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Starting your career in Salesforce: 7 learnings from qualified Salesforce Developers

Are you interested in learning Salesforce? We sat down with some of our Salesforce Developers who have cross trained from other industries to ask them some questions about a career in the world’s #1 CRM. Here are 7 things you need to know if you’re Salesforce Newbie!

If you have a background in tech, or have ever worked with a CRM, you’ll know what Salesforce is. Having made a name for itself as the number one CRM in the world, Salesforce helps businesses run faster, smarter, and more cost effectively.

With recent acquisitions such as Vlocity (now Salesforce Industries) and Slack (a whopping $27 billion investment, by the way), Salesforce has built out a professional ecosystem with huge amounts of opportunity – for those with the right skills.

In the US alone, there were 568k jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem in 2020, but this number is set to rise to 4.2M in 2024. Despite the demand, 60% of Salesforce partners have admitted that access to talent is a critical challenge for them.

Clearly, there is no better time to start training as a Salesforce Developer. For those who are interested in learning Salesforce, we sat down with some of our Salesforce Revols to bring you 7 things you need to know before getting started!

#1 How to know if a career in Salesforce is right for you

The first question for anyone considering a career in Salesforce should be: ‘Why Salesforce?’

Overwhelmingly, our Revols cited the opportunities for Salesforce Developers as the main reason they decided to cross train. More specifically, the high-growth nature of the industry, the increasing demand for developers, and the range of great-quality training material out there.

Others highlighted the cutting-edge technology as their main reason, or the fact new skillsets keep popping up in the ecosystem, meaning new opportunities present themselves quite often. In the words of one of our Revols:

‘As a Software Developer, if I don’t know Salesforce I am not complete. Salesforce offers too many career paths to choose from to ignore.’

#2 How to be proactive before your training starts

We asked our Developers ‘If you could meet yourself one month before starting your Salesforce training, what would you tell yourself to practice in advance of it?’

Their answers were consistent and clear: Become familiar with the programs, tools, and coding languages of Salesforce, as much as you can.

Salesforce is a large ecosystem with a huge number of solutions for customers. As a Salesforce Developer, you’ll need a good basic understanding of many of these solutions. 

To get ahead before you start learning Salesforce, here are some things you can do:

  • Start practicing in Trailhead (the Salesforce demo training ground) and earn some badges. Also, get to grips with Javascript, you’ll be using this a lot.
  • Become familiar with the Objective Orientated Programming method. This methodology will allow you to modularize a program, which can then be copied and used on demand (trust us, this one speeds up workflow immensely!)
  • Create playgrounds (demo environments) and start practicing your setup, use of tools, and simple administration work. Trailhead is very useful for this.
  • Start a Developer Org, as a way to get hands on experience with Salesforce and become familiar with the ecosystem.

When you’re first starting out, our Salesforce Developers recommend you become familiar with Trailhead and Focus on Force (a great provider of learning material and practice exams). Many suggested YouTube tutorials as a great way to do extra learning as well.

Plus, if you’re struggling with a particular topic you can always search your query in the Salesforce Developer Forums – the chances are someone has already had this issue and solved it.

As a Revolent Salesforce Developer you’ll also be a part of a network of Revols and will have access to our expert training team. If you’ve got a problem you’re stuck with, you’ll have a whole team of people ready to help.

#3 The soft skills you’ll need to be an amazing Salesforce Developer

A truly great Salesforce Developer is not just someone who knows how to code, or manipulate the programs they work with. They’re consultants who specialize in solving problems and fulfilling requirements for their clients. It requires a lot of communication, patience, and the ability to help people understand what can (and can’t) be done with Salesforce.

We asked our Salesforce Developers what soft skills newbies should hone if they want to become the best.

Here’s the highlights:
  • Good time management skills – This is very useful skill, especially as you’ll sometimes be dealing with multiple requirements at once.
  • Problem solving and logical thinking – It’s important to be logical and to focus on problem solving as a Salesforce Developer, your approach to tasks should be that of ‘what can I do with the resources we have to solve this problem?’
  • Be a team player – This one is as simple as it looks. Be open to collaboration, new ideas, and your colleagues. The Salesforce ecosystem is packed with incredible talent, so use it and appreciate it!
  • Communication and empathy – Oftentimes you have to understand what the client wants, convince them that a solution is desirable, and then develop that solution.
  • Presentation skills – These are really important as you’ll be presenting fairly often.
  • Being imaginative – This will serve you surprisingly well. Often you have to think outside of the box and foresee optimal solutions to potential. Being able to stretch your imagination and take new approaches will help with this.

