I had the privilege of meeting Dan recently and over a quick chat (which I’m sure was more memorable for me), he briefly told me about his Force.com courses on Pluralsight. The “Force.com for .NET Developers” course really struck a chord with me.
I’m primarily a .NET developer but over the last year have had a little exposure to Force.com. I was working on a project where we were integrating our existing .NET applications via a REST API with a custom CRM based on Force. This was my impression of Force:
- It’s basically declarative with Java on the backend
- The editing experience is lacking
- “__c” gets appended on to everything
- It is expensive to get started
- This is a technology I can probably ignore
After watching the “Force.com for .NET Developers” course I’m left with the feeling that I’m still pretty much right - except for one really important point.
I cannot ignore Force.com
Sure, I don’t need to drop everything and start using it today, but I would foolish to think that as an independent consultant that I will never benefit from this skill set.
Getting up to speed on Force won’t be difficult. Dan made it clear that the environment is lacking (as I thought) but it makes it really drop-dead-simple to do some really complex things. For example it is crazy simple to do things like:
- Create types and map them into a database
- Expose and use web services
- Role based security
- Domain specific data types (e.g., email)
- Data type validations
All that crud you spend a ton of time getting right you can get for “free” on Force.com.
It’s a compelling proposition.
Not only that - but the barrier to entry is low, the skills I need to learn aren’t difficult and the opportunity is huge.
Follow the Money
Dan harped on this a bit. I think he’s a smart guy. I mean - I think he’s a really smart guy. But I don’t even consider picking up a new skillset until I have some concrete evidence that it is worth it. So let’s head on down to Indeed.com and see what we find …
When I wrote this, there were 898 jobs posted on Indeed for Force.com developers.
This surprised me a bit. But what really surprised me was that almost 10% of them were for $130,000 and up.
When Dan said “Follow the money” - he wasn’t kidding.
Yeah, I know there are people who make a ton more than that working in other areas. That’s not my point. My point is that there is a segment of software engineering that has low barrier to entry and a ton of money backing it.
I might never make that leap. I love what I do now. My wife is happy. My kids are happy. My clients are happy. I’m happy.
But I won’t ignore it either.
I think that was Dan’s point.