First, let’s cover the basics: Salesforce is a suite of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Its products include Sales Cloud – the world’s number one CRM and sales application – as well as Service Cloud, designed for customer service and support applications, the customer engagement-focussed Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce Chatter, a business-based social network.
For many businesses, these ‘out-of-the-box’ Salesforce products are more than powerful enough for their needs. But some need to do more.
That’s where the Salesforce Platform suite comes in. This suite lets you create cloud-based business apps and websites. It makes creating apps much easier, but it has its own programming languages, and requires the assistance of professional Salesforce developers to make the most of its features.
So What Does A Salesforce Developer Do?
A Salesforce developer is somebody who knows their way around the Salesforce Platform – and particularly its main component, Force.com – like the back of their hand. The Salesforce Platform provides almost infinite possibilities for creating employee and customer apps and websites, so the day-to-day tasks of a Salesforce developer are likely to vary considerably depending on the project they’re working on.
These projects might include creating iPhone and iPad apps (for employee timesheets, for example), apps that automatically generate documents or emails, or custom-building Salesforce sites so they’re more suited to a business’s needs.
A lot of companies will need Salesforce support to get up and running with the service, but find it easy to use when their employees are used to it. However, when it comes to tailoring the suite to your business, and your customers, you’ll have to bring a developer on board.
How Do You Become A Salesforce Developer?
To become a developer, you’ll need to have a sound grounding in computing. Salesforce itself offers courses to allow you to grow these skills and apply them to the world of Salesforce development. The first, Building Applications With Force.Com and Visualforce focusses on the basics of application development, using an object-orientated ‘programming language’. Apex and Visualforce Controllers takes things to the next level, and is designed for more experienced developers. It focusses on Force.com’s programming languages. Introduction To Object-Oriented Programming With Apex, meanwhile, is the course to take if you’re completely new to computer programming.
Because creating Salesforce apps doesn’t tend to be an ongoing concern for businesses, they’ll tend to employ third-party Salesforce developers to help. If you’re genuinely interested in becoming a developer – or you’re a business looking to start its own development project – it’s worth looking to one of these third-party businesses as your first port of call.
Louisa Jenkins is a blogger based in Grimsby. She’s well-versed when it comes to using various pieces of enterprise software, having enjoyed a stint as a salesforce developer in her time.
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