How to Pass Salesforce Platform Developer I Certification Exam

How to Pass Salesforce Platform Developer I Certification Exam

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

It has been seven years since I pass the Platform Developer I exam. In the past few months, many people reached out to me asking for guidance and a path to becoming a certified Platform Developer I professional. 

That gives me an idea for writing a blog post on this topic. For by reading from the beginning to the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of – and will be able to devise a plan and a strategy for – how to pass the Platform Developer I Certification exam.  

👉 As you are here, you may want to check out the following articles:

  1. Creatively Decode Your Salesforce Developer Journey
  2. How to Pass Salesforce JavaScript Developer I Certification Exam

So, Who is an Ideal Candidate for the exam?

The Salesforce Platform Developer I exam is intended for an individual who has experience developing and deploying basic business logic and user interfaces using the programmatic capabilities of the Lightning Platform, including practical application of the skills and concepts noted in the exam objectives below.

The Salesforce Platform Developer I candidate has the experience, skills, and knowledge outlined below:

  • Has experience with data-driven applications and relational databases.
  • Has experience with object-oriented languages such as Apex, JavaScript, Java, C#, and Ruby.
  • Is familiar with governor limits and their implications.
  • Has experience with Model View Controller (MVC) and component-based architectures.
  • Knows the capabilities of the core objects in the Salesforce schema.
  • Knows the capabilities and use cases for formula fields and roll-up summary fields.
  • Knows when to use declarative vs. programmatic methods to solve business requirements. 
  • Can leverage relevant declarative capabilities of the platform, where appropriate.
  • Knows the Apex programming language and can use Apex best practices to customize Salesforce.
  • Can extend the Lightning Platform using Apex, Visualforce, and basic Lightning Components.
  • Can use fundamental programmatic capabilities of the Lightning Platform to develop custom interfaces to extend Salesforce capabilities and develop custom business logic.
  • Is familiar with testing, debugging, and deploying code and knows the available environments.
  • A candidate for this exam is not expected to administer any standard Salesforce applications, develop mobile apps, develop and publish managed products on the AppExchange, or perform tuning or design integrations such as callouts, APIs, and email services.

Strategy to Ace Prerequisites and the Platform Developer I Certification!

After deciding to appear for the exam, it is time to gather information about it and consider what steps you will take to ace it. Once you have a concrete timeline, think about how you will integrate a sound study plan around the rest of your responsibilities – work/home balance, etc. Having a concrete date to study will help you stay motivated.

Below are some details about the exam and study materials:

  • 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions – 105 mins
  • 68% is the passing score
  • The exam Fee is $200 plus applicable taxes
  • Retake fee: USD 100, plus applicable taxes as required per local law
  • Platform Developer I Exam Guide
  • Exam Outline 
    • Developer Fundamentals: 23%
    • Process Automation and Logic: 30%
    • User Interface: 25%
    • Testing, Debugging, and Deployment: 22%

If your goal is to become a certified Platform Developer I, I highly recommend starting with Platform App Builder certification. While preparing for the Platform App Builder exam, you will get a solid understanding of data models, declarative automation, and user interface design capabilities.

Once you’re done with Platform App Builder certification, start upskilling your skills by starting the Platform Developer I certification track.

What you Need to Know to Smoothen your Journey

One of the things my Driving Instructor used to say, one can’t learn the drive by sitting behind the wheel. He also often said, learning to drive a car takes time – you don’t just become a good driver overnight; you learn it through practicing behind the wheel for many hours. The same applies when you start learning to program. You may learn the best practices by watching videos on YouTube or reading books/articles. To become a developer, you must start writing code independently.

To ace the Platform Developer I certification, you must demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and experience in building custom applications on the Lightning Platform. There is no shortcut to success. Read and practice as much as you can.

