Salesforce Developer salaries are a hot topic, and for good reason! The Salesforce Economy is growing at such a rate that Salesforce Developers find themselves in a favourable position, with higher average salaries than equivalent developer roles in other industries. Our Salesforce Developer Salary guide brings context to what your salary should be (or could be) with information to back up that figure.
Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: how you can increase your earning potential! Let’s see what practical steps you can take to climb the ladder, first recapping how a typical Salesforce Developer career path looks like.
Salesforce Developer Career Path
Maximizing Your Experience
Become a Junior Salesforce Developer:
- Have experience in web development/Java, or you are a Computer Science graduate
- Learn Apex. This is the best development language to learn because it is fundamental to Salesforce (plus, it’s a lighter version of Java).
Go from Junior → Mid-level Salesforce Developer:
- Get exposed to integrations: you can work your way up to more complex ones. Good examples of integrations to have experience with can be found in the ‘Knowledge of Integrations’ section.
Go from Mid-level → Senior Salesforce Developer:
- Solution design and its considerations (security, scalability, limits)
- Experience as many projects and Salesforce implementations as you can!
There were some tips Imran (a senior Salesforce Developer) dropped into the conversation when I interviewed him. These tips could help you to accelerate through the junior-mid-senior career path.
Tip 1: Rely on Your Coding Background
If you have a background in development (transferring from one technology that uses Java to Salesforce), you will pick it up quicker. Don’t underestimate this!
The same goes for the skills that are common amongst developers. Here are some examples:
- Experience in web development (CSS/HTML markup can always help with Communities)
- Understanding HTTP and best practices, this might help in optimising a website (i.e. using SVGs instead of Images, etc)
- Understanding SQL and interfacing with databases.
Tip 2: Choose a Mentor or a Team
You can potentially accelerate your career if you have a good mentor (likely in a consultancy, where it’s in the consultancy’s best interest). In the same way, you should surround yourself with a team if you want to learn quickly.
Salesforce consultancies tend to be organisations that place high importance on ‘company culture’, ‘employee engagement’, simply put – they want to make working for them as appealing as possible, to attract the best developers.
If you chose to go down the consultancy route, being a good ‘cultural fit’ by having good communication skills with both clients and internal colleagues will help towards your success in a consultancy.
You will have the opportunity to gain experience as a ‘technical consultant’, where you will be able to pair technical knowledge with business analysis skills – which everyone knows is a winning combination!
Tip 3: Know What’s Suitable for Self-learning
Trailhead has made upskilling as a Salesforce Developer accessible and easy. Imran noted that certain topics are better suited for self-learning than others.
Look to Trailhead for things that don’t have multiple ways to get it done, eg. creating a component to show a related list, using Lightning Web Components (LWC). Trailhead will cover the set way to accomplish these, as opposed to developing an integration with an ERP solution, which is best learned with the guidance of a mentor.
Tip 4: Know Which Technical Skills will Accelerate your Career
The technical expertise that will help you go further, faster:
- Integrations (see tip 5),
- Building beyond the standard Salesforce UI eg. building a custom stock checker application,
- Advanced triggers with multiple functions (and interlinked), across multiple objects, multiple applications, eg. creating payment schedules for invoices.
Tip 5: Get Integration Experience
Integrations are the key factor that separates mid-level developers from juniors.
Having knowledge around integrations, especially more complex ones will simultaneously boost your seniority and salary range. When I spoke to Imran, he estimated this could be around 75% of the workload, judging from his experience. Companies have got to get data from somewhere, and integrations are critical, especially if an organisation cannot afford a middleware.
Integrations signify a step up because there are many more factors to consider when making two systems interact with each other, for example, security, and working with large sets of data. Common integrations that are good to have ‘under your belt’: GoToWebinar, Xero, any web application, ERPs.
Let’s call upon the same chart we showed earlier in this guide from the 10k advisors research, which found that ‘Integrations’ were the highest ‘technical’ Salesforce skill in demand, with 59% of respondents agreeing:
Source: Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report, research by 10K Advisors.
You may think that applications with pre-built integrations on the market are not as valuable or in demand as other, more obscure, options. However, regardless if there’s something an organisation can install, sometimes you need to expand on top of that, why you need to create further integrations to do that.
Tip 6: Understand Technical Specs
Understanding technical specs: specifications for the work to be completed can range from being brief (eg. ‘we need an Apex Trigger to do XYZ’), or they can be more detailed into specific functions – it depends on who wrote the spec. A junior developer will find it easier to read from the more detailed specs. As you become more senior, the instructions are likely to get more brief, and you will be expected to work in line with Salesforce development best practices (without it being explicitly written into the spec).
There’s no doubt that Salesforce Developers are deserving of their compensation – they carry out a core function that allows organisations to extend Salesforce beyond declarative (point-and-click) configuration, build apps, and in turn, optimise business operations.
I hope these tips on how to increase your salary are useful to you in your career and personal development. Remember to check out the Salesforce Developer Salary guide which shares salary data collected from the largest salary survey, arming you with ammo when asking for a raise, or applying for a new role.