My experience at Bootcamp Barcelona ’19

September 9th to 12th, 2019

When I discovered that Salesforce hosted its first EMEA Bootcamp event in Barcelona, I just couldn’t resist ๐Ÿคฉ.
My favorite city and my favorite platform together: such an amazing opportunity! ๐Ÿ™‚

What is a Bootcamp?

A Bootcamp is a 3 to 4 days expert-led training, with study tracks based your role (Architect, Admin, Developer, etc.) where you have the possibility to pass certifications exams.

Do not assume that you will be able to pass a certification after just those 3-4 days of training

consider the Bootcamp as a booster for your preparation not a replacement

Make sure you follow all preparation material on Trailhead and ask enough questions to your trainer during the Bootcamp to have a higher chance to succeed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day 1

I arrived early in the morning for breakfast… a bit too early apparently… apart from Salesforce employees, there was just Mirรฒwl (aka Hootie McOwlface the Owl), the Gratitude Tree and myself.

2 Architect Tracks ๐Ÿคฉ

This year Salesforce improved the Architect track by splitting it into 2 tracks corresponding to the 2 sides of the famous Architect #JourneyToCTA pyramid:

Application Architect & System Architect

I completed the Application Architect certification last year and last July I only missed Integration Architecture and Identity and Access Management Designer certifications to complete both sides of the pyramid, so I registered for the System Architect track.

I passed both exams before the training, one in August and the other on the first certification slot of the Bootcamp, so Salesforce allowed me to switch course: 1st day on System Architect track, then changed to the CTA-601 Workshop which was taking place in the same location on the 2nd and 3rd day of the event.

Lesson 1 on System Architect track was mainly focused on Integrations and the teacher was the great Amit Malik.
I really enjoyed his teaching approach without slides and more along the lines of “if you’re here in a System Architect track you probably already know how to search what you need on Google, I’ll just teach you the proper terminology and make your mind click“.

Everyone was encouraged in taking an active part in the class…
I ended up playing the role of “Generic Event” in a Salesforce Events comparison, together with Push Topics, CDC, and Platform Events…
a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 2

On the second day I attended the CTA-601 Architect Workshop, led by Carl Brundage (CTA, #AnalyticsChampion like me, and the most certified person I had the chance to talk to in the whole Salesforce ecosystem).

This workshop is about the preparation for the Review Board exam to become a Salesforce’s Certified Technical Architect (CTA).
We were just 10 students and Carl guided us through all the exam guide to understand what is required to pass the Review Board and gave some good advices on how to structure a preparation plan and how to approach the day of the exam.

At the end of the day I felt happy and grateful but also drained, so I went back to my hotel to rest a bit before attending the party at Pacha Barcelona:

Before leaving, I left a small card on the Gratitude Olive Tree.
Feedback is important and I always thank Trailhead for their positive impact! ๐Ÿ™‚

Bootcamp Party

At Bootcamps you don’t spend the whole time studying!

There are also many networking opportunities and one of those is the party they generally organise on the second evening.

Salesforce community is very friendly and open minded so it is easy to meet with people even if you’re shy and introvert.

Day 3

Another CTA-601 day. After drafting a study plan, I had the opportunity to try 2 mock scenarios and to feel the time pressure and the stress while presenting my solution to the judges (Carl and other students).

Key Takeaways:

– Architects need to be concise and precise

– CTAs need to think fast AND correct ๐Ÿ™‚

I definitely need to improve my speed-reading; the first scenario was really long, and trying to implement it while reading it was not a good strategy.
The second was shorter but a bit more complex in terms of data model and design.

After the mock exam, I felt slightly more confident on my technical skills.

It was my first time and it allowed me to identify my strengths and weaknesses.
Now I know that I need to work harder on my communication, drawing and speed-reading (on top of the technical part).

Icing on the cake, I unexpectedly won a big Cloudy peluche for being “social”
(another “out of my comfort zone” thing which I’m trying to learn):

Happy though a bit shocked by the unexpected gift received by Amy ๐Ÿ™‚
CTA601 Workshop Group

Day 4

Early morning studying, packing up, and adding a few stickers to my luggage ๐Ÿ˜นbefore sitting for the Heroku Architecture Designer exam!

Luckily as an Architect you try to predict, identify and address/mitigate risks: I knew Salesforce events are always packed with swags, so I went to Barcelona with an half-empty luggage ๐Ÿ˜€
I really like how the Trailhead team encourages you on every step of your learning experience

The Heroku Architecture Designer exam was quite long and tough but I passed ๐Ÿฅณ
I will post some useful link to documentation and other study materials that helped me tackle its questions ๐Ÿค“


This Bootcamp has been an amazing experience under many aspects and I would definitely recommend anyone to attend future ones!
I met many smart, interesting and fun people from all over Europe (and even some folks from Australia & USA!)

If you’re like me and don’t have the chance to have your company sponsoring the training or the trip, see Bootcamps as an opportunity to invest on your career and a way to speed up your learning journey.

Loved the encouragement words in front of the gratitude tree, right before the exams ๐Ÿ™‚



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