Salesforce is a very very hot product now days and has revolutionized the job market. As per various industry reports thousands of clients are signing up for Salesforce every day and demand for Salesforce professionals is huge.
Choosing Salesforce as your carrier is the best decision you can take today. If you have patience and right attitude than starting a carrier in Salesforce is not that difficult. Although Salesforce has grown a lot and is no longer being used as just a CRM but there are companies which have built a complete ERP based on this awesome platform.
The whole cloud computing scenario in improving so rapidly that companies are looking for primarily experienced people but even if you are fresher, it is still expected that you have gone through some sort of professional training. Salesforce also helps you by providing a lifetime free developer account to get your hands dirty on this awesome platform. As a fresher it might be difficult for you to get a job in Salesforce easily in the beginning but with some planning and guidance you can surely do wonders.
There are in finite resources available online to learn and master Salesforce including the awesome Salesforce success community. I understand sometimes it become too overwhelming for people to see so much documentation available online on Salesforce and it is natural to get confused as to what should be my right procedure to study and master Salesforce.
In this article we will try our best to guide you as to what should be the main five steps which you should take to jump start your carrier and Salesforce. I have been working on Salesforce platform since last more than six years and have executed more than 25 end to end Salesforce projects successfully.
So if you are determined to have success in life then follow the steps outlined below. You will be amazed that it will take hardly a month for you to be knowledgeable in Salesforce if you follow my advice religiously.
1. Lifetime Free Salesforce Account
The first step is to create a free account at developer.force.com .
This is a lifetime free account provided by Salesforce. It provides you access to all the features and functionalities of Salesforce and also gives you privilege to try all the new features of Salesforce whenever added to the whole Salesforce environment. Salesforce being a cloud-based platform doesn’t require you to install anything on your computer, all you need is a computer with Internet connection. Since it is cloud-based and everything is handled by Salesforce at their end so you don’t even need to do anything whenever there are updates available from Salesforce as they are deployed automatically to various Salesforce accounts gradually.
They also a very big Salesforce community of professionals at success.Salesforce.com where you can ask your doubts and read through the questions asked by other people and answers provided by experts. In simple language it is similar to quora.com the only difference being that it is specific to just Salesforce.
Why am I asking you to create a free Salesforce account even before going through any proper training or reading a book just to have a hang of the Salesforce platform. The a lot of things which you can do with your Salesforce account like build new applications by both declarative and programming capabilities. You can perform all the admin tasks and write whatever code you feel like writing. You can also go through the app exchange where you can find pre-developed apps which can be installed directly on Salesforce platform. They are lot of free apps available by Salesforce and other third-party providers as well which you can use to learn about many great features as well.
2. Salesforce Documentation
Now once you have your account sign-up the next thing which you can do is to go to Salesforce documentation and read through the force.com workbook.
It is one of the oldest and most simplest book provided by Salesforce for free. And as mentioned before Salesforce has grown a lot in the past couple of years and have added so many new products to its basket so you might find lot of books available in the Salesforce documentation library so it becomes imperative to guide you as to which book should be studied when and in which sequence.
Salesforce also offers trailhead which is an interactive learning website consisting of various modules which also provides you points and badges as you progress through your free course on trailhead. Lot of people like learning from trailhead as you get to do various exercises after every module.
They are various cheat sheets and quick reference guides available on the website which you can keep handy and can refer back whenever in need. Salesforce releases new features every four month and hence even an experienced and seasoned Salesforce professional also needs to go through the documentation every now and then.
Subscribe to all the Salesforce YouTube channels to learn through new features and always stay abreast with the new developments being done in the Salesforce world.
3. Network with Other Seasoned Salesforce Professionals
The next thing you can do is to follow blogs of some famous Salesforce professionals and try and network with them. They are also various local Salesforce groups available throughout the world which organize meet ups on a regular basis where you can go and meet other Salesforce professionals and asked them how did they started their career and Salesforce. The knowledge you will gain they are would be of immense value for anyone. There are hundreds of such groups available around the world now which interact on regular basis that helps you to network with other Salesforce professional, learn about different organization working in Salesforce, get to know about various jobs available in Salesforce near your area and maybe get an interview call through employ reference.
As a beginner you might feel shy to attend these meetings but I assure you that everyone you would meet there was some time at your stage. You can even find a great mentor that can help you through your learning phase.
Social media is very powerful nowadays so you can even connect on social media with other Salesforce professionals, join various Salesforce groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and follow few great people on twitter as well.
But please ensure that you start doing these outdoor activities only after you have done some study from your part as these might prove time wastage in the beginning. Success doesn’t comes without hard work and hence your utmost priority should be to study about Salesforce as much as you can.
Once you are done with the force.com workbook then you can go through the visual force developer guide and then the Apex developer guide.
4. Applying your Learning
After a month when you have some knowledge about Salesforce and you want to test your skills
you can volunteer to provide your services for free to some nonprofit locally or online as well. Because you cannot get real learning unless and until you apply that knowledge to some live project requirement. Since nonprofits are tight on budget so they are always on look for professionals like you who can help them with their small small tasks. Salesforce provides 10 free user license to all nonprofits. You can also check through the Salesforce foundation website for such opportunities. I have also seen various of my student providing their services for free on freelancing websites in the initial stages. One of our student started as a freelancer and have now formed his own company. They are various such success stories of our students which make us feel proud.
Always remember that anyone can become a Salesforce professional and anyone can learn to code. Please never underestimate yourself and do not be afraid to make a carrier change if you are not satisfied with your current job.
There are various research reports which reveal that Salesforce would create millions of jobs in the future. There are various types of jobs streams available for everyone like Salesforce administrators, developers, consultants etc.
As an administrator you can move ahead to become a Salesforce consultant and as a developer the next step could be becoming a Salesforce architect. But no matter which carrier path you start with ultimately you have to become a manager in your future leading other Salesforce developers like you.
5. Gain Overall Knowledge
Like in every domain a Salesforce administrator or consultant primary job is to interact with clients, understand their requirements, come up with the implementation plan. Hence they require great skills of listening and communication. Apart from the technical knowledge to succeed in your carrier you should have the ability to think differently, you should be able to suggest new ideas and improvements but then again for this to be possible you need good understanding of platform first. You should have an habit of reading a lot of various success stories and see how other companies are using Salesforce to automate their day to day business process.
The great part about Salesforce is that one task can be implemented in various different ways. There could be many solutions for a particular set of requirements. Hence it requires proactive approach and progressive attitude.
Even if you want to become a Salesforce developer you need to have understanding of the platform because all the Salesforce programming is native to the Salesforce platform. Unless and until you do not have the admin knowledge of Salesforce you can not become a great developer and can not suggest extraordinary solutions to any problem. Hence never try to limit your self to just one source of learning. Even if you like reading through books compliment them with watching some YouTube videos from Salesforce YouTube channel or channel of other Salesforce professionals.
If you want to succeed in your career fast then you should surely have overall knowledge of Salesforce platform. And the same applies to Salesforce admin’s as well because they need to suggest solution to client so they should be aware of that what is possible through code as well.
So whatever path you choose Salesforce documentation, trailhead, YouTube or a complete step-by-step Salesforce course like available on Complete Salesforce Training and make sure that you put in your best efforts. I just want you to give in your best for just one month. Hope you will follow the steps provided in this article and I would be able to soon witness another success story. Please comment below for any questions or feedback. Cheers to your great successful career. Best of Luck!
Also read : Best Training Resources to Master Salesforce