So what is the best book for learning Salesforce? Now, this is more tricky than it sounds. I do try to buy every Salesforce book I can find to support the community and learn salesforce myself (you can never know it all!) but the books to learn Salesforce can be a bit of a mixed bag.
But for me, I generally struggle with Salesforce books. For a couple of reasons:
- They date quickly; Fortunately or Unfortunately Salesforce releases three times a year, and the time it takes to write the book may mean that it’s almost out of date the moment it’s published which can result learning Salesforce from a book hard.
- The Copiers; The ones that just follow or copy the Salesforce documentation or rinse and repeat other content. I feel this seems pointless to learn from a book, especially for a tech book, your better off just looking up the Salesforce documentation or google the latest information.
- Lack of best practice and industry knowledge; Just knowing how to do something doesn’t mean that you should do something I come across again and again with platform developers who still have a lot to learn!
But, sometimes you can hit a gem of a book. A book that actually shows you WHY you should do something a book that really shows and demonstrates best practice and how to work effectively with the platform which I hope to try and do in my own Salesforce courses. These great books are where the author brings their insight and best practice to the table. These are the books that I can put on my shelf as the best book to learn Salesforce. Mastering Apex Programming is one of these!
Learning Salesforce Apex
If you are learning Apex this book is perfect on how you take your knowledge of the platform the extra mile and start learning best practice. It’s nicely structured and blends the code and declarative world without going too far in the declarative world. There are 16 chapters in all starting with common mistakes and the common areas of Salesforce that are used the majority of the time and following up with a couple of more advanced areas of the platform with platform events and performance tuning. The full list of chapters are:
- Common Apex Mistakes
- Debugging Apex
- Triggers and Managing Trigger Execution
- Exceptions and Exceptions Handling
- Test Apex Code
- Secure Apex Programming
- Utilizing future Methods
- Working with Batch Apex
- Working with Queueable Apex
- Scheduling Apex Jobs
- Using Platform Events
- Apex REST and Custom Web Services
- Performance and the Salesforce Governor Limits
- Performance Profiling
- Improving Apex Performance
- Performance and Application Architectures
You need to have a balance between both code and clicks but there is a risk in including declarative/click development in a book especially a book for learning Salesforce as IMO these go out of date a lot more quickly. Generally, Apex & Architect books IMO last longer as they look more at the fundamentals of the platform that are less likely to change. Although I did notice a couple of things in the book which will soon (fingers crossed) be going out date: “Share button (currently only in Salesforce Classic)”, I think I would have preferred “At the time of printing is only available in Salesforce Classic” but hey… hindsight! This should be coming in the Summer ’21 release!
Suicidal Apex Scheduling
Have to say this was a new one on me! There is an anti-pattern in Salesforce for being able to schedule a job at more than the platform minimum 5-min window. Now I have to admit I have done this in the past and Paul does go through it BUT I never knew it was called Suicidal Scheduling! Love the name 🙂
This is a great book for learning Salesforce Apex for those who have started coding on the platform or have a bit of experience. I think I would have liked to see a bit more around how apex sharing can affect performance as well as more around SOSL and security as this would have helped to align a little better with the Sharing and Visibility Salesforce Certification. But this book is defiantly one for the bookshelf and I’m putting it right next to Dan Appleman’s Advanced Apex Programming! A very sort after spot on the Salesforce hall of fame book shelf I can assure you! 😉
I’ve also just noticed the author Paul Battisson also has a course on Udemy around Apex Testing which is worth a checkout and he’s offering 20% off!!!