What Does a Salesforce Developer Do? Key Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills

May 16, 2024
7 min

More than 150,000 customers across all industries rely on the Salesforce platform and Salesforce Customer 360 to operate their organizations successfully and effectively.

And the backbone of Salesforce’s success is thousands of Salesforce administrators, consultants, and developers. But unlike Salesforce administrators and consultants, who don’t need coding skills to configure the platform, Salesforce developers can enhance the platform almost infinitely.

Salesforce developers (SFDC developers or Salesforce engineers) help solve complex problems related to custom Salesforce development: platform customization, custom system integration, and app development  for customers using both code and no-code tools.

And in this post, we will discuss Salesforce programmers’ roles, responsibilities, and skills they should have as well as the services they provide to customers.

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What is a Salesforce Developer?


A Salesforce developer (SFDC developer) is a full-stack programmer who deals with back-end logic and front-end functionality. They build software using the Salesforce platform (Force.com), Lightning App Builder, and Heroku.

Also, Salesforce engineers use a wide list of tools such as Visualforce framework, Apex code, Aura components, Lightning framework, Web services, SQL, Salesforce Object Query Language (SOQL), Salesforce Object Search Language (SOSL), HTML, and JavaScript.

Salesforce developers can act as Salesforce development consultants, CRM developers, integration engineers, data migration programmers, or customization developers.

Salesforce Developer Languages and Platforms Engineers Use


Besides general knowledge of front-end and back-end technologies, a Salesforce programmer should be familiar with Salesforce developer tools and languages, including:


Programming Languages and Platforms Salesforce Developers Use | Ascendix

Salesforce Developer Languages and Platforms Engineers Use




It is a platform that simplifies the creation of cloud-based programs and systems.


Lightning App Builder


This tool facilitates the creation of pages and other components for applications, such as one-page apps and programs for controlling and downloading your reporting dashboards.




This cloud-based platform offers complete flexibility and simple scaling, which allows Salesforce app developers to streamline their work on app development.




It is a programming language to create customized connectors, launch custom API calls, and perform other system adjustments.




This framework is meant for user interface design with XML syntax, principally used to generate HTML.


The Lightning Component


It is a cutting-edge UI framework for creating dynamic web apps for mobile and desktop devices. This framework has two sets of Lightning Web components.


Lighting Aura Components


These components are used for creating single-page apps and building multi-tier, partitioned components.


Salesforce Object Query Language (SOQL)


This language is used to search Salesforce data within the organization for specific information. SOQL, like the SELECT statement in the Structured Query Language (SQL), is explicitly created for Salesforce data.


Salesforce Object Search Language (SOSL)


This language is used to create text-based search queries for use with the search index.


Read more about the Salesforce ecosystem and products in “What is Salesforce and what it is used for” 


What Does a Salesforce Developer Do?


Salesforce developers help build Lightning web components, Visualforce pages, custom Salesforce functionality, assist in AppExchange app development, build custom integration solutions, apps for internal use and AppExchange listings.

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Salesforce Developer Requirements and Skills


Top Requirements for a Salesforce Developer


Basic Salesforce developers’ technical prerequisites include the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering
  • Prior work experience in the development of applications and software
  • Hands-on experience with scripting languages like MYSQL, JavaScript, Apex, Native, and VisualForce
  • Proficiency in the Salesforce CRM platform
  • In-depth experience with designing customer-facing interfaces
  • Fundamental object-oriented programming techniques (OOPs)
  • Basic knowledge of Java, C#, and .Net
  • Apex DML, Apex Triggers, Apex Testing, Batch Apex
  • Data management and modeling competence
  • Understanding of Salesforce Object Query Language (SOQL) and Salesforce Object Search Language (SOSL)
  • Experience in building and maintaining sites hosted on Force.com or Site.com
  • Expertise in Lightning Framework
  • APIs & Integrations
  • Basic understanding of the development and maintaining Customer communities.



Salesforce Developer Qualifications and Necessary Certifications


To become a certified Salesforce developer, a software engineer should initially pass one of these essential exams:


Salesforce Developer Certifications | Ascendix

Salesforce Developer Certifications | Ascendix


Salesforce Certified App Builder


This certification helps you learn about no-code Salesforce platform functionality.


Platform Developer I


Having this certification will provide an understanding of different programming features.


JavaScript Developer I


This certification demonstrates the developer’s proficiency with JavaScript in NodeJS and the browser.

Then a Salesforce developer can extend their knowledge by getting Platform Developer II or Application Architect certifications or one of these narrow-specialized certifications:


B2C Commerce Developer


This certification will prove that the engineer can adjust Salesforce Commerce through configurations, user management, and development with the Salesforce B2C Commerce Digital platform.


Marketing Cloud Developer


This certification is targeted toward creating personalized, dynamic messages and landing pages, advanced segmentation, as well as reporting and analytics.


