Being A Salesforce Developer: What it Means and How to Get Started

As the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform, Salesforce gives every business team⁠ – from sales to marketing, commerce to service, and beyond – a single, shared view of every customer. Over 150,000 companies, both big and small, are growing their business with Salesforce. But it’s more than just a CRM platform; it’s a community of over 10 million innovators, disruptors, and community shapers they call Trailblazers

Why is this exciting? Salesforce recently announced a new study from IDC that found Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners will create 9.3 million new jobs and $1.6 trillion in new business revenues worldwide by 2026. The opportunity is huge, and in New Zealand it is expected to create 26,000 new jobs by 2026.

What’s more? If you are interested in riding this wave to build a career, a job in salesforce development may be the right fit for you. This is especially true for New Zealand where lack of skilled professionals in technology makes this a highly lucrative career choice to pursue – one where average salaries for a Salesforce developer with 1 to 3 years’ experience range from $80,000 to $90,000. NZ Tech’s Digital Skills Report published in 2021 also talks about other careers that are in demand and worth exploring. 

Sounds interesting so far? Then read on. 

Getting started in this role in easy. All you require is a good internet connection, a laptop and some learning up your sleeve, and you are good to go. 

Here’s everything you need to know about being a Salesforce Developer. From what does a Salesforce Developer do to what you need in order to become one, and even the scope of job opportunities that lie ahead. We have created an exhaustive resource to help answer all questions you may have about pivoting to this career choice.

Let’s dive right into it!

Q: What makes Salesforce so successful?

The credit would surely go to the Salesforce taskforce, including Salesforce Developers, Salesforce Administrators, and Salesforce Consultants. We believe that the Salesforce Developers are the backbone of the entire CRM. This role is essential for a successful Salesforce implementation. This is also the reason these roles are in such high demand. 

Q: What is a Salesforce Developer?

All businesses have different needs and their Salesforce requirements will be different. The Salesforce Developer plays a crucial role working with clients and customers to realise the full capability of the CRM by customising and offering tailor-made solutions. 

Q: What does a Salesforce Developer do?

If you choose this career path, you’ll be responsible for all types of standard Salesforce Development and customisation. This includes coding, unit testing, building applications, and creating and modifying existing applications.

A Salesforce Developer has an understanding of how Salesforce works, coupled with experience in the platform. The developer is hired by a customer/client for the purposes of customising Salesforce to the specifications of the hiring party. Alternately, it could be an in-house programmer who happens to be skilled at working with Salesforce. These developers use tools such as Apex and Visualforce, as well as frameworks like Lightning Component in order to develop apps.

A Salesforce Developer doesn’t have to work for Salesforce. The Salesforce eco-system is huge, ranging from small, mid-sized and large organisations who are either a Salesforce Partner (i.e. they support businesses to implement Salesforce) or a Salesforce Customer (i.e. they use the Salesforce CRM to successfully manage their customers). 

Q: What are the first steps to becoming a Salesforce Developer?

The first step to becoming a Salesforce Developer is starting your learning journey. We highly recommend you complete the below three certifications recognised by Salesforce within its eco system:

1. Salesforce Certified Administrator (TVB201)
2. Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder (TVB403)
3. Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I (TVB450)

Salesforce makes it fun and easy to get started on your learning journey through their online learning platform, Trailhead, which we highly recommend for those who are driven, motivated, and have strong time management skills. You can earn certifications and badges through Trailhead and become a professional in no time. 

For those who are looking for an alternate approach, we highly encourage you check out our Salesforce Developer Accelerator. You will not only gain the three certifications but also gain industry experience, access to the NZ industry network, and professional advice and mentorship to help you land your dream role.

Q: How much time will it take to learn these skills?

Begin with investing your time in the basic skills we mentioned and, technically speaking, the process of becoming a developer can be accomplished in around 21 weeks.

Q: Do I need to have a degree in computer science to be a Salesforce  Developer? 

