Salesforce Coding for Noobs – Part 1

It comes to a point where eventually you may want to start dabbling with code but not necessarily become a developer. This is exactly where I stand to this day. I need/want to learn the small things like how to build simple triggers, visualforce pages to help solve minimal issues but all the materials online may as well be written in Arabic. I find that about 99.99% of it all has the assumption that you know about the fundamentals such as loops, classes, methods objects etc.


This is to help give you some of the basics fundamentals or at least an understandable definition and help make our transition somewhat more easier. Maybe one day you’ll be as awesome as Bryan James, David Liu, Enrico Murru, Keir Bowden or Jeff Douglas (to name a few) and this post was what started you of? If it does, then well done and I can safely know that at least one person has read my blog!


One of the easiest ways I have found to understand coding is to think of it as baking a cake. You have your ingredients, recipe, utensils, equipment and then your finished product. In essence, it’s just a set of instructions and like baking a cake, you need to do things in a certain order. This isn’t always the case but I’m sure it is a majority of the time

This first part is addressing the jargon that’s thrown about which will help make Arabic sound more like a native language:

String – Not something you tie your shoes with nor does it come out of a can. It’s line of text which can be anything you want with pretty much any combination of characters. Sometimes it’s required to be written between quotation marks (” “).

Boolean – True or False and nothing else in between. Can be represented as 1 for True and 0 for False.

Object – Not something in physical format but in basic terms, it’s a data table. Bit like a spreadsheet that your sales team loves to use on a regular basis.

Apex – The language developed by Salesforce. Think of it as taking the stone wheel and then reinventing it into the pneumatic tire/tyre we know and love today

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is the standard language for creating web pages and web applications. Easiest way to remember is that it is the blue prints to the page you are viewing as to what goes where.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets describes how HTML displays on your screen. It can turn the most boring of pages into something super sexy

JavaScript – Language commonly used in web development to add dynamic and interactive awesomeness to a website

Variables – The sole purpose is to label and store data in memory. It’s basically a value that can change(s) depending on conditions or on information passed.

IDE’s – Stands for Integrated Developement Environment and has absolutely nothing to do with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. This is what you use to create your coding master pieces.

Loop – Basically it means to keep doing a specific thing until something tells you to stop. I’ll let you come up with your own way for remembering that one.

Method – Basically a small set of instructions to do something magical. Think of it as paragraphs in a Harry Potter book.

Class – Something that is formed as part of random methods. Think of it as a chapter in a Harry Potter book that creates something magical.

InterfaceEnrico Murru describes an interface in layman terms as “A class that ‘implements’ an interface defines the methods provided in the interface. An interface does not say anything but only states how a class can say something. Basically think of it as a car’. In that case, the following would be a way of breaking it down in more simpler terms:

  • Interface = Car 
  • Class(es) = How to build it
  • Method(s) = How to create the engine/turn/move/indicate etc.

Bryan James confirmed this was an accurate representation so I’m happy with this representation.

Hopefully this has provided some useful information in a way that has made it easier for you to understand? I know I havent covered every aspect of coding but we all have to start somewhere and in my opinion this isn’t a bad start.

I now need to learn how to put this all together now for part deux ……..

If there’s anything I have fundamentally got wrong or any suggestions in what should have been added then please comment below.


Tom’s Tremendously Thrilling Top Tips


Are you new or relatively new to Salesforce? Do you feel unsure what way to turn for help regarding Salesforce functionality?


Then here are 10 of my top tips to make your life somewhat easier:

  1. Use the Success Community. This is a great place to ask questions about best practice and functionality and has saved my bacon many times!
  2. Develop a deep and meaningful relationship with Trailhead. This is your one stop playground where you can learn all things Salesforce in a fun and easy way.
  3. Attend your nearest Admin
  4. Get on Twitter. This is a great way to connect with many Salesforce like minded people and ask questions. Some great people to follow on functionality and updates are:
  5. Attend the Salesforce1 World Tour. This happens only once a year and is a 1 day event.
  6. Attend Dreamforce. This is a 3 and a half days of pure learning, networking and fun and worth every penny/cent in my opinion. This is like Disneyland for Salesforcegiphy1
  7. Use Chrome. It provides a better experience than IE and you can make use of extensions.
  8. Use Chrome extensions. These are little life savers that allow you to do certain things quickly. Some great ones are:
    • ORGanizer If Chrome and Salesforce had a baby then this would definitely be it
    • Quickly Login As Another User
    • Salesforce1 Sandbox Simulator
    • OneTab
  9. Use Johan Yu’s website to answer some of questions or find some new blogs/websites that may be of use:
  10. Get a personal sandbox and practice the hell out of what you learn. It always helps to have something you can look back on  and you can pretty much do what you like with it. Just dont use it for business purposes.


Obviously there are ton’s of other things you can do to gain experience but these were some of the things that have helped me. If you have any better suggestions then feel free to comment below.


Happy Salesforcing! (my new term)