Zero to Hero

Taking You From Zero to Admin Hero

You are an awesome admin who is trying to make a career out of Salesforce, but you have no idea where to start. With so much content and so many workbooks – your mind is numb.

Welcome to Admin Hero’s Zero to Hero.

Zero to Hero is an on-going post series which uses those same materials but simplifies the content and uses language that you can understand. We are going to start from zero and make you an Admin Hero!

Are you ready?

Prerequisites

To make Zero to Hero work for you, you’ll need a few things.

  1. At least zero experience with Salesforce.
  2. An eagerness to learn the platform and grow in your knowledge.
  3. Some free time to read through the content and complete the workshops.
  4. A free developer edition of Salesforce which can be created here.

Table of Contents

Content will be published along with the other Admin Hero content, but this page will serve as the Table of Contents for Zero to Hero content. Posts will be published in order and organized by chapter.

Chapter 1 – Salesforce Foundations

Chapter 2 – The Salesforce User Interface

Chapter 3 – Building a Basic Application

Chapter 4 – Automation & Data Validation

Chapter 5 – Security & Sharing Data

Chapter 6 – Reports & Dashboards

Stay in the Know

Subscribe to Admin Hero and you’ll receive every new Admin Hero post, including the absolute Zero to Hero series, in your inbox!

47 Comments


  1. Patrick Tompkins

    December 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks so much for all the work you put into this site, it is quickly turning into one of my most useful learning tools in becoming an Admin!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks for that Patrick. I am glad that you are finding it helpful. Please let me know if there are any topics you would like to have covered on Admin Hero. You can email me at brent@adminhero.com.

      Reply

  2. Praveen Jaiswal

    December 14, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Hi Brent,
    I have stumbled upon your blog..so it means i am actually looking for information on SalesForce Admin work….like the name of the chapters you have mentioned…Foundations & its UI.
    I can’t wait for the material to get started, so it is feasible for you let us know by when you can have it in the blog for our reading & understanding…

    thanks.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 14, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Hello Praveen. Thanks for the comment! Right now, I am planning on publishing the first post on January 5 then posting new content in this series every few weeks. Thanks for reading.

      Reply

  3. Calvin Ryu

    January 20, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Hello Brent,

    I reside in the Seattle WA area, and I hear a lot about Salesforce CRM. Are there a lot of jobs in my area for a newbie wanting to get into Saleforce CRM Admin? What’s the starting pay here or expected? Just how hard is to get a job as a Salesforce CRM Admin with no prior experience …. basically, who will hire us? Also, do we need the ADM201 CERT to get a job? And, if we have the ADM201 CERTIFICATION, can we get a job with a strong guarantee even if we lack the experience? Also, do you need a bachelor’s degree to become a Salesforce Admin.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 20, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Hello Calvin. Thanks for your comment! I’m not sure about open positions in your area specifically, but doing a quick job search on Indeed or CareerBuilder will help to give you an idea of the demand. Salaries range based on location and demand as well. However, if it helps, the Denver User Group does an annual salary survey of our members. You can find the information here: http://sfdcdenver.com/annual-salary-survey.html.

      You don’t need to have a certification to get a position (although it may be preferred on most or all job descriptions). I wouldn’t focus too much on the certification right out of the box. Get the hands-on knowledge of the product and platform first so that you can communicate intelligently about Salesforce in an interview. Prove that you have the skills and most companies will provide some sort of assistance to get your certification.

      In terms of education, it really depends. I know of some very successful administrators who have a high school diploma and others who have a PhD. The level of education and background will very by job description. The one thing I would say is to not feel that you are unqualified for a position. Once you are ready to make that leap, apply to anything and everything that looks interesting to you. I think you’ll be surprised! Good luck!

      Reply

  4. Roswell Tan

    February 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Hey Brent. Thank you for the useful information! I’m in the infant stages of learning about Admin careers and learning the platform itself. Currently, I am using TrailHead, certifiedondemand.com, and udemy.com to learn the basics and prepare for the ADM 201. I know you had mentioned being ADM 201 certified wasn’t a dealbreaker in terms of procuring an entry level admin gig. However, I have no prior experience working Salesforce. My current plan is to complete online courses, study for and pass the ADM 201, volunteer at a non-profit, and seek an entry-level job. After reading your responses, it doesn’t sound like my path has to be linear.

    Should I go ahead and just search for jobs while I study for the ADM 201? Also, what are some cost effective online resources to learn Salesforce?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 13, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Hello Roswell! Thank you for reading. I’m excited that you found the site. You’re totally correct. There isn’t really a linear way of becoming a Salesforce Admin. Leverage every tool and opportunity at your disposal to learn Salesforce. The resources you’ve mentioned are great. I’m a visual learner and found YouTube to be a great resource as well. At minimum, it helped to see what I was reading about. Just like having kids, there is no perfect time. Don’t wait to apply to positions. If nothing else, it’s great interviewing experience but you may just land a gig that will be the perfect environment for hands-on learning! Good luck in your quest!

