Posted: 22 Jun. 2021 5 min. read

Becoming a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

What does it take? 

We recently spoke with Mo Salem, a senior leader in our Salesforce technical practice that works to resolve our top tier customers’ challenges in their digital transformation journey with state-of-the-art Salesforce solutions.

We spoke about his journey to becoming a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA), which started in 2011 when he completed his Salesforce Developer Certification.

It is an honour to hold such a superior credential from the #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provider, Salesforce. A few people recently matched this credential and its reputation in the Salesforce ecosystem to the films industry Oscar award – and I agree.

With only a few hundred Salesforce Certified Technical Architects (CTAs) in the world, I’ve entered this elite club which includes five from Deloitte ANZ.

Achieving this milestone was no mean feat and I hope by sharing my learnings it can help you on your journey.

How to join the elite club

 

The journey towards becoming a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (aka Salesforce CTA) is one of the most challenging and yet, most worthwhile journeys.

I believe my approach was the secret ingredient in achieving this credential. When I started my journey, I often asked myself  ‘How do I do this?'

As CTA candidates have to cover a diverse range of sections and topics to resolve a set of business requirements, it is unlikely a candidate will get there if he/she doesn't have a method of doing this. I invested days and nights shortlisting the elements that defined my strategy.

Namely, these questions helped me find my approach:

  • How to tell a story concisely and clearly?
  • What are the critical platform capabilities to use as an immediate solution? And what are the alternatives that can also be valuable in your architecture pocket for the exceptional situations in different domains?
  • What makes a solution for a requirement look complete? When should I think of one option vs. when should I consider multiple options? And what makes one better than the other?
  • How will I manage the ambiguities?

Appreciating the journey as much as the badge

 

Most Salesforce CTAs encourage the ecosystem community to enjoy the journey. In my own experience, I found this journey was different because of:

  • The people you meet (aspiring CTAs, study buddies, mentors, and Judges). I encountered pearls of wisdom from all of them. 
  • The platform experience you gain from the content, challenges, and mock scenarios that you resolve
  • The industry experience you gain from the number of cross-industries points of views you build and refine to popular and relevant Salesforce platform challenges
  • The approach you set up and refine to solving business requirements in different domains under time pressure
  • The confidence you build from presenting hypothetical scenarios solutions to experienced CTAs

My journey with Deloitte Digital

 

I was hired back in 2016 by the Deloitte Digital Salesforce leadership with the Salesforce CTA objective in mind. It was the right step, in my opinion. I am grateful to have joined a team that was so supportive in guiding my JourneyToCTA. In particular Deloitte Digital supported me by:

  • Unlocking opportunities to engage and experience on enterprise-level projects and connecting me with top tier customers where I learnt to advise and resolve their challenging business requirements
  • Enabling all possibilities to deliver large enterprise programs and master how strong governance supports a successful delivery
  • Surrounding me with a superior group of strategic thinkers in every challenge

 

I was lucky to benefit from a few Deloitte initiatives that aimed to support aspiring CTAs in their journey, including:

  • Deloitte Digital CTA Bootcamp
  • Salesforce partners program
  • Deloitte Digital advisory and study community

Want to know more?

 

As a Salesforce architect, I enjoyed the journey to becoming a Salesforce CTA and how it made me more efficient in my day-to-day activities with my team, peers, and clients.

I recommend it to every aspiring architect as the road to becoming a Salesforce CTA is full of insightful experiences.

If you would like to chat about my journey or discuss opportunities within the Deloitte Digital Salesforce architecture team, please feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn.

Meet our author

Mohamed Salem

Mohamed Salem

Director, Deloitte Digital

Mo is a Senior Leader in our Salesforce technical practice in Sydney. He works with organisations nationally and globally to architect and design Salesforce and CRM solutions in their Digital transformation journey. Mo is a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) with only a few hundred globally holding this credential. With 18+ years of experience and innovation in the software development arena across APAC and EMEA, Mo has spent the last decade in architecting and delivering Salesforce.com, Force.com, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Experience Cloud and Enterprise Integration implementations. Mo has worked across many industry sectors with a focus on financial services, public sector and utilities.