I have been planning out a change of my career from finance to development. I don’t have any experience in any programming languages like Java, C, C#, or Visual Basic either.
Can I make a career shift from finance to Salesforce just by passing certifications? I have the passion to learn but need some credible advice from a guy like you for whom I was searching for.
If I currently pass any one certification, will the industry offer me a position even though I don’t possess any working knowledge of Salesforce?
I read your story in the the “About me” section and started admiring you. I believe all your hard work paid off for you in a wonderful way. I wish you good luck in your professional and personal life.
Get Me Out Of Here!
Dear Get Me Out of Here!,
Thank you for reaching out to me and I hope my advice can help you achieve your dreams!
One certification with zero experience is not enough to get a job in this industry unfortunately! It’s very common for most job applicants to have at least one certification, in fact, the average resume I see has 2+ certifications, plus at least a year of Salesforce experience.
Here’s what I recommend someone in your position to do:
One other word of advice – certifications don’t make you a great Salesforce professional, but they do look good on your resume. Don’t let yourself get too caught up in getting certified and forget that the true goal is learning Salesforce. You will need to supplement all certification learning with actual, hands-on Salesforce knowledge. This applies especially with coding!
I also recommend you read these pages:
P.S. anyone can code, regardless of background or experience =)
Join the discussion in the comments section below! Got a question? Send it to the mailbag: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yet another reason to learn to code!
According to this MarketWatch article, half of all high paying jobs nowadays require coding skills!
A surprisingly large percentage no doubt, but I’m not surprised to see how useful coding is in the job industry… it’s the skill of future and I don’t want to be a man of the past!
I always say it but I’ll say it again: learning to code in Salesforce is learning a skill for life! Long after Salesforce is gone (and I hope that day never comes), you’ll have a transferrable skill with your coding knowledge. Once you learn one programming language, all others are easy to pick up.
Declarative / point-and-click Salesforce tools, on the other hand, are a different story. Those skills are so Salesforce specific that you’re essentially tying all your knowledge on one platform. You never want your career to be in the hands of one company!
If you’re still on the fence on whether you want to learn to code or not, it’s time to take charge of your own career and learn a life skill in coding!
This Salesforce career observation always surprised me:
The smartest developers aren’t always the ones succeeding.
So strange. You’d think the best programmer in the room would be the most valuable. But time after time I see lesser Salesforce developers succeeding instead… but why?!
Take a look at First Take, ESPN’s #1 rated sports talk show. The hosts, Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, honestly, are total clowns. They don’t provide deep sports analyses. They don’t make compelling arguments. And they regularly get outclassed on their own tv show by people who actually know what they’re talking about.
Yet, I love their show and I can’t stop watching it! Why? They’re entertaining. And they accomplish ESPN’s most important goal: get lots of viewers!
Similarly for us, the best Salesforce coders often don’t provide the most value to the team.
Think about it. The most important goal for the majority of Salesforce orgs is to solve business challenges. Note that I said business challenges, not technical challenges! Surely, technical ability is important. But not as important as solving business needs.
So when I see “lesser” developers succeeding, it’s because they’re able to solve business challenges better – without having the most advanced code. These developers:
The crazy truth is that a lot of times the code is the least important part of a project!
So yes, you do need to know how to code to be a strong Salesforce professional. But don’t feel discouraged if you’re not the best coder on your team. You can be immensely more valuable by first focusing on your team’s goals, then on the code!
P.S. Check out the Taylor Swift Principle for more tips on succeeding without being the best coder!
We are very blessed to announce that our first child is born =)
He is still working on getting his first Salesforce certification *snickers*
Mommy went through a difficult labor but she is recovering well. Daddy is sleep deprived but lucky to have such a strong and loving wife. Still making time to serenade baby by the piano!
P.S. #1: any newborn/parenting tips you may have are appreciated!
P.S. #2: thank you everyone for the loving comments!! Wife and I (and baby!) feel the love!
…back to the baby!
That’s right – this is a permanent, full-time position baby!! Woohoo!!!
CRM Developer – Google (Mountain View, CA)
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: working at Google is like going to Disneyland everyday. It’s an absolutely magical place that words can’t describe. If you’ve been following SFDC99 for a while, you know full-time Salesforce positions here are scarce. You might find one per year. Don’t miss out!
Apply here: CRM Developer – Google (Mountain View, CA)
By the way, if you want tips on how to get into Google, check out how I did it!
It’s finally here – Apex Academy #2: Fundamental Salesforce Coding Techniques has launched!
Behind every advanced Salesforce developer is a strong understanding of fundamental Apex coding techniques. In this class we’ll learn the six core Apex tools: variables, collections, dot notation, IF statements, loops, and DML. And we’ll put it all into practice through real-life coding scenarios!
|Coding Tutorials: Nearly four hours of video tutorials covering the six core Apex tools!|
|Live Demos: Five end-to-end demos of writing and testing real-world Apex scenarios!|
|No stone unturned: We take nothing for granted and go deep into all aspects of code!|
|Homework: By popular demand! TONS of homework and quizzes to keep you busy!|
Check out this preview then watch the full Apex Academy class!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I take the Apex Academy or follow along the tutorials on SFDC99/Trailhead?
SFDC99 and Trailhead are amazing tutorials, especially if you’re a natural self-learner and you’re not afraid to Google things to fill in some blanks.
Alternatively, if you want the best possible opportunity to learn to code and you want your hand held throughout the entire process, the Apex Academy is for you!
Will you be providing scholarships to the Apex Academy?
Yes, I’ll do my best!
