What I Learned Studying for my Sharing and Visibility Designer Exam

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Person Behind Books


I’ll start by saying, I failed it the first time. Admittedly, I wasn’t as confident as I needed to be. Hopefully, the lessons I learned from failing the first time will help you prepare for the exam. There was a good in between moment from fail to pass of what I can share.


Don’t trust your experience entirely, study

During my 6 years in the Salesforce Ecosystem I’ve been exposed to hundreds of business requirements around security. While this experience has been invaluable, relying on those experiences to pass the Sharing and Visibility Designer Exam proved unsuccessful.

Take time to understand the percentages tied to each section of questions in the exam. This tied up perfectly against my experience with exposure to security in the field. Those percentages gave me a false send of confidence. There are edge case questions in the exam, making it extremely important to put some extra effort into studying, using material like the Trailmix or FocusonForce. Use these resources to verify your knowledge before taking the exam.


Declarative, declarative, declarative 

I assumed because the majority of my experience with security had been declarative, I had it in the bag. Wrong. After taking the test initially I found the sharing and profiles component to be easy. Take extra time becoming familiar with Territory Management, Opportunity Teams, and Encryption. My first time taking the test, I found this section to be the most challenging, however, going back and studying these sections, I approached the use case questions more confidently my second attempt.


Programmatic Sharing

Learn the jargon, don’t learn the code. I’m not a developer, but I can read and understand code- and the principles of code are important for these questions. This section will test you beyond when to use Apex sharing, but don’t become overly intimidated. Learn the types of attacks and how to prevent them: SOQL, XSS, CSRF. Learn the basic ‘with sharing’ and ‘without sharing’ keywords. Learn when to use runas() and learn the differences between is Accessible(), isCreatable(), isUpdatable(). Be sure to memorize these so they can’t trick you with any methods that don’t exist.



This section is short and sweet, and answering the few questions on the exam correctly will boost your score. Make sure you’re confident with the different mechanisms that can be used for sharing recalculation and major changes to the org. Like all other questions on the exam, these will be asked with a given use case in mind.


Use the resources available to you, and with studying, your first time is bound to be a pass!


Happy studying!