Salesforce development is largely dependent on skills,  so there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get hired without a degree.

What’s more, New Zealand currently has a talent shortage, so to close this gap, more companies are committed to hiring skilled talent who may not have a degree, but possess the requisite skills. 

If you are really interested in pursuing this line of work, we would recommend ditching the degree route (unless you have 2-4 years at your disposal) and getting started on learning. The internet has many online tutorials that you could get started with. You can also start your self-paced learning on Trailhead, or consider joining tech accelerators like the one we run at Mission Ready HQ where you’ll not only learn the requisite skills, but also become certified and job-ready in just 21 weeks. 

Learn about our 19-week Salesforce accelerator.

Q: How much can I hope to earn once I have acquired these skills?

For a role that is in huge demand and an industry faced with serious skill shortages, it would be fair to expect that such a position would demand a reasonable compensation. According to Payscale, a salesforce developer in NZ earn an average of $90,000 with extra bonuses that may also be available depending on the organisation you join. This could be an extra $5,000 to $10,000 per annum. 

You may start at a salary of $55-60,000. Some companies are known to attract talent with higher starting salaries. If you check an experienced Salesforce Developers salary, it could be over $130,000. There are a number of factors that can influence the salary package including location and experience. Having said that, this is potentially a pretty lucrative career choice.

Ready to get started? Check out our accelerators and how we support you to transform your careers and launch a new career in as short as 12 to 21 weeks.

Press Release: Salesforce Collaborates With Boutique Agency To Create Skilled Developers [ Scoop.co.nz]

Salesforce – Silicon Valley’s world leading CRM service provider – is collaborating with boutique Auckland-based technology career development agency, Mission Ready, to create 300 skilled entry-level developers over the next 12 months.

The collaboration – a 21 week/ 5 month Accelerator course – gets underway next month and will go some way towards combating the technology industry’s current chronic skills shortage.

Mission Ready recognised it could be a part of the solution to combat the tech skills shortage – that is being experienced by fast-growth organisations like Salesforce – by tailoring the use of its signature accelerator course to help candidates career-transition into tech careers.

The collaboration represents a win for candidates looking for tech-industry employment, a win for employers looking for new talent and a win for Salesforce to scale a high growth organisation.

Mission Ready’s model appealed with its short turn-around time as well as access to candidates motivated to change careers into the technology sector. The agency has trained more than 200 candidates in the last two and a half years with a large percentage transitioning from careers and backgrounds in teaching, business operations, performing arts, nursing and Covid-impacted industries like hospitality and tourism.

The programme also appeals to organisations as a targeted way to fulfil their diversity and inclusion goals. Mission Ready’s networks tap into candidate talent pools, especially Maori and Pasifika, who have not been exposed to traditional pathways into the technology industry. In 2020 Mission Ready set up more than 30 tech scholarships for Māori and Pasifika candidates that lead to long-term employment opportunities.

In this partnership with Salesforce, candidates will be trained on in-demand professional skills including agile and design thinking and will gain three industry recognised certifications as well as industry experience on live projects enabling them to hit the ground running with medium and large businesses that are using Salesforce technology.

Mission Ready has a placement rate of 85% with all its accelerator programme candidates. It is expecting a similar, if not better result, with this specific Salesforce cohort. Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners anticipates creating 26,000 new jobs in New Zealand by 2026.

Become a Certified Salesforce Developer →

Salesforce and Mission Ready HQ partner to tackle NZ skills shortage [Reseller.co.nz]

This press release was originally published on reseller.co.nz by Rob O’Neill.

Customer relationship management giant Salesforce is teaming with Auckland career development agency Mission Ready HQ to create 300 skilled developers over the next year.

The collaboration will roll out a five-month accelerator course next month that aims to combat the technology industry’s skills shortage.

Candidates will be trained on in-demand professional skills including Agile and design thinking and will gain three industry recognised certifications as well as experience on live projects enabling them to hit the ground running with medium and large businesses using Salesforce technology.

