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Tips for Becoming a Salesforce Developer

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Jagmohan Singh
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Tips for Becoming a Salesforce Developer

Interested in becoming a Salesforce developer? In this blog post Jagmohan has put together his favorite tips and resources to get started in the world of Salesforce development.

Pre-Requisites

These skills are strongly recommended for anyone who wants to become a developer. If you don’t think you have some of these skills, you can still be a developer, but you may want to develop them in addition to the other items below, or you may struggle with your job. Even after you become a developer, these should be continuously improved.

  1. Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills: These include the ability to visualize problems and their complexity and devise logical solutions. These skills help professionals effectively understand their clients' needs and suggest optimal solutions.

  2. Effective Communication: The ability to communicate effectively to share, receive, and process information. These skills help professionals communicate with colleagues and customers both orally and in writing.

  3. Time Management: It is important to effectively manage your time when working on multiple tasks for one customer or multiple projects for different clients. You might get overwhelmed when people keep asking you to do more.

Learn Salesforce Administration Basics

As a developer at a large company with administrators on your team, you might get away with knowing only the developer tools. Still, most Salesforce developers will need to know how to perform basic administrative tasks in order to develop on the platform.

  1. Learn about the Salesforce Platform: Familiarize yourself with the Salesforce platform and its various products, such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Experience Cloud, and Marketing Cloud. Understand the basics of cloud computing, CRM concepts, and Salesforce terminology. This is a great time to consider where you might want to specialize. Some developers learn multiple clouds, but as a new developer, you’ll want to focus on a certain area.

  2. Become a Certified Administrator: There are lots of configuration / declarative options available in the Salesforce platform before you need any customization. Even when you have decided that you need some customization, you still need to know how it will coexist with the other automation in Salesforce, for example, how to call a Flow from Apex and the other way around, add a Lightning Web Component to a record page, make a decision between a Screen Flow and LWC, and so on. All this comes with an overall understanding of the Salesforce platform and the various declarative tools available in the platform. You can refer to this post on how to become a Salesforce Administrator for tips on what to study.

  3. Adopt the Salesforce platform in your daily life: Once you are in the Salesforce ecosystem, navigating and customizing the Salesforce platform should start to come naturally to you. And to become better at it, one approach you can adopt is to start using Salesforce in your daily life. You could build a habit tracker app to improve your fitness or self-learning, an expense tracker app to manage your finances, a vehicle maintenance app to maintain records of your vehicle’s service/repair appointments, etc. You can make use of workflow rules, flows, etc, to create follow-up appointments, send reminders, etc. This is a great way to practice the skills you are learning and make sure you can actually deliver a complete solution.

Programming Skills

To be a Salesforce developer, you must have basic programming skills. These skills remain common for most programming languages and can be re-applied while learning any new programming language. You could benefit from having some prior knowledge of the following concepts. These are not required but will definitely help you become a better programmer.

  1. Data Structures: You should learn how various data structure constructs, such as arrays, stacks, queues, linked lists, maps, sets, trees, and graphs, work and be able to use them in programming.

  2. Object-Oriented Programming Concepts: The OOP principles, such as classes, objects, polymorphism, inheritance, overloading and overriding, etc., essentially remain the same across any programming language that supports Object-Oriented Programming.

  3. Algorithms and Design Patterns: The ability to write effective programming that optimizes time (CPU) and space (Memory) utilization helps you write software that performs better and scales efficiently.

Use Trailhead and Get Platform Developer I Certification

Use the Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform Developer I Credential to study and learn important concepts related to Salesforce development. There is a huge difference between getting certified and having the ability to build and deliver real-world projects. But take this as a step in your journey towards becoming a Salesforce developer and display your tenacity to see it through.

Learn to Use Generative AI Effectively

ChatGPT and similar tools can be of great help when learning anything. You just need to ask the right questions and write good prompts to get the information you are looking for. We don’t recommend using this to write code when you are starting out; use it to learn and understand the concepts when stuck on understanding something. If you use it to write code, ensure you understand what the code is doing; you can even ask it questions about the code.

You can also install the Einstein for Developers plugin for VS Code or GitHub Copilot and begin learning some of the Generative AI tools that can be used within your Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The Salesforce tools are not as advanced as ChatGPT or GitHub Copilot, but they are trained exclusively on Salesforce code and have stricter privacy practices, so as their models evolve they may end up being the best solution.

Do Not Stop: Practice, Practice, and Some More Practice

You should continue to practice by building personal projects, taking on freelance opportunities, volunteering for non-profit organizations, contributing to open source projects, starting a blog, and building a portfolio website/resume, etc. All this will help you improve your skills and build a network of connections from which new opportunities will come your way.

Learn Git

Git allows developers to work on projects locally, enabling them to make changes, commit them, and track history without needing constant access to a central server. It provides robust version control capabilities, allowing developers to track changes to files over time.

Git facilitates collaboration among developers by providing tools for sharing code, reviewing changes, and resolving conflicts. Features like pull requests allow developers to propose changes, discuss them, and incorporate feedback before merging them into the main codebase. This fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and code quality improvement.

To learn Git, we recommend the Pro Git book, available online completely free and translated into over a dozen languages. Once you understand the basics of Git, you can learn how to use Git within VS Code, Salesforce’s recommended IDE.

Get Involved in the Community

Salesforce has a great community behind it, and there are various kinds of community coordination going on all around the world, such as Trailblazer community groups, Slack teams, Salesforce Stackexchange, local meetups, etc. Find out more about these and try to reach out to Salesforce professionals to build your connections in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Conclusion

Salesforce is an exceptional platform that offers great opportunities to build successful careers. Once you understand the basic concepts, demonstrate your ability to learn new concepts, and have a passion for technology, there is no one stopping you from landing your dream job in the Salesforce ecosystem. We hope this post helps you achieve your goals as a Salesforce developer.

Downloadable Guide

Want this in a convenient PDF format for reference? Download the tips for becoming a Salesforce developer guide:

Screenshot of guide


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Jagmohan Singh
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