Become a Salesforce Developer: The Complete Guide to Transitioning from Salesforce Admin to Dev

A Salesforce admin career is super rewarding, both professionally and financially. Your skills are in high demand right now, as organizations seek Salesforce-savvy professionals to spearhead adoption and implementation.

But, while the thought of a Salesforce career may have attracted you to the admin role, maybe you’ve been thinking about making the move to a Salesforce developer career path. If you’ve been contemplating a move, but aren’t sure where to go or what to do, this post is for you.

Can A Salesforce Admin Become A Salesforce Developer?

Many Salesforce administrators ask if they can move into a developer position. In short, yes, it is absolutely possible.

Administrators of Salesforce are responsible for administering and customizing Salesforce apps to fit their organization’s demands. Typically, they use declarative tools such as the point-and-click interface of Salesforce, Workflow Rules, Process Builder, and other declarative tools.

In contrast, Salesforce developers are accountable for developing, coding, and modifying Salesforce apps. They use programming technologies such as Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning components in their work.

In order to become a developer, as a Salesforce administrator you must understand the programmatic tools used by developers. This involves understanding Apex – a Java-like programming language used by Salesforce engineers. 

In addition, you’d need to get familiar with Visualforce, which is used to construct custom user interfaces, and Lightning components, which are used to create bespoke Salesforce apps.

Administrators who want to transfer into development jobs have access to a plethora of materials on Salesforce. 

One of them, Trailhead – Salesforce’s online learning platform, offers several courses and modules that will instruct you on how to utilize Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning components. In addition, various books, blogs, and online communities are devoted to assisting Salesforce administrators in their move to developer jobs.

It is important to note that being a Salesforce developer requires time and effort. Like with any new ability, developers must be ready to devote time to learning and mastering new tools and processes.

Salesforce Admins and Developers Have Some Common Responsibilities

Salesforce administrators and developers collaborate to guarantee the successful deployment of Salesforce. 

Although their positions vary greatly in terms of particular activities and responsibilities, they have a similar objective: to provide a user-friendly, high-performing Salesforce environment that fulfils the organization’s goals. 

Here Are Some Roles Shared By Salesforce Administrators And Developers

Data Management:

Administrators and developers are responsible for ensuring that Salesforce’s data is correct, full, and up-to-date. Typically, administrators are responsible for managing data access and security settings, while developers create unique solutions to alter data as required.


Salesforce administrators and developers collaborate to tailor and customize Salesforce to the organization’s particular requirements. Administrators utilize declarative tools to set the Salesforce environment, while developers use programmatic tools to create solutions that enhance Salesforce’s capability.


Salesforce must often be connected with other systems inside a business, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and marketing automation platforms. Administrators and developers collaborate to guarantee Salesforce’s flawless integration with these platforms.

User Support:

Administrators and developers are jointly responsible for end-user support inside a company. Typically, administrators handle routine support inquiries, while developers solve more difficult problems requiring bespoke code or technical skills.

Performance Optimization:

It is the responsibility of both administrators and developers to optimize Salesforce’s performance so that it functions smoothly and efficiently. Typically, administrators are responsible for monitoring system performance, while developers provide bespoke solutions to enhance performance as required.


It is the responsibility of both administrators and developers to ensure the security of the Salesforce environment. Administrators implement security settings and access restrictions, while developers create unique solutions that enforce security regulations and defend against attacks.

Salesforce Admins Can Make One Of The Best Developers

While you may be wondering if a lack of development experience precludes you from making the leap to a Salesforce developer career, hold on one second. There are many reasons why admins make some of the best Salesforce developers. Here are just a few:

You are a Salesforce expert

By taking the reins as your organization’s go-to Salesforce expert, you understand the platform like few other professionals.

You have a passion for Salesforce

Genuine enthusiasm for Salesforce cannot be understated. You’re excited and eager to pivot into a different aspect of Salesforce, which means you’re destined to succeed!

You know what to pursue and avoid

Over the years, you may have worked with Salesforce developers who had some “bad” or “good” habits. Seeing how those habits impact your colleagues and workflow can provide excellent motivation for you to develop the right habits as you transition out of your admin career.

Is Salesforce Developer A High Paying Job

In the US, Salesforce developer is a high-paying occupation, with salary changing based on region, degree of experience, and specialized talents. 

Glassdoor reports that the typical annual base salary for a Salesforce Developer in the United States is roughly $107,000. This may vary from around $72,000 to $151,000 per year, depending on the mentioned variables (experience, skills, location).

