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Developers value and trust the Salesforce Platform because it simplifies the process of building secure enterprise solutions. Using the platform’s built-in tools and services for automation, integration, and more, developers can deliver business success faster. Salesforce developers address complex business problems by both writing code and using no-code tools that deliver simple features quickly. The platform’s no-code tools reduce the need for developers to write boilerplate code, so they can focus on writing code for higher-value features.

To kick off your Salesforce development journey, we’ve created a new Trailhead Project: Get Started With Salesforce Development. This blog introduces you to the project and provides an overview of what to expect from it.

In addition to the Salesforce Platform, the broader ecosystem of Salesforce technologies includes Heroku, MuleSoft, Marketing Cloud, Tableau, Slack, and others. The Trailhead project we’ll discuss here is designed specifically for developers who are interested in getting started with the Salesforce Platform.

Prerequisites

The only prerequisite for this project is to create an account on Trailhead, our free and fun online learning platform. Once you get to Trailhead, click on the Get Started With Salesforce Development project and follow the project instructions.

If you have prior software engineering experience, you may find the step-by-step instructions easy to navigate. However, learners with no programming background should also be able to complete this project.

Get Started with Salesforce Development Trailhead Project

Salesforce developer tooling landscape

The Salesforce Platform enables development teams to choose the right tool for the right job. Combining no-code tools with written code makes developers more productive and accelerates development.

No-code tools — No-code tools come out-of-the-box within the Salesforce environment. Developers use these tools to build application data models (Schema Builder), configure data security, write no-code automation, and much more.

Code tools — Like any other software development technology, developers on the Salesforce Platform use command-line tools and an IDE. The Salesforce CLI is the command-line tool that executes commands against Salesforce orgs and works with source files on your local machine. The Salesforce Extension Pack for Visual Studio Code contains features that further streamline development and provide an IDE experience.

Developer tools and services provided by the Salesforce Platform to manage application development

Your first stepping stone to Salesforce development is learning how to install these tools. The project’s first unit, Get Ready to Develop, is designed to help you set up the developer environment and get ready to build apps.

The power of less code

Modern applications typically need an intuitive user interface, APIs to integrate with other systems and processes, and robust security — all of which require complex code. The good news is that the Salesforce Platform provides integrated tools to help you build these features into your apps without the need to write and maintain a lot of code.

The project’s second unit, Create a Data Model Using Clicks, introduces you to no-code tools for building data models and also provides an overview of some of the out-of-box capabilities of the Salesforce Platform.

Extending out-of-box services and platform capabilities

Developers can customize the Salesforce Platform to solve complex business problems. One of the ways they can do so is by writing code to extend the capabilities of the platform’s no-code tools.

JavaScript and Apex are the two most prominent languages on the Salesforce Platform for writing customizations. Apex is the most widely adopted back-end language in the Salesforce ecosystem, and JavaScript is used for front-end development surfaced through Lightning Web Components.

Writing business logic in Apex

The Apex programming language is optimized to run in the Salesforce multi-tenant environment. It is strongly typed and object-oriented, and it allows developers to automate complex backend business processes when code is needed.

Apex integrates with the Salesforce data persistence layer and has built-in support for working with Salesforce data, allowing developers to be more productive. And on top of that, Apex automatically encourages good coding practices by enforcing governor limits and testing requirements.

Salesforce developers need to know Apex as it allows them to extend the out-of-box functionality provided by the Salesforce Platform. The project’s third unit, Write Business Login in Apex, covers how to write and test Apex code.

Customizing the Salesforce user interface with Lightning Web Components

Lightning Web Components are custom HTML elements that use the Web Components standards and are built using HTML and modern JavaScript. A Lightning web component (LWC) runs in the browser natively and allows developers to create new apps or customize the out-of-the-box user interface of existing apps.

Knowing how to work with LWCs is a key Salesforce development skill as it allows you to build custom experiences on the Salesforce Platform. The last and final unit, Build a Reusable UI Component with Lightning Web Components, will take you step-by-step through the process of building a Lightning Web Component.

What else can you learn?

In addition to the Trailhead project discussed in this blog, you have the opportunity to learn even more important development skills on Trailhead. A few that we recommend include:

Salesforce Flow

Salesforce Flow allows you to automate business processes with little to no coding, saving you time and resources. It can interface with Apex and LWC. For example, as a developer, you can write Apex classes that can can be invoked by Flow. You can also create a custom Flow UI using LWC, or have your Flow hosted on the page in an LWC. Combining Flows, Apex, and LWC, you can quickly create solutions that add business value.

Salesforce Functions

For elastic-scale code, you can use Salesforce Functions. These functions-as-a-service (FaaS) code units allow you to extend Salesforce using open-source languages like Java, JavaScript, and Python. Salesforce Functions also allow you to connect easily to managed database services on Heroku. Scaling your Salesforce app with code has never been easier.

Customer 360

The Salesforce Platform enables immediate success by working seamlessly with Salesforce Customer 360 and providing quick time-to-value benefits of low code. However, developer skills also come in handy when working with much of the Salesforce technology landscape. This includes creating custom experiences and journeys with Marketing Cloud, building and scaling eCommerce storefronts and websites with Commerce Cloud, visualizing data-driven analytics with Tableau, or building connected apps with Slack.

Conclusion

The Trailhead Project, Get Started With Salesforce Development, gives you an overview of what it’s like to be a developer working with Salesforce Platform capabilities. But this is only the beginning. Each of the units within the project has links to other resources to give you a deeper understanding.

Finally, if you get stuck, remember that you’re not alone. The Salesforce Developers group in the Trailblazer Community is where you can collaborate, network, build connections, and learn with other developers globally.

Resources

Get Started With Salesforce Development

About the author

Mohith Shrivastava

Mohith Shrivastava is a Developer Advocate at Salesforce with a decade of experience building enterprise-scale products on the Salesforce Platform. He is presently focusing on the Salesforce Developer Tools, Apex, and Lightning Web Components at Salesforce. Mohith is currently among the lead contributors on Salesforce Stackexchange, a developer forum where Salesforce Developers can ask questions and share knowledge. You can follow him via his Twitter @msrivastav13.

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