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How to Become a Salesforce Developer

Are you the type of person that wants to handle a broad range of responsibilities? Are you looking to jump from code-based to business-related tasks, like tackling administration, data modeling, and automation processes on any given day?

If you’re looking to flex your multifaceted skill set and overcome technical challenges, then becoming a Salesforce developer might be right for you!

Salesforce developers manage, customize, and maintain the technical side of an organization’s CRM platform, which will eventually handle all sales, marketing, and communication. These developers meet with project managers to determine needs and create functional and scalable apps to meet company objectives.

Sample job description

We’re looking for a talented Salesforce developer to design world-class apps for our growing CRM needs! You’ll be responsible for developing tailored solutions within the Salesforce platform. You’ll also analyze our project objectives, create workflows, and overcome technical errors. 

We’re searching for someone who can solve complex technical problems, and ultimately provide solutions to meet the needs of the company. If you’ve got a rock-solid understanding of the Salesforce CRM platform, demonstrable coding knowledge, and application development experience, we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Meeting with project managers to determine CRM objectives
  • Create custom solutions within the Salesforce platform
  • Create timelines and developmental goalposts for projects
  • Testing, troubleshooting, and maintaining the functionality of applications
  • Creating documentation and acting as a knowledge resource for Salesforce staff
  • Test and maintain integrity and security of application software
  • Work in Agile development framework
  • Collaborate periodically with Salesforce team to understand the scope of technical limitations and solutions
  • Design clean, functional code
  • Develop software that supports high transaction volumes

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering
  • 3 years previous work in application or software development

Required skills and qualifications

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Experience with customer-facing interfaces
  • Advanced knowledge of Salesforce CRM
  • Proficient in MYSQL, Apex, JavaScript, Native, and VisualForce
  • Experience with MavensMate or Eclipse
  • Ability to solve highly complex, technical issues regarding software and applications

Preferred qualifications

  • 5 years experience in application or software development
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Strong working knowledge of APIs and REST
  • Strong working knowledge of ETL tools and relational databases
  • Integration experience with AWS

Typical work environment

Salesforce developers will generally be working in an office environment. In most cases, they will be working in team environments, and this position may or may not allow for remote work.

There may be travel involved, depending on the style of meetings required to complete projects and the size of the company. These situations will vary based on level of seniority, meeting requirements, and company culture.

Typical hours

The standard working hours for a Salesforce developer is around the standard 40 hours per week. Being project-based, this job could require “crunch time” if there is time mismanagement, and upwards of 50-60 hours per week is possible. 

Working as a freelance developer would allow you to set your own hours, so several factors, such as business size, culture, and project demands will dictate the hours worked.

Available certifications

As Salesforce developers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • Platform Developer I. This entry-level certification by Trailhead Academy is designed to teach you baseline credentials that any Salesforce developer will need to succeed. It will showcase your understanding of basic database modeling, and best practices for Apex fundamentals and programmatic customization.
  • Platform Developer II. This certification will build upon the fundamentals learned in the first certification and deepen your understanding of creating custom applications on the Lightning Platform. This will prove your understanding of typical platform behavior, limitations, and performance under a wide variety of business requirements.
  • Javascript Developer I. This platform-free exam will test your knowledge outside of the Salesforce sphere. This will demonstrate your understanding of developing front or backend Javascript applications for web stack. This certification will help round you out as a developer and demonstrate your standalone strength in any environment.
  • Industries CPQ Developer. The Salesforce Industries credential is designed for individuals who have experience configuring applications for the Communications, Media, and Energy & Utility Clouds. This will reinforce and demonstrate the developers’ understanding of building, organizing, and quoting processes

Career path

While a Salesforce developer doesn’t technically require any formal education, it’s always wise to obtain a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related field, if only to remain competitive.

In order to move further in this career, you must have solid computer skills and basic knowledge of coding. Familiarizing yourself with coding basics and learning programming languages will give you a good base to further your completion of certifications and gain experience.

After gaining certifications and gathering experience as a front or backend developer, with a variety of tools under your belt, your next step is to thoroughly understand the powerful Salesforce platform.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20301,888,553
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 increase

As companies transition to the digital space, there’s more and more need to create efficient, simple, and dependable ways to exchange information, communicate, and coordinate. In the current employment landscape, be it a small startup or massive global corporation, platforms like Salesforce literally hold companies together. 

Given that, it’s no wonder this job will see enormous growth as the world becomes more reliant on consolidated, remote platforms and companies expand.