      Reply

  5. sandeep

    April 18, 2015 at 1:42 am

    dear Brent,
    I want to be a saleforce admin+developer and want to make a carrier in this field.
    Kinldy let me know full path for it. and also share usefull links for learning the same.
    I am using Saleforce in my current profile as a data analyst just end user. Also let me know about certification for SFDC and how ????

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 20, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Hello Sandeep! There are a ton of great resources on this site and throughout the Salesforce Community. Zero to Hero is one way to learn how to get started with the Salesforce platform, but there are other posts as well that may help. For example, check out 5 Steps to Jump-Start Your Salesforce Career: https://adminhero.com/5-steps-to-jump-start-your-salesforce-career/

      Other great resources include YouTube and formal Salesforce training. Read through some of the comments on this site as well and you’ll learn a ton! Good luck!

      Reply

  6. Ellsworth

    May 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for some other informative web site.
    Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect manner?
    I’ve a project that I am simply now working on, and I have been on the glance out for such
    information.

    Reply

  7. Tania

    June 8, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Hello Brent,

    I have been working in Salesforce from last 1 year, I have worked on both admin and development(i.e apex and visualforce) part.I don’t have any certification, now I want to move completely in the admin part,As I am not so interested in coding part, though I am good at writing triggers.
    So I want to know is there any chance of doing freelance after 7-10 years, if I leave the development part.Moreover for which certification exam should I go first adm 201 or dev 401

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      June 8, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Absolutely! There are many smaller organizations that are really looking for process experts who can create solutions using the declarative development of Salesforce. If you get into a project that requires development, be sure that you know that ahead of time and solicit a developer to assist with that part of the project. But, I think you’ll find that there is a lot of declarative development work to be had right now.

      Reply

  8. Naresh

    June 23, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Hii!! I am an Master of Computer Applications(MCA) fresher with an aggregate of 78%…We know that there are many computer languages and new technologies in the market,but one new thing was appeared very interesting for me..Its salesforce CRM..If i do this course can i get opportunities as fresher in India especially in Hyderabad and Bangalore..?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      June 23, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Hello Naresh! I am not a career expert – especially in India. I would suggest working your network and connecting with your local user group (I believe there is one in Hyderabad and also one in Bangalore) and ask questions of the professionals there. They will have a better sense of the job market in those areas. Good luck!

      Reply

  9. Simran

    July 9, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Hi Brent,

    I was browsing the web to find out relevant material on Salesforce and landed up on your website. I really feel motivated to be Salesforce Certified now.
    Currently, I am a SAP CRM Techno-Functional consultant with 3+ years of experience and would like to switch to Salesforce. It would be great if you could guide me as to which certification exams I should take? To start a career in Salesforce, will clearing only ADM201 give me better salary prospects or ADM201+DEV401 combination take me to the next level? Please suggest.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      July 12, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Simran. It really depends on the route you want to go? Do you want to be a Salesforce Administrator or Developer? Decide that first, then take the appropriate exams. You can always take the other certifications in the other track, but focus on your primary track first. For example, if you want to be an Administrator, focus on getting the Administrator certifications first. Then focus your attention on the Developer certs next. Good luck and thanks for reading!

      Reply

      • Simran

        July 13, 2015 at 9:33 am

        Hi Brent,
        Thank you for your advice !!
        As of now, I am focussing on the Administrator part and I am preparing for ADM 201.So, that means after Admin, I should take the Advance Administrator Exam?
        However, I read on many blogs that the Developer certification (DEV 401) doesn’t require any coding knowledge, and is totally based on point and click functionality which can be an add-on for the Administrator. It would be great if you could clear the air and suggest whether I should take DEV 401 or ADM 211 next?

        Reply

  10. sidra

    August 31, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Hey!! I love your zero to hero series and completed all the topics you covered.. May I know when are you planning to upload the remaining topics ?

    Regards
    Sidra

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      August 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Sidra! I’m working on them now but it will probably be post-Dreamforce before they are published. Thanks for reading and working through those posts!

      Reply

      • Sidra

        August 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        Okay. Thanks for replying 🙂

        Reply

  11. Samir Sayyad

    September 7, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hi Brent,

    I am very happy you make me understand how to become hero from zero. I am DEV401 Certified but also eager to know about Administration as well, both practically and theoretically. You are making so simple. I am very happy. I hope you will make me HERO very soon. 🙂

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Samir Sayyad
    Pune, India

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      September 10, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Thank you so much Samir! I appreciate your kind words. Good luck in your journey!

      Reply

  12. Binoy

    September 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Hi Brent, Your site is very informative. I have just started digging deep in Salesforce as I always wanted to get good expertise in such CRM. Can I post any technical queries on your website?

    In summary, I am trying to find a way to transfer and save data from Salesforce to SQL Server database.

    Please advise or let me know if you think I should elaborate further.

    Regards,
    Binoy

    Reply

  13. Varun Raval

    September 18, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Hi Brent,

    Is there any ETA on when Chapter 5 will be uploaded? I am planning to appear for ADM 201 in mid october. You make every concept very simple to understand.For me You are one of those professors, whose class i would never miss.

    Thank you very much all your efforts.

