Learn About Technical Careers at Salesforce

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe average salaries and educational backgrounds for technical roles.
  • Explain core competencies and baseline skills required for each role.

Exploring Technical Roles

In the last unit, we learned about roles at Salesforce requiring little or no technical skill. In this unit, we’ll explore job roles that require coding skills and more.

Meet the Software Developer

Software developers are problem solvers. Using logic and reason, they decode puzzles, remove obstacles, and create solutions. Driven by a need to help others, they find satisfaction when the solution they developed makes life better for someone else. Although some might think software development is all logical reasoning and no artistic expression, the role itself is highly creative; the most successful developers are those who are imaginative, clever, and resourceful.

Does this sound like you? If yes, read on to learn more about the skills needed for this role.

  • Average Salary (national): $103,663
  • Jobs Last 12 Months (US Only): 129,923
  • Annual Growth Rate: 34%
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (95%)
Core Competencies Baseline Skills
  • Java/C#/OOP
  • JavaScript
  • Web services
  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Problem solving
  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Project management

Now, let’s introduce you to some developers here at Salesforce.

Meet Demi Christakos, Lead Solution Engineer

Photo of employee, Demi Christakos, Lead Solution Engineer

Hello! My name is Demi Christakos, and I’m a Lead Solution Engineer.

  • What I do: Work with different types of customers and analyze how Salesforce can help them with their business needs. Also work on multiple things at once and help out on short notice.
  • What I like best: Creatively solving my customers’ problems and working with different types of businesses.
  • What I wanted to be growing up: An artist.
  • Advice : Be curious! Find solutions for problems. Don't accept "no" or "you can't."

Meet Adam Purkiss, Software Engineering, Lead Member of Technical Staff (LMTS)

Photo of employee, Adam Purkiss, Software Engineering, Lead Member of Technical Staff (LMTS)

Hello! I’m Adam Purkiss, Software Engineering, Lead Member of Technical Staff (LMTS).

  • What I do: I build things. I also spend time contemplating abstract problems that may have multiple viable solutions. Software development provides endless opportunities for solving problems and improving the lives of those who use what you build. This work also builds on itself, and one of its key challenges is to learn how to write good code. This is part science and part art, both logical and highly creative. Writing good code is essential, as each new foundation built is only as strong as the other foundations it relies on. So I write software to test software, known as unit testing. With good unit tests you will know if your code base is getting better or worse over time.
  • What I like best: I get to be a maker for a living. And every single day at work is a chance to make a tangible difference. Plus, I get to hang out with the most inspiring people.
  • What I wanted to be growing up: I had no idea, but being an astronaut sounded cool.
  • Advice: Never stop learning. Every interaction is a chance to learn something new, regardless of the experience levels of those you interact with. Beware of living in a comfort zone! Try learning or at least experimenting with a new language each year. Be willing to be wrong and use that as a learning experience. As backward as this may seem, the more you think you know, the less you probably do. So approach life with a beginner's mind. Be forever a student and a teacher.

Meet Doug Bitting, Technical Architect

Photo of employee, Doug Bitting, Technical Architect

Hello! I’m Doug Bitting, and I’m a Technical Architect.

  • What I do: I’m responsible for building awesome things. Of course, I can’t do it all myself, so a lot of my job is making sure that I understand what problems we’re trying to solve and for whom we’re trying to solve them, and then working with my team to make sure we create a solution. I help determine what technologies we will use and how we will use them, and I ensure that everything will work well together. Sometimes this means that I get to investigate options, and sometimes it means I tap the expertise of my team. It always means I learn new things and make things that help people.
  • What I like best: There are three things about my job that really feed my soul:
    1. The people I work with are amazing and awesome.
    2. I love to help people.
    3. I love to tinker and create.
  • What I wanted to be growing up: I remember when I was about nine years old, I went to my next door neighbor’s house soon after he bought an Apple II computer. When he turned it on and started playing Space Invaders, I immediately knew what I wanted to do when I grew up: develop software.
  • Advice: Cultivate an honest curiosity about your world and the people who inhabit it.

