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A Complete Guide To Crack the PD1 Salesforce Developer Certification

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Salesforce, a leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, has revolutionized how businesses interact with customers. As more companies embrace Salesforce, the demand for skilled professionals who can develop and customize solutions on the platform has skyrocketed. If you are eager to pursue a career as a Salesforce Developer, the Platform Developer 1 (PD1) Certification is a crucial step in your journey.

This comprehensive guide will delve deeper into the Platform Developer 1 certification exam, explore the recommended prerequisites, and provide invaluable tips and resources to help you prepare effectively and confidently ace the exam.

Who Should Take the PD1 Certification?

The Platform Developer 1 certification is not just for aspiring Salesforce Developers but also beneficial for a wide range of roles within the Salesforce ecosystem. Whether you are an Admin, Architect, Business Analyst, Product Owner, or Project Manager, gaining knowledge of the platform’s technical aspects through the Platform Developer 1 exam can enhance your capabilities and provide a deeper understanding of Salesforce’s capabilities.

Although the Platform Developer 1 exam guide recommends that candidates possess “one to two years of experience as a developer and at least six months of experience on the Lightning Platform,” individuals without a coding background can still take up the challenge. This certification exam encompasses various topics, such as platform fundamentals, process automation, logic, user interface development, testing, debugging, and deployment. Consequently, it offers a robust and comprehensive foundation applicable to all roles within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Prerequisite Recommendations

While no official prerequisite certifications exist for the Platform Developer 1 exam, specific recommendations can significantly benefit your preparation. Completing the Salesforce Admin course online and Platform App Builder Certifications can familiarize you with the platform’s core concepts, giving you a head start on your PD1 journey.

Additionally, having at least two years of experience within the Salesforce ecosystem can be immensely helpful. Practical experience allows you to gain hands-on exposure to various scenarios and challenges, providing context for the concepts you will encounter during the Platform Developer 1 exam.

Understanding The Certification Exam

The Salesforce Platform Developer 1 certification exam consists of 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions, and candidates need to achieve a passing score of 68%. The exam evaluates your knowledge of platform fundamentals, declarative automation, Apex programming, Lightning Web Components, and more.

Key Topics and Resources

Developer Fundamentals (23%)

The Developer Fundamentals section encompasses crucial concepts such as Multi-Tenant Architecture, Salesforce Architecture, Model-View-Controller (MVC), and Lightning Components. Understanding these fundamental aspects is essential for any Salesforce Developer.

Resources: Trailhead offers various modules covering these topics, making it an excellent starting point for your preparation. Additionally, attending virtual Developer user groups, participating in forums like Trailblazer Community, and engaging in discussions on Ohana Slack can provide valuable insights from experienced developers.

Process Automation & Logic (30%)

Process Automation and Logic are vital aspects of any Salesforce solution. This section evaluates your knowledge of declarative process automation, Apex integration, and the basics of Apex programming.

Resources: Start by ensuring you have a solid grasp of declarative automation by revisiting the topics covered in the Platform App Builder certification. Then, dive into the basics of Apex, including variables, methods, and classes. Online resources like “Women Code Heroes: Learning to Code” and presentations like “Demystifying Code For Admins: The Last Step to Apex” can be invaluable for beginners.

User Interface (25%)

The User Interface section explores Visualforce and Lightning Components, both Aura and Lightning Web Components. While Visualforce usage is transitioning to Lightning Web Components, it is still an essential component of Salesforce development.

Resources: Familiarize yourself with Visualforce and controllers/extensions through Trailhead modules and discussions with mentors. For Lightning Components, start with a presentation like “LWC 101” by Adam Olshansky, followed by Trailhead modules on Aura Components Basics and Lightning Web Component Basics.

Testing, Debugging, and Deployment (22%)

A Salesforce Developer must be adept at testing, debugging, and deploying solutions. This section evaluates your understanding of Salesforce DX, CLI, Developer Console, Apex Testing, and Code Coverage.

Resources: Working with tools like Salesforce DX, CLI, and Developer Console to gain hands-on experience. Trailhead provides modules on Apex Testing and the Salesforce Apex Developer Guide’s “Testing Best Practices” and “Code Coverage Best Practices” sections.

Study Strategy and Additional Resources

To effectively prepare for the Platform Developer 1 exam, adopt a layered approach and break down your study plan into manageable sections. Trying to learn everything at once can be overwhelming, so take your time to understand each topic thoroughly. Seek out various resources, such as online forums, webinars, and blogs, and don’t hesitate to seek help from the developer community.

Repetition is vital in grasping complex concepts, so engage in hands-on practice and discussions to reinforce your understanding. Some concepts may not make sense immediately, but eureka moments will occur over time as you gain more exposure and experience.

One Last Word Of Advice

Remember to consider the importance of reading the Salesforce documentation. By immersing yourself in the official documentation, you may recognize questions during the exam, which can give you a significant advantage. Essential documentation includes the Apex Developer Guide, Lightning Web Component Developer Guide, Platform Events Developer Guide, Introduction to SOQL and SOSL, and Visualforce Developer Guide.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on the Salesforce Platform Developer 1 Certification journey may seem daunting, but with the proper preparation and determination, success is within your grasp. Create a study plan, utilize practice tests, and seek assistance from mentors and the developer community. Even if you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, the experience gained will be invaluable in identifying areas for improvement.


The Salesforce Platform Developer 1 Certification is a stepping stone to an exciting and rewarding career in Salesforce development. By understanding the key topics, dedicating time to study, and utilizing various resources, you can confidently approach the PD1 exam and succeed.

Are you ready to take the first step toward your Salesforce Developer journey? Don’t hesitate; start preparing today by joining the Salesforce training institute and unlock the endless possibilities that await you in the Salesforce ecosystem. Best of luck on your Platform Developer 1 journey!

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Vineet Kumar

Practice Head (Salesforce, Oracle, C, Python)

A business-oriented and self-motivated leader who brings 22 years of teaching and training experience. He possesses the degree of B.Tech. (CSE), M.Tech. (CSE) and Ph.D. (CSE) in the area of Image Processing and deep learning. As a Practice Head, he has trained thousands of people of diverse roles and organizational levels and helped them achieve their career goals. In his leisure time, Vineet likes to play Guitar and jam with his students. With proficiency across the technical & functional aspects of Salesforce and other technologies such as Salesforce, Oracle, C, and Python, he is known for making study fun with his interactive sessions.

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