I’ve already given out over a hundred scholarships and I intend to continue helping those in need! If you’re a veteran, unemployed, or just going through tough financial times, email me at email@example.com with your current situation. I have a limited number of scholarships available but I’ll do my best to help you out!
What’s next for the Apex Academy?
I want to make sure my loyal students are getting the highest quality tutorials in the shortest amount of time – I’ll be taking three months off my day job to bring you Apex Academy #3 sooner!
See you in class, students!
David’s note: This is a MUST read for anyone even thinking about getting certified – so many great things everyone (including me) can learn from your journey. Thank you for sharing and congrats on your success!
So you don’t know me, but I happened to have been in the audience for a session of yours at Dreamforce 2014, and I absolutely loved what I heard. For the past 3 years I’ve been a Salesforce end user, then admin, then hack developer at my current job, learning whatever I needed as I needed it. After seeing you speak, I began using SFDC99 as my primary resource, learning to tweak my organization’s Apex and eventually write triggers of my own. Salesforce hasn’t been my primary role here, but it’s been one of my favorite things to work on.
That said, I’d never really thought about certifications, as I’m very much a hacker-type, picking up whatever tools as I need them and adding them to my (somewhat chaotic) chest of tools for later use.
Well, 2 months ago all of that changed. I was at Salesforce World Tour Chicago and saw a wonderful presentation by a woman working as an SFDC consultant, and I chatted her up afterwards, asking about what she did and the value of certifications. She was emphatic that certifications were absolutely worthwhile, and that they would skyrocket my value as a Salesforce professional.
So, what did I do next? Well, of course I stopped by SFDC99, and immediately devoured all of the wonderful resources and success stories related to certs on your site, as well as charging through Trailhead to fill in the holes of all the pieces of the platform I don’t touch in my current org.
I was inspired to say the least, especially with your point that the retakes are cheap enough that it’s very valuable to use the test itself as a study guide. If you have enough memory tricks to remember the questions you weren’t sure about (I like to use the memory palace myself), you can review those pieces of the platform afterwards and very strategically strengthen your knowledge base.
So, 2 weeks later, I sat down and started charging through my certs, and within 5 days I had the core 5 knocked out!
Once I had those certs posted on my LinkedIn, I immediately began receiving unsolicited inquiries from recruiters wanting to place me in new positions, and I was truly astounded at the power of the certifications and at the demand for Salesforce professionals in the marketplace.
I’m now proud to say that I’ve accepted an offer to become a senior consultant in the customer experience practice of a wonderful consulting company, and I’m leaping headfirst into the world of Salesforce full time! I start my new job on Monday.
So, long story short, I just wanted to say thank you for paying it forward, your work has helped me in gigantic ways, and I’m sure it will continue to do so in the future!
Want to tell the world your story too?
Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and your story could be heard around the world!
Official announcement and more course info coming soon!
For now, sleep well knowing that the course is done and it’s getting ready to be launched any day now!
David’s note: I am so proud of you. You still believed in yourself even after failing 28 straight times. I always believed persistence is the most important trait, and your journey had the most persistence of them all. I am so proud of you and I hope others find strength in your resilience too!
Hello SFDC99.com family:
So finally I am going write about my success story. I am feeling very excited, and honored that David has given me this opportunity.
I stay in Bangalore, India. I undergraduated in IT. After completing B.Tech, I got a job in a
remote sensing application development center. It sounds good but the situation inside was really bad. As a fresher I joined there without thinking about anything. It was a contract based semi-government job, but nothing was there to work and learn.
During my job period many times I thought that I should take classes of I.T. courses Like JAVA, but I was located in a rural area so I could not do that. I worked there for a year as I had to earn money for courses. After a year I moved to Pune. I was looking for a better training institute but somehow I joined a young IT firm as a software trainee (JAVA platform). They made a commitment to me that they would provide 4 months training, and after the training I will be a permanent employee. For that they charged heavy amount. I thought that It would be better to pay an IT firm rather than an institute.
When my training began, everything was going well. When half of the training program had finished, we visited home as HOLI (a festival of colors) vacation arrived. But when I came back, I found out that company had folded. At that moment I wasn’t even able to think. What should I exactly do? I attended a few interviews but that didn’t go well. And now I did not have enough money to survive. Again I am in trouble.
I started searching for part time job, so that at least I could survive. Then I decide to move From Pune to Bangalore. I found a job as a home tutor and the salary was enough to survive. After a few months the owner of home tuition institute called me and told that they were starting an IT course in Salesforce and asked if I was interested. I replied YES, but asked what’s the name of course. He replied again “Salesforce”. I thought that I should go for this, as he would take a fee only after I got a job. Again I started this new course i.e. “SALESFORCE”.
During the training session sometimes I had to choose whether I would go to class or eat because I did not have money. But I always chose class. When the class finished, the real test began i.e. “The Interview”. My first interview lasted only 10 minutes. Then I realized that what I ever have learnt in 2 month was just an introduction to SFDC…
I used to think that “alright in upcoming month I will get a job”. I spoke with my parents and girlfriend and they were also expecting the same. One month passed, 2-3-4 five six months passed away but no output was coming. Each and every time I had faced rejection.
Now everyone had given up hope that I could get a job because it has been nine months and 28 interviews. But I knew that one day will be my day.
That’s why I was still studying regularly. Now I was going to attend my 29th and 30th interview on the same day. Finally that day came and I got selected for both companies. I never expected that I could get jobs in such big MNCs.
What helped me really to achieve my goal is sfdc99.com, Salesforce Success Community, developer forum, and Topcoder. I would say to every Salesforce beginner to follow these sites for better resource.
The Man Who Never Gave Up
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Email it to email@example.com and your story could be heard around the world!