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App Development - All your friends are doing it...

It’s never been easier to create an application that streamlines & automates a business process. It used to be the case that you needed specialized skills and a pocket protector to create a new application. Starting with options for hardware, operating systems, programming languages, and application interfaces, the maze of choices alone is intimidating. Software as a Service providers saw this paradigm and realized the opportunity: If they could package everything required to develop, deploy and maintain an application into a tidy package that had a pay as you go model, you can change the IT world.


And so it has been. Companies like Salesforce, ServiceNow and Microsoft have realized the growth associated with understanding the current state, taking risks and providing a valuable service. Their growth has been so far reaching, that it’s created new opportunities for companies and individuals (would-be techies) alike. Through clever marketing and continuous educational campaigns, they create demand for their products, and for follow on services like a well thought through implementation and customization.


The combination of high demand for these services, plus the “click, not code” approach to designing apps means that more people can be enlisted to deliver services that further increase the value of these platforms. This “democratization” of application development is just the beginning. As skills develop and deepen, these same platforms offer further reaching and more complex capability. To be sure, the beginner’s end of the services more crowded than it used to be, but opportunities remain. If you’ve been thinking about sharpening your IT skills or have a desire to learn more, there’s never been a better time. Follow these three steps to start/continue/improve your journey into the world of SaaS:


1. Study. Get connected to the vast array of free training resources. Chose a path based on current skill level and interests. Dedicated time and use the exercises to develop a firm understanding. Salesforce’s educational portal is called Trailhead (https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en).

2. Get Certified. Once you’re comfortable, find a local testing center (also available through trailhead). Schedule your test, either in person or virtually (many sites have adopted a virtual testing capability due to Covid).

3. Network. Once certified, tell everyone in your network about it. Talk to nonprofits or small businesses that need help with basic customization. Volunteer your time or begin your consulting journey with attractive hourly rates.

Lastly, (I know, I said three but hear me out) continue learning. There’s no better way to distinguish yourself by adding knowledge and more certifications. Before you know it, you could be in the company of people you once thought were technical wizards and nerds, and there’s a good chance you might be one of them.



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