Salesforce DevOps Career Guide 2021

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Salesforce average salaries and career paths are both hot topics, and for good reason! There’s no doubt that Salesforce professionals are deserving of their compensation – they carry out a core function by customizing and building on the Salesforce orgs that are at the heart of their companies’ sales and business operations.

The same goes for DevOps professionals working in the Salesforce ecosystem. DevOps helps businesses get the most out of their Salesforce investment by making it possible for teams to deliver a continuous stream of added value to end users. Salesforce professionals with DevOps expertise are in huge demand. We found that, on average, across all DevOps processes, 85% of teams already use or plan to adopt them in 2021. So it’s no surprise that DevOps knowledge is highly valued!

How much do Salesforce DevOps professionals earn, and how do you find out? What are the career paths available when specialising in DevOps? SalesforceBen.com has been enabling admins, developers, consultants and marketers with these statistics for a number of years, but this is the first time the focus has turned to Salesforce DevOps.

Who are Salesforce DevOps Professionals? – Roles and Responsibilities

DevOps is all about empowering everyone on a team with the tools and processes they need to collaborate effectively and drive new work through the development and release pipeline. Everyone building on Salesforce will need to understand DevOps, in fact, 62% of teams reported that they plan to train up their current workforce on DevOps practices to meet the challenges they face.

Within this workflow, there are often specific DevOps roles and responsibilities, especially in larger teams with more complex processes.

  • Administrators work alongside developers within the same DevOps process and help keep development and production environments in sync by deploying declarative changes between orgs and source control. They are often responsible for monitoring changes made to orgs and rolling back mistakes.
  • Developers use automated DevOps processes to test, validate and push code changes through the pipeline, keeping a steady stream of work ready for release. They are also responsible for syncing environments, seeding sandboxes and restoring functionality from data and metadata in the event that anything goes wrong.
  • QA engineers check that newly developed features and customizations meet user, technical and business requirements. They are responsible for executing tests, including UI testing, and make sure that code conforms to best practice as well as data compliance and security.
  • Release managers typically work as part of larger teams and are responsible for streamlining the release process. They have complete visibility over the team’s orgs and act as the gate-keepers for deployments, making sure the team’s releases run smoothly.
  • Architects and team leads develop agile DevOps practices and source-driven workflows for everyone to contribute as seamlessly as possible using the team’s DevOps tools and integrated project management software. They are responsible for DevOps performance and aim to increase the team’s frequency and reliability of releases.

You will find a more extensive list of responsibilities for each level in the guide below:

READ MORE: What Does a Salesforce DevOps Engineer Do?

Where do Salesforce DevOps Professionals Work?

So where do Salesforce DevOps professionals work? The answer: everywhere! Salesforce DevOps is becoming the way to practice modern release management, and every team building on Salesforce should be striving to implement a good DevOps process.

This is especially important for organizations that want to gain agility with faster and more frequent releases. When we gathered data on release velocity, almost 50% of teams release at least once per week, while just 10% release less often than once per month. That’s already significant coverage for organizations where DevOps practices are essential.

Demand for DevOps Professionals

As Salesforce DevOps is becoming more prevalent, it’s increasingly important for all Salesforce professionals to develop relevant skills and experience. DevOps know-how is a key way of progressing your career because many companies are looking to upskill their existing workforce. Some who started out as admins have become developers and then release managers, thanks to DevOps tools and expertise.

As the demand for Salesforce development grows, the need for Salesforce DevOps professionals also grows. Increased demand on the existing team was, by far, the greatest challenge Salesforce teams faced in 2020 (51% of respondents agreed); coupled with the reported difficulties hiring (11.3%), we suspect demand is at an all-time high.

Source: The State of Salesforce Devops Report

You’ll find opportunities across all industries and in teams of all shapes and sizes. Where organisations are implementing and building on Salesforce, they’ll need DevOps professionals. As a general rule, however, larger release teams are more likely to be practicing or introducing DevOps practices, so you may find more opportunities in those larger teams that have already scaled up their Salesforce development.

Salesforce DevOps Salaries

The data in this section is from the Mason Frank Salary Survey, based on self-reported information from 1,800+ Salesforce professionals, spanning a range of job titles, industries, and geographic locations.

Roles and job titles vary from company to company. But, for the purposes of this guide, we will use the following definitions:

  • Junior DevOps: 0 – 2 years experience (possibly up to 3 years),
  • Mid-level DevOps: 2 – 4 years experience,
  • Senior DevOps: 5+ years experience.
 USCanadaUK
Admin$109,850$89,100£43,750
Developer$131,400
$121,450£59,950
Tester$128,900$110,400£55,750
Release manager*$131,450$109,150£77,800
Architect$151,200$125,750£84,150
Development manager$158,50$134,400£81,650

*Mason Frank ‘Project Manager’ – similar role and comparable salary.

Salesforce DevOps Salary Factors

A single figure without context can be misleading: there will be a significant difference in the salaries based on certain factors. We will dive into the following factors in this guide:

  • Experience (Seniority)
  • Certifications

Experience (Seniority)

Gaining experience is, of course, the best way to develop your career and increase your salary. DevOps professionals are responsible for ensuring Salesforce releases run smoothly and protecting the business systems that your company relies on.

Especially at larger companies, the responsibility for authorizing final releases to production will be given to experienced DevOps professionals who can pre-empt or resolve any issues speedily. These are the DevOps activities that you might be doing at different levels of experience.

READ MORE: What Does a Salesforce DevOps Engineer Do?

Achieving Salesforce certifications, most notably Platform App Builder and Platform Developer, will give you a solid foundation to the challenge of deploying changes between environments, and demonstrate your awareness of concepts such as ALM and packaging.

While there are DevOps modules on Trailhead you can complete, in order to train thoroughly on Salesforce DevOps (and having the accreditations to prove you know what you’re talking about) you’ll need to look beyond.
There are free courses on all things DevOps on the tool-agnostic DevOps Launchpad. This will prepare you to pass the certifications offered by third-party vendors, such as Gearset and Copado, to demonstrate your competency with their DevOps solutions.

Certifications vs. Experience?

As with all things, experience counts for more than certificates, which are often more about proving what you know already. But, arguably, in the case of Salesforce DevOps, certificates demonstrating DevOps knowledge for the Salesforce platform are possibly more valuable than general development knowledge. Salesforce DevOps certification can act as a differentiator between Salesforce professionals with DevOps expertise and those without.

Generalists vs. Specialists?

More specialized DevOps roles, such as release managers or architects with expertise in Salesforce DevOps, tend to be in demand at larger enterprises with more complex Salesforce team structures and workflows. But, in general, experience of working within a DevOps process is increasingly important for all Salesforce professionals, whether employed as admins or developers.

Summary

This guide has given you some helpful background into the career opportunities that are opening up within the exciting and rapidly growing area of Salesforce DevOps. The business demand on Salesforce teams is growing all the time, which means the trend towards DevOps adoption is here to stay.

As more companies seek to implement reliable and efficient release processes, DevOps experience and skill sets are all increasingly in demand – whether you work as an admin, developer or architect. For this reason, developing your understanding of DevOps is a surefire way to progress your career and boost your earning potential. The same goes for highly valued DevOps specialists, who are helping to implement best practice and drive this new discipline forward.

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