Monday, November 22, 2010

Allegedly real questions from the 401 certification test!

Some history

As the SEO of this blog starts to kick in and more and more people start to find this page, it will be interesting if SFDC contacts me to take this page down. Here are some "Allegedly" real questions from the test. After taking my first test and being so pissed about the format of the test and learning the answers to several questions were not available in the material SFDC had recommended, I felt slighted, like they really didn't want me to pass the test. Afterall, they failed to tell me about several topics I should know in order to pass the test. After the first test, I starting writing down questions on the scratch sheets they give out. With some basic slight of hand, I was able to allegedly get out several of the alleged questions to the test. Enjoy the fruits of my labor.

The correct answer (at least the one I think is correct) has been bolded.

How would a developer create a many-to-many relationship between the two objects X and Y?

  • Multiple relations on object X to Y
  • Multiple relations on object Y to X
  • 2 relations on junction object. One to X, One to Y
  • 2 Relations. One on X to Y, and one on Y to X

When creating a workflow rule which action requires a formula as the rule criteria?

  • Checking if record was modified today
  • If status of record is new
  • If current user profile is system admin
  • If value in field has changed

Developer wants to build an application. The data model, business logic and report and dashboard requirements have been considered. User access requirements have not.

  • Data Model may not support required security controls
  • Developer cannot establish security controls if not completed upon initial setup.
  • Developer will not be able to build reports or dashboards if security controls have have not been established.
  • Security controls may not support approval process required.

**NOTE: Even after asking all the SFDC ninja's I work with, we could not come up with a solid answer to this question. I also allegedly saw two versions of this. The first is the top version, the second was the same except the wording where it said, "User access requirements have not" was allegedly changed to "Security control requirements have not" This was the only incident of a question I remembered where there was a slight change in the question. Be prepared, most of the questions you will see are almost designed to throw you off. This is the best example I have where this was true.

What options exist for calculations or analysis in reports? Choose best three answers

  • Perform Calculations on summary data.
  • Set parameters to highlight outliers.
  • Maintain calculations from previous runs of report.
  • Plot multiple set of data on one chart.

What types of custom tabs can you create? Choose three answers

  • Custom Object
  • Web
  • Apex
  • Standard Object
  • Visual Force

What are the considerations when inserting records using API? Choose two answers

  • Validation rules respected
  • Universally required field settings respected
  • Required fields on page layouts enforced
  • Apex triggers ignored

When performing an update with the data loader, the comma delimited file must contain a column width with which values?

  • Logical names of the records
  • Create time and date of records
  • Profile names of record owners
  • record ID values of the records

How can a wireless device user approve a record? Choose two answers

  • Via voice recognition
  • Via mobile browser by logging into
  • Via Text message
  • Via email from smartphone

What property of a field can be edited within page layout editor? Choose 2 answers

  • Field dependency
  • Read only
  • Always displayed
  • Required

UC Containers requires some employees are able to view/edit records of a custom object called positions, but no users can delete them? How would the developer accomplish this?

  • Set Org Wide Defaults for positions to read only
  • Assign read only profile to all users
  • Remove delete permission for positions from all profiles
  • Remove delete access for positions from all user roles

**NOTE: This is a very typical question. A majority of the questions will be in this format.

What is the mechanism which allows for authenticated access to site?

  • Not possible to provide authorization for a site
  • Active customer portal
  • Active partner portal
  • Setting restricted IP ranges

What can be viewed using the process visualizer?

  • Sales process
  • Support process
  • Approval process
  • Workflow rules

UC requires support for multiple currencies. What should the developer consider?

  • Multiple Currency feature will automatically track historical exchange rates
  • Currency ISO code will need to be supported when inserting records in different currencies
  • Rollup summary fields on parent record will calculate incorrectly if child records have multiple currencies
  • Admin can add multiple currencies after application has been built

What you should study to pass your 401 certification

Give to me straight, what SHOULD I study?

So now that I've scared the hell out you, I'm going to let you know what you should study.

Remember, you can memorize all you want. You can go through every element on the videos and in the Force.fundamentals and still not cover everything. Here's a few things you can't find anywhere but in the obscure corners of the SFDC platform and are on the test. Here's a few tips from me to you - make sure you know these for the test.

Just as an FYI, all of these answers will be found on the SFDC platform, in your development ORG (which is free to set up) in the help menu on the home page.

