The Practical Computer Scientist: Getting Started as a Salesforce Developer
Want to begin a career on Salesforce, but have no idea where to start? In this post, I share my Salesforce journey of how I learned to develop on the platform. I adhered to the Salesforce credo to learn, earn, and connect.
TL;DR: here’s my getting started Trailmix.
How I began my Salesforce journey
I love this photo of my friend and me at Dreamforce. We had just completed the Developer Challenges and won giant Astros! Of course, my career didn’t begin this way. As a computer science graduate, I knew a lot of stuff when I started my career, but I didn’t know about Salesforce.
I was a job-hunting machine during my final year of college. I explored many career paths and started hearing about this thing called Salesforce. The platform sounded intriguing, so I opened my first free Developer Edition and created an app.
Here is my first app (which I updated to Lightning Experience with a click, by the way). With an object, a few fields, and a snazzy report, I had an app that let me quickly see the roles I had applied for and keep track of my progress in the interviews.
Clicks first, then code
My first app helped me understand the power of the platform, but I had just scratched the surface.
I accepted an offer at a Salesforce shop, and my first step in my new job was to immerse myself in the “click” aspects of the platform. I dove into validation rules, discovered Process Builder, and navigated the waters of helping end users customize email templates. Most importantly, I learned how to collaborate with the team that spent their whole day on the configuration side of the house, the Salesforce admins.
It wasn’t long before I caught the Lightning bug and helped my entire organization migrate to the new Lightning Experience.
Earning and connecting
Since I graduated college, only 2 years ago, a lot has changed in technology (have you seen Path, Process Builder, and SFDX? All new!). Keeping up with the constant change is challenging. There’s always a new language, method, framework, or way to do the same thing you did yesterday. By using Trailhead, I can get ahead of my colleagues and friends without feeling the need to read days’ worth of technical jargon.
To kick-start learning about all things Lightning Experience, I used a combination of trails, projects, and superbadges. Here is my Lightning Experience migration Trailmix. Spoiler: It includes the Lightning Experience Specialist superbadge. I made all of my development colleagues unlock and complete this superbadge. It was challenging and extremely helpful; completing it meant that we would have a shared base of knowledge to use to communicate with each other.
My path isn’t going to be your path, but hopefully my story has given you the inspiration to get started and make a journey all your own. I’d love to know about your path with Salesforce development, let me know what you are up to in the comments or by Tweeting @SlytherinChika.
Developer Evangelist, Salesforce
Starting a Salesforce Developer Career Trailmix: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/users/00550000006whkdAAA/trailmixes/starting-a-salesforce-developer-career
Migrating to Lightning Experience Trailmix: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/users/00550000006whkdAAA/trailmixes/migrate-to-lightning
Validation Rules Trailhead Module: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/point_click_business_logic/units/validation_rules
Process Builder Trailhead Module: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/business_process_automation/units/process_builder
Email Templates Trailhead Module: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/service_casefeed_basics/units/service_casefeed_basics_email
Get Started with Apex Trailhead Module: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/apex_database/units/apex_database_intro
Lightning Experience Specialist Superbadge: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/super_badges/superbadge_lex