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There is a couple of certificates available to take to further your knowledge and develop your career with salesforce and I was wondering which certificate is more prosperous to get . What are the main differences between being a developer and an administrator. I though both of them would have to deal with apex and basic functions. Any information on this subject will be useful. Thanks

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Salesforce's Certifications have changed a lot recently. For instance, when I got Certified they were Structured a little like this:

  • Dev 201: Salesforce Administrator
  • Dev 301: Salesforce Advanced Administrator
  • Dev 401: Salesforce Developer
  • Dev 501: Salesforce Advanced Developer

I only tell you this because you may come across material for these exams which are now out of date.

These are still Administrator and Advanced Administrators for Admins, but Platform Developer I and Platform Developer II for developers. Others have been introduced as well such as an App Builder Qualification.

What are the main differences between being a developer and an administrator

In a nutshell, an Administrator will:

  • Manage users, data, and security
  • Maintain and customize Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications
  • Build reports, dashboards, and workflow

A developer will:

  • Design the data model, user interface, business logic, and security for custom applications
  • Develop custom applications using Apex and Visualforce
  • Be familiar with the development lifecycle from development to testing, and have knowledge of the available environments

I was wondering which certificate is more prosperous to get

I'm assuming by prosperous you mean lucrative financially, in which case It'd almost certainly be the Developer qualification (out of the 2, of course). But, there'd be no harm in doing a job hunt for how much someone with a Developer Qualification gets paid compared to an Administrator.

I though both of them would have to deal with apex and basic functions

Apex, no. You're only expected to know Apex for your Dev501/Platform II qualification. Doing Dev401/Platform I for example you'll only look at the creation of objects, fields, security settings etc... Effectively, the "Clicks not Code" philosophy. Basic functions is a little vague to give you clarity on.

I did a bit of research following Juris Upenieks' comment and indeed found that:

Platform Developer 1 focus on coding skills. It also focus on Introduction to Lightning.

There is no prerequisite for Platform Developer 1 certification now unlike DEV 501 for which we had to be certified developer was prerequisite.

I strongly recommend you take a look at the Certification Site which has a lot of material, study guides, recommended courses which will tell you exactly what each qualification entails.

Hopefully, this gives you some idea as to what to expect.

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  • Please edit the part about Apex and Platform Developer 1, I am currently preparing for this exam and there is pretty much a lot to know in terms of Apex (see Study guide) Dec 11 '15 at 15:06
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    @JurisUpenieks thanks for letting me know about this. Wasn't aware Platform Developer I was more coding based!
    – Dan Jones
    Dec 11 '15 at 15:15
  • That's useful information I've just started with Apex and Java and it takes quiet a bit of time to get it just right, so everything works, especially in the dev console. I found Admin work more "easy" if i can say so. But developer certification seems better as a career option.
    – Greg
    Dec 11 '15 at 15:36
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The 201 Administrator will cover profiles, permissions, page layouts, user setup, etc. The most advanced thing you'll learn is the formula field which references other objects. Here's a link to the study guide so see all topics covered.

The 401 Developer will be less setup and more build custom applications using the point-and-click capabilities of the platform, design the data model, user interface, business logic, and security for custom applications and design reports, dashboards, and portals just to name a few. Here's a link to this exams study guide.

To dabble in each, I would recommend your free training or view the Admin Beginner and Developer Beginner at Trailhead. I set up my own developer org and gone through some of these trails and they're really cool.

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