Apex for Salesforce: indeed, Coding that Admins can Learn!

Apex for Salesforce? Interested?! I thought you might be. There comes a time that any Salesforce Admin needs to build some developer skills. Or rather, you realise you need a Developer who you know could solve your Salesforce challenge in a tiffy (i.e. someone with a Developer certification, plus skills and experience in the programmatic side of Salesforce). But, as that Developer may not in your company’s hiring budget in the foreseeable future, perhaps it’s time to start developing your own Salesforce programming skills, and simply learn Apex for Salesforce yourself!

You can do it!

There is a reason why programmers have the most diverse study backgrounds. It’s because, despite perhaps being mysterious or daunting at the start, literally anyone can learn how to program. Take it from me. I did. I studied and worked as a business consultant for years, before I delved into 3D relational database management (that’s what we called it when Salesforce was just ‘a baby’) and Java. And if I can learn programming, you can do it too.

Apex for Salesforce – How to Begin Learning Programming

Shy away from any resource that assume you are already a programmer, and start with listening to people who explain things simply instead. So, Youtube is your friend here, with some of the best free resources to learn the basics of Apex for Salesforce.

Start to learn for free with Deepika Khana youtube channel: This is the ultimately easy Apex coding for Salesforce Admin, and there are many modules beyond this exact video that can be of use to you.

Pari’s channel, short for Parikshith M, is another resources to learn the basics of Apex: Parikshith M. He dedicated his youtube channel to ‘your Introduction to programming in Salesforce using Apex & Visualforce’.

Voila. That’s two easy entry points into the world of Apex coding. There are quite a few more.

Building your Apex Coding Skills

Many who have youtube channels have been targeted by Udemy and Pluralsight and other training platforms to set up paid versions of their courses as well, so that might be a step 2. E.g. Deepika has a course on Udemy, called ‘Salesforce Apex Programming Language’ . Again, it assumes no previous coding experience. So, this super inexpensive course could help you cement what you have just learned in a more basic version on Youtube.

From there on, have a look at Trailhead trails for Developers, Intro to Apex:

This trail assumes you are a programmer and know & love Java. Don’t worry. Just love coffee and start straight with Apex, you really do not need to learn Java first. There are tons of references to Java all over Apex coding training materials and this simply was caused by the fact that there was no great Apex course. That’s now an issue of the past.

Moving towards more Intermediate Apex Coding Skills

The very best way to learn Apex coding is to code! So, go out and challenge yourself. Review a small piece of Apex code that you previously had outsourced. Analyse the code and learn from it. Next, tackle a small assignment yourself. See if you can build something similar in a sandbox. Or try this fun trailhead project for automation of some business processes. A great way to build your Apex skills.

A fun Coding Apex for Salesforce project on Trailhead for Botanicals

Be in it for the long term

The secret to live is not 42, but 10,000. I mean “10,000 hour”-rule applies to everything. This rule says that you can practically master anything by putting in 10,000 hours. Of course, you may already have become a half decent Apex programmer in a fraction of that time, but you get the drift.

As well, I do recommend using that time effectively: i.e. don’t start coding all day. Do 1, 2 than 3 hours a day. Never stare ‘forever’ on that code that is not working. Go do something else instead for a bit, and then come back to it.

Also, coding is a bit like writing. There are different levels of sophistication. There will be a day that that code will be rolling right out. Until that time, be diligent and methodological. Stick to it, and above all have fun learning Apex.

It will make your Salesforce Admin work much more interesting, and most likely boost your pay check as well. And if you ever dream of becoming a consultant, at CloudAnalysts, a Developer mindset and skills are must-have’s.

Also read: Tips to pass the Salesforce certified Administrator Exam