Focus on People: Julian Virguez

From Java to Salesforce Developer

Read how the Salesforce platform has helped a Java developer to learn and improve his programing skills on a whole new level. 

Julian worked as a Salesforce developer in a consulting company. He has been working with Salesforce for more than 5 years and he has so many useful things to share with our community. Keep reading and find out more about Julian’s Salesforce experience and learning process.

What is your role and what does your day to day look like? 

My name is Julian and I’m in charge of technical side of things where I work. We solve technical issues in terms of system that we developed. My day to day activities involves many different things such as solving Salesforce issues or planning and running projects all around the company.

How and why did you get started with Salesforce?

I’ve started when I used to work for a consulting company in Sydney. I started there around 5-6 years ago. I know how to program in Java, so I did two different projects between Java and Apex. You have to know the differences between these two systems in order to understand how things work and complete projects. I started working for the CMS part of the business and slowly got more involved with Salesforce CRM.  I wanted to get involved with it as it was a great technology that was booming. So, that was my first interaction with Salesforce and after that I did many projects for different companies and businesses

What was the most challenging part of learning Salesforce?

I think the most challenging part is the adapting part - to know what the limits are in Salesforce and knowing how to overcome - because very often you will find things that you can’t do in Salesforce, when you can do them with other program languages or systems, and vice versa. Learning to overcome the governing limits of Salesforce is a challenge, as it can change the way a solution is designed and implemented. Salesforce is unique and it defines limits that apply. So you need to spend a lot of time thinking and learning about those limits or adapting the way you program. 

"Salesforce is unique and it defines limits that apply. So you need to spend a lot of time thinking and learning about those limits or adapting the way you program." 

What certifications have you achieved so far?

So, I got the Admin certification, App Builder, Platform Dev I and Platform Dev II. Lately, I got Sales Cloud certification.

Which certification was the most difficult one for you and how did you prepare for that specific Salesforce certification?

I think for me the hardest one was Platform Dev II. It was hard because it has components where you have to answer questions with multiple choices and write an essay and explain a project that you have to develop in a certain time. To prepare for that one, which at that time was 501 exam instead of Platform Dev II - it has changed after a while - I needed to go through a lot of documentation and articles that telling you how to prepare yourself for this kind of a certification and also I did a lot of programing. I was working on a very thorough and complex system that allowed me to gain a lot of experience and to pass the exam.

How did Focus on Force practice exams and study guides help with you preparation?

Well, I used Focus on Force to obtain my Sales Cloud certification. It was very helpful, the content that Focus on Force has. It’s concise and with really good scenarios that show you what you need to learn without getting too much into details. This is important, because Sales Cloud is a topic that you can spend many days and months learning about. Each topic is covered with hundreds of articles with useful information and guidelines. 

What was great with Focus on Force was that each section has the most important bullet points that you need to learn - which was pretty good because I knew that I need to learn this and that. I could mark down what I have learned so far. It also has a section that has mock up questions that expand my knowledge on things that I need to learn and improve. Also, there are exams on specific area. For example, I’m a bit low on my knowledge for reports, so I can use Focus on Force and just do a lot of questions on that specific area with reports and I can also do a mock up exam of a little bit of everything and test my general knowledge on the topic.

"It’s concise and with really good scenarios that show you what you need to learn without getting too much into details. This is important, because Sales Cloud is a topic that you can spend many days and months learning about."

What tips and advice do you have for others who are in the process of learning and preparing for a Salesforce certification? 

One advice is to commit to a day, because once you book a day for your exam you know how many weeks you have for your preparation. Better plan in advance how many hours you need for studying and commit to the schedule. Read a lot and take notes, because there is a lot of information and make sure you take a break between so many information popping into your brain.

What advice do you have for someone that want to start a Salesforce career?

It is a great platform. I would encourage everyone to get to it. I love Salesforce and work with Salesforce everyday. There are always new features and things to learn about. If you want to get into it, try to find a company that offers projects and jobs with Salesforce. Also, doing certifications will help to gather experience and knowledge. Participate in user groups, Salesforce user groups, Admin groups - these things can really help you to get in touch with people and ask for help and advice. Maybe try to work for an NGO that uses a Salesforce platform and try volunteering for a couple of months. It will help you gather some experience and with that you can move on to the market where Salesforce is required. 

"One advice is to commit to a day, because once you book a day for your exam you know how many weeks you have for your preparation. Better plan in advance how many hours you need for studying and commit to the schedule."

What Certification are you studying for now?

Focus on Force currently provide practice exams and study guides for nine certifications