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Salesforce PD2, popularly known as the Salesforce Platform Developer 2 certification is one of the advanced certifications in the Salesforce ecosystem.

As a professional, it would be great for you to pass this certification exam because it will definitely help boost your career. This examination will showcase your ability to create advanced applications and provide expertise to develop custom solutions on the Salesforce platform. 

It is an important fact you should know that this PD2 certification is an advanced counterpart to the Salesforce Platform Developer 1 certification. While the Platform Developer I certification prepares you to focus on the fundamental skills and concepts in Salesforce development, the Platform Developer II certification dives deep into advanced topics like LWC (Lightning Web Components), Apex programming, advanced data modeling and integration techniques. 

In this blog, we will guide you in preparing for the Salesforce platform Developer 2 exam. Also, we will provide you with some helpful tips and effective exam strategies to clear this exam with flying colors. 

Who is the Ideal Candidate? 

Before we provide detailed information about this advanced certification, let’s first talk about its eligibility criteria. Well, this exam is perfect for an individual who holds at least two to four years of experience as a developer in the industry. This credential is for professionals who have expertise in developing custom applications on the lightning platform. 

A Salesforce development candidate must have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the following. 

  • Design and build custom features using Salesforce’s tools. Understand how to structure data, create user-friendly interfaces, write clean code, and thoroughly test everything.
  • Solve business problems by customizing the Salesforce platform. Leverage both pre-built options and code to extend the platform’s capabilities.
  • Write efficient Apex code that can handle large amounts of data (up to 480,000 records). 
  • Awareness of Salesforce’s limitations and how to optimize performance.
  • Build custom interfaces using Lightning components, Visualforce, and other tools to display and interact with Salesforce data. Fine-tune these interfaces for optimal speed.
  • Secure Salesforce applications by understanding general web security principles and specific Salesforce considerations. 
  • Design data-sharing models that are both functional and secure.
  • Create comprehensive test plans that ensure the quality, functionality, scalability, and security of custom applications.
  • Master testing frameworks like Jest.
  • Deploy custom applications effectively within the Salesforce development lifecycle.
  • Understand different deployment tools and when to use each one.
  • Integrate Salesforce with external systems using web services. Build services using SOAP and REST protocols and call external services from Apex code.
  • Handle errors and exceptions gracefully using appropriate techniques in different coding scenarios.
  • Write reusable and well-designed triggers and business logic for Salesforce.
  • Integrate custom components seamlessly into various Salesforce pages (Lightning, Visualforce, and Quick Actions).

Now that you have understood the skill requirements for this credential, let’s check out the brief information for this exam to get quick insights.  

Brief about Salesforce Platform Developer 2 Certification Exam

Here are some important key aspects you should know before you start preparing for the Salesforce Platform Developer 2 certification, which are as follows: 

  • This exam contains 60 MCQS (Multiple Choice Questions) along with up to five non-scoring questions.
  • The time allotted for the platform 2 developer certification exam is 120 minutes.
  • The registration fee for this exam is USD 200, plus the taxes applicable as per the local law, and for those who will retake, the retake fee is USD 100.
  • The passing score of this Salesforce PD 2 certification exam is 70%. 
  • The exam can be taken either at a testing center in person or online with proctoring.
  • No online and hard copy materials are allowed during the exam.
  • Salesforce Certified PD 1 Credential is the mandatory prerequisite for the Salesforce Platform Developer 2 Certification. 

Note: The credential requires passing the Platform Developer II multiple-choice certification exam and three super badges: Apex Specialist, Data Integration Specialist, and Advanced Apex Specialist. You can earn these in any order, and upon completion of all three, you will automatically earn the Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II Credential. All three super badges are available on Trailhead.

Topics of Salesforce Platform Developer 2 Credential 

The Salesforce Platform Developer 2 certification exam evaluates your proficiency in developing custom applications on the Lightning Platform. The exam measures knowledge and skills related to various topics mentioned below:

1. Advanced Developer Fundamentals (15%)

Information about localization and multi-currency features and their impact on coding is required. As a developer, you will learn to justify the use of sharing objects and Apex-managed sharing in a given scenario in this topic. Identifying best practices for custom metadata and custom settings and implementing required solutions for different scenarios are also part of this section. 

2. Process Automation, Logic, and Integration (27%)

This section is the major part of this exam because it includes understanding interactions between multiple processes,  both declarative and programmatic.

Also, read about the demonstrated knowledge of best practices for writing Apex triggers and how to use Apex features to maintain the integrity of transactions and error handling. 

This section also includes advanced keywords in a SOQL query structure and benefits of using asynchronous Apex coding. Identifying the appropriate dynamic Apex feature for a given scenario and applying programmatic integration techniques for inbound and outbound communication are also an integral part of this topic. 

3. User Interface (20%)

In this topic, you will learn about user interfaces. Understanding UI is essential because it includes analyzing and determining necessary changes to the Apex class for a Lightning web component or Aura component and its Apex controller class based on requirements and code snippets. 

This section involves identifying techniques for using Visualforce to perform actions, partial page refreshes, and asynchronous operations. Observing best practices for displaying errors in the user interface are also essential. 

Also, you must read the aspects of Lightning web components or Aura components that can be used for responsive display based on a device’s form factor. You are also required to learn the right method to communicate events by using the Lightning web components or Aura components to understand this topic effectively.

4. Testing, Debugging, and Deployment (20%)

Using advanced tools and modern methods to test the Apex classes and triggers like mocks and stubs is included in this topic.  You should also know how to apply the tools & techniques to test and debug the Lightning web components, Visualforce controllers, controller extensions, Aura components, and JavaScript.

