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From Novice to Pro: 10 Steps to Become a Certified Salesforce Developer

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Salesforce is one of the most widely used cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, with over 150,000 customers worldwide. As more and more companies adopt Salesforce, the demand for skilled Salesforce developers is also increasing. In this article, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to become a certified Salesforce Developer, including tips and resources for mastering key skills and passing the certification exam.


Salesforce developer

Step 1: Learn the Basics

Before diving into the technical aspects of Salesforce development, it's important to understand the basics of the Salesforce platform. This includes topics like:


Salesforce Platform Basics

  • Understanding the Salesforce platform and its various editions

  • Navigating the Salesforce interface and its key features

  • Basic data modeling and management concepts, including objects, fields, and relationships

  • Customizing the user interface using page layouts and record types

Data Management

  • Data management best practices, including data quality and data security

  • Importing and exporting data using the Salesforce data loader and other tools

  • Understanding Salesforce data types and relationships

Security and Access

  • Understanding the Salesforce security model and access controls

  • Setting up and managing user profiles and permission sets

  • Best practices for securing sensitive data in Salesforce

Customizing the User Interface

  • Customizing the Salesforce user interface using page layouts, record types, and custom components

  • Best practices for user interface design and usability

By mastering these basics, you'll have a solid foundation for becoming a Salesforce developer.


Step 2: Learn Apex Programming

Apex is a programming language used to develop custom business logic and integrate with external systems in Salesforce. To become a certified Salesforce Developer, you'll need to have a good understanding of Apex programming, including:

Apex Syntax and Concepts

  • Understanding Apex syntax and data types

  • Variables, constants, and expressions in Apex

  • Control structures like if/else, loops, and switch statements

Object-Oriented Programming Concepts

  • Understanding object-oriented programming concepts like classes, objects, and inheritance

  • Creating and using custom classes in Apex

  • Interfaces, abstract classes, and Inheritance in Apex

Triggers and Classes

  • Understanding Apex triggers and their use cases

  • Writing and testing Apex triggers

  • Creating and using Apex classes

Governor Limits

  • Understanding Salesforce governor limits and their impact on Apex development

  • Best practices for writing efficient and scalable Apex code

By mastering these Apex programming concepts, you'll be well on your way to becoming a certified Salesforce Developer.


Step 3: Learn Visualforce Pages and Controllers

Visualforce is a framework used to build custom user interfaces in Salesforce. As a Salesforce Developer, you'll need to know how to create Visualforce pages and controllers. This includes:

Visualforce Syntax and Concepts

  • Understanding Visualforce syntax and components

  • Creating custom Visualforce pages and components

  • Using Visualforce components like input fields, output fields, and apex: repeat

Custom Controllers and Extensions

  • Creating custom controllers and controller extensions

  • Understanding the relationship between Visualforce pages and controllers

  • Passing parameters between Visualforce pages and controllers

Standard Controllers

  • Understanding standard controllers and their use cases

  • Using standard controllers with Visualforce pages

By mastering Visualforce pages and controllers, you'll be able to create custom user interfaces and workflows in Salesforce.


Step 4: Learn Lightning Web Components

Lightning Web Components is a modern web standards-based programming model that allows developers to build reusable components for Salesforce. As a Salesforce Developer, you'll need to know how to create Lightning Web Components. This includes:

Lightning Web Components Architecture

  • Understanding the architecture and structure of Lightning Web Components

  • The difference between Aura Components and Lightning Web Components

  • How to use the Lightning Component Framework to build Lightning Web Components

HTML Templates and JavaScript Classes

  • Creating HTML templates for Lightning Web Components

  • Creating JavaScript classes for Lightning Web Components

  • Communicating between components using events

Component Events

  • Understanding component events and their use cases

  • Creating and firing component events

  • Handling component events in other components

By mastering Lightning Web Components, you'll be able to build reusable and scalable components for your Salesforce applications.



Step 5: Learn Data Modeling and Management

Data modeling and management are critical skills for a Salesforce Developer. You'll need to know how to design and implement custom data models, as well as manage data using the Salesforce data loader. This includes:

Custom Objects and Fields

  • Creating custom objects and fields in Salesforce

  • Understanding the relationship between objects and fields

  • Best practices for designing custom objects and fields

Relationships and Junction Objects

  • Understanding relationships between objects in Salesforce

  • Creating and managing relationships between objects

  • Using junction objects to model many-to-many relationships

Data Import and Export

  • Importing data into Salesforce using the data loader and other tools

  • Exporting data from Salesforce using the data loader and other tools

  • Best practices for data management in Salesforce

By mastering data modeling and management, you'll be able to design and implement custom data models that meet the needs of your Salesforce applications.


Step 6: Learn Integration and APIs

Salesforce integrates with many external systems, so it's important to understand integration and APIs. This includes:

Integration Patterns and Best Practices

  • Understanding integration patterns like request-response, publish-subscribe, and batch processing

  • Best practices for designing and implementing integrations with external systems

  • Using middleware like Mulesoft and Dell Boomi to integrate with external systems

REST and SOAP APIs

  • Understanding the differences between REST and SOAP APIs

  • Creating and testing REST and SOAP APIs in Salesforce

  • Using the Salesforce API to integrate with external systems

Outbound Messaging and Apex Callouts

  • Using outbound messaging to send data to external systems

  • Using Apex callouts to make HTTP requests to external systems

  • Best practices for integrating with external systems in Salesforce

By mastering integration and APIs, you'll be able to integrate Salesforce with other systems and provide a seamless user experience for your users.


