It was only a month ago that this happened:
It was a long time coming, I’m not going to lie.
I saw at start of the year that I had all the pre-requisites and it seemed a good idea, so why not? (uh oh…)
I thought it would be smooth especially as I have done quite a lot of work on commerce with other products and clouds, BUT YET! Not on Demandware, on this I had only done some analysis pre-work but with that client we decided not to go with this product. In that scenario the main reason were their in-house skills and capabilities (which as an architect is an important variable to keep in mind!).
So I’ve spend most of the year procrastinating, taken 3 other certs while avoiding this one. And about 5h a week to study, although much of the content is gated on Demandware.
So any certification I do is within context, with that I mean already having worked on the concepts in question for some time.
That is aways your starting point! And so very often I see it being dismissed? That’s one of the greatest mysteries of this ecosystem.
There you have the expectations of experience: at least 2 years.
You even have the exam outline in the guide, where you can open each section! Look at these, break it down and make a plan to harden your areas of weakness or hesitation.
The self-study materials recommended by the guide for this exam include:
- Study for the B2C Solution Architect Certification Trail
- B2C Solution Architect Certification Trailmix
The guide also mentions that if you are a partner you have access to the Partner Learning Camp (PLC) where there is a course. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. I understand there may be a big makeover coming up at some point in the catalogue offering. I feel I wasted a lot of time going through it when as it is now was too light and high level, quite repetitive and with a clunky UX.
I was really pleased (in part) to see the verification section pre-exam is much more thorough (I even had to be on top of a chair… you’ll see xD).
The only downside is that I get nervous with these sort of things and that took about 45 mins on top of the exam time. (Too long without going to the toilet for my bladder & without moving my active self!)
There are loads of questions about Demandware (or what’s called B2C Commerce today, here is a related article on product namings & some B2C content: https://salesforceweek.ly/2022/03/three-and-a-half-b2c-commerce-sfcc-things-weve-learned-this-week.html).
Almost all questions are multi-select. Or at least I got that ‘lucky’ (not) to get these, with their bigger margin for error.
In this exam you have the ability to make notes on a side section in the Kryterion screen. I didn’t have much time for it! I found the questions veeeery long and barely had any time spare, so I found myself rushing a bit and trying to remember not to (too much back-end head chatter).
Remember that the core of this exam is about bringing it all together, you have 3 key pieces that talk to each other, so do keep in mind how Salesforce recommend you are to handle that, such as the productised connectors (MC Connect from SF to MC), which pieces of data sit where and why, how you bring the business and technology together to align with the idea of Customer 360 or treating customers as humans (rather than silos and IDs), when do you need to bring something else to the table and when to use custom (and which options you have there)…
Also things like the dilemma of single versus multi org is something where you need to keep a clear picture of the options and trade-offs. And that is across the 3 modules:
- B2C: When to use realms, instances, sites (customer lists single cross site and similar on catalogues)
- SF instances: Would you segment and when? Remember when you use Omnichannel Inventory Management B2C realms and SF orgs it so be 1-1.
- MC: When to use BU and or different instances. Remember the BUs strategy are highly influenced by your B2C customer lists and how you design it. Also, hidden tip: if you are using Einstein Product Recommendations or behavioural monitoring in MC BUs are to be mapped to sites, to avoid kerfuffles on what is exposed on your B2C sites/customers.
One of the items you may want to consider is the official course via https://trailheadacademy.salesforce.com/classes. The one for B2C Commerce is not for this exam specifically but will give you some more exposure to that product (which is a big chunk of the exam, of course). I took that in Q2 I think, and was useful to discuss with others on options for use cases (As much of it was hands-on subgroups design discussions) Although I attended about half of this course because of the timezone.
We all learn differently, and well I’m clearly biased about books. I found Mike’s book a good supporting tool, the last 2 chapters of bringing it all together were very useful. Salesforce B2C Solution Arch
I’ve only encountered this Miro board (by Mark Cane) AFTER I passed the exam, I think is quite useful to see and munch through. https://audit9.blog/2021/03/08/salesforce-b2c-solution-architecture/ Remember: diagraming by design 🙂
This wouldn’t be a blog post about marketing and commerce without a good old-fashioned CTA (Call To Action) at the end, so tell us… why haven’t you started prepping for the Certified B2C Commerce Solution Architect exam yet?