Certification Tricks & Treats With Wendy Braid

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got Wendy Braid, Senior Manager of Trailhead Delivery at Salesforce. In this special Halloween episode, we’ll go over all the tricks—and treats—to pass those certification exams.

Join us as we talk about why it’s so important to know your learning style, what we can learn from failure, and how to take advantage of feedback from your last certification to pass the next one.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Wendy Braid.

Why it’s so important to know your learning style.

Wendy’s journey through the Salesforce ecosystem including a stop as an admin. “That was a marvelous and very difficult job,” she says, “that actually prepared me for many conversations I had as a Salesforce consultant.” Moving into consulting gave her a wide variety of experience on implementations large and small, which eventually got her into end-user training and teaching classes for Salesforce (where she actually taught Mike back in 2011). Today, she manages a team of instructors who deliver courses on everything from Salesforce core to Pardot.

“One of the things I loved about teaching classes is that, as a learner, you get to meet so many other awesome admins just like yourself,” Wendy says, “you can learn from others, you can share your experiences, and you can find your configuration buddies.” She was also able to observe what worked for people in her classes, and one big tip she has is to understand really think about your learning style. Are you a visual learner? Do you learn more easily from just reading? Auditory? Knowing what helps you learn best will help you study more effectively.

Awesome admins or angry admins?

When we asked Wendy for another trick for studying for certifications, she had this to say: “Very Awesome Admins Work Pretty Efficiently.” What? It’s mnemonic to help you remember the order of execution: Validation Rules, Assignment Rules, Auto-Response Rules, Workflow, Process, and Escalation Rules. You also say, “Very Angry Admins Work Pretty Efficiently,” but we like to keep things positive on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. The lesson here is to get creative, and Wendy has seen everything from a Salesforce security rap to some educational choreography.

The other thing about certification exams is that sometimes you need to shift your perspective on what success means. “Not passing a certification exam is actually a very big treat that you can give yourself,” Wendy says, “you’re really providing yourself with a really amazing learning opportunity and learning journey to continue on.” You can take the opportunity to dig deeper into the product and identify your knowledge gaps, which ultimately makes you a better admin.

Using feedback from one exam to work towards the next one.

Most importantly, in technology, you need to always be learning. “I was just working on a process with Process Builder last week, and I was making some mistakes in my process,” Wendy says, “and it just took a little bit of extra learning and now my process is functioning and all is working really well.” Even if you think you really know the product, there are always extra nuances to master.

Finally, “the biggest treat right now that everybody has when they’re taking their certification exams is the section-level feedback that’s provided at the end of your exam,” Wendy says. You get everything broken down by section, which helps you figure out how to best budget your prep time. Even if you pass, this information can help you prep for the next certification you have your eye on so you can take your career to the next level.

This episode features a bunch of great Halloween treats as well, from Wendy’s love of candy to how Mike would go through hundreds of dollars of candy in a single Halloween in his old neighborhood, so be sure to take a listen.

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