Does Salesforce Require Coding?

Person coding in a laptop.

Generally speaking, a career in the Salesforce ecosystem does not require coding skills. A core principal of the platform is based upon no-code / low-code / declarative configuration. Agile companies want to move fast and respond to change, and the ability to point-and-click when making changes gives companies a competitive advantage when using declarative tools and processes.

Companies prefer to hire people with business domain knowledge that can quickly convert business requirements into cloud-hosted solutions that scale ubiquitously. Writing code, developing unit tests, and managing multiple sandbox / dev environments slows the business down and increases operational costs.

However, thinking like a coder in Flow Builder will increasingly become an in-demand skill and increase demand for your skills, while making your organization even more agile (more on this below). Of the many post-launch metrics related to iDialogue / Salesforce implementations, one that I'm most proud of is that zero ​customers were left in a situation where ongoing Apex development or coding skills were required for general enhancements. Our customers may hire for System Administrators, Sales Enablement, Sales Ops, or Revenue Ops roles. But they aren't required to hire a Salesforce Developer for ongoing maintenance or customization. Picture When flows are utilized in iDialogue implementations, I'd speculate about 50% of the configuration was anticipated using pre-developed template flows included in our managed package.

Even distinctions like SMB vs Enterprise, or annual revenue are no longer absolute criteria for when Developers are required. It's not uncommon for startups to evolve into $100M+ companies using an entirely declarative approach to Sales and Enablement.

This is in stark contrast to when I first entered the Salesforce ecosystem around 2006, and pretty much every custom business rule required an Apex trigger. But today, as I write this in 2022, the combination of Lightning page builder and Flow Builder, plus our own Document and Room Builder tools now provide Admins and Ops with 100% declarative configuration environments to build end-to-end Sales processes and apps.

While coding is no longer required, I will say the ability to think like a coder when using Flow Builder will increasingly come into demand. Flow Builder has achieved 4GL status in recent releases; and as such, implements basic programming concepts like variables, collections, conditional branching, looping, and assignments; much like you'd find in many programming languages.

The ability to name things correctly, refactor larger flows into smaller sub-flows, test, and manage version control processes are necessary skills when building Flows. However, a new ecosystem is evolving that provides pre-built essential flows, allowing Admins and Ops to simply configure last mile details. So ultimately, knowing the inner workings of flows is useful, but not required.

Going forward, our measurement for success will always be to enable declarative configuration for all features. And as we grow and learn from our customers, we'll continue to evolve iDialogue in ways that increasingly offer sophisticated Sales Enablement, Content Management, and Customer Experience features without the need to learn or know code.