Salesforce Developers Need to Learn JavaScript Today

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Over the years, it’s been possible for Salesforcce Developers to avoid needing to learn JavaScript because things could usually be done through a combination of apex and visualforce. If you don’t know JavaScript and you are a Salesforce Developer, you need to really consider finishing this post and learning JavaScript.

I believe that if you want to have a career into the next few years, you will need to learn JavaScript and have a basic mastery. In my blog post Why JavaScript, I cover a lot of the reasons why I believe this.

JavaScipt for User Experience

In the past, developers would add jQuery in Visuaforce to do some very minor form validation or animations, but there’s a lot more need for JavaScript now. Yes, there was some need for JavaScript to improve the user experience but it’s nothing like now.

Salesforce Lightning

We are now at a point in a Salesforce Developers career where they must now master JavaScript because Salesforce has developed a new of doing things with a new user interface called Salesforce Lightning. Salesforce Lightning has changed everything. I recently published a post with some details about What Salesforce Lightning is, you should take the time to read it and understand.

Lightning components have a JavaScript client-side controller and use html and css to allow users to interact with Salesforce. As you can imagine, writing logic in JavaScript is going to require quite a bit of knowledge of JavaScript.

Salesforce Developers of the Future

I believe that the Salesforce Developer of the future is going to require a very advanced knowledge of JavaScript, html and CSS. I imagine that within the Salesforce community we will see a lot more “full stack developers”. Naturally, knowledge about SOQL, the Governor Limits, and integrations will still be relevant.

What’s Happening to Apex and Visualforce?

Apex can still be called by Lightning Components and will be around for years to come for within Triggers, and other parts of Salesforce. I highly doubt Apex will disappear completely as there’s probably billions of lines of code in use.

Visualforce will probably disappear completely in the next ten years or so. Possibly Visualforce will live on forever if there’s minimal changes change to the way Email Templates and PDFs can be generated from within the platform.

Learning JavaScript

If you aren’t already knowledge abotu JavaScript you should start to learn about it immediately. JavaScript is very different from apex because it isn’t strongly typed, has closures, anonymous functions and etc. Don’t be worried, learning JavaScript won’t be difficult if you start slowly learning it now.

Over the past few years, JavaScript has become a really popular language for building web based applications and for building restful APIs. JavaScript has been used on the clientside for a long time for making responsive user interfaces. If you decide to leave the Salesforce ecosystem for some reason, there’s a very good chance there would be work in it.

Mozilla, created by the creator of JavaScript, has a really good JavaScript Guide that can be used to learn JavaScript over a few weeks. I refer to Mozilla’s Developer Network fairly frequently when there’s something that I don’t understand. Highly recommend this.

Code Academy apparently has a really great resource for learning JavaScript. I personally haven’t really used it.

And finally, Free Code Camp has an incredible resource, with hundreds of hours of content and projects that you can build to truly master JavaScript and html. I think this is probably overkill for a lot of Salesforce Developers, but it would truly make a master JavaScript programmer.

Also published on Medium.

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Brian is a software architect and technology leader living in Niagara Falls with 13+ years of development experience. He is passionate about automation, business process re-engineering, and building a better tomorrow.

Brian is a proud father of four: two boys, and two girls and has been happily married to Crystal for more than ten years. From time to time, Brian may post about his faith, his family, and definitely about technology.