Deep Dive into #JourneyToCTA With key tips

Join us and learn about How to prepare for Salesforce Technical Architect exam. We will do deep dive into #JourneyToCTA, with key tips and artifacts for success with Q&A. The Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) solves complex, large-scale customer challenges to produce secure, scalable, and high-performance solutions that maximize the full potential of the Salesforce Platform.

Architect Review Board

In this session we will talk about how to prepare for CTA review board. The Review Board consists of 3 phases.

  1. Preparation: You have 180 minutes to read the entire scenario and need to create an solution design with artifacts such as System Architecture, Data Model etc.
  2. Presentation: You will get 45 min to present your solution to the board.
  3. Q&A: In the 40 minutes Q&A, the judges will take your solution apart and ask you questions specific to it.

Check out Nikunj Doshi #JourneyToCTA Timeline Infographic here.

My Review Board Experience(s) & FAQs

Topic 1st Attempt (RESULT – L) 2nd Attempt (RESULT – J)
Prep time & focus -8+ years of relevant Salesforce experience
-3 months of active prep
-Quite focused probably did nothing else apart from preparing for CTA
-Previous prep + 3 months of passive prep (Got 5 non CTA specific certs)
-2 months of active CTA prep
-Having known the drill was a bit relaxes this time, instead of just only studying started, pursued other hobbies in parallel
Mocks 8 mocks MANY did not keep count (some with mock judges, some self-judged, some just bedtime mock reading J)
Study Buddies Almost 0 Had study sesh with many (~6+), helped me clear doubts, share learning, and most importantly stay motivated!
Experience -Typical relatable scenario
-Acted as consultant, gave options with pro and cons and struggled badly when asked ‘Which one do you recommend‘
– Struggled to finish prep in time
– QnA time ran out, questions didn’t!
– A typical, complex but interesting scenario
-Acted as architect, provided strong recommendations with considerations and assumptions, provided other options with justification when asked.
– Finished prep on time.
– Q&A completed with 10mins left on clock.

Artifact & Speaking points template

Artifact & Speaking points template

Artifacts planned to be presented in review board,
1. presentation style (Flipchart/PPT/Whiteboard/Word/Etc.)
2. Respective speaking points you plan to cover during your presentation

My 9 artifacts w. speaking points
1. Company Overview
2. Actors & Licenses
3. Role Hierarchy
4. System Landscape
5. Data Model
6. Business Requirements
7. Data Migration Strategy
8. Governance Model
9. Development & Deployment Strategy

P.S- Speaking points are reverse engineered from exam guide! J

System Landscape Mind Map

System Landscape

Standard Data Model

Sample Data Model

Hot Tips

  • Try to gain as much practical experience (think enterprise projects / big proposals) as possible, map it to your CTA studies and vice versa, in my opinion cracking this cert just on basis of theoretical knowledge & coaching is not worth the time and energy required.
  • Think, Prepare, Act, Present, Defend/Modify your solution like an Architect – Give strong recommendations with assumptions & consideration during presentation, justify and provide alternatives during QA when required.
  • Give end to end (prep-present-qa) mock on webex virtual machine /mac/windows
  • Draw artefacts early & as you go (e.g. I drew data migration skeleton, as I was reading existing systems section)
  • Tie your artefacts back to your requirements (especially Governance requirements).
  • Practise Sprint reading (if you are a slow reader like me!) you can tr chrome ext to sprint read case studies here on salesforce website
  • Don’t forget to have fun, make friends across the globe and learn as much as you can while you are still on the journey, trust me destination #CTA is cool, but #JourneyToCTA is super cool!
  • Find a mentor(s) someone who has gone through this journey and understands the pain, effort & just how valuable this journey is! (P.S – I couldn’t have climbed this mountain without guidance from my mentor ‘Legendary Paul Fayle’)
  • Listen to podcasts/YouTube videos while traveling(thing of past!) and walking (think long lockdown walks!).
  • Reverse engineer AppExchg solutions for payments, event mgmt. etc.
  • Make CTA Exam Guide your best friend.


Here is agenda of our session.

  • My Journey so far!
  • Review Board Experience(s)
  • Artifact & Speaking points template
  • Typical System Landscape
  • Hot Tips
  • QnA
YouTube video
Date     : SAT JAN 23, 2021 10:00 AM EST (8:30 PM IST )
Speaker  :  Nikunj Doshi (#CTA)

Please note that we have limit of 300 attendees that can join the online sessions. However, recording will be posted on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe our YouTube channel to get notification for video upload.

Further Learning

Amit Chaudhary
Amit Chaudhary

Amit Chaudhary is Salesforce Application & System Architect and working on Salesforce Platform since 2010. He is Salesforce MVP since 2017 and have 17 Salesforce Certificates.

He is a active blogger and founder of Apex Hours.

Articles: 465


  1. Thanks, Nikunj it was a wonderful session, for some reason I was not able to attend the live session, but Thanks to the Apex Hour team to record it.

  2. Good journey overview Nikunj. I am sure this will help many aspiring CTAs. I have been struggling to find a study group and mentor. Are there any forums where “CTAs willing to be a mentor” register their willingness?

  3. Good journey overview Nikunj. I am sure this will help many aspiring CTAs. I have been struggling to find a study group and mentor. Are there any forums where “CTAs willing to be a mentor” register their willingness?

  4. Thanks for the information. I’m only just about to begin my CTA journey and welcome some tips on which exams to take after Platform App Builder and which order?
    Is it also possible for you to send a higher res version of the sketches as I cannot reall read them
    my email is [email protected]

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