Mission Ready said it has a placement rate of 85 per cent with its accelerator programme candidates and was expecting a similar, if not better result, with this specific Salesforce cohort. 

Mission Ready, co-founded by Diana Sharma and Alan Kan in 2018, recognised it could be a part of the solution by tailoring its signature accelerator course to help candidates transition into tech careers.

The agency has trained more than 200 candidates in the last two and a half years with a large percentage shifting from careers such as teaching, business operations, performing arts, nursing and COVID-19-impacted industries such as hospitality and tourism.

The programme also appeals to organisations as a targeted way to fulfil their diversity and inclusion goals.

Mission Ready’s networks tap into candidate talent pools, especially Maori and Pasifika, who have not been exposed to traditional pathways into the technology industry. 

In 2020 Mission Ready set up more than 30 tech scholarships for Māori and Pasifika candidates that lead to long-term employment opportunities.

Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners anticipate creating 26,000 new jobs in New Zealand by 2026.

Mission Ready also offers NZQA-approved accelerator courses for full stack developers, user experience designers and advanced software development with more pending.

Business Hub: From cleaner to IT entrepreneur, and why diversity is so important [NZ Herald]

This article was originally published on NZ Herald.

From cleaning casino floors to pushing the diversity ceiling. Diana Sharma, Co-founder of Mission Ready, tells her journey to co-found the educational startup and the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Once rejected for a cleaning job, the co-founder of IT training agency Mission Ready Diana Sharma talks to Rahul Bhattarai about the struggles she faced as a qualified immigrant arriving in New Zealand and why she’s on a mission to encourage diversity in the workforce.

It was the rejection as a cleaner at SkyCity Casino that Diana Sharma couldn’t believe. Here she was with two degrees, a masters diploma and more than 10 years’ experience in hospitality and working for multi-nationals including Powergen and Orange (Telecom), and she couldn’t get a part-time cleaning job in her new country.

“The reality doesn’t really hit you until you have submitted hundreds of CVs and received hundreds of rejections.”

Before Sharma and her husband left India for New Zealand in 2009, friends already in Aotearoa warned the couple they would need to start at the bottom. Sharma hadn’t realised quite how far down that was.

Undeterred by the SkyCity rejection, and on the advice of a friend, she went back to persuade them to give her a go. This time they took her on. Sharma describes her “tears of joy” that someone had given her a chance. Sure, she would be vacuuming the casino floor but here was an opportunity.

Sharma had arrived on a fulltime study visa, so was only allowed to work part-time. She and her husband had to cover their living expenses and repayment of a sizable loan to come to New Zealand.

“With a hefty loan to repay, and to cover our living expenses we had to start somewhere,” Sharma says.

“It was the right start for me. I got to meet amazing people and to understand the New Zealand culture, and It was a nice and fun way of introducing myself to a completely new space.”

She doesn’t regret a moment of the time she spent cleaning the casino nor has she forgotten the lessons the experience taught her.

Eight months later she landed a job as a research assistant at Unitec, later becoming general manager of partnerships and alliances. It was there, during an eight-year stint, that she spotted both a gap and a need in the market.

“I was fortunate to see the opportunity that existed in tech, and how there was untapped potential in people, and we needed to match those two opportunities.”

In late 2018 Sharma and Unitec colleague Alan Khan founded IT career development agency Mission Ready, specifically to increase diversity in the tech industry, and to bridge the gap between unemployment and labour shortages in certain industries.

Mission Ready offers a range of courses, from nine to 19 weeks, designed to fast-track people into careers such as a software developer, a UX designer or a tech entrepreneur. Mission Ready students have gone on to work at companies like 2degrees, Datacom and PwC.

“Our vision has been that we needed to remove barriers to success and one of our social missions is to bring in diversity and inclusion into tech.”

But we’re not there yet, Sharma says, pointing to a statistic published in the Herald in April – that Māori and Pasifika make up just 6.8 per cent of New Zealand’s IT workforce. It’s a sector that is booming, offering millions of jobs globally but is not attracting talent who can bring diversity to the industry, she says.

