To click or not to click? Should you get the Salesforce Development Certification?

Salesforce development splits into two types of development: click-and-configure or traditional coding. Interestingly enough, with Salesforce development you can be a developer without ever having to type out a line of traditional code. Should you get the Salesforce Development certification?

Many Salesforce professionals tend to focus on one aspect of development: code or click development. That’s why there are two clear paths to go down on in terms of certifications. That’s not to say you can’t do both, but it’s less common to pursue both. Initial Salesforce developer certifications are split into two groups based on what they assess for (code or click skills). We’ll be looking at what is needed for the Platform Developer I certification in this article.

Click skills for beginners

If you’re just starting off in terms of learning click skills, then Trailhead is one of the best places to begin from. Basically, the trail modules in development focus on click development, including areas such as formula and field manipulation, app building and Process Builder.

There are so many opportunities for development to be done without having to write any single line of code on the Salesforce platform. Certifying in click development gives you a wide range of skills that range from automated process flows to app building. The initial development certification exam ( will assess that you know how to use point-and-click (declarative) tools within the platform. Even if you don’t know how to traditionally code, you’ll know when it is required and when the click functionality is a better option.

Here is how the Salesforce development certification breaks down:

Salesforce fundamentals

  • Describe the considerations when developing in a multi-tenant environment.
  • Identify the common scenarios for extending an application’s capabilities using AppExchange.
  • Describe how the Salesforce platform features map to the Model-View-Controller pattern.
  • Given a scenario, identify common use cases for declarative customization.
  • Describe the capabilities of the core CRM objects in the Salesforce schema.

Data modelling and management

  • Given a set of requirements, determine the appropriate data model.
  • Describe the capabilities of the various relationship types and the implications of each on record access, the user interface and object-oriented programming.
  • Describe the impact of the schema design and modifications on Apex development.
  • Describe how to visualize and create entity relationships.
  • Describe the options for and considerations when importing and exporting data into development environments.

Logic and process automation

  • Describe how to programmatically access and utilize the object schema.
  • Describe the capabilities and use cases for formula fields.
  • Describe the capabilities and use cases for rollup summary fields.
  • Describe the capabilities of the declarative process automation features.
  • Describe when to use declarative automation features vs Apex classes and triggers.
  • Describe how to declare variables and constants in Apex, and how to assign values using expressions.
  • Describe the primitive and complex Apex data types and when to use them.
  • Describe how to use and apply Apex control flow statements.
  • Describe how to write and when to use Apex classes and interfaces.
  • Describe how to use basic Salesforce Object Search Language, Salesforce Object Query Language and DML statements when working with objects in Apex.
  • Describe the basic patterns used in triggers and classes to process data efficiently.
  • Describe when to use and how to write triggers.
  • Describe the implications of governor limits on Apex transactions.
  • Describe the relationship between Apex transactions, the save execution order and the potential for recursion and cascading.
  • Describe how to implement exception handling in Apex.
  • Describe how to write Visualforce controllers.
  • Describe when and how to use standard Visualforce controllers vs. Apex custom controllers and controller extensions.
  • Describe the programmatic techniques used to prevent security vulnerabilities in Apex and Visualforce.
  • Describe how Apex impacts the ability to make declarative changes.
  • User interface
  • Describe how to display Salesforce data using a Visualforce page
  • Describe the types of web content that can be incorporated into Visualforce pages.
  • Describe how to incorporate Visualforce pages into applications.
  • Describe the benefits of the Lightning Component framework.
  • Describe the resources that can be contained in a Lightning Component.


  • Describe the testing framework and the requirements for deployment.
  • Describe how to write unit tests for triggers, controllers and classes.
  • Describe when and how to use various sources of test data.
  • Describe how to execute one or multiple test classes.
  • Describe the differences between invoking Apex in execute anonymous vs. execute unit tests.

Debug and deployment tools

  • Describe how to monitor and access various types of debug logs.
  • Describe the capabilities and security implications of the Developer Console, Workbench and integrated development environment.
  • Describe the different processes for deploying metadata and business data.
  • Describe how the different environments are used in the development and deployment process.

The heftiest area of the certification is the logic and process automation module, so focus on the perfecting the formula and workflow fields.

If you do decide to go forth with your Salesforce Development certification- Good Luck!

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