January 18, 2012

Crowd sourced getting started guide for Force.com developers.

Screen Shot 2012-01-18 at 5.11.38 PMGetting started with force.com platform is an interesting roller coaster ride for developers of any experience level. I tried bringing some of those newbie experiences in this post, and then a guide that can help newbie’s to get up to speed quickly with platform.

the force.com newbie story !

Fresh graduates mostly compare it with C/C++ and try searching out similar fun out here.

For experienced it’s a different sort of comparison from various degrees and angles :) I was from Java/J2EE background for me it was a huge change in mindset, i.e. I was missing

  • control and power
  • command prompt.
  • those ANT and Maven builds.
  • fun of starting servers like jboss, tomcat, resin etc.
  • debugging in Eclipse
  • habit to setup env. variables and fun of writing shell/batch scripts.
  • and many other things

I was hating

  • Coding in browsers
  • Eclipse plugin for Force.com, is not as rich as Java.
  • Governor limits, why I can’t just do this and that, urghh $@#$$#^

But it didn’t took me much to become a different guy altogether, I realized this when I have to work back in some force.com J2EE integration. I was hating Java for why its requiring me so much to just create something small, I was feeling panic to setup env variables and finding right JAR files for the purpose :)

So the point is, you will fell in love with platform and will soon start appreciating the power, ease of development and why governor if not really an enemy and makes you a good programmer. It’s a mindset change to work in a multitenant environment, it would be fun if you will try learning it from open mindset. As said in this lovely quote

Only open heart receive love, Only open mind receive wisdom, Only open hand receive gifts !

Guide : Getting started with force.com platform !

Newbie’s ride is not very straight forward for everyone, specially if you don’t have any good mentor to guide. So a newbie needs a good “Getting Started Guide for Developers”, that can provide them correct pointers to get up to the speed with platform. I googled similar guides, but can’t find one that covers the areas I wanted. So I tried creating one, with few goals in mind

  • It should be groomed and maintained via crowdsourcing, i.e. open for community to add and update, as force.com is continuously changing & evolving platform. So keeping one isolated guide updated is not possible for a single guy.
  • It should have pointers about how to easily
    • troubleshoot issues, that mostly comes out with developers who are starting up.
    • get answers to your questions, via twitter and forums.
    • stay tuned to latest updates and happenings in community in form of blogs, open source etc.

Crowd sourced guide on GitHub

Keeping the above goals in mind, I created a guide on GITHUB as a repository, its available out here: 

https://github.com/abhinavguptas/Getting-Started-with-Force.com-Development

Your suggestions ?

This is first draft of the guide, so I am looking forward for your suggestion to make it more simple and easy for a newbie to get up to speed with force.com platform.