Having a direct impact on
company revenue is a great way to get ahead, and a career shift to Salesforce
development can help you do exactly that. Salesforce
presents a major opportunity for developers, not only in providing
customization and implementation support but also in developing apps for
Salesforce’s AppExchange business app marketplace.
grown rapidly as a platform, providing CRM and marketing automation services in
the cloud to sales staff, health workers, fundraisers, and other professionals
around the world. Its ecosystem provides opportunities to consultants,
marketing firms, and app developers, who have contributed more than 3,000 apps
to AppExchange to date.
An increased demand for
marketing intelligence, sales outreach, and lead generation has fueled a hot
job market for developers targeting Salesforce.
Here we provide a look at how you can cash in on this trend.
The Salesforce job market
The market for Salesforce
talent is robust, with Monster reporting
more than 1,000 job postings for Salesforce developers and related roles,
including Salesforce architect and Salesforce consultant, as of June 2016.
Companies are willing to pay top dollar; $120,000
is the average U.S. salary for
Salesforce developers, according to CareerBuilder.
“I see a large demand for
Salesforce development talent across every geographic region and industry,”
explains Mike Wheeler, who teaches Introduction
to Salesforce Certifications and Career Planning and The
Complete Salesforce Administrator Certification Course at Udemy.
“Contract rates for developers range from $65 to $85 per hour usually.
Architect roles start at $150,000+ for annual salary and commonly exceed
“Cloud for Good hired 15 new consultants
during the past 12 months, and we plan to hire about 30 additional employees
over the next 12 months. Everyone we hire has extensive Salesforce experience
combined with nonprofit and consulting exposure,” says Tal Frankfurt, CEO of
Cloud for Good, a consulting firm in North Carolina.
“We expect to hire another
20 to 30 people for Marketing Cloud implementations alone,” adds Josh Pierry,
CEO of Pierry Software, which focuses on Salesforce Marketing Cloud
integrations and implementations. “The opportunity is incredible right now.”
That opportunity includes rising
interest in analytics and marketing automation, led by early pioneers such as
Amazon, to improve the bottom line; solving challenges around delivering
effective social media and email marketing at scale; and increased demand for
customization in managing customer data.
to Salesforce: The digital agency route
Digital agencies that
specialize in internet marketing strategies are among the chief organizations
hiring Salesforce developers.
“The engineering team at DEG
is growing, and that includes Salesforce specialists,” says Jim Nagorska,
Salesforce Marketing Cloud engineering team lead at DEG Digital. Based in
Kansas, DEG has more than 150 employees serving clients such as Mozilla, UMB
Bank, and Hallmark Baby. Email marketing is a major focus for DEG. A key skill
in this area is database management.
opportunities beyond sales and marketing
Salesforce.com is well-known as a means for helping
sales staff close deals and manage customer information, but that’s only part
of its opportunity for development skills. Salesforce skills can be applied in
several industries that may not be immediately obvious: nonprofits, payroll
firms, and health care organizations.
recruiters are searching for Salesforce talent to fill a variety of roles.
“I have placed a range of
independent consultants from Salesforce project manager/architect to
admins and developers. Many of our recent clients have been in the education
field and seek high-level project managers or architects,” explains Alexandra
Aycock, delivery specialist at EdgeRock Technology Partners.
“While technical knowledge
and experience are essential, they are not enough for professionals interested
in pursuing senior roles or moving into consulting roles,” Aycock adds.
Yes, developers can create a
career performing heads-down coding for Apex
(Salesforce’s programming language) and Visualforce (its
UI framework), but they should still be able to speak with the business. “Soft
skills and communication are highly important,” Aycock says.
There are a variety of paths
for breaking into Salesforce development. One place to start would be to
explore the resources offered directly by Salesforce, which has created several
online and offline communities to help developers grow their skills.
“Superbadges and Trailhead
two ways that Salesforce developers can demonstrate their interest and skills
with Salesforce,” says Wheeler.
do these self-guided training programs involve?
microcredentials that cover four competencies: Apex, security, Lightning
process automation platform), and reports and dashboards. Superbadges are a
low-commitment introduction to the Salesforce ecosystem. The reports and
dashboards superbadge takes approximately six hours to earn.
Salesforce describes its
superbadges as a precursor to determine readiness for certification. They are
also a way to gauge your interest levels in a Salesforce career. “I would
recommend completing as many Trailhead modules as possible. Every skill set is
covered -- whether you are a developer or an admin, Trailhead includes tools to
test your knowledge of the platform,” says Frankfurt.
Salesforce Trails are online
guided learning paths through modules and projects. They are offered at three
skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, with only two trails
available at the advanced level. The Develop
with Mobile SDK (covering
iOS, Android, and hybrid mobile apps) could be a promising entry point for
mobile developers seeking to expand their range.
For a deeper experience,
Salesforce offers several certifications, including Administrator ($200)
and Architect ($400)
certs. Experienced coders can start with the Platform
Developer I credential;
others familiar with coding can begin with the Force dot com Advanced
Developer credential first. Those with little to no technical background should
pursue the Salesforce Administrator certification first. This enables you to
learn the platform and go down the path of becoming either an administrator,
consultant, or a developer, explains Wheeler.
out your Salesforce dev résumé
Data skills are an important
ingredient to success in Salesforce development. For Pierry Software,
Salesforce certifications are essential.
“Salesforce certification is
a minimum requirement needed for any aspiring Salesforce developer. At our
company, we only work with certified developers, so you won’t make it past HR
if you don’t have one,” Pierry says. “If you are new to the space, my advice is
to earn the Salesforce Admin Certification, plus a Marketing
Cloud certification. Our ideal candidate has the certifications and a couple of
years’ experience working on the platform.”
A foundation of
non-Salesforce skills is also important.
“We like our developers to
have familiarity working on data structures, ETL process, and ideally some
programing experience,” Pierry adds. For those interested in Salesforce
Marketing Cloud, a robust understanding of digital marketing channels such as
email and SMS is helpful.
To achieve long-term growth
in Salesforce development at an implementation firm, professionals need more
than tech skills.
“Success and growth at our
company comes as a result of outstanding client service, creative solutions,
and the ability to upsell the client authentically and appropriately,” Pierry
says. “Our star performers leverage their familiarity with the technology to
solve a real pain point for the client.”