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Career Path: How to Become a Salesforce Developer

Salesforce is number one in the world for customer relationship management (CRM) software. Salesforce products and services can be found across a wide expanse of industries including automotive, retail, healthcare, finance and so much more. As the popularity of Salesforce grows, so does the demand for developers that possess the appropriate skills and knowledge of the platform. If you are passionate about web development and motivated to keep learning and growing within the Salesforce ecosystem, you’re soon to be headed towards a successful career.

Getting Started

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Career Path: How to Become a Salesforce Developer

Salesforce is number one in the world for customer relationship management (CRM) software. Salesforce products and services can be found across a wide expanse of industries including automotive, retail, healthcare, finance and so much more. As the popularity of Salesforce grows, so does the demand for developers that possess the appropriate skills and knowledge of the platform. If you are passionate about web development and motivated to keep learning and growing within the Salesforce ecosystem, you’re soon to be headed towards a successful career.

Getting Started

A Salesforce developer is a software developer who specializes in the Salesforce platform. That means that a developer for Salesforce must be skilled with computers and have a basic knowledge of coding. If you are not confident with your coding abilities, begin by familiarizing yourself with Java and the C programming languages. This will give you a good base for the free online tools and resources available to you to start learning Salesforce through Trailhead.

Trailhead is an online educational platform for those looking to build their skills and credentials in Salesforce. Trailhead helps you to grow both your tech skills and soft skills in order to be the best candidate for a Salesforce developer position. Trailhead allows you to use what you’ve learned to complete trails of modules and projects that could potentially earn you badges and strengthen your resume and credentials.

Salesforce also has an expanding and supportive community that can be accessed through Trailhead. You can utilize Trailhead to network with other Trailblazers, as they are called, and share ideas. It would also be beneficial to attend the annual Dreamforce conference. The Dreamforce conference is hosted yearly by Salesforce in downtown San Francisco and brings together thousands of Salesforce professionals looking to learn about new products, engage in training or certifications and make connections.

Educational Requirements

You don’t need to have a formal education in order to begin growing your career as a Salesforce Developer. However, a degree in a related field is bound to give you an advantage over the competition and can be recommended for some job postings. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering would be the most common education that an employer would look for. You can also improve your marketability by completing a Salesforce Platform Developer Certification. Unlike Trailhead, this is a broader, role-based exam that is offered on the Salesforce website and can also be found on alternative certification sites such as Udemy.

Personal Qualities

The proper skills and certifications will get those seeking to be Salesforce Developers through the door, but in order to be successful in this field, certain qualities are expected in each individual. It is important to assess yourself before building your career to make sure you are the right kind of person for the job. The top qualities that an employer is looking for in a Salesforce Developer are listed below in descending order, though they are all important.

  • Strong Communicator

  • Organized

  • Problem-solver

  • Creative

  • Team Player

Working as a Salesforce Developer

Salesforce developers need to be constantly learning on the job and able to stay on top of changes and advancements in the platform. They need to be able to ask questions and use information gathered and experience acquired to address and solve any problems that arise. The job requires a lot of coding, but the main responsibility for a Salesforce developer is to manage all technical aspects of the platform. This is accomplished by responding to user’s questions and issues within the company, troubleshooting technical issues and providing training and guidance on new Salesforce features and functionality.

Advance Your Career: How to Become a Senior Salesforce Developer

A senior Salesforce developer upholds all of the responsibilities of a junior developer but with more oversight and mentoring. The distinction between a senior and junior position varies across different companies but is determined largely by experience. Junior developers typically have less than 2-3 years of experience in their field and qualify for promotion to a senior position after about 5 years.

Senior Responsibilities

Senior developers are considered experts in the Salesforce platform. They are fluent in the relevant coding languages and are familiar with all products. Senior developers are responsible for mentoring their junior team members, have more interaction with clients and collaborate with the sales team, project managers and architect. Due to their level of experience, senior developers are excellent with troubleshooting. Their methods for problem-solving are usually well documented and tested.

Senior Qualities

Senior Salesforce Developers have the same qualities as those in a junior position but they must be held to a higher standard. Senior developers must have strong management skills along with organization and communication skills in order to direct activities regarding the Salesforce platform. They are expected to be innovative and take initiative in recommending alternative approaches in order to enhance performances. They must have a good head for business and be able to mentor, make decisions and utilize teamwork in order to collaborate with a variety of teams.

Getting There

Working your way from a junior to a senior Salesforce developer requires commitment and dedication to the job. Most become senior developers through gaining experience in their field, gaining further certifications and demonstrating growth. You must always be learning, strengthening your skills and staying up to date with the latest developments in Salesforce technology. Demonstrate initiative by getting involved in multiple projects and building your portfolio. There are many opportunities to grow within Salesforce if you have the passion and work ethic to do so.