Meet the Data Scientist

Data scientists love digging into data and numbers and looking for trends. Always concerned with data quality, data scientists invest time in harvesting and cleansing data. They build models and algorithms to analyze data and use powerful visualizations to explain the data to others.

Does this sound like you? If yes, read on to learn more about the skills needed for this role.

  • Average Salary (national): $131,505
  • Jobs Last 12 Months (US Only): 17,696
  • Annual Growth Rate: 138%
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (58%), graduate degree (41% of postings)<
Core Competencies Baseline Skills
  • Python
  • Machine learning
  • SQL
  • R
  • Apache Hadoop
  • Data mining
  • SAS
  • Java
  • Predictive models
  • Mathematics
  • Research
  • Communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Writing
  • Problem solving
  • Presentation

Now, let’s introduce you to some data scientists here at Salesforce.

Meet Alexandra Younger, Senior Manager, Capacity Operations

Photo of employee, Alexandra Younger, Senior Manager, Capacity Operations

Hello! My name is Alexandra Younger, and I’m a Senior Manager, Capacity Operations.

  • What I do: Work to meet customer demand by collecting and analyzing data, applying the insights to our daily operations, and creating processes to make this work in the long run for the business. We use math and data science tools to creatively solve puzzles in the business.
  • What I like best: Problem solving! It’s like working with a different puzzle each day.
  • What I wanted to be growing up: I wasn't sure, and it's changed a lot over time. This job didn't exist when I was even in college, though, so it's ok not to know what you want to do!
  • Advice: Keep working on your math and computer science skills! Companies need more and more data scientists with all of the technology that's evolved over the last several years, and we'll need people like you to help us solve the puzzles of the business.

Meet Chalenge Masekera, Data Scientist

Photo of employee, Chalenge Masekera, Data Scientist

Hello! My name is Chalenge Masekera and I’m a Data Scientist.

  • What I do: Build computer models that teach other computers how to be smarter and more intelligent. This helps Salesforce customers get smarter products, enabling them to build better relationships with their customers.
  • What I like best : Finding new and insightful things from data that can help business strategy.
  • What I wanted to be growing up: A pilot.
  • Advice: Love math, be curious, like asking a lot of questions, and be open to trying multiple things.

Meet the Product Manager

As a product manager, you’re like the producer of a movie. You pitch your idea, bring in the crew, and oversee the production, and ultimately, you’re held accountable for the success of the final product. Product managers have a vision for the product, and they communicate that vision broadly, inspiring others to come on board and support the idea. They work with a diverse set of people to execute on their vision. They must influence others and be disciplined in prioritizing what product features make the final cut.

Does this sound like you? If yes, read on to learn more about the skills needed for this role.

  • Average Salary: $101,253
  • Jobs Last 12 Months (US Only): 61,450
  • Annual Growth Rate: 28.6%
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (91%)<
Core Competencies Baseline Skills
  • Product development/technical background
  • Market research
  • Presentation skills
  • Business acumen/sales
  • Competitive analysis
  • Communication
  • Teamwork/collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Decision making/prioritization
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Now, let’s introduce you to some product managers here at Salesforce.

    Meet Adam Torman, Product Manager

    Photo of employee, Adam Torman, Product Manager

    Hello! My name is Adam Torman, and I’m a Product Manager.

    • What I do: I build products that delight people. It all starts with a great idea. Ideas solve problems that people have. Ideas come from everywhere. So it's important to always be listening. If enough people think it's a good idea, we begin designing it. Designing a product is like telling a story with pictures; it needs to be simple enough that people get it intuitively while solving the complex problems that we have. Once we have a design, the software engineers begin creating it and testing it to make sure it works every time. After all, if a person doesn't trust a product, they won't use it. Once the product is ready, I work with marketing, sales, and distribution to make sure that it gets to the people we built it for. And along the way, my job is to make sure we're always focused on what's most important to do next.
    • What I like best: The people. #BecausePeople
    • What I wanted to be growing up: A teacher.
    • Advice: Figure out what's most important. It's easy to get caught up in the inertia of the everyday. It's hard to figure out what's most important and stick with it until it's done despite any challenges that come up along the way. After all, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

    Meet Samantha Ready, Product Manager

    Cartoon of résumé checklist

    Hello! My name is Samantha Ready, and I’m a Product Manager.

