Spotlights

Job Description

Salesforce is a cloud-based software company that offers CRM (Customer Relationship Management) services and a host of enterprise applications. It’s also the name of their main platform. Salesforce Developers work together to create software code and solutions for the company’s numerous product offerings like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, Einstein, Collaboration, and more.
 
They also provide services to external clients who need Salesforce experts to perform customize work on projects. Jobs can range from working on storage architectures, business enterprise networks, or CRM workflows. Salesforce Developers also assist clients to test solutions to determine if they meet expectations. 
 
As Fortune’s #6 pick on its 100 Best Companies to Work For list, Salesforce gets a whopping 52% of its new hires from employee referrals. 

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Learning new things and crafting customized IT solutions for a wide range of clients
  • Helping companies grow and become more successful
  • Cashing in on Salesforce’s referral program, which pays bonuses to incentivize workers to help recruit talent
  • Generous tuition assistance, international assignment options, commuter benefits, and other employee perks!
$125,000
Projected Employment

Employment data is hard to come by, but Salesforce Ben notes that there are 13,729 expert developers for established markets, and a demand for as many as 32,337. Trailhead lists 10,890 new jobs in the past year. The demand for qualified talent is currently far higher than the supply. 

The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Working Schedule

  • Qualified Salesforce Developers can expect full-time work, if not more. As noted above, the demand for talent has vastly outstripped resources. Currently there is plenty of work to go around and not enough workers to do it. This trend doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. 

Typical Duties

  • Devising Customer Relationship Management tools, customized data solutions, technical plans, and effective workflows for external clients
  • Working on and testing Salesforce’s suite of mobile and website applications
  • Offering IT strategy advice 
  • Partnering with engineers and developers; developing apps for other developers
  • Integrating platforms
  • Analyzing business processes
  • Managing user roles and security protocols
  • Additional Responsibilities
  • Continuing to master the Apex and VisualForce languages developed by Salesforce
  • Holding workshops for others to attend
  • Maintaining certifications and skills
Skills Needed on the Job

Soft Skills

  • Strong customer service skills
  • Professional demeanor
  • Active listening to client needs and problems 
  • Cooperative and team-oriented
  • Creative and flexible
  • Critical thinking
  • Desire and aptitude to solve problems and improve processes
  • Passion for learning new things
  • Patience
  • Persistence; goal-orientation
  • Planning and organization skills
  • Willing to upskill as needed

Technical Skills

  • Knowledge of Apex and Visualforce languages
  • Knowledge of HTML and JavaScript
  • Declarative customization skills (using visual, point and click methods)
  • Programmatic skills (coding)
  • Data modeling and security
  • Platform development
  • App customization
  • Search solutions basics
  • Salesforce object query language
Different Types of Organizations
  • Salesforce
  • Large companies and organizations 
  • Healthcare industries
  • Governmental agencies
Expectations and Sacrifices

Developers are often called upon to extend the platform and continue to evolve it in new ways. Meanwhile, external clients rely on Salesforce Developers to get integrations right. Mistakes, oversights, or poor planning can be costly and time-consuming. Workers in this field bear a lot of responsibility and must be comfortable diving into the unknown of a client’s needs to come up with effective, creative technical solutions. Many customers may want to keep their existing sites while still incorporating Salesforce data-capturing capabilities. There’s no end to the challenges and opportunities!

Current Trends

Unlike traditional fields that feature data on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, Salesforce Developer jobs aren’t as easy to find consistent data on. Salesforce has been described as a “huge universe,” with the company being cited as one of the best employers in the country. Workers focus on innovation over maintenance, constantly adapting as new tools are released. Salesforce is so large it has its own “economy,” which is predicted to generate 3.3 million jobs and $859 billion in revenue by 2022. The company uses Trailhead to help skill up workers for the future. 

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...

People from all walks of life seem drawn to careers with Salesforce, but certain personality types may be more suited for developer roles. Most workers probably enjoyed working on computers in their youth. They may have been interested in programming, building websites, or honing their user experience/user interface (UX/UI) design skills. 
 
They’re analytical problem-solvers, who may have enjoyed math and science topics, as well as pastimes such as chess and puzzles. That said, there’s an artistic element to this type of work, too. Many Salesforce Developers would probably be interested in graphic arts or multimedia growing up. This is a collaborative field, so employees need to be confident and comfortable working with others towards a shared end goal. Thus, they may have been involved in clubs, committees, or other team-related school and extracurricular activities.  

