Author: Astound Careers
The position of a Salesforce Developer is often confused with that of an SFCC Engineer. What is the difference between them, what exactly does a Salesforce Developer do on a project, and what’s it like to work as an SF Developer at Astound Commerce?
To answer these questions, we’ve talked to Ilya Yefremov, who has been part of the Astound Commerce family for almost 2 years. He himself is a Senior Salesforce Engineer, and at the moment is looking to extend the team of SF Developers at Astound.
First things first, what does a Salesforce Developer do and how does this position differ from an SFCC Developer?
Salesforce Developers, unlike SFCC Engineers, don’t create ecommerce stores. They customize the CRM platform that includes Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Sales Cloud and, since recently, the Order Management System. This CRM platform helps companies automate their sales, marketing, and customer service processes.
The Sales Cloud allows a company to manage the entire sales process from capturing a lead to closing a sale. It includes features like Web-to-lead, with an opportunity to create auto-response rules so that no lead is left unnoticed. There is also a business analytics function that lets anyone with access create reports using all the information from the cloud.
The Service Cloud is about automating customer service and support. There is a customizable user interface for support agents, with productivity tools and analytics, a service console — to manage multiple customer service cases simultaneously, and other features like the Public Knowledge Base and service process automation.
And then, there is OMS — Salesforce Order Management — a recent development. It’s a huge brand new application that includes about 25 new objects and its own automated processes. Companies can use it separately or together with, for example, the Service Cloud, so that support agents have access to order data along with the information on service cases and customer profile. The system is highly customizable, where an admin with a few clicks can set up a user interface and tailor the business logic according to the business needs.
Has Astound already started working on the OMS projects?
Astound, being the Salesforce Platinum Partner, was the first company to get OMS clients. At the moment, we are working on three projects, implementing this new functionality.
In which cases exactly does our company involve a Salesforce Developer on a project?
It depends on the client’s needs. When a client orders only an ecommerce site, our SFCC Developers work on implementing the Commerce Cloud. In such cases, a Salesforce Engineer is not needed. But, if a client wants to process all the cases and orders through the Service Cloud, a Salesforce Developer is employed to customize the Service Cloud according to the client’s needs — to process sales, orders, to set up the work of a call center, or work with customer service cases.
Mostly, we implement an ecommerce solution, and the Service / Sales / and now OMS Clouds come as a secondary task, but sometimes a client doesn’t need a site, but only a data management system — to manage leads, opportunities, sales, call centers and others. In such cases, SFCC Developers are not involved in the project, since Salesforce Engineers will be performing the customization here.
If Salesforce Developers are not involved in every Salesforce project, is there really a big demand for this kind of IT specialists on the market?
In the US, more and more companies are switching to Salesforce. At the moment, Salesforce is like the Apple of the ecommerce world. So, software provider companies are opening SF / SFCC Developer positions, hiring a team, and taking in clients, since indeed, there is a huge demand for SFCC and other SF Clouds implementations.
What technologies does a specialist need to know, to work as a Salesforce Developer?
Basically, full stack. For back end they need to have the knowledge of Apex, a Salesforce programming language, which syntactically resembles Java. So, if you know Java, with minimum effort you can train yourself in Apex. We even have one Engineer that switched from Java to Salesforce development.
Apart from that, what an SF Developer needs to know, is the configuration opportunities of the Salesforce platform. Primarily, you have to be a Salesforce platform administrator, since lots of stuff can be configured manually.
Do we at Astound expect the candidates to be Salesforce certified?
We require that a candidate has Salesforce Platform Administrator and Developer I certifications.
Now, what about you? How did you become part of our team as a Salesforce Developer? What do you like about working at Astound?
I completed a Salesforce Developer course in another company and then applied for this position at Astound. One of the reasons for choosing this company was that it provided solutions for such clients as Adidas, Puma, Jimmy Choo and others.
I love the fact that we have Business Analysts and Solution Architects that communicate with the client, so I don’t have to. I receive a clear set of tasks that I can work on and not worry about misunderstanding the client and what they meant by this or that requirement. It’s all been handled by my teammates, so I can focus on my code.
The processes are well set. We have multiple SDLCs that we can tweak based on the project.
And, our Solution Architects work closely with Salesforce. Once our client wants to add a specific feature that can’t be implemented without the help of Salesforce, our architect can contact the Salesforce team directly and influence a lot of aspects. This is not the case for many other companies.
You are a Senior Salesforce Developer now. What’s the next step for you here?
I can grow to become a Solution Architect. It would be exciting to work closely with Salesforce on their newest applications.