Passing the Heroku Architecture Designer Certificate

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Tim Hemi
October 11, 2020

Working in the Operations Division of reinteractive, we host client’s applications on both AWS and Heroku as part of our OpsCare service. It is important that we are constantly learning and staying ahead of technology advancements.

As part of that, I recently achieved my Heroku Architect Designer Certificate and would like to share with you my journey and more importantly, a consolidated list of study materials that I found useful.

There were two basic steps I followed:

1) Attend the Heroku Academy Guide Webinar and 2) Review the Salesforce Certified Heroku Architecture Designer Exam Guide.

1. Heroku Academy Guide (Webinar)

1a. Prework Trailmixes:

As a warmup to the Heroku Academy Workshop, we were all given the set of Trailmixes to complete before attending the webinar. These also require you to set up a free Heroku account so you can actually apply what you are learning hands-on. I found the Trailmixes formed a good foundation for me, and I could easily keep up with the instructor and fully understand everything that he presented. Not to mention they added to my Trailblazer badge collection :) Anyway, here they are:

1b. Virtual Hands-On Workshop

This was a series of 2-hour sessions taken over several weeks which is part of the Heroku Academy Guide. The sessions covered introductory though to advanced concepts and operations of Heroku and its integration with Salesforce. It can be accessed through the Salesforce Partner Community here.

Personally, I liked hearing from a professional who has already worked this area, in order to glean that extra titbit of wisdom. He did not disappoint. The other bonus of the webinar was the slides. We were given a link to them for later consumption and these came in real handy as quick refreshers prior to heading into the exam.

Also, a benefit which was not an original feature of the Webinar, those who attended all sessions and completed all assigned tasks were given the opportunity to acquire a certification voucher - hoorah!

2. Heroku Architect Designer (Certification) Guide

During the webinar, the instructor gave us references that we should study and I have included them here.

  1. Exam Overview: Dive into the New Heroku Architecture Certification Exam YouTube clip given by the designer of the Exam.

  2. Exam Guide: Salesforce Certified Heroku Architecture Designer Exam Guide The official guide for the exam. This is the admin details of the exam itself, including study path and general makeup.

  3. Exam Trailhead Series: Prepare for your Heroku Architecture Credential The official Trailhead series to prepare for the exam. This has similar content to the webinar and that repetition actually helped me out more than I realised.

  4. The following references have relevant information that will definitely assist with preparation for the exam.

2b. Exam Hints

  • Study the References (above) with the aim of understanding what you are reading. If there is a word or symbol that catches your attention, or you don’t fully get it - clarify its meaning so you know what is being talked about! I find that if I can’t visualise what I am reading while I am reading it, then I need to go back and find that bit I did not understand.

  • The questions are worded quite clearly and are not designed to trip you up. However, occasionally you will find a pair of answers almost identical except for one different word or phrase. Just read it clearly and work out what the differences are so you are sure what the differences are.

  • ALL the questions are phrased as if you are a consultant advising your client on what services they should be employing. You will NOT be asked how to use the Heroku Console to implement the services.

  • Pass mark is 72%, there are 60 questions and 105 mins to complete. There is no need to stress as you have ample time read each question carefully including all the possible answers. Once you have taken the time to read and understand the question, it only takes 2 seconds to answer it. If you don’t know the answer pick a random one and tick the “REVIEW” checkbox. That way you can easily find it for another review after you complete the remaining questions. I followed that strategy and had ample time to go back and have another look at the answers that I intuited from the conscious stream.

  • When taking the exam at an examination centre you will be given the means to jot down notes — use that to draw up those tough questions as a diagram. You won’t regret it!


In retrospect, the streamlined study path would be to do the Trailhead Series — Prepare for your Heroku Architecture Credential and follow that up with the references on Best Practices including the 12Factor write up under heading 2 above.

Wishing you the best of luck in your Heroku study journey. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.