Sharma made it her “social mission” to change that. Mission Ready has partnered with Auckland Council to provide scholarships and financial aid to the Māori and Pasifika communities, and other scholarships for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“They don’t need a handout, they need a hand-up. They need support to guide them into careers where they can support themselves as well as their families.”

Inclusion is the key to diversity.

But it is the concept of inclusion that Sharma most wants to talk about. It is an employers’ responsibility to make sure everyone feels safe, safe enough to be different, to speak up when they have an opinion, to be asked their opinion and, above all, to feel included.

Inclusion is the extent to which various team members, employees, and other people feel a sense of belonging and value within a given organisational setting, she says.

“I think we look at it in the wrong order.”

Inclusion first, equity next and then diversity, she says. “We need to stop categorising differences and start embracing people in their entirety.”

Too often companies treat diversity as a “tick-boxing exercise”, putting people into token positions based on the colour of their skin, or belatedly appointing women onto the board. Sharma calls that “window dressing”. An organisation may think it has a diverse workforce but does not understand what that means, she says.

“We tend to focus on the differences and that is not the intent of diversity.”

She wants to refocus that conversation to say “inclusion comes first”.

Diversity is less about what makes people different because of their race or socio-economic status and more about understanding, accepting and valuing those differences, she says.

Sharma has a favourite saying: “Getting invited to the party is part of the diversity strategy. But inclusion is actually being asked to dance.”

Who would want to be invited back to a party like that, she asks.

“That is why inclusion has to be the primary focus of an organisation if you want to attract, retain and grow your workforce.”

Quick facts:

  • Name: Diana Sharma
  • Job: Mission director of Mission Ready and Mission Impact Foundation.
  • First job: Casino Group of Hotels and Resorts – hospitality management trainee.
  • Worst job: Only lessons learned. No regrets.
  • Family: A husband who has stood by my side for over 15 years and a 2-year-old daughter who challenges me to be better.
  • CEO you admire: Sal Khan, founder of The Khan Academy. I admire his vision to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere and build a world of good.

Small Business: Management trainee and an accountant come together to start a thriving tech company, Mission Ready [NZ Herald]

This article was written by Rahul Bhattarai and originally published on NZ Herald.

Diana Sharma and her business partner Alan Kan talk to Rahul Bhattarai about their unique partnership which led to their educational startup, Mission Ready.

What does your business do?

Mission Ready is a tech career development agency. Our courses are NZQA approved and we help individuals transform and launch tech careers through our accelerator programmes.

In less than five months of full-time study, individuals can go from no experience in tech to becoming a software developer, UX designer or tech founder (entrepreneurs who want to build/develop their own tech product).

What’s your background?

Diana: I come from a completely different background, I spent several years at Unitec and had a unique education perspective having been in various roles developing new education partnerships with education providers globally.

I started in hospitality and then worked at multinationals in sectors like energy and telcos before transitioning into corporate training. I was involved in looking at new industry partnerships and alliances to create new education models. The impact of these programmes directly on the lives of individuals and their families inspired me to do things differently and that led to where I am today.

Alan: I have a background in tech with more than 20 years of experience, but I studied accounting as well as Information Technology. During my first month of internship as an accountant, I realised I was more interested in tech than accounts.

After three years into my job at Unisys in 2001 I went from writing programming codes to designing software.

What was the motivation for starting it?

Diana: The tech industry is faced with a growing skills shortage and the traditional education pathways would not solve this. On the other hand, a large number of professionals from different industries are looking to change or upskill into advanced careers in tech. There wasn’t a smooth transition that bridged the gap from skilling to employment which is why we created New Zealand’s first tech career accelerator.

Alan: When I was working at Unitec about 10 years ago, I created a few papers which proved to be very popular among the students and that got me thinking about whether I should start my own business.

