Difference between a Salesforce Admin & Developer

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24
Apr

Difference between a Salesforce Admin & Developer

Posted by Vrinda J Menon

minutes read

In the Salesforce world, the possibilities are endless. Your org may need the intervention of a Salesforce developer to add code or an administrator to add fields or at times may need both! The line between Salesforce devs and admins are blurring. So if you are caught off guard when asked about the difference between the two, you are definitely not alone. Read on to learn more about

Who is a Salesforce administrator?

A Salesforce administrator is the vital link between business and technology – they understand the business and know the technology. They manage and administer a Salesforce org and know the org customizations inside out. They can carry out minor declarative changes and manage releases into production.

Who is a Salesforce developer?

A Salesforce developer builds functionality using tools like Apex and Visualforce and frameworks like Lightning Components in a sandbox before handing it over to the administrator to schedule deployment.

What does a Salesforce Administrator do

Personalization: Become best friends with the setup menu to add Picklist Values, amend Page Layouts, create assignment rules and more.

User Maintenance: Design a great user experience by understanding how your users do their jobs and what makes them successful. Add new users, modify existing accounts, check system permissions on user profiles, restrict and allow data access and more.

Reports and Dashboards: Build real-time, data-driven reports to create a wealth of information from data stored in Salesforce.

Data Maintenance: Remove duplicate Accounts and Contacts by merging and mass updating for data cleanup. Import data using import wizards such as Data import wizard, Data Loader etc. Adding validation rules and field customizations and preventive measures for data duplication are key to data maintenance.

What does a Salesforce Developer do

Build Functionality: This includes writing Apex code to customize an existing source code or writing a new one to build new functionality.

System Integration: Salesforce has numerous APIs. Salesforce developers can saddle the mind-boggling flexibility of Salesforce APIs, integrate all your processes and information in both directions, making sure all your systems can talk to each other efficiently.

Testing & Change Control: Developers can sign up for a free “Developer Edition” which can be customized to match the look and feel of your Salesforce instance. Once set up, you can use this instance for training, experimenting with strategies without the complication of version control, testing and more. A good deployment practice is to test out new functionality in the Developer Sandbox before moving to live. A Sandbox is a replica of your production environment with the same platform customizations, and at times, the same production data!

Salesforce Developer vs Salesforce Admin

Salesforce Admin Salesforce Developer
Responsibilities
  • Personalization
  • User & Data Maintenance
  • Reports & Dashboards
  • Build Functionality
  • System Integration
  • Testing & Change Control
Skills Needed
  • Solid Salesforce skills
  • Understanding of the org structure and the business processes
  • Strong analytical skills to classify customizations 
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Understand and anticipate your industry needed
  • Business case writing
  • Presentation and demo skills
  • Beginner’s mindset
  • Excellent programming skills
  • Strong analytical skills to architect the best solution
  • Cloud-based integration skills
  • Understand security considerations
  • Business acumen to help define the right outcomes for your users
  • Adaptability and zeal for continual learning 
  • Beginner’s mindset
Salary Scale

(Data referenced from the 2021 SalesforceBen Mason Frank Survey)

Salesforce Administrator – US

  • Senior level – $122,000 
  • Junior Level-
    $97,000

Salesforce Administrator – UK

  • Senior Level – (pound symbol) 53,000
  • Junior Level- (pound symbol) 38000
Salesforce Developer –
US

  • Senior Level – $144,000
  • Junior Level – $109,000
Salesforce Developer –
UK
  • Senior Level – (pound symbol) 77,000
  • Junior Level- (pound symbol) 52,000
Certifications 
  • Certified Advanced Administrator
  • Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
  • And more..
  • Salesforce Platform Developer 1
  • Salesforce Platform Developer 2
  • And more..

Shared Responsibilities of Salesforce Admins and Developers

Feedback Mechanism: A Salesforce administrator helps to manage ongoing system developments by communicating with customers and colleagues regarding new developments, support etc. They provide continued support to internal and external stakeholders including Salesforce developers and clients.
Updated Documentation: Ongoing documentation throughout the development can be routed through the Salesforce admin so that they are prepared for any customer interaction/support issues.

Testing Phase: Involving Salesforce admins in the process of usability testing and bug fixing is a great way to collect informed user feedback.

Admins are coding more and are taking on responsibilities that would otherwise be left to a developer. Though admins and devs have their own roles, the boundaries are indeed blurring. You can choose either of them as both offer you a great career path.

With regards to the universe of Salesforce, the sky’s the limit. There isn’t a field that can’t be added by your Salesforce administrator nor any code a Salesforce developer can’t execute.

  • A Salesforce administrator is someone who manages and administers a production Salesforce organization. Admins usually carry out minor declarative changes and have the responsibility of managing releases into production.  
  • A developer would typically build functionality including Apex/Visualforce in a sandbox before handing it over to the administrator to schedule deployment.

Role of a Salesforce Administrator

Personalize 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 also import data using import wizards e.g. Data import wizard, Data Loader etc.

Role of a Salesforce Developer

Building functionality: This includes writing apex code.
Integration: Salesforce has numerous APIs. Salesforce developers can saddle the mind-boggling flexibility of Salesforce APIs, integrate all your processes and information in both directions, making sure all your systems can talk to each other efficiently.
Developers can sign up for a 2-licence “Developer Edition” in which the entire flexibility of the platform is managed. This is awesome for putting together reasonable work, and experimenting with strategies from the complication of version control, test requirements and other users.

Shared responsibilities

A Salesforce administrator helps to manage ongoing system developments by communicating with customers and colleagues regarding new developments, support etc. They provide continued support to colleagues, especially Salesforce developers, and clients.
Ongoing documentation throughout the development can be communicated to the Salesforce admin so that they are prepared for any customer interaction/support issues.
Bug fixing will likewise happen to guarantee a smooth release to clients. This is a great time to involve the Salesforce admin so that they can test usability and provide feedback.
More and more admins are coding and are taking on some of the responsibilities that would otherwise be left to a developer. However, 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.



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