    • What I do : I build products to improve people’s lives. It’s my job to listen to our users and turn those needs into features. What do they want? What could be improved with product today? What problems could we solve for them? A product manager is a professional listener who understands the big picture and turns the individual requests they hear into a prioritized list of solutions. A product manager is a blend of a lot of skills--from design (how a product or feature should work and why it’s important), to product strategy (what features do we build and what is their priority), to business development (understanding customer/end user needs and how to meet them), to marketing (build momentum “selling” key stakeholders at your company and evangelizing about the feature to the masses after it launches). A product manager is a maker and a team player.
    • What I like best : The main thing I love about this job is it’s always changing and there is no such thing as a “daily grind.” It helps people and has a positive impact on their end users. It’s creative. It’s fun. I get to work with an amazing, smart team. And there are always new puzzles to solve.
    • What I wanted to be growing up : Astronaut. I was and still am obsessed with outer space.
    • Advice : Don’t feel pressure to know what you want to do at a young age. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when applying for college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated from college. If I walked around the office right now, I bet a lot of people would still joke that they don’t know what they want to do when they grow up--even if they are 50 years old. Figure out what you’re good at and steer yourself in that direction. I majored in robotics, and while I don’t do anything with robots currently (besides tinkering with my Amazon Alexa), my engineering classes in college taught me how to think analytically and build robust systems with code, and eventually that got me a job as a software developer at Salesforce. Now I’m working on a product to teach technical skills to developers, administrators, and business users worldwide. You don’t need to have a specific end goal or finish line. Just figure out what you’re good at (that you enjoy) and steer yourself in that direction.

    Meet the Technical Writer

    Technical writers are communicators. They combine writing skills with technical expertise to craft clear instructions on how to use software. Technical writers love to learn about new technologies and figure out the best way to explain those technologies to other people. An eye for detail, a desire to help others, and a beginner’s mindset are key traits of this profession.

    Does this sound like you? If yes, read on to learn more about the skills needed for this role.

    • Average Salary (national): $67,799
    • Jobs Last 12 Months (US Only): 22,055
    • Annual Percent Growth Rate: 30%
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree (84%)
    Core Competencies Baseline Skills
    • Technical writing/editing
    • MS Office
    • Project management
    • XML
    • Online help
    • Software development process
    • Visio
    • Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign
    • Writing
    • Editing
    • Communication skills
    • Research
    • Organizational skills
    • Teamwork/collaboration
    • Detail-oriented
    • English
    • Planning

    Now, let’s introduce you to a technical writer here at Salesforce.

    Meet Justine Heritage, Technical Writer

    Photo of employee, Justine Heritage, Technical Writer

    Hello! I’m Justine Heritage, and I’m a Technical Writer.

    • What I do: I’m a tech nerd and a word nerd. I write about all kinds of awesome Salesforce features. I spend a lot of time talking with software developers and product managers to understand what they’re working on. Then, I take what they say and write it all down so that other people can easily understand how the product works. I like to include jokes, stories, and memes in my writing. It makes it more fun for everyone.
    • What I like best: Working on something I’m passionate about with other passionate people.
    • What I wanted to be growing up: A forensic psychiatrist
    • Advice: Surround yourself with amazing people. You don’t have to be good at everything, so you should find other people that complement your own talents.

    Technical Roles Vary, Too

    As you just learned, each technical role is distinct, and if you’re looking to go into a technical role, you’ll want to start getting the required skills and education. But it’s also important to understand that tech is moving quickly, so the baseline skills and core competencies for these types of roles will continue to change.