I have always been passionate about teaching and meeting Diana who had a similar interest was a perfect partnership.

Our motivation for starting this is simple, the impact we can make to transform careers, make dreams come true and all of this with the highest return on their investment and lowest risk to change. We make changing to a tech career easy.

How big is the team today?

Diana: We are a team of seven with a large extended team of industry mentors and facilitators who are contracted in for specialist training.

How was your business affected by Covid-19?

Diana: For us the Covid-19 was a blessing in disguise. A lot of people wanted to switch careers and we saw our enrolment numbers grow. And being a tech company it’s easier for us to work remotely than for another type of job.

How long has your business been around?

We have been around for a little over two years, our first accelerator launched in November 2018.

What’s your focus for the remainder of the year?

Diana: Our focus is on working closely with the industry to launch new tech career programmes which would fast track people into employment.

We’re actually about to launch a very exciting partnership with Salesforce – Silicon Valley’s leading Customer relationship management (CRM) service provider – to develop 300 skilled entry-level Salesforce Developers to combat the skills shortage experienced across NZ Salesforce partners and customers.

These career accelerators are a real win-win. Retrained workers are a sweet spot for hiring as they’ve been through the process and procedures of working within other companies and can get quickly up to speed in a new team – and they’re super motivated by changing career.

What are your long-term plans, and where do you see the brand in five years?

Diana: In five years, Mission Ready will completely transform from what it is today. Our goal is to become a household name in New Zealand and be able to provide more courses catered to people from wider demographics.

How does your business stand out in comparison to other businesses in the market – what makes it unique?

Diana: Our point of difference is that – it is not only the fastest tech career transformation programme but also the only one that includes real projects and real experience with tech companies while being mentored by industry professionals in work.

Our programmes make it easier for businesses to access diverse talent by allowing them to tap into talent they probably wouldn’t have encountered because many of them have not trodden the traditional path to tech. We help those highly motivated candidates get a foot in the door. Each year we offer scholarships to Māori and Pasifika candidates.

Normally our course starts at $2500 per person. However, this year we made 42 scholarships available. We have five more scholarships to give away as part of our September intake.

Mission Ready has trained more than 200 candidates since it launched.

A large per cent of our candidates are successfully re-training from careers such as marketing, teaching, business operations, performing arts, dentists, nurses and many more.

How are you marketing your business?

Alan: For our marketing are actively posting on social media, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I do a lot of public talks like at university, career forums and Techweek NZ.

What does the competition look like in this market?

Diana: There are a number of small competitors in the market, but none that deliver what we offer. Our programme is highly cost-effective instead of doing a similar degree at university for over a three year period, we have our students do it within nine to 19 weeks of full-time study. This saves a lot of time and money. Which encourages people to change careers if they are looking for one and we have a good track record of employment post-study.

Some of our students have gone into working at places like 2degrees, Datacom and PwC.

What advice do you give to people wanting to start a business?

Diana: Start a business for the right reasons, with heart and soul, and you will never feel like you actually have to work another day in your life.

Is this the solution to NZ’s tech worker shortage? [BusinessDesk]

This article was written by Henry Burrell and originally published on BusinessDesk.

Some of New Zealand’s technology companies are struggling to hire in a covid-19 world. Senior hires from overseas are difficult to make with closed borders and the pool of NZ talent shrinks with every filled role.

But at the junior end of the hiring scale, NZ is in a better position than you might think. After covid permanently changed industries like tourism and hospitality, there are hundreds of people who want to shift their skills into technology roles.

“This is a good time for us to be rethinking: is there a better way to scale so that the talent shortage can be plugged?” said Diana Sharma, co-founder of tech training company Mission Ready. “While there’s a skill shortage, I don’t think employers recognise the talent that juniors can bring to the table.”

She said graduates are counting themselves out of applying for advertised tech jobs as many companies are asking for two years of experience, even though it is not required.

“The game is shifting now, and a lot of people are starting to recognise tech as a viable future career option.”

