Shortly after you say “Yes!” to Salesforce and you begin to pass under the magnificent Salesforce arch which is adorned with images of success and the promise of a better future, you will see and hear many astounding things. In this post I offer some thoughts on two of those things; the concept of Clicks, Not Code and the concept of code not clicks. I will also mention toast.
Clicks Not Code
“Clicks, Not Code” in simple terms means that you do not need to know any computer code to be able to function as an administrator in Salesforce. This is a reference to Salesforces’ declarative architecture. (Pause for a moment and marvel at this wonder for it is truly great.) Once you grasp the power of Clicks, Not Code you may say to yourself, “Ah, Salesforce is easy, like making toast is easy.” And you would be correct to say such a thing, Salesforce is easy. And…it isn’t.
Let’s consider toast for a moment. Toast is easy, grab the bread, put it in the slots of the toaster, push the thingie down, wait, and boom you have made toast. You could serve this toast to people and they might say, “My, this is excellent toast, you are to be commended.” The same could be said for Salesforce, you can login, create an object or a record with about the same amount of effort needed to make toast, and people would commend you. (At least they should.)
Code Not Clicks
But suppose you had to actually make the bread (or the toaster) before you could make toast. Suddenly making toast is not so easy. This sort of challenge is sometimes part of working in Salesforce. There are times when Clicks, Not Code results in “Clicks Not Cooperating” or “Uh oh I’m about to be labeled an idiot cuz I can’t figure this out”. The idea of having to write code to be successful as a Salesforce administrator freaked me out when I first started to learn Salesforce. But fear not! I have some reassuring news for you. Every time you feel Salesforce is not so easy, or you want to thrash around on the floor and pull your hair out, take heart, there is help near-at-hand. I promise.
When I first began using Salesforce it was helpful for me to separate it into two hemispheres. The Admin side (more clicks than code) and the Developer side (more code than clicks). Another concept which helped me is the old adage, “You need to learn how to walk before you can run”. In truth I completely ignored the Developer, coding, Apex, formulas, thing for my first year of learning. I simply stuck to the “Admin” track. And it has been a wonderful journey.
Trailhead is really the best place to begin your Admin journey by the way – There’s plenty to learn there which does not involve code or formulas.
Fear the Code!
Some of you may find this hard to believe but there are a few of us out here who hate to write code. In fact I’ve been known to run directly into oncoming traffic at the sight of a bracket. (Aaaaaaaaaa!!!) However, as I progress through my understanding of Salesforce I have begun to mellow a bit on the thought of having to write code. A funny thing begins to happen to you about a year into your Salesforce journey. You actually want to learn how to code and learn some tricks with formulas. Astounding I know! For those of you who feel writing code is a deal-breaker when it comes to learning Salesforce let me see if I can ease your mind.
The Salesforce Success Community
First, you don’t have to write code to be a successful Admin in Salesforce. That said, as you learn Salesforce you will also get to know people in the Salesforce user community both online and in person. If you have not introduced yourself yet please do so now. Salesforce is not an island, it is a community. If you need help with coding, or anything else Salesforce-related for that matter, the community has your back. Go to the Salesforce Success Community, join, introduce yourself, contribute where you can and ask questions if you are stumped. (Note you need to be able to login to Salesforce in some fashion to join the community. If you don’t have a free Salesforce Developer account just grab one. Every apprentice needs his/her tools. Think of your Salesforce Developer account as your tool box.)
Learn How to Code! (When you are ready)
Ok, so without turning this post into a giant rambling river of words which explain all about how to code in Salesforce, let me just add two words right here. David Liu. David runs a website where you can learn how to code for Salesforce. (Of course there are many other places/ways to learn but David’s site is an awesome resource.) And here are three more words – Salesforce Developer Community which can also be accessed through the Success Community portal. Of course there are many, many other developer related resources too, again Trailhead has a great Developer track.
Wow, Let’s Wrap This Post Up
Well, I promised myself (and you indirectly) I’d keep these posts brief, hilarious, informative, stimulating, mind-opening, encouraging, and short. So here’s the bottom line. Salesforce is easy. But in some ways it’s also not-so-easy. And that’s a big part of what I want to share with people who are still learning Salesforce. There is a gaggle of support for the not-so-easy stuff so please, please, please, don’t let anything impede your learning process. The Success Community is awesome – you are not alone.
Ok, here’s one last pearl of wisdom; Very few people (although they do exist) actually know everything about Salesforce. In reality most of us will be presented with a Salesforce problem or challenge and we may not know the solution. We will have to buy some time and research the answer. Salesforce by design is easy (and it’s also not-so-easy) but like most things, the more time you spend learning your way around Salesforce – useing your developer org – the easier things get. And remember, if you are truly stumped on how something works, you can always ask the Community for help.
Tea and Toast
As for toast – my mom is almost 95 years old and has tea and toast everyday. There must be something to it!
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The Salesforce Apprentice