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How I ended up becoming a Salesforce Developer

toadgeek profile image Matheus Goncalves ・4 min read

When I look back now, working with software development has been like a rollercoaster.

Everything started when I was only 13 years old, with a language called Clipper. Yes, I know. It's been a while. I remember when my dad was installing this old computer in our modest living room. It was love at first sight, and it was a lot of fun.

For the first time in my life the word "creativity" had an empirical meaning. I was creating things. Digital things, but still, things. Pieces of code doing exactly what I told them to do. That was fascinating.

After that I've been exploring this world a lot. Sudoku games with C++ or Visual Basic, complete systems with Oracle Forms 4, PL/SQL, SQL Server, Pascal/Delphi and, ultimately, becoming a Java and C# developer, trying as much as possible to become fluent on both languages.

We must constantly endeavor if we are to succeed, right? So I did. And, for years, that was my whole universe.

One day I had to integrate an old B2B Marketing application, built with Java (Struts 1.0) with a new platform. It was a CRM and it was on the clouds. Oh, the clouds, they're so magical, aren't they?

But this was my first contact with Salesforce Development. Let's say I remember the clouds because I had to learn how to build an airplane while flying.

After changing pretty much the whole project and adjusting the requirements, I started to learn how to develop custom interfaces, objects, records, Visualforce Components, Visualforce pages, Apex Statements, classes and everything I needed to accomplish my tasks.

In order to do so, I needed help, of course. So I started exploring the Salesforce Stack Exchange, one of the most important and helpful communities of Salesforce Developers.

There I learned about Salesforce triggers, some of the platform limitations, some basic SOQL statements (something equivalent to SQL, remember), and even ways to change the solution by changing the approach within the Salesforce possibilities.

In 2014 I attended Dreamforce in San Francisco. It's the must-attend tech conference of the year for anyone who's in the Salesforce Ecosystem. And that was a milestone for me.

Not only because of the free books I could get there (Force.com Fundamentals, Mobile SDK Developer Guide, Salesforce1 Mobile Mobile App Developer Guide and Heroku Programming), but also because I was in touch with the brightest minds and ideas of Salesforce universe and because it was the first time I heard about Trailhead.

If, for some reason, you don't know what Salesforce Trailhead is, imagine a way to learn more and more about how to solve problems, how to use the best practices, how to become a better developer, by taking challenging and fulfilling tasks that you can accomplish in your pace, that makes you satisfied and happy because you actually feel you are fully developing your abilities.

So by getting in touch with the most amazing and welcoming developers community there is, by learning how Salesforce lives the Ohana values every day and by learning more and more about the platform, I became a Salesforce Developer. And, in 2016, I got my Salesforce Platform Developer Certification.

I have a strong thirst for knowledge, therefore I'm aware there's so much more to learn, more badges the earn and more problems to solve. This is just the beginning. And you're more than welcome to join us.

Take a deeper dive into these values and don't forget to check the Salesforce Developer Career eBook. You may leave with some ideas you can take to your company, or begin to implement yourself.

Spoiler alert: walking this path may change your life 😉

This article was originally posted at matheusgoncalves.com

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toadgeek profile

Matheus Goncalves

@toadgeek

Lead Software Engineer, podcaster at https://toadcast.com.br, drummer, photographer. Neutral Good Geek. Salesforce Certified Developer ☁ and Lead Software Engineer at Salesforce.

Discussion

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Thanks for this article, Matheus. Although, I believe your last sentence hides the equally interesting story - I'm happy to learn how your transition to SF world has changed your life :)

BTW, we've recently started a series on how to leverage SF (especially its API and other integration capabilities) in building modern business applications - perhaps you'll find it interesting on your new career path!

 

Hi Mike! I'm glad you like it. Well, everything changed since 5 years ago. Sometimes it felt like I was sent out to a vast, uncharted wilderness to learn and explore. Even nowadays, with the transition from the regular dev process to Salesforce DX, or from Apex to Lightning, even as a Senior Engineer it feels like you're just a fresh graduate learning new things.

I don't want to sound too philosophical here ("ow, dude, why so deep? This is a topic about Salesforce, chill! Geez..."), but it helps to keep you humble and hungry for more knowledge. Does it makes sense?

Well, also during all these years I've met amazing people. The kind of people that transcends the limits of co-working, it's more like a huge family around the world.

So yeah, it's been a heck of an experience!

About your series, I'll definitely check it out, thanks for the suggestion.

 

Definitely makes sense! When we first approached SF environment, we didn't know it's such an impressive platform. Almost 20 yr code-base speaks for itself:)

But what surprised us the most is that it can bring value not only to both big corps but it's also flexible enough (both in tech stack and pricing) to help startups/smaller projects too. And this is what we're trying to show in the series.

 

Doesn't the total vendor lock-in aspect bug you? I mean, you're using proprietary languages on a proprietary platform that you really have very little control over. I feel like it would bug me. That's not intended as a criticism, I just mean that I would feel like I was on somewhat shaky ground knowing that my livelihood depending totally on the goodwill of the vendor.

Are you assuming that Salesforce will exist for as long as your career, or do you have an exit strategy worked out?

 

What makes you think my livehood depends totally on Salesforce? :)

I'm still a Senior Software Engineer, I still have to integrate this platform with other platforms, I still have to work with JavaScript (just an example), but more than that I continue learning about other platforms (open source or not).

To say my livehood depends on Salesforce because everything can suddenly change is the same thing as my livehood was depending on Java and .NET when I suddenly had to start working with Salesforce, right?

As long as you're willing to be a better professional, a better engineer, the platform is just one of many variables in the system.

 

Technical question: What do you guys recommend for figuring out the object model for custom data tables in SF? I'm trying to convert existing reports to SOQL statements. Used the Eclipse IDE's "Schema Explorer" but visualizing the child/parent relationships, being able to search for a field, etc. is a bit clunky. I keep hoping there's a better way.

 

When I read the post title I had a feeling it was you

 

Yes the Trailhead is a very neat learning platform, however the certification costs about 10K dollars ... I'll pass.

 

Actually Trailhead certifications (Badges and Superbadges) are free. And Salesforce Certifications range from US$ 200 to US$ 500.

Developer: USD 200
Advanced Developer: USD 400
Administrator: USD 200
Advanced Administrator: USD 200
Sales Cloud Consultant: USD 200
Service Cloud Consultant: USD 200
Architect: USD 500

For the latest pricing of the Salesforce.com certification exam refer to certification website webassessor.com/salesforce

Source: certifiedforce.com/faqs/certificat...

The silver lining is: you don't have to get the certifications to become a Salesforce Developer. You can learn a lot of stuff on Trailhead, for free. :)