Salesforce recently launched a whole new series of Developer certifications which have now replaced the DEV 401(Developer) and DEV 501(Advanced Developer) exams. Whether or not you pocketed the older certifications, I would recommend skimming through the official documentation to better understand which path to take. With the recent introduction of LEX and features like Process Builder, you can expect the new exams to be at a little different from the older ones. So if you are already DEV 401 or/and DEV 501 certified and are planning to make a move to the Platform App Builder or/and Platform Developer certifications, my sincere advice would be to re-strategize and give the preparation a fair amount of time before you appear for any of the newer exams.
Since I am DEV 401 certified, I decided to take the Platform App Builder transition exam almost two weeks ago and passed it. The preparation consumed a week in going through and strengthening my grip on the newer additions to Salesforce made within the past couple of years. I should stress upon the fact that the study guide should always be deemed the single source of truth for such a preparation. If you have at least 3+ months of recent and hands-on administration/development experience with the Force.com platform, a week worth of effort in going through the Help Docs and relevant Trailhead modules should be more than enough to pass the exam. If you lack hands-on experience with the new features, just focusing on the theoretical part of these should suffice as well. Make sure you add an extra week or two of preparation in this case.
Getting down to business, the transition exam will have a total of 20 questions. Even though this applies to every Salesforce certification exam, I advise you to read each question very carefully before attempting the answer. This exam is more challenging compared to the DEV 401 so tread with caution when answering the questions since I found the question language to be a little tricky as well. For a couple of questions, I couldn’t agree with any of the four available options which made me a tad bit nervous and I ended up selecting the ones that matched most closely with my thought process. These are the times when I wish that Salesforce provided a full results assessment along with the Pass/Fail outcome for all the certification exams.
Overall I found this exam to be much more interesting and thought provoking compared to the other Salesforce exams that I have taken before. Something tells me that the full exam would be more fun and unfortunately I won’t get to take it. As far as the transition exam goes, I would recommend having a good hold on the following topics and you will be good to go. And if you can finish the Lightning Experience Admin related modules in Trailhead, that might aid you with a couple of questions as well.
- Quick Actions (Object specific and Global)
- Person Accounts
- Changing Field Type
- Implementing Business Processes
- Social Accounts
- Workflow Rules
- Order of execution
- Process Builder
- Lightning Experience
- Relationship Types – Master Detail and Lookup
The questions in these exams can change anytime so completely relying on the above topics is obviously not advised. Use your best judgement in preparing for the exam and then go for it.