  • Know how wireless devices access the SFDC platform.
  • Know what the Process Visualizer is and what it does.
  • Know what Globalization is and how International Currencies work.
  • Know about encrypted fields
  • Know about custom domains. Can you register your own domain on the SFDC platform?
  • Know what the Declarative interface is.
  • Know what an insertable system audit fields are
  • Know what an outlier is (hint: it's part of the reports/dashboard)

These are the topics you'd have to take the test and figure out there isn't any information on any of these topics in any of the materials SFDC gives you to study. Oh sure, they're in the help section and yes, they're buried in there, but hopefully knowing these will get you over the top and pass.

Of course here's some standard stuff you should know as well

  • Know all about your security settings. Know the difference between Org Wide Defaults, Object level and field level security as well as how you grant access to records.
  • Know all about object relationships. Know each of the object relationships like: many to many, master/detail and self.
  • Know all about workflow rules and workflow process.
  • Know everything about the different types of reports and dashboards. The SFDC help information on this is pretty weak, but take what they give you.
  • Know about the different types of Data Loader and their limitations.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but remember the test is made up primarily of examples where they're giving a scenario and you have to pick the best two or three answers. There are very, very few questions such as: Name the three things you can do with a workflow rule? As you'll see in the next post from actual questions from the test.

On to the questions!!!

Salesforce 401 Certification what will help me?

Do this. . .NOT this

First of all, there are several things which helped a lot, and there were many more which didn't help at all - not one bit. Here's a short list of things you need to keep in mind when taking the 401 certification.

Forget about trying to Memorize stuff

If you think you're going to just memorize a bunch of facts and figures about the platform and breeze through this test, you are sadly mistaken. I watched all of the podcast videos (located here) and my first time through figured I could just memorize the stuff like the 8 things Profiles control and through extrapolation could render th right answer - WRONG! My first attempt the pass the test was a miserable failure and showed me many shortcomings of how I studied for the test. First the do's:

This helped:

  • DO watch the 401 training videos
  • DO learn the basics of how databases woork
  • DO read the Fundamental PDF
  • DO the tutorials in the Fundamentals PDF (located here)

This DID NOT help:

  • Trying to memorize everything
  • Not doing any of the examples in the Fundamentals PDF
  • Actually thinking the SFDC materials (their lame study guide, located here) would help me focus on certain topics which would be covered in the test. WRONG!
  • Thinking the test exams was a good ruler for how well you will do on the test. I found out many of these test are written by people in India who do not have a great handle on the English language. All it did was confuse me when I saw the actual test questions.
  • Thinking everything on the test was contained in the Fundamentals and the videos

You read that last part right. There are several questions I saw on each test where the answer was not in any of the materials available. Not only that, but after the test I asked several of my co-workers (who all had more than 5+ years working on the SFDC platform) these same questions and guess what? THEY didn't even know the right answers!! Man, talk about being pissed and frustrated. But it got better. . sort of.

Things you should be aware of. .

After taking the test several times and finally passing, I came to the conclusion really doesn't want you to pass the test, and they clearly don't want to have more developers with a 401 or a 501 certification. With other certifications I've taken, the vendor will tell you how you did, and point out areas of the test you were weak so you could study those areas more, and be prepared to pass the test. This, unfortunately is not the case with SFDC. You either pass or you fail. They don't tell you what your score was, or what area's you were strong in. It leaves you totally in the dark. You could have been one question away from passing, or you could have just narrowly passed it. Either way, they don't help you out at all in trying to pass the test.

Overall, what I think finally put over the edge was getting some good time working on the SFDC platform. Getting as much real world experience on the platform is important. Just as a point of interest, we had several back end developers start around the time I was taking the test. All 5 of them had extensive back-end (Java) experience and passed the test the first time, all with about 6-8 months of SFDC experience. The four front end guys we have all had to take the test multiple times before we passed (with virtually no back-end or OOP (object oriented programming) experience. So When I hear SFDC tell you, you don't need any programming experience to pass this test, I say BULLSHIT.

Next post - get the rest of the details on the test. . .

Everything you need to know about the SFDC certification test

My Background

I'm going to give some of my background, just so you know what you're getting into. I'm a front-end developer with about 6 years of experience. My expertise lays in the areas of HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery and Flash. I had absolutely no database or back-end experience to speak of before I sat for this exam. The following posts will consist of what you need to know in order to pass this test, what the content of the test comprises, what you topics you should focus on, and a list of example questions. Keep in mind I had to take this test three times before I passed it. Hopefully all of this information will help someone, so you don't have to go through what I went through. And in some way, stick to to SFDC.

Without further ado, let's get to it!