.

    DEV501 is a training class.

    This may seem trivial, and honestly many people who work for SFDC have been lazy about speaking about the certifications by their proper names in the past. But it regularly leads to real confusion as witnessed by this post on the developerforce boards:

    http://boards.developerforce.com/t5/General-Development/ADM-201-Certification/td-p/563297

    I started a quiet effort inside of SFDC to begin to encourage our customer-facing folks to use the proper names of the certifications (Administrator, Developer, Advanced Developer, etc.). It is taking hold.

    This is my first request to the community for help with the same.

    I’m sure anyone who has gone through the Adv Dev Cert gauntlet can agree that just taking DEV501, while worthwhile, is probably not sufficient for many people to get their Advanced Developer certification.

    I’m not asking for anyone to play brand police, just, as much as possible, avoid referring to the certifications by the names of training classes. Although, if you catch anyone from SFDC using the incorrect name, feel free to give them some stick for that. ;-)

    • Anonymous

      Agreed! It’s the same with every certification… Are you certified ADM201 or DEV401?

      • Peter Chittum

        Quite right! This incorrect naming only happens with Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Developer, and Advanced Developer certifications. The Certification team long since gave up trying, and I can’t say that I blame them. They have other more important things to do. So this is really just my own quiet crusade attempting to evolve thinking rather than force a solution. We’ll see how it goes. :-)

    • Cory Cowgill

      I removed 501 / 401 labels from my blogs. Hope it helps! ;)

      • Peter Chittum

        Cory, you’re a champ! Thanks for playing along with my quixotic quest!

    • Jeremy Hayes

      Great reply Peter! I’m in the midst of the “Adv Dev Cert gauntlet” and can confirm that DEV501 is just a starting point. There’s no substitute for hands-on with the platform; those seeking it need look no further than the Apex and Visualforce forums at developer.force.com =)

    • Jeremy Hayes

      Great reply Peter! I’m in the midst of the “Adv Dev Cert gauntlet” and can confirm that DEV501 is just a starting point. There’s no substitute for hands-on with the platform; those seeking it need look no further than the Apex and Visualforce forums at developer.force.com =)

      • Peter Chittum

        Good luck, Jeremy! I wish you the best in your pursuit of this certificate.

  • Peter Knolle

    Excellent article Peter! Thank you. I submitted the exam yesterday and I just took the essay portion today. One thing that struck me as odd in the article is that you aren’t absolutely required to check in your assignment before you take the essay. It seems like someone could realize that they missed something based on the questions in the essay and then go back and change their code, gaining an unfair advantage over someone who submitted the programming assignment prior to taking the essay exam.

    • Peter Chittum

      Thanks for the kind comment, Peter. You make a really good point. Personally, I think that the essay exam questions are vague enough that I suspect that a person who doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications would struggle to glean enough so as to be able to make the difference between a fail and a pass, especially that late in the game. Still, I’ve raised that question to the Certification team and I’ll share what I hear from them.

    • Peter Chittum

      Just circling back, as I realized that I never replied finally. In speaking with Nina from the certification team, she was also of the opinion that it is highly unlikely that someone would be able to learn enough from the essay exam so as to make up the difference between a pass and a fail.

      The ability to check for status of your assignment org at the time time you sit the essay is on the wish list, but at the moment there are some technological obstacles to overcome.

      • Peter Knolle

        Thanks for the follow up, Peter. Just got my exam/essay result: Pass! BTW, 45 unit tests. :)

        • Peter Chittum

          Awesome! Well done.

          And ok…45…you really took the unit test thing to heart!