Salesforce Developer Job Description

We’ve done the research for you. After evaluating numerous job descriptions, we’ve written our own representative job description for a mid-level Salesforce developer with between 2 and 5 years of relevant experience

We are looking for a Salesforce Developer who will manage the implementation of Salesforce across our entire organization. The candidate will work with our product manager to make sure projects put end-to-end solutions into effect. You will be working in a highly collaborative team and respond to any questions or issues from users throughout the organization. The candidate will have an established background in Salesforce development, excellent communication skills, demonstrated initiative to problem solve, stay organized and thrive within a team environment.

>What We Need Your Help With

  • Manage technical aspects of the Salesforce platform

  • Monitor end-user and security data across all systems.

  • Ability to handle standard and custom objects, workflows, triggers, user roles, security, profiles, workflow rules, email alerts and templates, and campaigns.

  • Recommend, schedule, and perform software improvements and upgrades

  • Ability to identify usage and data issues and create plans to correct them

  • Support and train end-users on all Salesforce applications

  • Perform as a high functioning team player

We Look For

  • Bachelors degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering

  • 2+ years of experience with Salesforce in Administration and Development

  • 2+ years experience with OOP Programming, Java, Web Services and C#

  • 3+ years experience in Apex, Visualforce and JavaScript

  • Salesforce Platform Developer Certification

  • Proficient with SQL and SOQL

  • Ability to organize and prioritize responsibilities effectively and meet deadlines

  • Ability to identify problems, gather data, draw conclusions, and present information to managers, peers, and customers

  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral

  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of people

Salesforce Developer Career Paths: Where to Go from Here

Salesforce has many tracks available to its professionals and certifications to go along with them. A common question when beginning a career with Salesforce is whether or not one should begin as a Salesforce developer or Salesforce administrator as these are both acceptable starting points. We have gone into depth as to what a Salesforce Developer is, but what is a Salesforce administrator?

A Salesforce administrator is an expert on the business process. They typically tend to have more customer interactions and work with business stakeholders directly. Salesforce developers also work with business users and stakeholders but from a position in the background. A Salesforce administrator is front and center and must have excellent customer service skills and an ability to be analytical and collaborative.

Experience as a Salesforce administrator and a Salesforce developer is often required in order to move up the ladder, but not always. There are several more customer oriented career paths that flow from administration but as a developer, it is likely you would like to stay on the technical path. Your next step, then, would be to become a technical consultant. This role is very similar to a senior Salesforce developer as your responsibilities would still involve analysis, design, development, implementation and documentation of projects but the technical consultant is often the bridge between the developer teams and management.

The next step in the technical stream is to become a technical architect. A technical architect is fundamental to technical consultants and creates the underlying data structure. They are responsible for delivering functionality and overseeing the entire technical process. Becoming a certified technical architect requires achieving a certification through scenario-based exam and presentation along with board review. The last rung on the ladder would be Chief Technology Officer. They create and put into play a long-term vision for the technological future of the company.

Java is a statically-typed, cross-platform language. It is concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented. It has minimal implementation dependencies and compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilat...

C++

C++ is an object-oriented language derived from C, and invented by Bjarne Stroustrup, while working at AT&T's Bell Labs. It is widely used for systems-level programming, and building applications on Windows and various Unix operating systems (Lin...

C

C is a widely used low-level, static-typed, compiled computer language known for its efficiency. Developed in the late sixties, C has become one of the most widely used languages of all time. It provides direct access to memory and due to its de...

PHP

PHP is a widely-used open-source scripting language that has seen wide use in web application development. PHP code must be processed by an interpreter like the Zend Engine. With a strong open-source community and large adoption world-wide, PHP ...

.NET is a framework created by Microsoft that consists of common language runtime and its own class library. Its key benefits are managing code at execution in the form of memory management, thread management and remoting. It also has added safet...

Python is an object-oriented programming language notable for its clarity, power and flexibility. Python is an interpreted language, meaning that an interpreter reads and runs the code directly, rather than compiling down into static lower level c...

JavaScript is a scripting language, originally implemented in web browsers, but now widely used server-side via the Node.js platform. It supports a runtime system based on numerical, Boolean and string values, with built-in, first-class support f...

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a markup language derived from SGML, used to describe web sites and applications to be run in a common web browser. Invented in 1993 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, HTML documents are broken up into HTML elements, w...

CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) describes how HTML elements are displayed. Along with JavaScript and HTML, CSS is one of the cornerstones of front-end web development. CSS separates presentation and content, allowing styles to be defined and used t...

Top industries hiring Salesforce Developers

eCommerce

The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Retail was once a brick-and-mortar industry, comprised of small, independently owned-and-operated businesses and large chain stores with multiple outposts throughout the c...

Education

The education industry involves working in an environment that implements and teaches various skills and applicable material. Formal education typically involves various levels of education, including preschool, primary, secondary, tertiary, vo...

Platform

With an increase in spending noted for the overall information technology industry, it’s no wonder that platform jobs are projected to be in demand as companies seek ways to streamline processes and increase efficiency. Platform jobs are a subs...

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