#4 As a Salesforce Developer, what does your day-to-day actually look like?

Even with the clearest of career aspirations, it’s hard to know what the day-to-day of a role actually looks like until you’ve started. As a summary, you can say that Salesforce Developers are a key part of any Salesforce project, they are responsible for coding the project and tailoring the platform to an organization’s needs.

But what does that look like in the typical work-day?

We asked our Revols to describe a day in their life – here are some of their responses:

‘I spend the average day gathering requirements for design solutions, building Vf pages, and using Apex triggers and test classes. On top of that I’ll help with customising Salesforce org, and recently I’ve been creating quite a few email templates.’

‘We currently work via two week sprints, with a set amount of tickets (or tasks). I get through as many of those as I can, while maintaining a really high standard of work. Then we sit down as a team and review the work of the last two weeks and set up a new sprint. It’s an exciting, fast-paced cycle and I’m always learning new things. The standard day goes something like this: Stand up morning meeting, discussion and planning, work on tickets, peer review, rinse and repeat!’

‘Often I’ll be focused on developing and implementing customizations for my client’s Salesforce organization. I also spend a good amount of time maintaining existing code, which is really good practice!’

My day-to-day usually involves requirement gathering and analysis, reporting, data manipulation, and process automation.’

#5 Which training provider should you choose?

Learning Salesforce can be an expensive endeavour if you choose to take the certification and training costs on yourself. Fortunately, for aspiring Salesforce Developers using training providers like Revolent have their training covered.

While others were most attracted to the prospect of getting certified by a quality provider, some were more interested in the paid placements that follow. This makes sense; as great as training and certifications are, commercial experience can often be a real barrier to becoming a Salesforce Developer.

As all our Salesforce Developers trained with us, we asked what attracted them to us in the first place (other than our charm and good looks!)

Revolent is one of the UK’s best employers and provides great opportunities to progress in the Salesforce ecosystem’.  

‘The Revolent training program is structured really clearly, and has allowed me to learn and grow much quicker than I thought I would.’

‘The guaranteed inclusion of the two main Salesforce certifications was the greatest draw for me.’

‘I saw Revolent as a natural next step in my career. They provided the right experience for my career path. ’

‘Revolent provide both an entry point to the Salesforce ecosystem and some of the best opportunities to gain meaningful experience within it.’

#6 The most difficult parts of learning Salesforce (and what to be prepared for)

As all our Revols have completed their Salesforce training, they’re very well placed to advise newbies on any potential stumbling blocks in the training. We asked them ‘What’s one thing you found difficult during training that you didn’t expect, or had to overcome?’ 

Here are some of their responses:

The amount of people I had to interact with surprised me, the people-skills part of the job was a bigger part of it than I thought.’

There were a lot of exams, which all involved a lot of reading. I thought the training would be fully practical but actually you do a lot of reading to prepare for the Trailhead Trials.’

‘Before I started my training I’d had little practice speaking in groups. This is something you have to do a few times and initially it scared me! However, it really was a case of practice, I felt much better after the first few times.’

‘Compared to a traditional web developer (my background) there is a lot to learn at the very start of the course. The fundamentals are very wide ranging and underpin everything. But once you get the hang of them, everything does start to fall into place.’

#7 Why Developers think you’ll love learning Salesforce, and where it can lead you

When it comes to learning Salesforce, there’s a lot to think about. What do you want to specialize in? What kind of clients do you want to work for? With all these concerns, we thought we’d leave you with the main reason you should want to become a Salesforce Developer: it’s a great job, with exceptional career prospects.

We asked our Revols what their highlights have been as a Salesforce Developer and they came back with some pretty great responses:

‘Being a finalist in the “Cloud Professional of the Year” category of the “Computing Rising Star Awards” was an absolutely monumental moment for me!’

‘Receiving four certifications in eight months, all while working on a Revols for Good project was really fulfilling for me, professionally and personally.’

‘For me, there’s no single highlight. I just love using my knowledge to solve problems and contribute to team projects. It’s really rewarding.’

‘Working on the Baale Mane Revols for Good project was really rewarding. Plus, I received the ‘Go Beyond’ award for it, which was lovely!’

‘I try to limit my expectations, but getting three Salesforce certifications and then being offered valuable work experience in the industry has just been fantastic.’

Ready to start your career in Salesforce?
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