How to Become a Salesforce Developer?

Salesforce, according to the producing company’s website, is “the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform.” Their software is designed to help businesses grow by helping them to better understand their customers’ needs, using cloud-based apps designed for marketing, sales, and service.

However, no two companies are the same, and consequently, their Salesforce needs will be different. When this happens, it’s smart to have a Salesforce developer handy, someone, who can customize the software development and offer tailor-made business solutions.

If that sounds like something you’d like to do, or if you are already working with Salesforce but would like to engage in some upskilling, then you need to read on. In this article, we’ll cover what a Salesforce developer is, how to become one, what they do, the rewards of the position, and what its future is.

What is a Salesforce Developer?

OK, so let’s start with basics by providing a definition. What’s a Salesforce developer? A Salesforce developer is a programmer who builds Salesforce applications across various PaaS (Platform as a Service) platforms. They don’t have to actually work for Salesforce, by the way.

What Does a Salesforce Developer Do?

A Salesforce developer has an understanding of how Salesforce works, coupled with experience in the platform. The developer is hired by a customer/client for the purposes of customizing Salesforce to the specifications of the hiring party. Alternately, it could be an in-house programmer who happens to be skilled at working with Salesforce. These developers use tools such as Apex and Visualforce, as well as frameworks like Lightning Component in order to develop apps.

What are the Roles Duties of a Salesforce Developer?

You will notice that the roles and duties of a Salesforce developer are in fact similar to those of other professional developers, but for the purposes of clarity and completeness, let’s go over them in the context of Salesforce itself:

  • Analyze what the needs of the users are, then design, test, and develop software that meets those needs
  • Design Salesforce solutions and create effective project plans. Add value to the three stages of project work; definition, development, deployment
  • Suggest new software upgrades for the customers’ existing apps, programs, and systems
  • Act in advance of the changing business and technological landscapes of Salesforce and.Net/Java platforms, and adapt accordingly
  • Design every part of any needed application or a system, then plan how those parts will mesh together
  • Create and implement programs for use over the Internet as well as for in-house users over the company intranet.
  • Deal with possible inconsistencies in the quality of data and create processes that will overcome any potential system deficiencies
  • Take the lead with other programmers by creating a variety of models and diagrams (for example, flowcharts) that will instruct them how to write additional needed software code
  • Make sure that a program will continue to function normally through routine software maintenance as well as testing
  • Document every part of the company’s entire inventory of applications and systems for future reference, especially in the context of upgrades and maintenance
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists for the purposes of creating optimum software

It’s important for a Salesforce developer to establish a rapport with the client and ascertain what the latter’s expectations are for Salesforce implementation and operation. For starters, Salesforce developers need to understand how the client intends to use the software, identifying the needed core functionality.

This means paying special attention to user requirements that go beyond the scope of the software in question, issues such as system performance and security matters.

So as you can see, a Salesforce developer has a lot on their plate. It’s challenging work, but ultimately very rewarding as we will see below.

What’s a Salesforce Developer’s Salary?

It stands to reason that a position with a lot of expectations will compensate you accordingly, that’s the case here. According to Glassdoor, a Salesforce developer in the United States earns an average of $87,000 a year. Apparently, there are also opportunities for extra bonuses and such, weighing in at about $8,000 as an annual average.

You could find a position that pays a maximum annual salary of $117,000, or as low as $62,000 a year. However, you find a figure of over $130,000 a year being tossed around. Clearly, factors such as location and experience level can influence the annual figure. But regardless of the actual exact figure, the position is a potentially lucrative career choice.

How Does One Become a Salesforce Developer?

After such an exhaustive list of roles and duties, as well as the good news about fantastic compensation, the next point in the progression,  should naturally be “So how does one prepare for such a challenging career?” Good question! Here’s how to become a Salesforce developer.

First thing’s first. Most software developers and this includes Salesforce developers, have a BS in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or some related field, and/or good computer programming skills and appropriate experience. It also helps to have knowledge and skills in the industry where those Salesforce skills will be put to best use. Furthermore, you should have an understanding of Object Oriented Programming Principles, Model-View-Controller design pattern, .NET Programming or Java.

Incidentally, if you intend to get into Salesforce development right out of college, it’s useful to have undergone an internship with software business. Such an arrangement gives you connections, experience, and needed skills. Once out of college, if you can’t immediately get into development, start off with a programmer position and work your way up to the level of developer.

If your desire to become a Salesforce developer happens long after your college days ended, then consider taking an online training course that can teach you the needed skills and get your certification. Certification is important in this field because it confirms to prospective employers that you possess the needed skills to do the job they want you to do.More on the online training course option, later on, so keep reading!

Finally, there are certain skills that any good Salesforce developer should have. These include:

  • Analytical skills, so that you can analyze your clients’ needs and design the appropriate software.
  • Communication skills, in order to better get your points across, whether it’s showing customers how the apps work or giving subordinates and team members clear instructions on what to do.
  • Computer skills, obviously.
  • Interpersonal skills, since every good developer will inevitably need to be a good team player at one point or another.
  • Problem-solving skills, because let’s face it, dealing with problems is the bread and butter of developers. As a developer, you are overseeing every stage of software development, and you can rest assured that there will be problems manifesting themselves during each of those stages.

It also helps for a good Salesforce developer to be creative and detail oriented. In the former case, developers are often called to think outside the box in order to solve issues or design workarounds. In the latter case, software development is replete with small details, and overlooking a small matter could eventually escalate into something much larger.

What’s the Future of Salesforce?

According to this infographic, 1.9 million new jobs will be created in the Salesforce ecosystem by 2020. This sample of predictions for 2019 forecasts interesting and promising trends such as increased Salesforce adoption by smaller companies, increased emphasis on field service and the Internet of Things, and simplifying the app in order to appeal to a wider selection of users.

If one can extrapolate from these optimistic forecasts, it’s safe to say that Salesforce will grow in popularity and extend itself into more SMB markets. With increased visibility comes increased demand for developers, so this looks like a promising avenue to take for your career.

Bottom line, Salesforce isn’t going away any time soon, and in fact, is expected to grow. It appears that the more innovative today’s technology becomes, the more Salesforce is needed to help businesses of all sizes keep pace.

What’s YOUR Future with Salesforce?

Now that you know where Salesforce’s future is heading, what’s your future with Salesforce look like? Perhaps you want a new career whose challenges and rewards are irresistible. Or maybe you’re already a developer who simply wants to upskill by learning about Salesforce.