Q: Should I study to become an Administrator? A Developer? Both?
This depends on you, and I’ll explain more later, but I’ll start by saying that every developer absolutely needs a very solid understanding of administration. Point-and-click (“declarative”) features on the Salesforce platform are sufficiently flexible as to cover 90% of use cases, meaning that code should only be required for 1 out of every 10 problems.
A good developer will always follow the “DRY” principle — don’t repeat yourself. This includes making sure that all potential declarative solutions are exhausted before resorting to writing code.
Conversely, this means that an expert admin can likely solve 9 of 10 problems without the use of code.
Now, let’s answer the question we originally posed. Some people choose to embark on a more technical path, as it can offer a high salary and the opportunity to solve complex problems with custom solutions. This can absolutely help to increase a sense of job security as well.
My advice to someone completely new to the Salesforce ecosystem is to start experimenting – get a developer or trial org, build something, study for and get your administrator certification, and decide from there based on what feels right for you. There are many different paths other than simply “admin or developer,” so I wanted to address this question early to make it clear that developers are admins, and admins can advance their skills to become developers.
Regardless, to work in the Salesforce ecosystem and take advantage of some of the amazing opportunities available, you’ll need to be good at using Salesforce. You can show potential employers your skills by getting certified, and I personally recommend starting with your Administrator certification.
That’s all, cheers! Check out the other Conversations here.