Why Salesforce Admins ARE Developers?

Published on September 8, 2020
Reading time: 7 minutes
Vladimir Gubanovich

Vladimir Gubanovich

Head of product @ The Welkin Suite, Salesforce Unit Manager @ Polytech Software

I’ve recently started a small discussion here in Linkedin about how to call people who are doing declarative development/point-n-click development/configuration of Salesforce orgs – are they “admins” or “developers”. And while the answers were almost equally split between these two options I still think that “developer” is much closer to the reality. Let me explain why.

Coders vs. Developers

It is a common case to refer to developers as to those who write code, this is why point-n-click configuration can’t be treated as development – it’s plain administering. However, most developers will agree that coding is just a tool for creating functionality that is needed by end users. And development is not writing Apex or Javascript code/HTML, Visualforce and Lightning markup – development is creating something (but ok, let’s be honest – most complex functionality is created using custom code :).

Of course there might be cases when someone gets a task, that sounds like “Iterate over all changed accounts in a trigger and if the field X was changed, set some value Y for the field Z” rather than “Whenever the account’s field X is changed, set Z to be Y”. Such cases I’d call “coding” instead of development as in this case the only job is to translate someone’s pseudo-code into Apex/Javascript/any other programming language.

Administrators are developing functionality, aren’t they?

This leads us to a pretty obvious statement that administrators do create new functionality. Yes, as an admin I’ll surely use a process builder or workflow rules or any other tool that Salesforce provides us to create needed functionality, but do you think that those who will use Salesforce as end-users care about what way of implementing this or that feature you’ve selected? 🙂

I’d say even more here – best developers should know as much about the platform as possible. Only with this knowledge they won’t invent the wheel each time and will use as much declarative development as possible, if it fits their needs – this will save time and money for everybody.

Underestimated impact of point-n-click configurations

It is also a pretty common case to see that the power of point-n-click configuration is underestimated by developers, who have used to write code and resolve complex solutions with a magic of beautiful code.

Even when I look at myself a couple years ago I see that my C# and Salesforce development background was whispering me:

psst, dude, what can you do with your mouse? Are you going to compare complex code with fifty pages with buttons and checkboxes? Are you serious??

his has changed a lot since I’ve spent hours and hours in Salesforce’s Setup menu with all that hundreds of pages, buttons, links, menus and the power that is hidden behind them.

This is why I’m 100% sure that those who are doing point-n-click configuration in Salesforce are developers! And what do you think?

P.S.: As we understand the complexity and importance of the declarative development for Salesforce you might guess that we are doing our best to simplify point-n-click configuration and remove unneeded complexity for those who “click” as well as for those who “code” 🙂 Check out the great set of features and capabilities of The Welkin Suite IDE – you won’t regret that 5 minutes 😉

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