Mission Ready’s 12- and 19-week courses physically or virtually retrain approximately 200 people per year to fast track them into junior technology roles. Some are just out of school, but many are eager to retrain and hone their existing skills into a new career.

Sharma told BusinessDesk 85% of candidates land a job within three months of completing the UX design and software development courses.

An optional 10-week industry experience placement as part of those courses is proving successful. One in five people who are placed at an NZ tech company by Mission Ready has a job offer sealed by the time they finish.

“A number of companies recognise that senior intermediate people can hit the ground running faster, but many companies don’t recognise that you could get three or four candidates for the same price as the senior talent. In the long run, junior talent will be a higher return on investment provided you can put in the training, the mentorship and the coaching in place to ensure that they’re well supported.”

Flipping the script

Musician Nick Veale decided to retrain when he could no longer hack his minimum wage concierge job at a hotel.

“I went straight into a Bachelor of Music, with the kind of full intention of trying to chase a career in film composition and become, you know, the next Hans Zimmer or something like that,” he told BusinessDesk. “I tried being a freelance composer, which I quickly found out was a very miserable kind of life.”

Despite earning a master of fine arts and creative practice in 2018, he was stuck with a minimum wage concierge job at a hotel and composing in his spare time. So he and a friend signed up to Mission Ready’s developer course.

“I found out pretty quickly that you don’t actually really need a computer science degree and that doesn’t really teach you very many practical skills.”

He started the course in 2020 and fell in love with the work before his 10-week internship placed him at Auckland e-learning software company Dacreed.

Although he lives in Wellington, he only had to visit the Auckland office twice, and worked remotely the rest of the time. On the second visit, he was offered a full-time job.

“We’re going through a big growth curve at the moment,” David Sherwin, chief technology officer at Dacreed told BusinessDesk. “The best way for us is actually to recruit sort of younger people, recent graduates and interns, or people that have retrained. It’s a very competitive marketplace for what we would ideally go for, which is people with two to three years experience in dedicated roles and areas.”

He said retrained workers are a sweet spot for hiring as they’ve been through the process and procedures of working within other companies and can get quickly up to speed in a new team.

“We need people retraining and bringing their other business skills from the other domains they’ve been.”

Kordia has also recently signed up as a Mission Ready partner and currently has three people from marketing and HR backgrounds three weeks into their 10-week placements.

Kordia’s head of people and culture Anna Ferguson told BusinessDesk there is a skills shortage across the tech sector that is only going to get worse. “As the market continues to tighten, there will be increasingly competitive offers out there and I think that people will jump ship for various reasons across the board. We’re just going to be, you know, all looking in the same pool of talent.”

After reading about Mission Ready in the media, the company got in touch to get retraining.

“It doesn’t have to necessarily mean ‘junior’ in terms of age… starting a new career can happen at any stage in your life.”

New way in

Ferguson said Mission Ready’s internship programme makes it easier for Kordia to fulfil its diversity and inclusion goals. “Being able to tap into talent that perhaps otherwise haven’t had, you know, a traditional path and being able to get a good in the door really appealed to us.”

Veale acknowledged he was privileged enough to be able to quit his hotel job and afford the $4,500 course while relying on his wife’s salary to support them both.

In December, Mission Ready set up thirty-one tech scholarships for Māori and Pasifika candidates for its accelerator courses, and Sharma said people are retraining from backgrounds in performing arts, physical therapy, dentists, nurses, operations, marketing, and more.

“There has not been a slowdown in terms of the growth of tech companies in New Zealand, they’re still trying to recruit at the same rate that they were pre-covid, but there is certainly a supply side issue on the border closures,” Ruth McDavitt, chief executive at Summer of Tech told BusinessDesk.

“It has been a tipping point for us to help have conversations with New Zealand companies about the need to invest in our local talent and hire juniors and train them well.”

Summer of Tech places students in paid summer internships at NZ tech companies, with 334 placements made last year. Under half are in their final year of study, but McDavitt said 80% of all internships turn into some form of employment.

