With a constant demand for Salesforce developers, it’s not surprising that Salesforce is the career choice for coders around the world. In fact, analyst IDC estimated that the Salesforce ecosystem would generate 4.2 million new jobs between 2019 and 2024.
But it’s not just about learning a skill that’s hotly in demand. Dinko Sego, Salesforce virtuoso of seven years and Tech Lead at New10, reveals why developing in Salesforce is different:
I’m an experienced developer. I’ve been coding since university and have learnt all kinds of different programming languages over the years. But seven years ago, I fell for Salesforce and haven’t looked back since. In this blog, I’ll tell you why.
For starters, Salesforce requires a completely different mindset from traditional development. Forget recursive loops and string algorithms. Salesforce is about business acumen; you’re working with software, rather than building it. You still need to understand the logic behind it and how to write code, but it’s more about having knowledge of the capabilities that are available out of the box.
As a Salesforce developer, you’re in the unique position of being between the business and tech. This helps you develop both soft and technical skills. Plus, as Salesforce comes with prebuilt best practices, you can learn about business processes and concepts. By shaping what’s already available in Salesforce to your organisation’s needs, you can deliver more value, much faster, than if you were building from scratch.
In fact, there are loads of functionality built into Salesforce. It’s like having a vast toolbox at your disposal. So as a developer, it’s usually my job to help match our company’s requirements to what’s already out there. Of course, you can choose to develop custom code if you want, but then you’d just have the people on your team maintaining it. If you use existing capabilities, you’ve got thousands of developers across the globe refining it on a daily basis.
Unlike working with other languages, a good Salesforce developer first looks at what’s already available, before starting to write code. Salesforce is a low-code platform, so as a developer you need to adjust to that mindset.
With predefined standards that help steer your implementations and support for the complete application development lifecycle, including DevOps and CI/CD, the Salesforce low-code platform is great for development teams. Plus, APIs enable simple integration with project management systems.
Working with a low-code platform is not only faster and easier, but it also opens up opportunities for non-developers to get involved. It’s still important, however, to keep good developers on the project. Only an experienced professional will be able to identify when you can use off-the-shelf capabilities and when custom code is the best route to go down.
You also need a framework around who you allow to make different kinds of changes to prevent everyone from going in and creating a right old mess! For this reason, I think it’s important to understand how to code properly and the processes involved before being let loose on a low-code platform.
There are various functionalities within Salesforce that minimise coding. For example, Lightning Flows enable simple automation and front-end layouts to come out of the box; they’re very modular and easy to configure.
There are also more specific automated workflows, such as:
The sales process orchestration process for lead and opportunity management in Sales Cloud
Case routing functionality in Service Cloud that assigns cases for the relevant person based on their skills, availability, and workload.
Developing these capabilities yourself would be pretty time-consuming.
Another advantage is that there’s loads of help – the Salesforce Customer Success framework is great when you’re stuck, need a new perspective, or just want some advice. I’m always communicating and collaborating with Salesforce and its wider development community. Plus, there’s a constant stream of videos, podcasts, and webinars, so there’s always one that covers the topic you need.
The free Salesforce training programme, Trailhead, provides a great starting point for getting to grips with how it works in a hands-on way. And once you’re into more sophisticated usage there are Accelerators and a ton of resources to leverage for specific products and capabilities.
I think what I enjoy the most about Salesforce though, is how after working with it for a while, you start to think more strategically. You start to notice opportunities and gain more of a business head. Rather than just supporting processes, you can help enhance and optimise them, or even scrap them completely and create new ones.
I love that I can be so proactive. I can make suggestions, contribute more, and challenge existing ways of thinking with new ideas and innovations. The bigger you think, the better! It’s a very empowering approach. It’s now my mission not just to develop, but to help the business transform with Salesforce.
If you’re content with writing code reactively, then developing in Salesforce might not be for you. But if you’re interested in the bigger picture, helping your colleagues be more efficient, and getting directly involved in helping your organisation expand, you’ll find it both fun and rewarding. Give it a go!
Check out Trailhead to learn more about Salesforce developer careers!