Salesforce is a diverse platform and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to learn and understand about everything as it requires a lot of time, effort and suitable resources.
Many people want to reach the level of a Salesforce Architect role as normally it comes with more pay, an opportunity to solve problems that are larger in scale and scope, and the authority to define vision and strategy.
This post may help you understand the required skills set of a Salesforce certified technical Architect and how you can make the right effort to become an Architect.
What is a Salesforce Architect?
Let’s start by defining what a Salesforce Architect does. A Salesforce Architect is generally working on projects or enterprise-level initiatives, rather than more narrowly focused features, enhancements or support requests. Architects are responsible for:
- Taking a Leadership role in an initiative with the ability to communicate to stakeholders across the organization.
- Helping to define roadmaps for a program, and scope for individual projects.
- Understanding the big picture business goals (both near term and long term) of the project or program.
- Implementing the design (although Architects on larger teams may not be doing as much hands-on implementation, but rather will delegate implementation tasks to other team members).
- Knowing Salesforce capabilities and best practices related to the given domain,
- Creating a system design for the project.
A Certified Technical Architect (CTA) is someone who demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to design and build high-performance technical solutions on the Salesforce Platform across all domains. Therefore, they are required to be a good resource on projects and possess a depth of knowledge in a number of different areas.
Tips to become a successful Salesforce Architect
To become a successful Salesforce Certified Technical Architect, there is a pretty linear path to follow. However, you should attempt to finish the technical architecture courses.
Through this you will be able to demonstrate your ability to architect efficient and scalable solutions, integrating the Force.com platform into the enterprise architecture. Your in-demand skills will be sought by companies who want to fully invest in a cloud infrastructure.
This process of getting certified is essential for you to understand what you need to know, but should then look beyond the certification curriculum if you truly want to understand technical architecture.
Advance your technical skills
Of all the skills on the Salesforce Architect path, the one that is often the most intimidating is the technical skills, particularly the developer and coding skills.
You can develop your technical skills by self-study on Trailhead, particularly the Trail Mixes for the Architecture certifications. What’s more, you should also review the Certified Platform Developer I topics to see areas where you are strong and where you have room to grow.
Last but not least, try solving a real business problem with code. For instance, if you encounter a business problem that requires a trigger, try building it yourself. You can use Community resources and Trailhead as a guide. And while It may take you longer to build than an experienced Apex developer you’ll be developing new skills, learning Apex capabilities and building confidence.
Increase your system design skills
Salesforce system design skills are all about taking Salesforce best practices and applying them to a particular environment with its own particular constraints.
One of the key skills for a Salesforce Architect is the ability to not just come up with a solid design, but to also be able to document the design, communicate it to others and get feedback on it.
To develop your system design skills, you should document your designs, then present your designs to technical team members and power users on your project. Also, consider presenting some of the other designs that you considered and get feedback. In addition, you can also check back in on previous projects that you worked on: how did the designs hold up over time? What features worked as you had intended? What features didn’t?
Understand the business need
If you want to succeed as a technical architect, and reach the top of the Salesforce ladder, then it’s important to remember that a good technical solution is not enough if it doesn’t meet a business need.
You have to be able to look at the bigger picture, and to understand how what you do affects the business as a whole. Becoming a technical architect might take a mind shift from fixing a problem (such as a single and isolated incident in a line of code) to fixing the problem, an issue that is impacting the entire business.
A good technical architect should be able to dig deeper to understand the goals of the process and avoid over-engineering a solution. You’re more likely to achieve success when you design to meet the business need, rather than designing for complexity and to make something cool.
Develop your soft skills
Soft Skills are things that aren’t necessarily taught in your technical architecture courses. They are essential in the workplace and make for an excellent Salesforce Architect candidate.
Here are some essential soft skills to become a great Salesforce Architect:
Know how to engage the community
You are trying to absorb all needed skills to become a great Salesforce Architect and develop your career, but remember to schedule time in your busy schedule to engage the Trailblazer Community with true intention.
Engaging with the community is the perfect way to get more exposure to how businesses talk about themselves and their business issues. This will prove invaluable for the Technical Architect Review Board exam, where you’re expected to design an optimal architecture solution hypothetical scenario based on a real-world business need.
There are different ways to engage the community, such as answering a technical question, posting your own articles, sharing useful resources you have discovered (or created), or encouraging someone to take the next step in their journey… And most of all, be part of the conversation.
Understand the customers
To help businesses transform and grow, you must know where customers and organizations are trying to go in the future.
One great way to start gaining this insight is by reading Request for Proposals (RFPs). Companies create RFPs at the beginning of projects to help potential vendors put together a solution plan. These documents let you look at how businesses talk about themselves and where they want to go.
RFPs help level up your thinking, as you’ll gain additional business context for the requirements you will ultimately configure with clicks or code.
Maximize your communication skills
A great Salesforce Architect needs to be the leader that helps the organization to define its business objectives, develop consensus around priorities and communicate those priorities across the organization in a manner that everyone can understand.
One of the best ways for you to strengthen your ability to communicate across the organization is to be able to define clear business requirements.
You should get into the habit of documenting business requirements and stretch yourself by leading Discovery sessions or by leading Discovery sessions on larger initiatives than you’re used to.
Following the path of becoming a Salesforce Architecture is a process of building skills in a number of different areas. The further you go, the stronger you get. Hopefully, this article helps you to move forward in your learning and career path.