What Is The Future Of Salesforce Developers

The growing need for Salesforce knowledge bodes well for the future of Salesforce developers. The following data corroborate this:

Since 2011, according to a research by Burning Glass Technologies, the demand for Salesforce expertise has increased by 1,065%. This demonstrates that the need for Salesforce experts is quickly increasing.

Fortune Magazine ranked Salesforce the fastest-growing corporate software firm in 2021, based on its 24% revenue growth rate. This rise implies that the demand for Salesforce’s goods and services is continuing.

The number of job posts for Salesforce has been constantly growing. Between January 2020 and January 2022, there was a 61% rise in job posts with “Salesforce” in the headline, according to statistics from Indeed.

It is anticipated that the need for Salesforce developers will continue to rise. The US Department of Labor Statistics projects a 21% increase in software developer jobs between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average for all professions.

Salesforce has a robust developer and partner ecosystem that contributes to the development and innovation of the platform. For instance, the Salesforce AppExchange offers over 3,000 applications and components created by developers and partners.

How Do I Move From Salesforce Admin To Developer

Now that you are amped up and ready to make the move from Salesforce admin to developer, here are the important steps you’ll want to take to make for a smooth transition:

  • Take a different look at your daily tasks. Right now, you are in full “admin” mode (and are doing an awesome job at that!), but to make a successful leap from admin to developer, you’ll need to stop thinking about the greater implementation of Salesforce in your organization, and start thinking about what can be automated.
    As a Salesforce developer, you’ll be using code to automate repetitive tasks and help your organization get more value from the Salesforce platform. Throughout your days as an admin (while you are doing the necessary preparation for your developer move), begin complementing your admin mindset by thinking about how code can solve challenges and make life easier.
  • Start doing the work. Of course, the best place to start your career as a Salesforce developer is in Trailhead. Salesforce provides an incredible amount of tutorials and learning opportunities to help you become a developer. Trailhead will literally take you from a beginner to a savvy developer!
    Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it till you make it?” I’m not encouraging you to pretend to be a Salesforce developer, but, the best way to learn and make the transition from admin to developer is by doing. You have to get in there and start to code!
    You should have some pretty good opportunities to learn by doing in your current Salesforce admin role. Spend some time looking at code, and borrow a few minutes with your developers to ask them questions and be sure you understand why something is coded a particular way.
    The Salesforce community is a welcoming and encouraging one. Check out to look for Salesforce user groups in your area (Salesforce also has a list of user groups on its site). Visit an event, and you’ll meet some passionate, engaging and helpful developers who are often happy to share their insights and answer questions to help you on your journey.
  • As a Salesforce administrator, you may already be familiar with code, but becoming a developer takes a deeper grasp of programming fundamentals. Start with fundamental programming languages such as Java and Python.
  • Apex is the programming language used to create Salesforce modifications and apps. Participate in an online course, study relevant books or articles, and practice creating Apex code.
  • Learn Visualforce. Visualforce is the Salesforce framework for building bespoke user interfaces. Learn how to develop custom pages and components with Visualforce.
  • Discover Lightning Components. Lightning Components are reusable building elements used to create bespoke Salesforce apps. Discover how to build, modify, and utilize Lightning Components.
  • Do example project work. Construct simple projects to hone your Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning Components skills. This will assist you in gaining expertise and confidence with these instruments.
  • Join developer networks such as Salesforce Stack Exchange and Salesforce Developer Forums. These forums may assist you in acquiring new skills, obtaining answers to your queries, and networking with other developers.
  • Salesforce provides certifications for developers, including Platform Developer I and Platform Developer II. These credentials authenticate your abilities and may help you stand out to prospective employers.
  • Attend Salesforce Events: Attend Salesforce events, such as Dreamforce, where you may meet other developers and learn about new Salesforce capabilities.
  • When you are ready, partner with a Salesforce recruiting firm. If you haven’t already throughout your admin career, partnering with a Salesforce recruiting firm can help you position yourself and maximize your resume to find Salesforce developer jobs. Here at Tech2, we help admins and developers across the country find their next great job. We’re happy to help you, too!

Apply For a Salesforce Developer’s Job

Now that you have a roadmap in your journey from Salesforce admin to developer, it’s time to get started. Be sure to visit Trailhead first to kickstart your learning (and doing). 

Take that initiative in your current job. And when you’re ready, check out our Salesforce developer job postings and reach out to make that leap official!

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