“We have an oversupply of people who want tech jobs and very much an under supply of entry level opportunities. There is a very high success rate for people being retrained, either in a part time capacity if they’re still studying or rolling into a full-time role.”

A jobs initiative also saw the company match graduates to companies for full or part time contracts last year. So far this year it has already done 30.

“We are seeing a big rise in terms of demand for graduates. The wages that they’re getting just in our programme have gone up about $30,000 per annum.”

She said the average graduate salary for tech roles is between $70,000 and $80,000.

But that doesn’t mean every company is primed to train those people well.

Sharma said no company Mission Ready has approached has said no to the accelerator internships but said some organisations don’t have the correct processes in place. Veale said his friend who took a course at the same time as him got “a bit of a dud company” that he wasn’t keen on working with afterwards.

“Not all smaller startups are geared up for that,” said Sherwin. “So you do need the onboarding, the induction, the ways of working, you know, how a tech team operates, you need these things set up… that’s the kind of missing piece.”

Dacreed has hired seven of the nine interns it has worked with through Mission Ready’s courses. “They’re loyal, they stick around longer, and you can get a lot more productivity out of junior talent in a five year term,” Sharma said.

Veale puts it slightly differently.

“I just worked my arse off basically until they couldn’t say no to giving me a job,” he said.

Can Technology Help Us Move To A Four Day Work Week?

During a Facebook Live, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about shifting to a four-day workweek as a way to encourage local tourism, help with work-life balance and increase productivity.

“I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day workweek. Ultimately that really sits between employers and employees, but as I’ve said, there’s just so much we’ve learned about COVID-19 and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that, she said.

The idea of a four day work week has been floating for quite a while. It particularly caught everyone’s attention last year when Microsoft tested out a four week work week in its Japan office, and discovered that employees were not only happier – but also 40 percent more productive. 

Earlier, in 2018, a New Zealand company that trialled the concept  also discovered that employees experienced better work–life balance and improved focus in the office in a four day work week.

The study offered hard evidence for what many already knew: Productivity isn’t just a matter of time, it is also employee mentality, as well as work culture that plays an influential role.

As the world looks to readjust to a new style of working, the disruption caused by Covid-19 has made the discussion around the four day work week even more relevant. It also begs the question – Can the idea finally catch on? And if so, how?

Technology To The Rescue

To make a four-day work week happen, it’s clear that we need a cultural shift from the top. We already know now that long hours doesn’t equate to higher productivity, so it makes sense for companies to re-think metrics around employee performance,  moving away from a system that monitors employees, to one that places more emphasis on their output.  

Technological gains, in fact, could  hold a major key in recalibrating culture. AI, automation and robotics are already paving the way not just for better working conditions, but also better income and manageable workloads. Advances in communication technologies have resulted in more people than ever working remotely from their homes. 

Keen on being more efficient, many governments and companies are jumping on the bandwagon, testing the waters for what shorter work weeks could look like. 

A Swedish company, for example, still has a five-day workweek but limits each day to six working hours. The company sees it as a way to improve work-life balance, since employees can now more easily run errands after work and spend time with their families each day.

In South Korea, and France, governments have lowered the maximum working week, in a bid to promote a greater work-life balance.

By using machine learning to eliminate the drudge work that takes up much of employees time, companies can accomplish more tasks in less time. Businesses concerned about the financial impact of fewer hours are also increasingly learning that working less may in fact have a positive impact on productivity, as long as other extraneous factors stand well adjusted. 

It all then boils down to whether companies want to adopt productivity gains brought about by new technology amongst all workers, instead of  sticking to the traditional mould. 

The coronavirus crisis is already forcing us to participate in a massive experiment in remote working, giving us a better understanding of how technology can boost productivity, while balancing important needs. 

Whether we embrace it to move away from a society of overwork remains to be seen. The outlook for that , however, looks better than ever now. 