Industries CPQ Developer


This credential ascertains that the programmer can create, configure, price, and quote (CPQ) software for the Salesforce clouds for media, energy, and utilities.


Omnistudio Developer


This certification shows that you can freely utilize the declarative development tools in OmniStudio to create cloud apps.


Slack Certified Developer


This certification ensures that the developer can create interactive apps on the Slack platform.


MuleSoft Certified Developer 


This credential demonstrates that the engineer can develop, test, and deploy APIs and integrations using the MuleSoft platform.

Moreover, an SFDC developer can always progress to a new stage – Salesforce Technical Architect by passing various certifications such as Identity and Access Management Architect, Integration Architect, Data Architect, etc.

More about available Salesforce certifications you may find in our blog post “How to Select a Salesforce Implementation Partner: In-Depth Guide from Certified Experts

Besides technical skills, Salesforce engineers should have good soft skills.


Fundamental Salesforce Developer Skills


The desired set of Salesforce developer skills looks like this:

  • Analytical skills,
  • Communication skills,
  • Problem-solving skills,
  • Logical skills,
  • Designer’s mindset,
  • Attention to detail,
  • Learner’s mindset,
  • Process automation.

Even if hiring a certified Salesforce developer is not critical for the success of your project, a developer’s certification proves their competence with the Salesforce platform. It also becomes a reliable proof of their technical skills.

However, as you can guess, the success of a development project success can’t depend solely on the developer’s knowledge and skills.

It’s a complex, multi-phase process that starts with a thorough business and technical analysis, development itself, and change management. And it’s highly likely that if you search for a jack-of-all-trades specialist that will be a brilliant developer, QA engineer, project manager, and business analyst at once, you’ll find a master of none.

And not to end up using an overly complicated solution that no one understands and doesn’t support your business needs, it’s necessary to partner with a Salesforce developer company like Ascendix.

Our agency has 70+ Salesforce consultants, app builders, and developers. By engaging with us, you get access not to a single professional but to the accumulated knowledge of the whole team, which has helped 300+ businesses over the past 20 years.

Moreover, we have in-depth experience in AppExchange app development and custom software development, which helps us apply Salesforce development best practices and keep up with recent business consulting, and project management trends.


What Do Salesforce Developers Do for Clients? Their Key Responsibilities


Thanks to a broad spectrum of technical knowledge and analytical skills, Salesforce developers can perform a large set of consulting and development services, including:

  • Salesforce technical consultancy and system assessment
  • Solution design (architecting) and code review, including the considerations, limitations, and impact.
  • Implementation of batch classes to enable data migration without data loss and corruption.
  • Creation of user-friendly and visually appealing designs with custom styling to support dynamic versions of the components when setting up in Lightning App builder.
  • Building Lightning Components via Lightning App Builder to facilitate component development.
  • Database modeling, data sets deduplication, data querying from a custom object to a standard object, and performance of DML operations with consideration of governor limits.
  • Resolving code coverage issues and writing test classes.
  • Development of custom objects, custom reports, and dashboards for sales and marketing needs.
  • Creation of custom fields and validation rules for new and existing objects and custom functionality using custom controllers and custom extensions.
  • Maintenance of user roles, application-level security, system-level security, single Sign-on configuration, and customized security rules.
  • Design and development of Apex Classes, Controller Classes, extensions, and Apex Triggers across multiple objects and applications for various functional needs.
  • Integrating with third-party solutions that are already installed and running on the client’s systems.


Wrap Up


Salesforce development helps improve the user experience and users’ product satisfaction. A Salesforce developer is behind the scenes helping gear your Salesforce solution, solve user challenges right from Salesforce, maximize your Salesforce investment, and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.

If you are ready to join the Salesforce caravan now, you can get a complete and risk-inclusive estimate of your Salesforce development project cost and hire the best team of talented and experienced engineers. Ascendix has a pool of 70+ Salesforce experts onboard with in-depth expertise in 10+ Salesforce Clouds, AppExchange apps and custom software development. Contact us and start a technology evolution in your company.

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Salesforce Developer FAQ

What Does a Salesforce Developer Do?

A Salesforce developer specializes in designing, coding, and implementing customized solutions within the Salesforce platform. They utilize Salesforce’s development environments to build applications, integrate third-party services, and automate business processes, enhancing the system’s functionality to meet specific organizational needs.

How difficult is Salesforce developer?

Becoming a Salesforce developer can be challenging due to the platform’s vastness and continuous evolution. It requires mastering a unique blend of programming languages, understanding Salesforce’s architecture, and staying updated with its frequent updates. However, with dedication and proper training, mastering Salesforce development is achievable.

Does Salesforce developer Need Coding?

Yes, Salesforce developers often require coding skills to customize the platform beyond its out-of-the-box capabilities. They typically use Apex (Salesforce’s proprietary programming language), Visualforce, and Lightning Components to develop custom applications, automate processes, and integrate external systems.


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