The Difference Between a Salesforce Administrator and Developer – Jenny’s Admin Tip #10

Admin_Dev-1When it comes to the world of Salesforce the sky’s the limit. There isn’t code a Salesforce developer can’t execute nor a field that can’t be added by your Salesforce administrator. I believe that with Salesforce ANYTHING is possible and never has this been more true than when it comes to you, Admins.

To find out why lets take a step back and look at Dreamforce 14. For those that attended you will have noticed that there was a strong focus around Admins as not only was there a Dev zone this year, but there was also an #Awesome Admin zone. However, if you looked further into the Admin zone you will have noticed a Dev stand, which believe it or not was not in the wrong zone, but was surrounded by Admins wanting to learn code.

With that in mind, I wanted to know the differences between a Salesforce Administrator role and Salesforce Developer role.

Here are the roles of a Salesforce Administrator:-
Clicks not code
  • Customise and Develop – A lot of time can be spent in the setup menu adding Picklist Values, amending Page Layouts, creating assignment rules and more.

  • User Maintenance – Admins will add new users, amend existing accounts, check system permissions on user profiles, restrict and open up data access and more.

  • Reports and Dashboards – Build Reports to create a wealth of information from data stored in Salesforce.

  • Data cleanups – Remove duplicate Accounts and Contacts by merging, mass updating and will also import data using import wizards e.g. Data import wizard, Data Loader etc.

Training – Keeping up to date
  • Ongoing documentation – produce and update existing Salesforce documentation for colleagues and customers. This helps to keep on top of new developments and future Salesforce releases and enhancements.

Grow – A stronger base
  • Help to manage ongoing system developments – communicating with customers and colleagues regarding new developments, support etc.

  • Provide continued support to colleagues, especially Salesforce Developers, and clients.

Here are the roles of a Salesforce Developer:-
Building –  Application logic
  • Building functionality – This includes writing apex code e.g. creating Salesforce Triggers that can’t be done declaratively, creating Visualforce pages, building Triggers  and more based on customer/colleague requirements.

  • Integration – Salesforce has more APIs than an centipede has shoes! If your business depends on existing systems or data, Salesforce developers can harness the incredible adaptability of Salesforce APIs, integrate all your processes and information in both directions, making sure all your systems can talk to each other efficiently.

Testing and deployment
  • Developers can sign up for a 2 licence “Developer Edition” in which they are afforded the complete freedom of the platform. This is great for throwing together conceptual work, and trying out techniques away from complication of version control, test requirements and other users.

  • Developer Sandboxes is where new functionality is born. Developers will continue to test development in a staging sandbox before finally submitting to live. This guarantees new functionality will work as expected and won’t interfere with any existing business processes.

  • Bug fixing will also take place to ensure a smooth release to users. This is a great time to involve the Salesforce admin so that they can test usability and provide feedback.

Deploy and Document – Shared responsibilities
  • Ongoing documentation throughout the development. This can be communicated with the Salesforce admin so that they are prepared for any customer interaction/support issues

The above provides an insight into the roles as I know them and there are probably more to each role than mentioned. However, I guess it is important to understand that though Admins and Devs have their own roles, there really are no boundaries when it comes to the capabilities of Salesforce Admins.

As identified at Dreamforce 14, more and more admins are coding and are taking on some of the responsibilities that would otherwise be left to a Developer e.g. creating Triggers. It would also not be out of place to see Admins taking on the 401 to broaden their developer knowledge! It is evident that the lines between the Admin and Dev are becoming more and more blurred.

How blurred are the lines becoming and are you as an Admin taking the plunge into code? Let me know what you think by either leaving a comment below or tweeting @jenny_bamber

If you would like more information on Salesforce why not contacts Desynit’s Shaun Holmes or leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

See you next week.

Jenny

By Jenny Bamber
27 November 2014
Jenny's Admin TipsThe Good Systems Blog

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