Salesforce Admin to Salesforce Developer: How to make the transition

3.5 minutes

Anyone with Salesforce skills is in demand, and that demand is growing, with an estimated 9....

Anyone with Salesforce skills is in demand, and that demand is growing, with an estimated 9.3 million Salesforce jobs by 2026. So, if you’re a Salesforce Admin, you’ve already carved out a lucrative, and pretty stable career path for yourself.  

But are you seeking a change? You’re not alone. 

Salesforce Admins already have skills that transfer well into Salesforce Development, such as an in-depth knowledge of the Salesforce Platform, Process Automation, and System Configuration. It makes sense to take the leap and become a Developer - you’ll widen your skills, progress your career and achieve higher salaries. It’s not as easy as 1,2,3 and you’ll need to add other skills to your repertoire, such as JavaScript and Lightning Web Components, but it’s certainly achievable. 

Here are a few things you can do to make the transition from Admin to Developer a little smoother… 

Start practising 

You deal with the Salesforce platform day-in and day-out, so you have plenty of access to it. Take a look at the code and start to take note of how to build an Apex trigger. Talk to the Devs at your organisation at every opportunity, and get as many tips and tricks from them as possible. Ask them to show you how to do things, and if you get the opportunity, start doing it. The sooner you start writing code, the faster you’ll master the skill. 

Remember, you have the foundational skills you need to become a Developer already as a Salesforce Admin. If you are strong in building reports, formulas and flows, and handling data, picking up SOQL should be a breeze, and that’s a great step into Apex. The sooner you get familiar with the Salesforce Dev toolbox, the quicker you’ll be in your first Dev role. 

Use your network 

It’s not just the Dev team at your own organisation you can speak to. Call upon other Trailblazers for tips and advice, there’s plenty of it out there. You can attend community events, TrailblazerDX events and DevOps Dreamin’.

You can also call upon the Dev community outside of Salesforce. JavaScript Developers will be a great source of information, as the syntax of Apex is so similar to Java.  

Another good person to call upon is a Salesforce Recruitment Specialist, who will have the most up-to-date knowledge of what employers are looking for in a Salesforce Developer. Get some examples of the skills they’re seeking, both technical and other, on your CV, and you’ll be in a good position when the job hunt starts. You’ll also have built a relationship with a Recruiter who will have exclusive jobs from exclusive clients, and you’ll be at the forefront of their minds when the right job comes along. 


You’ve done your learning, you’ve been practising at work, you’re in touch with a Salesforce Recruitment Specialist. It's now time to think seriously about actually seeking a role as a Salesforce Developer.  

Salesforce certifications are not always necessary in Salesforce roles, but as an Admin wanting to progress to a Developer, getting certified is a good move. The Platform Developer I Certification is a good start, but it is becoming more saturated. We’re finding that the number of candidates we speak to at Focus on Salesforce with the PDI is increasing, so it’s becoming harder to stand out from the crowd with this. A great next step would be gaining the Platform Developer II or JavaScript Developer I certifications.  

It's far more uncommon to see these on a CV, so if you achieve these, prospective employers will immediately take notice, and you’ll have an advantage over your peers who also want to move into the Dev team. 

This also applies to existing Devs who stopped at the PDI. If you take the time to pursue these two certifications, this will give you a leg-up over other candidates when looking for your next role. 

Whether you’re in the early stages of your journey from Salesforce Admin to Salesforce Developer, or ready to take the leap into your first Dev role, get in touch to speak with one of our Salesforce Recruitment Specialists.

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