What does a Salesforce Developer do?

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Are you currently a Salesforce Administrator with aspirations to move into a Developer role? Or maybe you’re a Developer in another system or language who has had some exposure to, or heard about Salesforce. We cover the nuts and bolts of the Salesforce Developer role, who it best suits and how to go about transitioning.

Salesforce Developer:

A Salesforce Developer often extends the capabilities of Salesforce and is the API integration and code expert. Traditionally, Salesforce Developers create complex workflows, triggers, APEX development, Lightning Components, both Aura and Web Components, complex validation rules, AppExchange and legacy platform integrations. Basic field, object and page layout enhancements, and also data management are tasks a Salesforce Administrator will be able to handle.

A Salesforce Developer may have have a background in other programming languages such as Java and is able to advise on limitations, and has a very in-depth understanding of Salesforce so is able to advise on things like limitations and limits. This person is very in demand in the ecosystem and is a subject matter expert.

What does a Salesforce Developer do? Typical Salesforce Developer tasks might include:

  • Creating complex workflows
  • Creating triggers
  • APEX development
  • Development of Visualforce pages and both Aura components and Lightning Web Components
  • Integration with other systems
  • Testing and implementing applications
  • Maintenance
  • Installation 
  • Debugging
  • Producing technical documentation
  • Performing reviews of the data
  • Providing technical plans/solutions to business teams
  • Developing solutions to address any company-wide issues and making their processes more efficient
  • Reviewing custom developed code and making necessary technical adjustments

What qualities will a Salesforce Developer typically possess?

  • Persistent and curious. Salesforce Developers absolutely thrive on solving problems and believe that any repetitive task can be automated with code.
  • Strong attention to detail, and pride themselves on writing beautiful and clean code which will stand the test of time.
  • Tenacious, given that trial and error are a part of the job. A good Developer will be spurred on further by something not working as it should.
  • The ability to push back when deadlines are imposed, to make sure that all code is checked and sandboxed prior to going to production. No shortcuts should ever be taken.

How would I transition into a Salesforce Developer role?

Trailhead is a great place to start. There are trails available like the Developer Beginner, to learn more about coding, and setting up a sandbox gives you the opportunity to learn by doing. Or if you’re currently a Salesforce Admin, you may realise that there’s some coding which you could start to undertake in your current role, or a Developer on your team who you could begin to learn from. Getting your ‘hands dirty’ and beginning to ‘think like a Developer’ will see you pick it up.

If you have prior coding experience in your career in another language, you can apply that knowledge and pair it with getting your Salesforce Platform Developer certifications.

For help with the Salesforce Platform Developer certifications, there are many fantastic resources:

Focus on Force 

And you can check out an interview we did with the Founder, Martin Gessner for Talent Hub TV to find out more

Trailhead Virtual Bootcamp

This training is run by Salesforce themselves and prepares students for the Salesforce Platform Developer exams


David Liu believes that anyone can be taught to code successfully with his training courses. He shared his story with us here

Which Salesforce certifications should I pursue?

There are two certifications which relate to the Developer role, Platform Developer I and Platform Developer II, for those wishing to learn and become Salesforce certified. They’re suited to Developers with experience of Object Oriented Programming Language such as Java, C# or Python, for example, and those who want to learn how to make programmatic customisations using Apex.

Let’s hear from the Salesforce Developers themselves!

At Talent Hub, we publish a comprehensive annual Salesforce survey which collates the motivations, opinions and aspirations of Salesforce Developers and other job titles specifically in the ANZ region. We asked Salesforce Developers a few questions about their own roles to give a bit of a snapshot of the realities of the Salesforce Developer role.

Salesforce Development within an enterprise space, can involve other systems. We asked Salesforce Developers whether they were currently upskilling in another additional programmatic language, and 57% said ‘yes’.


The Salesforce Developer talent pool is notoriously stretched, and when we asked the Salesforce Developers in our network to categorise themselves, you can see where the opportunities potentially lie. Only 2% class themselves as Junior Salesforce Developers. This means that either Developers are accelerating into senior roles very quickly, or there are a proportionately high number of Junior Developer roles possibly available.

You may hear the terms front-end, back-end or middle-ware Developers frequently in other systems. In Salesforce, because there is no separate database, no separate middleware, and no separate front end, Salesforce Developers tend to be more wholistic, or full-stack Developers by and large. When we asked the Salesforce Developers in our network how the class themselves, 71% identified as being full-stack Developers. You can find out how the Salesforce Developer role has evolved over time, here, from our chat with Salesforce MVP, Vamsi Krishna.


How difficult is it to learn how to code and how hard are the Salesforce Platform Developer exams to pass?

Many coders express that it’s possible to teach most people how to code! The pass mark for the PDI exam is 65%, and 70% for PDII, meaning that quite a high level of knowledge is required to be successful in these Salesforce exams. Practice tests can help prepare you for what to expect, and it’s suggested by Salesforce that your level of experience is at least 6 months of experience using the Lightning platform.

What kind of questions might I get in a Salesforce Developer interview?

We’ve put together a very brief list of possible Salesforce Developer questions and answers to give a bit of a flavour:

What options are available to you for deploying from Sandbox to Production? 

What’s your typical approach to test classes?

What are Governor Limits? Can you name three examples? 

Have you ever had to deal with data loss? What was the cause and what was the workaround that you implemented?

What are the different methods of deployment in Salesforce? 

Is a Salesforce Developer a good career route to go down?

We believe so! 15% of Salesforce Administrators that we asked in our market survey this year told us that the Developer role was their ideal next career move.

Did you know also, that there was the annual Salesforce Developer conference called TrailheaDX held virtually, in June? This covered a host of topics specialist to this area, which kicked off with the keynote, “The Trailblazing Success From Anywhere”. You can still catch the replays of this conference and so if you’d like to take a deep dive into the world of the Salesforce Developer, then we highly recommend that you check it out.

You only have to look at the company forecasts to see how much bigger the platform is still tipped to get, and that means many more companies in the world adopting Salesforce, who aren’t currently. If you’re currently a generalist Business Analyst, then learning Salesforce will future-proof your career to a degree, by helping you gain skills that will keep bearing fruits for you and your career in the years to come by keeping in-sync with the tooling being adopted by organisations across the world

“Salesforce saw a 38% rise in its jobs listings from 2020-2021 and 4.2M direct and indirect jobs are projected to be created in the Salesforce ecosystem by 2024”

We’d love to help you with any other questions you may have, and so don’t hesitate to leave yours in the comments section below for us to do our best to answer.


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