Force.com for .NET Developers is a Pluralsight course by Dan Appleman.

I had the privilege of meeting Dan recently and over a quick chat (which I’m sure was more memorable for me), he briefly told me about his Force.com courses on Pluralsight. The “Force.com for .NET Developers” course really struck a chord with me.

I’m primarily a .NET developer but over the last year have had a little exposure to Force.com. I was working on a project where we were integrating our existing .NET applications via a REST API with a custom CRM based on Force. This was my impression of Force:

  • It’s basically declarative with Java on the backend
  • The editing experience is lacking
  • “__c” gets appended on to everything
  • It is expensive to get started
  • This is a technology I can probably ignore

After watching the “Force.com for .NET Developers” course I’m left with the feeling that I’m still pretty much right – except for one really important point.

I cannot ignore Force.com

Sure, I don’t need to drop everything and start using it today, but I would foolish to think that as an independent consultant that I will never benefit from this skill set.

Getting up to speed on Force won’t be difficult. Dan made it clear that the environment is lacking (as I thought) but it makes it really drop-dead-simple to do some really complex things. For example it is crazy simple to do things like:

  • Create types and map them into a database
  • Expose and use web services
  • Role based security
  • Domain specific data types (e.g., email)
  • Data type validations

All that crud you spend a ton of time getting right you can get for “free” on Force.com.

It’s a compelling proposition.

Not only that – but the barrier to entry is low, the skills I need to learn aren’t difficult and the opportunity is huge.

Follow the Money

Dan harped on this a bit. I think he’s a smart guy. I mean – I think he’s a really smart guy. But I don’t even consider picking up a new skillset until I have some concrete evidence that it is worth it. So let’s head on down to Indeed.com and see what we find …

When I wrote this, there were 898 jobs posted on Indeed for Force.com developers.

Force.com for .NET Developers - 898 jobs available

This surprised me a bit. But what really surprised me was that almost 10% of them were for $130,000 and up.

Force.com developer jobs over $130k

When Dan said “Follow the money” – he wasn’t kidding.

Yeah, I know there are people who make a ton more than that working in other areas. That’s not my point. My point is that there is a segment of software engineering that has low barrier to entry and a ton of money backing it.

I might never make that leap. I love what I do now. My wife is happy. My kids are happy. My clients are happy. I’m happy.

But I won’t ignore it either.

I think that was Dan’s point.