As I near the end of my 6 month journey through an intensive coding bootcamp, I have found myself talking tech more and more with my non-tech friends. The assumption my friends have is that after coding everyday for 6th months, I know everything there is to know about ANY tech they have ever heard of. This is fine… With a quick google search I can usually get to the bottom of whatever little program or app they are all jazzed about and then move we all move on to more important topics like LSU football. However, I was recently asked by my brother in law whose family runs a few local hardware stores, if I had ever heard of Salesforce? I hadn’t… And after another quick google search I realized that this was no baby app, this was Salesforce. And Salesforce is a Beast!
What is Salesforce?
Created in 1993, Salesforce is a San Francisco headquartered, cloud-based software company that provides customer relationship management (CRM) services, marketing automation, and analytics.In short, Salesforce is excel on steroids. But there‘s a whole lot more to the story. The story starts with the founder of Salesforce, Marc Benioff.
Benioff developed a love for the tech world at an early age where, at 15 years old, he developed the game Escape From Vulcan’s Island for ATARI. The royalties from the video games payed for his tuition at USC. When Benioff was 19 years old he saved up to purchase a Mac only to find out that he was not able to make any video games work at all. So what did he do? He called Macintosh and spoke a rep for the gaming sector and told him of his pains in making any video game. Instead getting excuses from the rep, he was offered a position at Macintosh!
After he graduated from USC he took a job at ORACLE where he recommended to the founder, Larry Ellison, that their database should work on a Mac. Ellison listened and put Benioff in charge of the program. A few years later Benioff broke off and created Salesforce that was supported by only his personal investment and that of his old boss, Ellison. Now, he’s worth 8.4 billion dollars…
Enough history! What does Salesforce do? What makes it special?
The first pure Software as a service company (SaaS). This means there was no CD software to download or install. If you use Salesforce, you simply log into their website and pay a monthly or yearly fee. The competition, Siebel, were still using CD ROM downloads and the integration could be a 12–16 month process! So only the very rich and powerful corporations who had the time and money for such a product could use it. Salesforce’s SaaS approach, however, was for the masses.
Great Story… But Why should I care about Salesforce?
If you have called a large company like, Southwest Airlines, and you were sent to an automated voicemail… that’s Salesforce. If you look up what major companies use Salesforce on google, the first website you are recommended is an article titles “1,020 Companies that are using SalesForce”. Salesforce is the new excel, with the capabilities of an analytics company all wrapped into one. The point I am trying to make is that Salesforce is everywhere and they are still growing! Fortune 500 companies are entrenched with Salesforce for their marketing teams, sales teams, and analytics teams. Salesforce is not going anywhere anytime soon.
So what does this mean for me?
Salesforce has very lucrative opportunities for programmers. They are consistently hiring administration positions and they do NOT require coding experience. They do, however, love it if you do have the capability to code. Trailhead.com lists the languages and a brief description of what they are similar to:
- Lightning Component Framework: A UI development framework similar to AngularJS or React.
- Apex: Salesforce’s proprietary programming language with Java-like syntax.
Here is an example of Apex code:
So what’s the catch?
If you don’t love excel then you probably won’t love Salesforce. This is not the company you want to work for if you are trying to be innovative and creative. However, this is a position that will provide you with a solid salary and give you the opportunity to work directly with clients. So if you are social, you want to have a nice lifestyle, but you don’t mind staring at spread sheets all day. This might be the direction you want to take. Hope this helps for any of you programmers in the job search!