    Regards,
    Varun

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      September 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Hello Varun! Thank you for your feedback. I’m working on the details of Chapter 5 right now. With this being one of the core components of the platform, a decent amount of time will be spent here. As a result, I don’t think I’ll have it completed and published before mid-October. However, there are other great resources available that you can leverage while waiting for these posts to be published.

      Reply

      • Varun

        September 20, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        thank you for the reply Brent.

        Exactly my intention to wait, i prefer not to refer any older material as it is the core components of system. I had already tried once but could not succeed. Can you please let me know if you know any trusted source for security and sharing rules.

        Regards,
        Varun

        Reply

  14. jitendra

    November 18, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Hi,

    I want to implement escalation matrix for leads and opportunities assigned to sales person. a lead/opportunity will get escalate to higher level after an interval if sales person doesn’t take any action on it.
    plz suggest how to do it in salesforce. the following is the escalation matrix that i want to implement:

    Level Duration Action
    Level 1 On leads and opportunity Assignment An email should go to sales person, sms and email will go to customer (notification templates, for crm user, report users and customer, will be shared by us for each level)
    after 24 Hrs 1st reminder email to sales person
    after next 24 hrs 2nd reminder email to sales person with cc to sales head
    after next 24 hrs 3rd reminder email to sales person with cc to sales head
    Level 2 after next 24 hrs An email should go to sales head with cc to sales person
    after next 24 hrs An email should go to sales head with cc to project coordinator
    Level 3 after next 24 hrs An email to project head with cc to sales head and project coordinator
    level 4 after next 24 hrs An email to CMD with cc to sales head, project coordinator and project head

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      November 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      I don’t know for sure without doing some digging, but I think you can do some or most of this with Process Builder or Workflow Rules. Scheduled emails and other notifications are easy to do. what I don’t see here is the criteria for what constitutes an action. You’ll want to make sure that this is defined as part of the evaluation of the record and build that into the Process Builder or Workflow criteria.

      Reply

  15. Alesia

    February 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Just shared your blog and especially Zero To Hero section with an army of our awesome Citizen Developers! Expect a few more subscribers 🙂

    Reply

  16. David

    March 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Brent, I read one article and you kick ass. Keep up the excellent work!

    Reply

  17. hitesh

    April 14, 2016 at 4:03 am

    HI
    Want to start 401 exam any idea where I can find the learning material and type of questions
    Kind regards,
    Hitesh

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Hitesh – there are plenty of resources out there! I would start with looking through the syllabus included in the Dev401 study guide which can be found on the Salesforce Certification website. Start there and focus on the areas that you don’t have a good grasp on. Leverage Trailhead and read through Help & Training.

      Reply

  18. Zachary Graft

    August 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Your blog has some amazing resources. Using SF’s Trailhead learning modules, as well as the information on here, would you say that that is enough to pass the admin201? To take the recommended classes is a pretty steep price for what will mostly be a side gig.

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      August 26, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Zachary! Trailhead is definitely gaining a lot more content, and I’m sure that you’ll soon be able to use Trailhead as a training resource, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet. Admin 201 is a pretty broad exam and, in my opinion, was the most difficult of the 5 certification exams I’ve taken. It covers a TON of content – more than what you’ll find in Trailhead exclusively. I would suggest visiting the Certification website and printing off the study guide. It will tell you the topics that will be covered (and their weights in the exam). Focus on the topics you aren’t familiar with by doing Trailhead modules, reading blogs, and Help & Training. Good luck!

      Reply

  19. praveen

    September 17, 2016 at 1:57 am

    sir,i need online work in sealsforce……….

    Reply

  20. Arun

    September 29, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Hi Brent,

    Awaiting your post on Chapter 6 – Reports & Dashboards. Please let me know the tentative dates from when it will be available.

    Regards,
    Arun.

    Reply

  21. PJ M

    December 12, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Hello I am quickly pressuring myself to take a SF Admin class or put myself on the path to becoming one URGENTLY As I lost my job in business dev and really would like to work for a progressive company ideally Salesforce but they don t give me the time of the day! Thanks for creating this.

    Reply

  22. Luke Miller

    January 3, 2017 at 10:28 am

    This is a great resource, Brent! I’m a new Salesforce administrator working in a large regional nonprofit, and our new Salesforce organization includes 6 total nonprofits that are subsidiaries. It’s a bit daunting, but this guide is very helpful. Looking forward to learning more!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 3, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Awesome! Glad that you’re finding it to be a good resource. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  23. […] Zero to Hero – Admin Hero […]

    Reply

  24. Buddy

    March 31, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Please update the next chapter soon ! Can’t wait 🙂

    Reply

  25. AMAN

    July 17, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Sir,
    I’ m the fresher in the field of salesforce.
    i want to ask you that
    have you cover all the Topic required to be an ADMIN in Salesforce.

    Reply

  26. My SFDC Heroes – @MVDSFDC

    August 13, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    […] Brent Downey, the AdminHero, keeps it real. He is committed to posting consistent content that can enhance the life of an admin, he knows his audience really well and has a great sense of humor! His page is 100% dedicated to new admins. […]

    Reply

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