Education and Training Needed
  • Programming background in MySQL, JavaScript, Apex, etc. 
  • A college degree isn’t necessarily required but can certainly be helpful
    • Typical undergrad majors include Information Technology or Computer Science
  • Familiarity with Object Oriented Programming Principles, Model-View-Controller design pattern, .NET Programming, Java
  • Salesforce has several developer certification options listed on Trailhead: 
    • Platform App Builder
    • Platform Developer I and II
    • B2C Commerce Developer
    • JavaScript Developer I
    • Marketing Cloud Developer
  • Students can attend courses to prepare for their certification exams. Salesforce Trailhead Academy offers courses, as do many authorized international partners
    • Exam costs vary, and don’t include the cost of optional preparatory training
    • For example, the Platform App Builder exam is $200, features 60 questions, and can be taken online or proctored at a test site. To pass, test takers must earn a 63% and must maintain proficiency, tested via maintenance exams
  • Salesforce also offers Superbadges, such as:
    • Apex Specialist
    • Process Automation Specialist
    • Advanced Apex Specialist
    • Data Integration Specialist
    • Lightning Web Components Specialist
    • Aura Components Specialist
  • Knowledge of Salesforce applications and Microsoft cloud computing apps 
Things to look for in an university
  • If you’re going for a degree in Computer Science, take courses that specifically help with your future Salesforce career
    • Some schools, such as Santa Monica College, offer classes specifically in Salesforce (like CS 77B: Salesforce Developer Essentials)
  • Remember, such university courses can help you prepare for Salesforce certifications!
  • Check out which colleges Salesforce employees graduate from
  • Save time shuffling from class to class by enrolling in an online or hybrid program
  • Before signing up for classes, remember Salesforce “will reimburse 100% of the costs of fees, tuition, and books for pre-approved, job-related courses taken at an accredited academic institution” for employees, up to $5,250 a year
  • Think about your schedule and flexibility, when deciding whether to enroll in an on-campus, online, or hybrid program
List of Salesforce Developer Programs

Many universities offer majors in IT or Computer Science. Apart from degrees, information on Salesforce certifications, Superbadges, and other training modules can be found at Trailhead. For inexpensive self-learning options, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning feature short courses.  

Things to do in High School and College
  • Teach yourself! Many of the basic skills needed to get started can be readily learned at home, with some diligence and patience
  • Hop on Trailhead to get started on training modules
  • Gain entry-level work experience that can tie into your future Salesforce profession
  • Seek out internships to get some practice under your belt
  • Freelance it on Upwork to gain experience and earn positive client feedbacks
  • Join computer clubs to grow your network; make friends with peers who share the same interests and can help you on your path
  • Polish up your customer service skills
  • Take electives related to writing, design, programming, sales, and marketing
  • Check out LinkedIn Learning’s Salesforce tutorials
  • Build your knowledge base with detailed notes; stay on top of changes and trends
  • Follow groups on Quora featuring Q&As from working professionals in the field
Typical Roadmap
Gladeo Salesforce Developer roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • Look for jobs posted on employment portals such as Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor
  • The more applicable programming experience and credentials you have prior to applying, the more competitive you’ll be against other candidates
  • Having a degree is useful, but Salesforce Developer certifications and Superbadges demonstrate specific tech credentials and make you really stand out
  • Attend Trailhead events and webinars
  • Find online, Salesforce Developer resume ideas 
  • Use concrete examples on your resume, detailing projects and outcomes 
  • Beef up your resume with quantifiable data and statistics
  • Remember, this career requires many soft skills, so find ways to weave those into your application and show them off during interviews
  • Apply for jobs you’re qualified for. Read postings carefully, zero in on key qualifications, and explain how your work and academic backgrounds make you the best match
  • Invest in a professional editor or writer to look over your materials before submitting
  • Ask teachers and supervisors if they’ll serve as references or write recommendations
  • Don’t guess what recruiters will ask; read up and prepare draft answers in advance
  • Take it a step further by practicing interview skills via mock interviews
  • Never get discouraged. Every interview helps you learn and get better!
  • Unleash the power of LinkedIn Premium to get noticed faster. Fill your profile out entirely, and include examples of finished projects to showcase in your portfolio
How to Climb the Ladder
  • Complete advanced certifications and badges
  • Take in-person or virtual classes at Trailhead Academy
  • Max out your Salesforce's tuition benefits and advance your job-specific skills
  • Maintain your existing credentials and do well on exams
  • Build your career roadmap. Set up milestones and timelines to achieve them 
  • Participate in Salesforce Trailblazer communities
  • Demonstrate passion and excellence in all of your projects
  • Earn awesome customer feedbacks by going above-and-beyond and showing that you truly care about your work and its impact on clients’ businesses
  • Meet deadlines. Stay on top of your suspenses but don’t take shortcuts
  • Get creative and come up with solutions that exceed expectations
  • Ask your supervisors and management team for guidance and mentorship
  • Seek out niche areas where there are a lack of experts, and skill up to meet demand
Recommended Resources

Websites

  • Trailhead
  • Salesforce.com
  • Salesforce.org
  • Salesforce Ben

Books

  • Learning Salesforce Lightning Application Development: Build and test Lightning Components for Salesforce Lightning Experience using Salesforce DX, by Mohith Shrivastava 
  • Learning Apex Programming, by Matt Kaufman and Michael Wicherski
  • Practical Salesforce Development Without Code: Building Declarative Solutions on the Salesforce Platform, by Philip Weinmeister
Plan B

If you’re excited to work with Salesforce, but maybe want to try something outside of the developer role, there are many other options:

  • Salesforce Administrator
  • Salesforce Architect
  • Salesforce Consultant
  • Salesforce Project Manager
  • Salesforce Business Analyst
  • Salesforce’s competitors include SAP, Oracle Netsuite, Freshsales, Monday, Pipedrive, vCita, Hubspot CRM, Zengine by WizeHive, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and many other companies who need people with similar skill sets, too! 

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