I believe that most Salesforce developers that started before trailhead started in a way similar to mine. I didn’t plan on becoming a Salesforce Developer.
Becoming a Developer
When I was younger I didn’t even plan on become a developer. I’ve previously covered how I became a developer, check out that post: How I became a Developer
When I first started working I focused mostly on converting very old Visual Basic apps into VB.NET or C#.NET. I found this work really interesting as some of these systems had been around and functioning for a very long time. Running code through the automated conversion process that Microsoft provided didn’t always work correctly although often it would compile.
In 2009, I was a C#.NET developer that was interested in developing for the web. I had built a very basic crm that worked pretty well in ASP.NET that the company was using internally for our Canadian and US offices.
Mandated into Salesforce
I believe in 2010, it was decided that the German offices would use Salesforce. Shortly thereafter, our offices here in North America had to change to use Salesforce.
I didn’t mind the change and I actually really enjoyed that apex was syntatically a lot like Java and C#.NET. Visualforce in a lot of ways acts like the way pages do in ASP.NET with the old web forms approach.
From 2011 to 2013 – I did random bits of programming and communicating with Salesforce’s Soap API. And finally, in 2013 started working full time with Salesforce for a company that had really integrated it into all processes that the company had. I believe we were one of the first companies to use the community builder which really help with customer support.
In 2016, I started working on a partner application for gamification called Spinify which can run different games on any data within Salesforce. Surprisingly, there’s very few constraints as it works on all standard objects and custom objects.