In the last few weeks I went a bit silent, but for a good reason. I was preparing for the review board, the final stage to get to Certified Technical Architect, which I have now successfully completed.
The bar for becoming a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect is very high, which is what makes this certification so valuable in the first place, and what I loved the most about preparing for it: it's a big personal challenge.
If you read this blog, I assume you are already familiar with the format of the exam so I won't go into details. What I think makes the review board particularly difficult is certainly its breadth.
I personally feel that, as a candidate, the review board was testing me across different areas.
- Knowledge. You need to prove you are an expert, that you master the Salesforce platform inside-out, that you know its ecosystem, pretty much all about internet technologies, data architecture, internet security, software development lifecycle, project delivery, and a lot more. Although this requires hundreds hours of study on top of decent project experience, this is probably the easy part.
- Cognition. You are given a scenario that will overload you with information and requirements. Coping with this amount of information in a timely manner is difficult even simply from a mental processing standpoint.
- Level of abstraction. The review board is not simply about presenting a solution, but it's rather about articulating it successfully in front of knowledgeable and meticulous C-level stakeholders. You need to talk at the right level of abstraction to cover what matters without getting lost in details. At the same time you must be able to jump into the details when relevant or requested.
- Fast thinking. You will be challenged to do a lot in the time you are given. You rarely have time to go back and check what you just did, which makes things even harder. During the Q&A judges will ask you questions that require you to think on your feet quickly, and demonstrate you have the big picture clear in your head and are able to adjust.
- Stress management. All these things sum up in your head, and you need to cope with them well while taking the test. Judges are extremely knowledgeable and won't be fooled if you try to talk around things. Plus if they sense a weak spot they tend to dig.
I really cannot summarise in a single article how to successfully approach the final stage of this certification, but if you are willing to take on this journey, my suggestion is: be prepared. And don't give up if you believe that you are ready for it, but you end up failing.
There is definitely more on how to get to Certified Technical Architect that I will share over time on this blog, but I hope you'll excuse me for now if I take some time to celebrate.