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As a beginner to the salesforce development world, I feel as if i have been "learning" for quite some time. i have gone through the apex workbook, developer beginner for trailhead, even taking online courses on apex (premier package). In all of my learning efforts the code has been given to me but when do you know that you as a "learner" are ready to move on to more intermediate things? when did you feel like you were okay to take the instructions from the Admin and begin developing in apex or visualforce? Just a question for all you advanced developers.

Thanks for your time.

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    You learn by doing....You will never be ready until you take on a project, try, fail, try, fail, try, succeed. You just have to take the leap and gain real life exposure. The fact that you are asking this question may lead to believe that you are ready to start actual development. Not to say that you will get it right the first time. – Eric Nov 11 '15 at 20:01
  • Chad, while we can all understand your question and uncertainty this site has a clear focus to specific questions that can be answered correctly. That's very hard with open or subjective questions like these and there are other fora which are more conversation based that can lead to better answers and exchanges of experiences than we aim to provide here. – Samuel De Rycke Nov 12 '15 at 11:20
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You're not yet ready for the task of accepting admin requests. The problem is that most requests will require only a few select skills out of the vast array of skills that you'll eventually learn by writing code, but most likely you won't have them or even know what they are. You are, however, ready to start writing your own code. Try making up a few small projects, like perhaps a simple calculator, a Visualforce page that shows this quarter's projected sales by line of business or some other grouping, and writing a database trigger that prevents duplicate records based on a couple of fields.

Try playing around with each project, intentionally trying to break it. What happens if you use "after insert" instead of "before insert" when trying to prevent duplicates? What things do you have to watch out for? What happens if you click the buttons too quickly on your calculator? Does it give incorrect results or miss input? How can you fix that? What happens if there's a negative value in some of your sales projections? Does the average still look right? Can you get enough code coverage to actually deploy all this stuff to production?

You need to know what you can do, what the platform can do, and how you can troubleshoot when things go wrong (and they will go wrong). You also need to know approximately how many things you can do, so experiment. Also, you need to learn how to unit test properly, so when things do break, you'll know why and how to fix it. You'll find that the more projects you do, the faster you'll get things done and the more productive you'll be. Once you've completed about a dozen projects satisfactorily, then consider asking your admin for some work.

Until you can consistently get high code coverage on your projects that includes a number of useful assertions, it's not advisable to take on too much admin work. Salesforce has some pretty strict limits on number of queries, memory, CPU usage, etc. You'll want to learn to be efficient at what you do along the way. Simply jumping right into admin work may have an adverse affect on the performance of the platform, and consequently, the satisfaction of the users.

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I would say that prior to get instruction you should build a small sample application own by own from beginning to end without any expert help.

As you said you have gone through apex workbook so I am assuming that you have completed Recruiting application.

In the same way you can pick another application such as Inventory management application in which you will create product, take order, generate invoice, create customers. You can design data model for this and you can touch all basic feature on Force.com platform i.e. visualforce, apex class, workflow rules, triggers, validation rules, action function etc.

Once you will design and develop inventory app from start to end you will get more confidence with platform and then you can ask real project instruction from your administrator.

This is the one idea which I am giving but you can explore some other real time problems which can be implemented in Salesforce

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