I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why, as an Admin who Codes, I love Salesforce so much…I mean apart from the cute cloud logo, the fact that they have amazing swag (I have three capes for goodness sake!) and that they host one hell of a party (Dreamforce?! Like WOW!).

So this post is about why I think Salesforce is the best thing since sliced bread for Awesome Admins!

 

Salesforce Gives Power to the People

16997647150_3491744441_zAnd by that I mean the Awesome Admin people. We have the ability to make all manner of crazy business processes happen. We can turn silly standalone spreadsheets into sensational centralized systems.

All with clicks… not code.

Because of that, people who wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to rise in the world of IT, can. You don’t need a computer science degree or years in an IT position to administer Salesforce.
I can’t tell you how many Awesome Admins I know who started out as Administrative Assistants who were smart and knew their way around computers and had the passion to get great data and reports for their bosses.

So that’s number one for me…Salesforce gives smart people the tools to rise, regardless of their background.

 

Salesforce Gives Solo IT People a Home

16997422338_86cb43a8d0_zI have worked in IT for my entire career and most of the time it’s been with at most one or two techies around me, and most of them working on other projects. It could be a pretty lonely job.

It was a couple years after we implemented Salesforce that I found the Salesforce Success Community, the Power of Us Hub, and the Salesforce twitter community. Since then I have never felt alone at work. I now have a community of many thousands of people, which has given me the ability to be more effective at work, and have fun doing it. The Salesforce community is like nothing I’ve seen. It’s supportive, collaborative, and has helped me get where I am today (a-hem… can you say Salesforce MVP?). You can ask any question that you want and you’ll have an answer in short order. You can celebrate your successes and get support on those not-so-great days that we all occasionally have.

I don’t know what I would do without you peeps! I truly and without reservation mean that.

 

Salesforce is Great for Non-Traditional Techies

blogIf you’re like me, and you love learning, Salesforce gives you places to go to move into more technical roles without needing a Computer Science degree.

For some that means becoming advanced admins, getting certifications, becoming consultants. For me that’s meant learning to code on Force.com, which is an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) language.

This has always been a bit of a barrier to me. I’ve coded before, but not on an OOP language (like Java, Python, Ruby and .NET). I could have tried to learn one of those, but it would have been quite disconnected from my daily work that paid my bills and/or required me to spend a ton of money (and time away from my job) on a coding boot camp. All without even a slight guarantee that I would get a job as a developer (we all know the stats).

With Salesforce, I have the ability to learn an OOP language that directly relates to the work I do. I can use it to extend what I already do as an Admin.

Not only that, but because of Salesforce, and what I saw as a lack of beginner guides to coding, I started my blog – WomenCodeHeroes.com and co-founded RAD Women – a group specifically aimed at helping women learn to code on Force.com.

I don’t think I could have done any of this without the Salesforce platform and this amazing community to back me up (that’s you my friend!)

 

Why Do Salesforce Admins Make Great Developers?

I know that I often sound like I think all Salesforce Admins should learn to code. I actually don’t. I think that there are some amazing Admins who have neither the desire nor the need to code. That is A-OK by me.

My point is that if you want to learn to code, then as an Admin, you come from a good place to do that, because you have the kind of experience that stands you in good stead to become an Admins who Codes or Salesforce Developer.

Here’s why…

16562725774_161e136e9a_k

  • You know databases (Salesforce is one big database … plus some)
  • You know business process (Admins live in business-process-land)
  • You know what you can do without Code (It’s as important as coding)
  • You know how to get at what people want (good Admins don’t just deliver what they’re asked for … they find out what is really needed, and build that).

These are all, in my mind, fabulous pre-requisites for becoming a great developer. Sure the gap between being a Salesforce Admin and a Developer is not super easy to bridge…but it’s not because of the technology.

I truly believe that.

I think that we just need some more tools to translate what we know as admins into what that looks like in code. That’s why I focus so much of my time in the Admin who Codes zone. I want to help build that core set of tools.

I think the hardest thing about learning to code is a) making the time to do it, b) having a supportive community to ask your newbie questions of, and c) understanding what the documentation is saying.

I can’t do anything about giving you more time, but we have a great supportive community and there are a growing number of resources available for Admins to learn about code.

 

So why this post?

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.08.18 PMWith Dreamforce coming up, and the large number of Admins Who Code sessions (I’m doing five!) I want to encourage any admin who is curious about code to take that first step.

And if you’re already on the path to continue the journey.

There has never been a better place to start as a Salesforce Admin. And you are not alone. Dreamforce will be the largest gathering of Admins Who (want to) Code … ever!

So if that’s you, come join us! Come to one (or more) of our sessions. Talk to the presenters after the session. Join the success community. Connect with us on twitter. And read more beginning developer guides (like womencodeheroes.com).
Go on…you’re going to love it!

Resources for Learning to Code:

WomenCodeHeroes.com – Helping admins learn to code on force.com
SFDC99.com – Intro to Force.com coding for the 99%
Salesforce Trailhead – Free online learning about clicks and code
Dreamforce 2015 Sessions – Become a Champion Coder with 11 Admin Track Sessions
RAD Women – Remote learning for women advanced admins.

 

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Posted by Kieren Jameson on August September 1, 2015.