7 Steps to become a salesforce developer

7 Steps to
become a

become a salesforce developer

Your complete guide to navigating the Salesforce development career path.

Salesforce development is similar to engineering other types of software but differs in the skills, knowledge, and relevant certifications you need. Still, Salesforce engineering is a growing sector filled with professional developers, with opportunities for newbies with relevant expertise and background. So, if you’re considering starting a career, keep reading to learn how to become a Salesforce software developer.

What is Salesforce development?

Salesforce (SFDC) consists of sales, marketing, and customer service management products — all making up a cloud platform. The tools are some of the most popular business applications since they help automate various processes to increase sales, improve customer service, and enhance marketing, eventually leading to business expansion and revenue growth.

In addition, the Salesforce developer salary SFDC keeps evolving and developing other products for businesses. These include tools for e-commerce companies, financial and healthcare organizations, and IoT systems. This makes the Salesforce ecosystem an extensive area for career opportunities.

Salesforce development, in turn, implies tailoring SF applications via coding, which consists of front-end and back-end development. The front end is created with the Lighting framework, a more modern alternative to the Visualforce framework.

Back-end coding, by contrast, is programming apps on the server’s side, for which an object-oriented programming language called Apex and a data management language called SOQL are used. Salesforce developers should be familiar with the rules for developing apps for the platform since some limitations and other nuances affect the process of writing code.

What does a Salesforce developer do?

To understand what it means to be a good Salesforce developer, though, you need to know that clients may need two different types of work to be done. Namely, Salesforce customization and configuration are the tasks you will have to do for clients’ organizations. Still, there are crucial differences between these, which you need to know if you will work with Salesforce professionals.

Salesforce configuration

Salesforce configuration requires setting up applications for the client without actually building them. The process doesn’t require coding; the apps are integrated through UI. This is a job that a Salesforce administrator does, but engineers usually have the Salesforce admin expertise that allows them to configure the Salesforce system.

Salesforce customization

Salesforce customization, in turn, is a task for a Salesforce developer, with coding involved. Customization is required when the existing Salesforce tools do not meet a business’ needs, and the apps must be tailored to the client’s desired tasks. Customizing Salesforce solutions may imply business process automation, integrations with other systems, adding related Salesforce capabilities, customer relationships, and others.

In addition to customizing the existing applications, developers may build new ones to run on the Salesforce platform. These are then uploaded to Salesforce’s marketplace for other users to access.

Salesforce developer — a job description

While the responsibilities of a Salesforce developer are similar to those of developers on other platforms and programming languages, some peculiarities in the duties and tasks of many Salesforce developers’ certifications differ from the job outlook of Salesforce developers in different engineering positions.

Here’s a list of the tasks a Salesforce developer has to tackle:

  • The user needs identification and analysis.
  • Application development to meet the user needs
  • Thorough planning to cover all stages of the project
  • Collaboration with other developers to design visuals for additional software
  • Coming up with the most effective ways to customize the existing clients’ solutions
  • Extending to the developed solutions according to the changes in the business needs or updates in the used tech platforms
  • Building solutions to keep the system’s performance consistent and of high-quality
  • Monitoring software testing to make sure it runs smoothly after deployment
  • Software maintenance
  • Documentation development for future reference, maintenance, and upgrade

These have to be carried out in the SF environment while considering the related performance and security activities.

Why choose Salesforce development?

Among all careers in software engineering, you should choose SFDC for three reasons.

  1. You can explore the client’s business deeply. To customize a solution according to your client’s business needs, you must understand what they are. This requires diving into the business to figure out how to fix the pain points and improve areas that need to catch up with the solution you build.
  2. You can develop both front- and back-end. As mentioned, both front-end and server-side development are required for Salesforce app building, so you can get the job if you have skills or interest in any of the two.
  3. You don’t have to build solutions from scratch. The platform provides a lot of ready-to-use development components that you can use as a base for the customized solutions you create.

Choosing a career in Salesforce development offers a unique blend of opportunities. Not only do you get to understand and solve client-specific business challenges sincerely, but you also have the flexibility to work on both front-end and back-end development. Plus, the platform’s ready-to-use components make it easier to deliver customized solutions, setting you up for a rewarding and dynamic career.

How to become a Salesforce developer?

The journey to the position of an SF developer is not that different from any other position in the software business or engineering. But to move in the right direction, you need to know what knowledge to get and what to expect on your way to that job offer. Here are the seven steps you’ll have to take before you land the job.

Step 1. Education

The first step to any career advancement is education. To become an SF engineer, you need a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as Computer Science. This will give you a basic understanding of the industry and some tech skills for your future job.

Step 2. Programming experience

The next step is getting experience in your programming skills. If you’re looking for a transition from another area of programming to Salesforce, you will already have that. But if you’re just about to graduate college, it’s best for you to get an internship at a company that provides software development.

Step 3. Salesforce certifications

Now, it’s time to dive into SFDC education and salesforce certification. To get an opportunity to apply for the desired position, you need to have particular certificates that prove your expertise in salesforce skills, namely those for a Salesforce Administrator and a Platform Developer.

