Meet Nicolas Vuillamy
If Salesforce Developer Nicolas Vuillamy could go back in time and reboot his career from the beginning, he would start contributing to open-source projects, writing articles, and being active in the Salesforce Developers Trailblazer Community from day one. He says “A developer’s landscape must not stop at his project, colleagues, or even his company. The Trailblazer Community is worldwide and very welcoming, and being part of it is essential to making progress faster (and also having some fun!).”
The Trailblazer Community is worldwide and very welcoming, and being part of it is essential to making progress faster (and also having some fun!).
Nicolas’ first experience with Salesforce was at a software editor company, where he was working on a backend system for a major pre-sales campaign. His boss came to him and asked if he could build a proof of concept for a Salesforce ISV connector between Salesforce and their insurance software. Nicolas replied, “What is Salesforce? But, OK, I’ll have a look!” The proof of concept, a mobile application built in three months, was a success, so the team decided to build out the real product. Nicolas proceeded to work on it for three years with a team of 20 other developers, most of whom had never used Salesforce before. It was a great learning opportunity for everyone on the team.
Since then, Nicolas has continued his Salesforce career path by moving on to become CTO at Cloudity, a Salesforce Consulting Partner.
Key to success: Keep. Learning. Every. Day.
For Nicolas, learning is at the core of his developer life. If he needs to get hands-on with a new technology or skill, he’ll go to Trailhead, Salesforce’s free learning platform where anyone can learn today’s most in-demand and relevant skills, earn resume-worthy credentials, and connect to global opportunities. He also refers his clients to Trailhead when needed.
Nicolas keeps learning every day.
One of the things that Nicolas appreciates most about developing on Salesforce is the ecosystem of tools and technologies available, such as sfdx plugins, code quality, security code analysis, and copy-paste detectors. They help improve the quality of development coming from his team, and ensure a coding style that is clean, easy to maintain, and ready to build new features, even years later.
He’s particularly excited about the new AI technologies that Salesforce has released this past year. He says, “AI will dramatically change IT, and I’m glad to work in an ecosystem that is a leader on the topic. I can’t wait for Salesforce’s AI features to become more advanced!”
A source of inspiration and encouragement
Prior to working in the Salesforce ecosystem, Nicolas had not been open to connecting with other developers in person or online. But when he began working on his first Salesforce project, Nicolas started joining technical discussions with other Trailblazers and found them to be a source of inspiration and encouragement. He then decided to take the plunge and attend his local Salesforce Developer Group to meet fellow developers in person. He says, “I don’t regret it, and I consider some of them as friends today.”
In addition to passionate technical discussions, community members pushed Nicolas to become a speaker and helped him to get over his anxiety around being on stage in front of an audience. Eventually, Nicolas was selected to give his first talk at French Touch Dreamin’, a community-led event held in Paris every year. Since then, he’s continued to speak at other events like YeurDreamin’ 2023, and he even conducted two sessions at Dreamforce 2023.
Nicolas presenting at Dreamforce 2023.
Contributing expertise and open-source tools
Nicolas believes in giving back to the Salesforce community, improving efficiencies, and helping others succeed. To that end, he has created an open-source sfdx plugin with a Visual Studio Code Extension — sfdx-hardis — that simplifies many Salesforce workflows, especially around DevOps and CI/CD. It began as a Cloudity project and then became an open-source project with external contributors. Nicolas’ plugin has been a hit with the community and is used daily by more than 1000 Trailblazers around the world. “I’m very proud to provide free tools to the community,” says Nicolas, “and I’m glad to benefit from the other free tools that are provided by great people!” He’s especially grateful to members of the community who inspired him to create the plug-in and helped him take it to the next level. For Nicolas, contributing is the key.
I’m very proud to provide free tools to the community, and I’m glad to benefit from the other free tools that are provided by great people!
Advice to new Salesforce Developers
Just six years ago, Nicolas was unfamiliar with Salesforce, yet three years later, he became CTO of a Salesforce Platinum Partner company. He says, “If you learn a lot, work a lot, and surround yourself with experts and inspiring people, anything is possible!”
Nicolas recommends passing the Platform Developer 1 certification, an essential credential to boost one’s career opportunities. He says, “I am certified, and I consider it a good start for any Trailblazer developer journey.”
I am certified, and I consider it a good start for any Trailblazer developer journey.
He also suggests finding a local Salesforce Developer Group to network and connect with peers, as well as staying active in the Trailblazer Community online. There, new developers can find mentors who can help answer questions or solve problems as they get up to speed on Salesforce technologies.
In addition to the Trailblazer Community, there are a wide range of resources to support Trailblazers of all experience levels, such as Trailhead, Salesforce StackExchange, Salesforce Developers social media channels, and the plethora of blogs, videos, and webinars created by Salesforce and the community.
Nicolas and the Cloudity team at the top of the Twin Peaks after Dreamforce ’23.
To meet developers like Nicolas Vuillamy and expand your technical skills, join the Salesforce Developers Community and be a part of the conversation on all things Salesforce development.
About the author
Christie Fidura is the Director of Global Trailblazer Engagement. In this role, she seeks to engage and elevate the community and work directly with them to understand their challenges, concerns, wins, and inspirations. You can find Christie in the Trailblazer Community at https://trailblazer.me/id/christiefidura. A certified community manager and multiple-award winning marketer, Christie believes in technology, community, and equality.