The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developer certification is now available in Webassessor and I am sure some of you are very excited about taking the exam. When I passed the beta version of the exam, a lot of people asked me about what to study. In this article, I tried to summarise everything I think you should know before giving the exam a try.
First of all, the SFMC developer certification is not a certification you should try to pass if you have never touched a single line of code before. It is one of those exams that requires having spent a lot of time building apps/emails/landing pages/scripts in the platform. Of course, you will always find someone who managed pass it without practicing but I strongly advise you to play with the platform before taking the test.
What is covered in the exam?
The first place you need to visit is Trailhead with their Study Guide. It lists all the points you need to study with the percentage associated with each part of the exam. You can also find the details about the exam itself and why it exists.
How can I practice?
As I said, to take the exam you should be already working with SFMC and be able to practice in your account. AMPscript, SSJS, Data Modeling, SQL and security are areas available in your SFMC account by default. If one feature is missing (e.g. Exclusion script), try raising a case with support to get it enabled. As long as it is not a paid feature you should be able to get it easily.
What do I need to study?
I recommend to study everything available online (Official documentation, Trailhead trails, AMPscriptguide and blogs). You will learn new things or little details that you missed. Here is a non-exhaustive list of what I think you need to review or things you may not be entirely familiar with.
AMPscript & SSJS:
- Review the AMPscript syntax. You could be surprised by the syntax of some functions. For example, I learned that closing a FOR Loop with the variable name controlling the loop is optional
- Learn the AMPscript functions. You probably did not use them all in the past so try to play with them. The best place to review them is probably the awesome AMPscript Guide. I personally recommend to test these ones:
- HTTPGet and HTTPPost
- The encryption functions
- Understand how AMPscript is processed and where to put the preheader
- Know the system personalisation strings (e.g. “_messagecontext” or “_IsTestSend”)
- Where exclusion script can be leveraged and how it works
- Read the AMPscript best practices
- Review the SSJS syntax
- Learn the SSJS core and platform functions
- See how AMPscript and SSJS can talk to each other
- Know what is a Sendlog
- Review the data views available to query activities (Open, click….)
- Get the concept of data available only at the child BU level or parent BU level
- Understand how the Synchronised DEs work and how to exclude some data from being imported
- Where contacts are stored in SFMC
- Read the Contact Builder best practices
- Good understanding of the data deletion process. Review the deletion phases, read if the deletion is permanent and what happens if you add someone during a deletion process
- Read the Data Extension and Query best practices
- Know some general functions for SQL (e.g. Find values starting with a specific character – WHERE CustomerName LIKE ‘a%’)
- Read how Key Management is working
- How to encode data in Cloudpages and emails
- What is a SSL certificate and how many do you need
- Have an understanding of the different types of encryption available in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (field-level encryption, encrypted data, tokenised sending…)
- How to decrypt a file before an import
- Read the API best practices
- Understand what is a tenant’s endpoint
- Review how to optimise your API calls
- Token management for API call
- Get familiar with the API errors
- How to install a package and the type of packages available
- Learn about response handling (e.g. 202 for an accepted trigger email)
- Know your SAOP objects and methods (e.g. Retrieve an account object)
- Remember some popular REST API routes like the one to fire an event with Journey Builder or the Content Builder routes
Voilà, I hope this article will help you pass the exam and feel free to leave a comment if you have more questions.