For Salesforce Development Beginners

I have been working as a business analyze, admin, and developer of Salesforce. They have different mission and  need different tools in Salesforce. But there are so much to learn, you might get lost easily.

Therefore, I share my experience with three different roles. Wish they could help you focus and know where to begin.

Business Analyst

The mission is to find the best way to handle information between leads, customers, partners, and company.

For example, how to do leads and opportunity management, prepare quotes, approve contract, and etc.  Identify the people, task, time, and object (eg. quote, contract, opportunity, case, campaign, and etc.). Compare to the best practice and optimize.

You may use process maps and management reports to help everybody know the game rules. Therefore, it would be good if you may create workflow rules, approval process, reports, and dashboard in Salesforce. It would be a plus if you may design roles, queues, and audit logs.

Salesforce provides following best practice and process map to help you understand what sales and marketing do for their jobs. There are more best practice and process map you may Google.

  1. Best Practice for Sales Managers
  2. Best Practice for Marketing Managers
  3. Sales Process Map, Campaign to customer


This is a very confusing job: most of my customers need one Salesforce Administrator to do business analyze, Salesforce admin, and programming. They are wrong. The mission for administrator is to make sure the IT system works as the blue print from business analyst.

They use tools instead of code to manage IT system. Therefore, a highly configurable system would be very helpful. Salesforce provides the most flexible configuration I have ever seen. The ability to create objects is one of my favorite.

Salesforce does has its limitation due to multi-tenancy and on-demand only. It’s still one of the best CRM tools in the market.

You need to familiar with configurations and always aware of security, storage, API usage, and etc. You might also need to check the system status of Salesforce.

Salesforce provides many useful resource for administrator. I suggest you to begin from:

  1. Best Practice for Administrators
  2. Workbook
  3. Platform Fundamentals


It’s the most difficult job: programming. Especially you need to program with the Salesforce way: write test case for each function, testing code coverage must meet their requirement, need to stay online to compile, different query language and data models compares to SQL database, API usage limits, and etc. This is not an easy job for being a Salesforce programmer.

The mission is to push system to its limit.

There are lots of things you need to learn and might not be portable to other system. Here are some important topics you need to know:

  1. Visualforce: a tag-based language, like html and php.
  2. Apex: programming language similar to C# and Java.
  3. SOQL: SQL-like query language for single object.
  4. SOSL: Search for cross objects.
  5. SOQL and SOSL Queries: compare the difference which helps you to know when to use which.
  6. An Introduction to Apex Code: A quick guide to Apex language.
  7. Integrating with the Platform: Very useful if you need to integrate Salesforce with other service.

Please leave me any advice or comments if you are not satisfied with above. Let’s make it clear for new comers.


  1. Salesforce: Best Practice for Sales Managers
  2. Salesforce: Best Practice for Marketing Managers
  3. Salesforce: Sales Process Map, Campaign to customer
  4. Salesforce: System status
  5. Salesforce: Best Practice for Administrators
  6. Salesforce: Best Practice for Administrators
  7. Salesforce: Workbook
  8. Salesforce: Platform Fundamentals
  9. Salesforce: Visualforce
  10. Salesforce: Apex
  11. Salesforce: SOQL
  12. Salesforce: SOSL
  13. Salesforce: SOQL and SOSL Queries
  14. Salesforce: An Introduction to Apex Code
  15. Salesforce: Integrating with the Platform

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