  1. Let’s start from basic – Even though you haven’t written any code and want to become a Platform Developer, the following steps will help you to achieve your goal.
    1. Spend 1-2 hours daily writing and practicing code. You may want to check out this article to get some idea: Creatively Decode Your Salesforce Developer Journey.
    2. Learn how to write basic algorithms or Pseudo Code. You can always look up algorithms and sample code in Salesforce-provided documents. But Learning them will expand your mindset and how you tackle any problems.
      1. An algorithm is nothing but a mention of steps to solve a problem.
      2. Learn Object-oriented Programming from YouTube video Java Tutorial for Beginners.
      3. If you are overwhelmed by lots of information, it may be time to take a step back and refocus your attention on learning Apex code directly.
  2. Start your Apex journey from David Liu’s course. Don’t just watch the video. Make sure to practice the exercise in your developer org. Use this link to signup for a free developer edition org.
    1. Apex Academy: Fundamental Salesforce Coding Techniques
    2. Apex Academy: Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Coding in Salesforce
    3. Knowing When to Code in Salesforce
    4. Apex Academy: The Power of SOQL
  3. Salesforce Developer Videos
    1. Introduction to Salesforce and Data Modeling – Episode 1
    2. Customize UX in Salesforce – Episode 2
    3. Automation in Salesforce – Episode 3
    4. Apex and Lightning Web Components in Salesforce – Episode 4
    5. Security in Salesforce – Episode 5
    6. Learn SOQL Basics
    7. Learn DML Basics
  4. Setting up Visual Studio Code on Your Mac
  5. Salesforce Developer Tools and Productivity
  6. Testing, Debugging, and Deployment
    1. Apex Testing: Basics and Asserts
    2. Apex: Basics and Anonymous Execution
    3. Debugging Apex with Replay Debugger
  7. By now, you will have a good understanding of SOQL and Apex. It’s time to start learning the Lightning web component.
  8. Learn Lightning Web Component
    1. The following videos by Salesforce Developers Team will give you a fair understanding of the Lightning Web Component.
      1. Getting Started with Lightning Web Component – YouTube Videos
        1. Lightning Web Components – Episode 1: An Introduction
        2. Lightning Web Components – Episode 2: Work with Salesforce Data
        3. Lightning Web Components – Episode 3: Component Communication and Aura Interoperability
        4. Lightning Web Components – Episode 4: Security and Testing
      2. Build Lightning Web Components – Trailhead Module. Make sure that you are practicing every topic in your developer org.
  9. Preparation for Platform Developer I Exam
    1. Sign up for Salesforce Certification Days Platform Developer 1 Webinar
    2. Get Ready for Your PDI Certification
    3. Trailmix: Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform Developer I Credential
    4. Trail: Study for the Platform Developer I Exam
    5. Superbadge: Apex Specialist
    6. Optional Trailhead Instructor-Led Training – Trailhead Virtual Bootcamp for Platform Developer I

Additional Resources

There are tons of blogs to help you prepare for the Platform Developer I exam.

  1. How I Studied for the Platform Developer I Exam
  2. SOQL and SOSL Reference
  3. Apex Developer Guide
  4. Triggers and Order of Execution
  5. Debugging, Testing, and Deploying Apex
  6. Lightning Web Components Developer Guide
  7. Platform Events Developer Guide


  1. Do not stress too much about remembering syntax. You will forget most of it anyway.
  2. Learn how to write code. Focus on improving problem-solving skills.   
    1. Start writing Pseudocode instead of writing Apex code directly. It means solving the problem in plain English (Pseudocode)! And, only then, write the code. 
  3. Master a good debugger. Think of it like solving a detective novel!
  4. Do not forget to unit test your code. Most of the time, your code will always be buggy.
  5. Do not think highly efficient code is always good. Sometimes, the development cost outweighs it.
  6. You’ll always make mistakes. Be willing to accept it and learn from it.
  7. Start using Visual Studio Code (or an IDE) and learn most of the shortcuts. The learning curve might be high. But once it becomes muscle memory, your productivity will be improved. 
  8. Make friends with a professional programmer and see if they can take a few minutes to review your code. 
  9. Don’t give up on yourself – I’ve met many self-taught programmers. They all had one thing in common – they never gave up.


If you have good hands-on experience with all the above topics, passing the exam will be a cinch, and you will be able to earn the much-coveted Platform Developer I certification! However, if you do not have enough experience with Apex, SOQL, Lightning Web Component and plan to become a Platform Developer I. I suggest you draw a 6-9 months plan (finish the above ApexAcademy, Trailmix, and Instructor-led training) to prepare for it.

I hope that you find these tips and resources useful. If you put the time and effort in, you will succeed. Happy studying and good luck!

Formative Assessment:

I want to hear from you!

Have you taken the Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I exam? Are you preparing for the exam now? Share your tips in the comments!

Have feedback, suggestions for posts, or need more information about Salesforce online training offered by me? Say hello, and leave a message!

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