This means you have to pass the following certifications:

  • Salesforce Certified Administrator
  • Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator
  • Salesforce Certified App Builder
  • Platform Developer I (or II)

Of course, to be able to pass these, you have to get the knowledge. Since various types of professional certifications are made for the platform, you can first choose to prepare for those simpler ones or aim for more complex levels. Regardless of where you decide to start, you can always find an online course or training program to learn the specifics of SF development.

Step 4. Using SFDC products

To become a successful SF engineer, you must understand how the platform’s applications work. And the best way to figure that out is by using them for your personal needs. So add SFDC products to your life to get the hang of how to customize them for a client later.

Do you need to keep track of your daily routine? Need to set up automatically triggered notifications for house users or create a report on your progress in some activity? For example, you can set up follow-up notifications for your email, create accounts for your progress at the gym, or track your habits.

In such an interactive way, you’ll get a convenient way of learning how every product functions, what features it provides, and how you can tailor the user interaction with it to meet your needs. All these will be useful when you start working as an engineer and have to design user interfaces and customize the apps to your client’s business needs.

Step 5. Join a dedicated community

Becoming a member of a related community on your way to learning is one of the best ways to find support and a place to learn and get help. For SF developers, there are two most important websites to visit in pursuit of becoming a part of the community — Trailblazer Community and Salesforce StackExchange.

Trailblazer Community will help you find developers and interact with them to learn about the career or discuss tech questions. StackExchange is instead focused solely on development since it’s a forum where you can see questions asked by fellow software developers and answered by those with advanced expertise.

Overall, a community will help you find answers to your questions, stay on track with the updates in the field, and just get inspired to continue learning.

Step 6. Get a mentor

Like joining a community, finding a mentor provides a beginning Salesforce developer with support and significant learning opportunities. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the new things computer skills you come across as you study, let alone issues you’re stalled by. Therefore, find a mentor who will go through the journey with you.

Your mentor should be an experienced SF developer who will review your code, explain technical skills and concepts, and direct you to the proper study resources. With a mentor, you will achieve results sooner and master cleaner coding for the platform’s apps.

Step 7. Be aware of your areas of improvement

Remember that learning is a process, and Salesforce has its peculiarities in engineering. Stay encouraged if you need more time to figure out some things as you learn. Stay consistent with your effort and use your weak spots to improve. Also, aim at a manageable amount of time; focus on smaller milestones to keep growing professionally, and you will see long-term results.

Skills a Salesforce developer needs

In addition to the tech knowledge and certifications you acquire on your way, some soft skills will also be helpful in your job. Skills like excellent communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making will help you fulfill your potential in the field.

Communication skills

You have to collaborate with other salesforce developers work together to assign and complete tasks. This means you have to communicate effectively to avoid any delays in the project’s progress that can occur because of misunderstandings. Explaining your point of view, proving the validity of the business logic of your ideas, and clarifying what’s confusing to you are all part of a Salesforce developer’s daily life at work.

Teamwork skills

Collaborating with other engineers is essential in Salesforce programming, so you must be a team player to perform excellently. This implies listening to others’ opinions, considering other programmers’ different points of view objectively, and trusting others in their jobs, all to contribute to the project’s success as a shared goal.

Problem-solving skills

Since software development is a complex process with multiple stages, issues are unavoidable. You’ll encounter challenges that require finding quick yet effective long-term solutions. Therefore, good problem-solving and analytical skills are a must-have skill for a Salesforce developer.

Decision-making skills

Of course, while solving problems on your way to building an app, you may find yourself in a situation where several solutions may be applicable. You have to weigh each option and decide the most appropriate software.

Career paths of a Salesforce developer

Now that you have the knowledge and skills to start your career let’s consider the potential directions of your professional growth.

Level 1. A Salesforce developer

The first level of your salesforce developer career, as a Salesforce developer is in software engineering and can be divided into three stages:

  • Junior Salesforce developer
  • Middle Salesforce developer
  • Senior Salesforce developer

As in any other area of programming, your transition to each next role depends on your performance and expertise in the field — the more you grow as a good developer and a professional, the higher your title becomes.

Level 2. A Salesforce architect

After reaching the highest level of development, you can become a Salesforce architect. The job outlook for salesforce architects and developers requires tackling complex tech tasks, such as designing an architectural model for an app tailored to the client’s business needs. Based on the model you create as an architect, Salesforce developers further build software for the project.

Of course, to become a Salesforce career architect, you need lots of experience working with various Salesforce products and overall Salesforce coding to understand how the Salesforce platform developer functions from a broad perspective.

Level 3. A Salesforce consultant

Another job you can chase in Salesforce development is the position of a Salesforce consultant. As a consulting figure, you communicate between the salesforce developer positions, the client, the team, and other team members. The goal of a consultant is to determine whether a client needs Salesforce configuration or customization.

A consultant aims to help both parties determine the most effective decision regarding what Salesforce products best suit the client’s organization. This is a less technical job, but it requires a profound knowledge of all Salesforce products and solid experience in identifying clients’ business needs.

Final remarks

Whether you’re just starting or have already reached some milestones on your way to SFDC and a Salesforce development career, remember that learning takes time. Stay consistent with your learning, and remember to keep improving as a senior developer as you go. Eventually, you’ll find yourself occupying the desired position of a Salesforce developer.

Avenga proves to be one of the frontrunners in Salesforce development. To get deeper insights on becoming a Salesforce developer, contact our experts who have undergone these paths multiple times.

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