Nearly Everything You Need To Know About Being A Web Developer

web-developer

The internet is huge. It has over 1.5 billion websites, with more getting added everyday. What’s more, it is only going to get bigger, as business comes online, which means there is always  going to be a  demand for people to help build it. 

If you are interested in building a career riding this wave, a job in web development may be the right fit for you. This is valid across the world, but especially true for New Zealand where lack of skilled professionals in technology makes this a highly lucrative career choice to pursue.

What is more, getting started in web development is easy; all you require is a good internet connection and some learning up your sleeve, and you are good to go.  

But, what is web development and how do you get started? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From what exactly constitutes web development to what you need to do in order to become one, and even the scope of job opportunities that lie ahead, we have created an exhaustive resource to help answer all questions you may have about pivoting to this career choice.

Let’s dive right into it!

Q: What is a web developer?

Simply put, web developers are individuals who take a static visual design or an idea and turn it into a functional website that people can visit and engage with.  

In terms of process, there are three different ones at play:

  • Front end web development: This involves using languages like languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to perfect how a website looks.
  • Back end web development: Back end web development involves managing the parts of the website that users don’t see. This involves managing the server, different applications and databases, to ensure each component interacts smoothly with another.
  • Full Stack Development: Combine the skills of front end development and back end development, and you end up with full stack development, a process that involves building and managing a website in its entirety.

Q: What doe a web developer do?

While working on a website, it’s a developer’s job to turn the clients vision into reality. A typical role and responsibilities roster of a website developer may look something like this:

  • Meeting clients to understand the needs of a website
  • Creating responsive web applications
  • Write code for the website, using programming languages such as HTML or XML
  • Developing server-side of the software
  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain
  • Work with designers to determine the website’s layout

Q: How do I get there? What are the first steps to becoming a web developer?

From the three processes mentioned above, it is upto you to decide which path excites you the most. We would , however, recommend acing the front end fundamentals first. 

The absolute first step to that end would be to start learning  two coding languages —HTML and CSS.  While HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is the standard markup language for making webpages, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets,) is a style sheet language a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language like HTML.

Just learning these two skills will set you up for basic paid work in web development. After getting experience in these, we recommend learning a third programming language – Javascript. Javascript is a scripting language which helps create dynamic website content. Learning it will take some more time, but it will also definitely open up more avenues for you.

Once you have learnt these languages, you can then look at widening the scope of your learning. For example, if you are interested in back development, you may want to learn Python, or PHP. A good working knowledge of design and graphics can also help a web developer take their work to the next well.

Q: How much time will it take to learn these skills?

Begin with investing your time in the basic skills  we mentioned and technically speaking, the process of becoming a developer can be accomplished in a few months. 

Q: Do I need to have a degree in computer science to be a web developer? 

Having a degree can be useful, but since web development is largely dependent on skills,  there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get hired without one, if you take the time to learn the skills necessary.

What’s more, New Zealand currently has a talent shortage vis a vis jobs in technology, design and science, and to close this gap, more than a hundred companies have signed an open letter written, where they have committed to hiring skilled talent who may not have a degree, but possess the requisite skills. 

So, if you are really interested in pursuing this line of work, we would recommend ditching the degree route (unless you have 2-4 years at your disposal) and getting started on learning. The internet has many online tutorials that you could get started with, or you could consider joining tech accelerators like the one we run at Mission Ready HQ  where you’ll not just learn the requisite skills, but be certified and job ready in 3 months.  

Q: How much can I hope to earn once I have acquired these skills?

Like all tech jobs, job opportunities in web development are slated to grow 13 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations, on account of rising popularity of mobile phone usage and e-commerce. 

According to payscale.com, an early career web developer  with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of NZ$46,345. This usually rises to NZ$53,832 per year for those with more than a year of experience.

It’s also worth remembering that salaries usually vary with respect to experience, location, skills etc. So, in order to estimate what you can hope to make, we would also recommend using a tool like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth took, where you can calculate this based on your own situation.