Last month I passed the Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer exam! I didn’t spend as much time studying as I had for the other designer exams, but since I work with a large enterprise org, I figured that I would be familiar enough with the majority of the content to take a stab at the test.
To prepare, I spent about a week working through the Trailhead Trailmix. I also used this Quizlet set that I found to be quite good. I didn’t spend very much time studying governance roles or development methodologies since I felt comfortable with my knowledge in those areas. I was less familiar with ANT and Jenkins, so I focused my energy there.
The day of the test I set up my camera and logged into my Webacessor. For some reason I had thought that the test was only 90 minutes, so I smartly--or so i thought--scheduled my Grubhub sushi and bao dinner delivery right at the 1.5 hour mark.
I launched the test and, as usual, spent a good five minutes typing furiously back and forth with the Kryterion test monitor who critiqued my camera placement. After I finally perfected my angle, I started the test.
I felt pretty confident the first handful of questions, and started to pat myself on the back for not bookmarking too many questions for later. Then the unthinkable happened. My food delivery had come 30 minutes early. When does that EVER happen.
I frantically typed to my Kryterion test watcher that I needed to answer the door. Luckily, he was cool with me answering the door and putting my food aside in the kitchen. That was close!
Back to the test.
As it turned out, my version of the Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer exam didn't contain any questions about ANT commands. Literally, there was only one question where ANT was even mentioned...and it was very very high level.
The test focused much more heavily on governance than I anticipated. I would definitely recommend spending some time reviewing governance roles and responsibilities, even if you feel pretty confident in your knowledge. In particular, you need to know the different responsibilities of the following groups:
Who can approve scope changes? Who is responsible for communicating to executives? Who chooses the methodology for the team? These are all things you should be familiar with.
Speaking of methodologies...
There were several questions about agile vs. waterfall. You should not only be able to articulate the difference between the two software development methodologies, but you should also know how to select the best methodology depending on timeline, budget and complexity of the project. I will definitely need to brush up on this for the CTA board.
To anyone thinking about taking this exam I would also recommend reviewing when change sets will lock an org, as well as any impact the Salesforce maintenance windows might have on your code or config. Knowing the limits and use cases for the different Salesforce sandboxes and Salesforce editions is also key to passing this exam.
All in all, the exam was much less technical than I expected except for one very random, very specific, question about using Selenium.
Despite my lack of intense prep for this exam, I did pass. But I definitely will spend some time strengthening my weak areas. There's always room for improvement!
Susannah Kate St-Germain is a 20x certified Colombian-American Salesforce nerd, travel fanatic, and aspiring Certified Technical Architect.