Thinking of getting into Salesforce.com in the new year? It would be a great time as it has never been busier — Salesforce.com is growing their business over 30% in revenue year on year and this success is flowing into the partner and customer ecosystem; my employer Cloud Sherpas has grown by over 300 staff in 2013 (and we’re still hiring ).

If you are thinking of jumping in a career here are some practical tips I wish people had told me when I first started out 3.5 years ago:

  1. Get a password manager and use it.
  2. Lastpass or 1Password, you are likely to get a LOT of usernames/passwords for different Salesforce orgs, these tools will help you.
  3. Register a Developer Edition that is your ‘home base’.
  4. You will register more developer editions over time, but I’ve got one I use as the basis of my ‘official’ identity on success.salesforce.com and its the place I do most of my training and self education.
  5. Get Certified
  6. Spend the money yourself or take advantage of any incentives your employer may offer. This will repay you both in the knowledge you gain and in the eyes of potential employers.
  7. Register for Web Assessor with your personal email address.
  8. You can’t change your web assessor password once you’ve registered with it, don’t be like me and be stuck with a username from 2 employers ago :)
  9. Get on twitter and follow, follow, follow!
  10. The official accounts are the starting point but there are lots of lists around with MVPs and Salesforce staff on them, following these people on Twitter will give you useful insights into what the community is doing.
  11. Save up for Dreamforce
  12. Book early for both accommodations and flights if you are going (And you should hope to go at least once) … and by early, think… 10–12 months early!
  13. Always be learning — Read the manual…. and experiment
  14. Salesforce publishes so much information so it can be overwhelming, but it is vital you know the platform. Reading the manuals and watching the videos is a start but nothing beats experimenting in your developer edition org.
  15. Go to your local user group
  16. And if there isn’t one, start one :) I can introduce you to the right people if you need be.