Step 7: Practice Testing and Debugging

Testing and debugging are essential skills for a Salesforce Developer. You'll need to know how to write and execute unit tests, as well as debug and troubleshoot issues. This includes:

Testing Best Practices

  • Understanding the different types of tests in Salesforce, including unit tests, integration tests, and system tests

  • Writing and executing unit tests in Salesforce

  • Best practices for testing in Salesforce

Debugging Techniques

  • Using the Salesforce Developer Console to debug Apex code

  • Understanding common debugging techniques like log files and system.debug statements

  • Best practices for debugging in Salesforce

Test Coverage and Code Quality

  • Understanding test coverage and its importance in Salesforce development

  • Measuring and improving code quality in Salesforce

  • Best practices for code quality and test coverage in Salesforce

By mastering testing and debugging, you'll be able to ensure the quality and reliability of your Salesforce applications.


Step 8: Learn Deployment Strategies

Salesforce development requires a good understanding of deployment strategies. You'll need to know how to deploy changes between Salesforce environments using tools like the Force.com Migration Tool and Salesforce CLI. This includes:

Change Set and Package Development

Understanding change set and package development in Salesforce

  • Using change sets and packages to deploy changes between Salesforce environments

  • Best practices for change set and package development in Salesforce

Force.com Migration Tool and Salesforce CLI

  • Understanding the Force.com Migration Tool and Salesforce CLI

  • Using the Force.com Migration Tool and Salesforce CLI to deploy changes between Salesforce environments

  • Best practices for using the Force.com Migration Tool and Salesforce CLI

Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD)

  • Understanding CI/CD and its importance in Salesforce development

  • Setting up a CI/CD pipeline for Salesforce development

  • Best practices for CI/CD in Salesforce development

By mastering deployment strategies, you'll be able to deploy changes between Salesforce environments quickly and reliably.


Step 9: Learn AppExchange App Development

Salesforce AppExchange is a marketplace for third-party Salesforce applications. As a Salesforce Developer, you may want to develop and publish your own AppExchange applications. This includes:

AppExchange Development Basics

  • Understanding the AppExchange marketplace and its requirements

  • Creating and publishing an AppExchange application

  • Best practices for AppExchange development

Security Review and Compliance

  • Understanding the security review process for AppExchange applications

  • Ensuring compliance with Salesforce security and data privacy requirements

  • Best practices for security review and compliance

AppExchange Marketing and Sales

  • Understanding how to market and sell your AppExchange application

  • Best practices for AppExchange marketing and sales

By mastering AppExchange app development, you'll be able to create and publish your own applications on the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace.


Step 10: Prepare for Certification

Becoming a certified Salesforce Developer is a great way to validate your skills and stand out in the job market. Salesforce offers several certification paths for developers, including:

Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I

  • Validating your skills in Apex programming, Visualforce development, and Salesforce data model

  • Passing the Platform Developer I certification exam

Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II

  • Validating your skills in advanced Apex programming, Lightning Web Components, and Salesforce integration

  • Passing the Platform Developer II certification exam

Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

  • Validating your skills in designing and implementing complex Salesforce solutions

  • Passing the Technical Architect certification exam

To prepare for certification, you can use resources like Trailhead and take courses offered by Salesforce partners. You can also join Salesforce user groups, attend Salesforce events, and network with other developers to learn from their experiences.


Conclusion

Becoming a certified Salesforce Developer requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it's a rewarding career path with many opportunities. By following these 10 steps, you'll be well on your way to becoming a skilled Salesforce Developer and passing the certification exam. Good luck!


FAQ

What are the key skills required to become a Salesforce Developer?

To become a Salesforce Developer, you need to have knowledge of programming concepts, data management, and user interface customization. Some of the key skills required include Apex programming, Visualforce development, Lightning Web Components, data modeling and management, integration and APIs, testing and debugging, deployment strategies, and security.


How can I learn Salesforce development?

You can learn Salesforce development by using resources like Trailhead, Salesforce's online learning platform, and taking courses offered by Salesforce partners. You can also join Salesforce user groups, attend Salesforce events, and network with other developers to learn from their experiences.


What certification should I pursue to become a certified Salesforce Developer?

Salesforce offers several certification paths for developers, including Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I and Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II. These certifications validate your skills and knowledge in Salesforce development and can help you stand out in the job market.


How long does it take to become a certified Salesforce Developer?

The time it takes to become a certified Salesforce Developer depends on your existing knowledge and experience. If you're starting from scratch, it may take several months to a year or more to gain the necessary skills and pass the certification exam. However, if you already have some programming experience and are familiar with Salesforce, you may be able to complete the certification process in a shorter timeframe.


What resources are available for preparing for the Salesforce certification exam?

Salesforce offers a variety of resources for preparing for the certification exam, including study guides, practice exams, and certification prep courses. You can also use online resources like Trailhead and community forums to learn from other developers and get tips and advice.


Can I become a certified Salesforce Developer without a computer science degree?

Yes, you can become a certified Salesforce Developer without a computer science degree. While a degree in computer science or a related field can be helpful, it's not a requirement. Many successful Salesforce Developers come from diverse educational backgrounds, and there are many resources available for learning Salesforce development on your own.


Is Salesforce development a good career choice?

Salesforce development is a growing field with many opportunities for career advancement and high salaries. As more companies adopt Salesforce, the demand for skilled Salesforce Developers is also increasing. Additionally, Salesforce offers a variety of certifications and training programs that can help you grow your skills and advance in your career.

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Mergen Annayev
Mergen Annayev
Apr 08, 2023

Precise roadmap. I turned this to a to-do list.

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