Who wants to be a Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer?

I gained the Salesforce developer certification on 24th October 2012. Now, I'm a Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer. This post gives an overview of the exam and a few tips to hopefully assist others. I will not post any actual exam questions and answers. That will be cause to violate the test taker agreement that we all sign up to at the beginning of the exam and devalues the certification.

The Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer exam measures a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to the objectives . A candidate should have hands-on experience developing custom applications on the Force.com platform. I post guidelines which gain from my experience of preparing DEV 401 exam. The starting point for the exam is the Study guide. First you need to have a understand about the format of the exam. Refer the following for exam format and how will you be tested. For more details, Refer the Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer Study Guide
  1. Application Design - 5%
    • Components of application
    • Model-view-controller design paradigm
  2. Overview of Force.com Platform - 5%
    • Declarative capabilities of the Force.com platform
    • Building blocks of an application provided by the Force.com platform
  3. Data Model - 32%
    • Functional data model for a business application
    • Object relationship types
    • Permission and data access in a custom app (e.g., profiles, defaults, roles)
    • Optional (Salesforce-enabled) features for managing the application (e.g., create audit fields, encrypted fields, multi-currency)
  4. User Interface - 15%
    • Components of any Force.com application user interface (e.g., tabs, applications, detail pages, list views)
    • Declarative framework for building a user interface (e.g., what can and can’t be done in a page layout)
    • Capabilities and functionality of Force.com sites
  5. Business Logic - 23%
    • Formulas, validation rules, and workflow rules
    • Given a scenario, determine which Force.com feature to use to solve a business requirement and/or describe how to apply the solution
    • Capabilities of the Force.com approval processes
    • Given a scenario, select the appropriate features of Force.com approval processes to satisfy business requirements
    • Extending business logic through Force.com code
  6. Data Management - 10%
    • Capabilities and constraints of import wizards
    • Capabilities and constraints of API-based tools for managing data
    • Functions of the Force.com Data Loader
    • Functions of external IDs and upsert
    • Characteristics of Force.com record IDs
  7. Reporting and Analytics - 10%
    • Capabilities and constraints of reports and analytics of the Force.com platform
    • Given a scenario, determine methods for analyzing and displaying data
Recommended readings are,
  1. DEV 401 : Building Applications with Force.com and Visualforce - Student guide (which are provided at Salesforce DEV 401 training course. If You have participated to DEV 401 training, you must have this guide)
  2. Force.com Fundamentals book
  3. Force.com Developer Certification Handbook by Siddhesh Kabe
The third recommended reading has a sample paper which will be provided better understand about the actual DEV 401 exam. I'm recommending to do the sample paper of Force.com Developer Certification Handbook.

I'm listing few topics to be focused more.
  1. Security and Sharing (Very important)
  2. Object relationships
    • Lookup
      • How many lookup relationships are allowed in an object?
    • Master - Detail
      • How many master detail relationships are allowed in an object?
      • Master detail between standard and custom object.How it is implemented?
    • Many to Many using Junction object(Very Important)
  3. Workflows and Approvals
    • Standard workflows as well as time dependent
    • Approval Processes
    • Parallel Approval processes
    • Dynamic Routing Approvel
  4. Reports, Analytic Snapshots, Dashboard components
  5. Encrypted fields (Very Important)
  6. Formula fields and validation rules
    • Scenario to use formula fields and validation rules
  7. When to use system logs, when to use debug logs?
  8. Import wizards Vs data loader
  9. Page Layouts and custom tabs
    • What all can be done using page layout and what is not possible.
  10. Governor Limits

If you need further references use below links;
NOTE : This blog post covers only DEV 401 and new topics can be added with new releases. The best solution for that issue is referring latest Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer - Study Guide.

Good luck for the DEV 401 Exam!!!


  1. Good piece of info for the people who'd like to do the DEV401 certification!

  2. Superb article... Thanks for sharing such valuable material for the Exam

  3. HI,

    I have completed Developer handbook 401 by Siddesh Kabe. I am now planning to go through the dumps available online and give the exam this sunday. Will the preparation be sufficient ?

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  8. Hi,

    Can you please send me the latest dumps for 401 exam.

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