You need to know how to isolate and identify the root cause of unexpected behavior in Apex code, triggers, or tests. Formulating the deployment process and supporting tools for source-driven development is also included in the topic of deployment. 

5. Performance (18%)

It is required to read about the performance section to clear this exam. This section helps you to identify common performance issues for user interfaces and apply mitigation techniques and tools. 

This topic concludes by choosing logic and query structure to maximize application performance, handle large data volumes, and determine performance improvements achievable with an asynchronous callout in a given scenario. 

Learning this section is also important because it helps identify scenarios where code reuse is applicable and how it should be implemented, as well as resolve the inefficiencies in sample code to improve performance.

Essential Study Tips You Can Follow to Clear This Exam

Obviously, it is not easy to start preparation for the Salesforce Platform Developer 2 certification. But, by using the correct approach, you can make the process smooth and clear out the hassles that come in between while preparing for this exam. Thus, you can use these helpful tips to get this credential:

1. Review the Basics: You should try to revise the concepts from the Platform Developer 1 Certification. Make sure you’re comfortable with fundamental topics like Apex, Visualforce, and basic Salesforce development. This practice will give you a stronger base on which to prepare for more advanced concepts.

2. Use Trailhead: Trailhead is Salesforce’s free learning platform. It offers interactive modules and trails designed specifically for the Platform Developer 2 Certification. Thus, you can focus on some advanced concepts easily, like:

  • Advanced Apex Specialist
  • Apex Testing and Debugging
  • Apex Integration Services

These topics will provide you with hands-on practice and deepen your understanding.

3. Hands-On Practice: Theory is important for getting knowledge, but practical experience is essential to clear this exam. You must try to set up a developer org and start building projects. Also, create complex Apex triggers, custom Lightning Components, and integrations with external services. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become.

4. Study the Official Documentation: Salesforce’s official documentation is detailed and comprehensive. Use it to supplement your Trailhead learning. Pay special attention to sections on:

  • Apex
  • Visualforce
  • Lightning Components
  • Integration patterns

   The documentation provides in-depth knowledge and best practices.

5. Join Study Groups: Learning with others can be quite beneficial. Thus, you can join some online discussion boards, local study groups, or the Trailblazer Community. These groups are great for exchanging information, asking questions, and seeking help from others who have already passed the exam.

6. Take Practice Tests: Attempting practice examinations is the ideal way to test your knowledge and become familiar with the exam structure. Salesforce provides a practice exam, and you may also locate third-party examinations online. Examine your findings to see which areas require more investigation. 

7. Focus on Testing and Debugging: A major part of the exam covers testing and debugging. So, it would help if you were comfortable with writing test cases, understanding test coverage requirements, and using debugging tools. Also, you can create the test cases and use the Developer Console to debug your code.

8. Stay Updated: Salesforce is a renowned platform, and it offers several updates with new features and enhancements. So, it would help if you tried to get the latest updates by following Salesforce blogs, release notes, and attending webinars.

9. Manage Your Time During the Exam: Time is critical for you throughout the exam, thus it is best to handle it wisely. If you are stuck, move on and return to it later. Make sure to answer all questions within the allotted time.

10. Maintain a Positive Attitude: Because confidence develops with time, you should patiently focus on your academics. If you’ve worked hard enough, you should be able to pass the exam. 

Effective Exam Strategy for Salesforce Platform Developer 2 Certification

To ease out your Salesforce Platform Developer 2 exam, we’ve provided some useful strategies to increase your chances of clearing this credential.

  • If you are stuck in between any topic while preparing for this PD2 exam, you should make rough notes before the exam to remember the key points fresh in your mind.
  • During the exam, try to read the question multiple times, especially for the scenario-based questions, because sometimes the clues lie within the exam questions, and you may opt for the correct answer. 
  • You must take advantage of the pen and paper provided at the test center to draw out the diagrams, like role hierarchies, to visualize your answer.
  • When you are attempting the question, you can also use the process of elimination to avoid the incorrect options. 
  • You can also use the “Mark for review” feature to flag the questions you are not sure about or require more time to consider. You can attempt these questions before completing your exam.
  • After submitting the exam for the Platform Developer II credential, remember to take the review time to check out the flagged questions. This will help you analyze your performance and allow you to correct your mistakes in the remaining time. 

Summing Up

Earning a Salesforce Platform Developer 2 Certification is not simple, but with the mentioned tips and exam strategies, the pathway becomes manageable.

Undoubtedly, this credential will enhance your expertise in customizing the best solutions in the Salesforce ecosystem, but it is mandatory for you to have mastery of the Salesforce Platform Developer 1 Credential first. 

This certification will help you to enhance your skills in some advanced topics of Salesforce like integration strategies, Apex programming and Lightning Web Components. With a thorough study plan, practical experience, and a commitment to staying current, you are well-prepared to tackle the PD2 exam and become a certified Salesforce expert.

So, if you are ready to bring your game to the next level, you must catch the opportunity to get this credential as soon as possible. 

Shrey Sharma

Shrey Sharma

The youngest Salesforce MVP in the world in 2019, is a successful serial entrepreneur and CEO of Cyntexa - a prominent global Salesforce Consulting and Implementation Partner. He's also the driving force behind Salesforce Hulk, a popular YouTube channel providing valuable insights to Salesforce enthusiasts. As a thought leader in the Salesforce ecosystem, Shrey is committed to driving business growth through technology.

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