5 skills you need to become a Salesforce Developer

The race for talent has left companies in dire need of skilled, trained Salesforce professionals. The skills demand is so great that savvy tech professionals are cross-training to fill key gaps in the market. But what key skills will you need as a Salesforce Developer to take advantage of this?

The high demand for trained Developers means those with the right commercial experience can command salaries in the region of $126,700 – $174,500 USD. And have fantastic career progression opportunities to boot!

If you’re an experienced IT professional who is interested in cross-training as a Salesforce Developer, you’ll likely already have the right mindset and experience to get started. But which skills do you need to hone to become a truly great Salesforce Developer?

Here are five key skills you need to become an amazing Salesforce Developer:

Salesforce Developer Skill 1: Perfect your Admin skills

The best Salesforce Developers know their Admin certifications like the back of their hand. It’s as simple as that.

Yes, you want to become a Salesforce Developer but, the truth is, your ability to write code to create solutions is only as good as your ability to configure those solutions. And configuration is a core Admin skill.

In this fantastic blog by Mason Frank there’s some great guidance and resources for acing your Salesforce Administrator certification, which we fully recommend you read!

Salesforce Developer Skill 2:
Master your consultancy skills

Consultancy skills, or “soft skills” as they’re sometimes called are an underrated strength of great Salesforce Developers. The ability to communicate effectively is not just important for Salesforce Consultants.

Even if you have the most encyclopedic coding knowledge in the world, you’ll struggle to find work with some of the best and brightest clients if you can’t effectively communicate across key stakeholders, manage multiple projects successfully, or understand and translate business requirements properly.

As a Salesforce Developer, you’ll be working with other engineers, developers, and stakeholders with varying levels of knowledge of the platform. As such, you’ll still have to collaborate effectively to create quality solutions.

Top-tier Salesforce Developers understand that while their knowledge of the platform itself is incredibly important, complementing this with a strong set of consultancy skills is just as much so.

Salesforce Developer Skill 3:
Knowing when to use declarative vs code

The question of when to use a declarative solution vs a tailored coded solution is one you’ll ask yourself often as a Developer. Because of how many solutions there are to choose from in Salesforce, a large part of your job is figuring out which will best apply to your particular project or task, before configuring it to work. When deciding between declarative or code, you should ask yourself one simple question: Can you do this effectively with a declarative solution, or do we have to create new code? If you can do something declaratively, it is usually best to do so. It’s simpler and quicker, and leaves you free to work on projects that require more intensive coding and attention.
For those who are curious, declarative solutions are usually simpler for a few key reasons:

Salesforce Developer Skill 4:
A love of technology and a passion for Salesforce

The Salesforce ecosystem is well known for being filled with people who see their career as more than “just a job”, with the ecosystem famously named an “ohana”, or family, not just a workplace community. The people that work within it live and breathe for the ecosystem, and for good reason. Salesforce Developer is rated as one of the best jobs in the US, with fantastic salary options and plenty of opportunities for career progressionit’s a place where people excel, as much as work. It’s more than just a job, really, it’s a vocation.

Beyond this, you have to think about keeping your skillset sharp. Salesforce is a hugely exciting and innovative technology and new releases, products, and updates are always being announced. To be a great Salesforce Developer you have to keep on top of them all, which can be a challenge if you don’t truly love your work.

Salesforce Developer Skill 5:
Be creative with your code and solutions

When people think about the work of Salesforce Developers, they rarely think about how creative they have to be. True, there’s a lot of procedural understanding involved in the workload; you have to understand the language you’re working with, and how different pre-built components fit together effectively. But to truly excel as a Salesforce Developer today, you have to think creatively about building elegant solutions that users can get the most out of.

It takes a creative mind to understand requirements from clients that can often be somewhat abstract and then visualize a new process that you can build that will meet these requirements.

The truth is, Salesforce Developers are often some of the most creative people around. Why? Because more often than not (especially if you’re building a coded solution) you’re essentially creating something out of nothing. And that’s hugely creative!

A few final key skills and tips for becoming a Salesforce Developer

Getting started in the ecosystem is as much about individual learning as it is using the resources that are already out there to help you get ahead. There are so many incredible people in the Salesforce Ohana that are always willing to help others get ahead.

With that in mind, we asked a few of our Revol Salesforce Developers for their top tips on getting started in Salesforce, here are their responses:

Plus, don’t forget to utilize the great resources that are already out there in the ecosystem. They’re tried and tested, created by people who’ve learned exactly what you’re trying to before:
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