You don’t have to code to be a CTA

Do you really have to code to become a Certified Technical Architect? It is really a matter of perspective. We at The Architech Club believe you can become a CTA without coding, and this is why…

Some experts debate that you need technical knowledge in order to become a CTA, while others suggest that non-developers can’t possibly become Salesforce Certified Technical Architects. Other experts think that if you’re already a System and Application Architect, then you can go for the Board Review, which can be true if you’re prepared for the exam.

We want to help paint a more realistic picture of what you’re getting into when embarking on your journey to CTA. Let’s dive into it!


Number 1

This credential is NOT reserved only for developers. Banish that misconception right away! There are plenty of Salesforce Certified Technical Architects who don’t write code and there are plenty who do.

You need to pass PD1, and you need to be able to recommend a programmatic approach, along with describing what you’d use… but PD2 is NOT in the pyramid! You would never be asked to write code!

Number 2

You have to understand one thing: there is no shortcut to become a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect! The road you have to take to become one is called a journey, as it takes lots of time and effort. So, if you set out with a lazy approach, just bear in mind that you will have to focus your discipline if you want to succeed.

Number 3

Now, you’ve got your Application Architect and System Architect credentials. This is wonderful! It sets you up nicely and brings you to the point of eligibility for CTA.

  • It doesn’t mean you should expect to go straight for the Review Board.
  • You have to get ready.
  • Reaching that level of readiness requires a lot of further study, practice, and time.
  • Having a mentor won’t get you there any quicker, but it does add another dimension.
  • It has to come from your project experience as well as your knowledge.
  • Mentors share their experiences to enable you to make your own judgements.
  • Use the mentors for their experience and you’ll get a fantastically positive input to your preparation.

Number 4

Collecting and breezing through certifications won’t help you pass the CTA exam Review Board.

  • Having the depth and breadth of knowledge at your fingertips (from your own brain) is fundamental.
  • Stop selling, buying and sharing exam dumps.

Number 5

Please don’t think that showing up unprepared and failing an exam is a great way to understand what you need to do to pass. The CTA Review Board is ‘sought-after’, meaning it’s a highly popular exam. It is a tough and tiring week for the judges who assess you, and candidates take many months to prepare for it.

  • Make a realistic plan that includes your revision, study, any project work, and regular practice sessions. Then set a target date.
  • Treat it with the reverence it deserves. Work hard, practice hard and have a final go/no-go decision factored into your plan before you part with your (or your company’s) cash.



Lots of people working on billable project work, implementing Salesforce, cite a lack of time as their reason for not getting certified. The truth is, it’s valuable to you and your career. It’s valuable to your client because of your new/revised knowledge, and it’s important to your company. Planning your time around study and certification isn’t a sackable offense. If you have to rearrange the CTA exam because something more pressing comes up, then so be it, but stay true to yourself and re-book it.

It should take a few months of planning and studying, but in the end, you’ll see that becoming a CTA is actually an achievable goal. Remember: You DON’T have to be an expert programmer to reach the summit. You just need to understand the capabilities and limitations of Salesforce. The rest is possible without being a coder.

The Review Board is about designing optimal solutions for a complex business scenario. Could your Salesforce project benefit from the same techniques? Understand your setup better, whilst supporting future CTAs – book a discovery call.

About the author

Gemma Blezard

CEO and Salesforce MVP

Gemma is founder and CEO of The Architech Club and a great inspiration to anyone dealing with life’s challenges. Gemma is also co-founder of Ladies Be Architects and an Award-winning advocate for diversity.
She is in demand as a conference speaker at Dreamforce, World Tour and Community events. She is open about being a Breast cancer survivor, and somehow balances being a mother, Salesforce MVP, 18 x Salesforce Certified (so far) and now an entrepreneur.

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