For me working within Salesforce has always been through Self-Taught means. For the past 7 years I have researched and watched numerous videos to learn and master various parts of Salesforce. I jumped into the deep end of the pool in in my current position almost 2 years ago learning more in my first 90 days than in the previous 5 years combined. The stress of my Project load on my first day almost had me fleeing the office, jumping onto the red line and heading home. Starting out with 18 new projects is most definitely a trial by fire when starting an intense new job with a long commute.
Weighing the Salesforce Certification test and what it would and would not mean for my career path has always been a bit of a conflict for me. The rational part of my brain knows I will pass the ADM 201 test with flying colors and I am more than able to do the same for the ADM 301 and DEV 401 as according to Salesforce’s own test description and advice. Unfortunately the part of my brain that suffered through two rounds of SAT tests in high school is reluctant to pay and take a test where I have a 2% chance of failing. Irrational much? Yes I know!
In my opinion the Salesforce Certification test is not an accurate portrayal of an Administrators knowledge and ability. Rationally it is not hard to pass a multiple choice test where you only need to pass 65% to become certified. When you look at it clearly it is a test with 100 multiple choices questions and you only have to guess 65 of those questions correctly. More likely the correct answers can be found not necessarily by knowledge and application but by memorization and logic. The new Salesforce Trailhead platform provides a well-rounded hands on based Salesforce training. The badges in Trailhead and the trails they have designed for specific job functions and features is a better gauge for understanding someone’s knowledge and ability.
Unfortunately there is a weight to having a specific Certification when you are in the job market and looking for a specific salary range or position and title with a new company. If one wants to be distinguished and stand out among the crowd having a certification is leg up and having more than one certification means someone is standing up and taking notice of you. With that said I have to squash my irrational fear of taking the Salesforce Certification test. I need to just sit down and do it. My nervousness and fear is unfounded and is just an excuse to avoid standing up and being someone who has distinguished herself and is demanding to be taken seriously. So to take the test or not to take the test is not really the question or quandary. When it comes down to it the real question is when do you take the test?