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Learning Apex and Visualforce from scratch

Since last year we're using Salesforce.com in our organisation and I'm appointed as administrator.


I discovered Salesforce as being a nice tool with lots of possibilities. In many situations however I get the feeling that even much more could be achieved using Apex-code and Visualforce.


Is it possible to learn Apex and Visualforce from scratch, without any technical knowledge nor formation in informatics/programming...?


How long would it take then before one can implement a few 'basic' things like e.g. creating a custom button with apex or overriding a standard button?


Are there any usefull manuals for beginners regarding Apex and Visualforce? Would you recommend following specific formations/trainings?





Have you looked at this web page?



There are no good books on learning Apex or VisualForce.  Apex is closely patterned on Java, so you could start there.


If you're unfamiliar with programming entirely, I recommend that you take a trip over to your local community college, technical institute, or book store and get a crash course on programming logic (variables, conditional statements, functions, and object-oriented design). Once you understand the concept of writing a program, and how computer logic works, it should be easy to apply that knowledge to Apex Code. Similarly, a quick course in HTML development would adequately prepare you for Visualforce. With these two pieces of knowledge, you can then review the sample code and documentation mentioned in the prior reply and everything should start to make sense.


I myself have been programming since 1985, and I learned with nothing more than a book on programming and hours of practicing and experimenting. Once you understand the concepts of programming in any language, you can learn any other language that has sufficient samples or documentation, and Apex Code and Visualforce has plenty of both.


As a posstible suggestion for less than $100, you could buy "Java In A Nutshell" and "Web Design In A Nutshell" (both by O'reilly), or "Sams Teach Yourself HTML in 24 Hours" and "Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours". If you take the first two books or second two books, you would find yourself with valuable resources and the background programming knowledge to excel in Apex Code and Visualforce (the Java is for programming concepts used in Apex Code, while the HTML is for concepts used in Visualforce).


It is also likely that these books would lie on your local library's bookshelf, if you only wanted to read the books and then return them. I recommend buying a pair of books only because it is useful to have a reference in case you forget some concept or want to refresh your memory later. Conceptually, though, you'll find that either you'll want to continue to learn more (and thus gain all the technical knowledge you need), or you'll find yourself put off and never want to touch another programming language again. After all, that's why software consultants are still here, to help those that do not have the inclination, or the time, to learn programming themselves.

Jason Kuzmak 12Jason Kuzmak 12
I know that this original post is back from 2010, but from personal experience (and in case other Apex beginners find this post), the "Apex Academy" videos by David Liu were exactly what I was looking for. I was also looking for some place to learn Apex from the very beginning, and David doesn't just show you a coding phrase and tell you what it does, he goes through each bit of it piece by piece, explaining how it works. There's little to no fluff in his videos either; they're very informative, provide good use cases, and the exercises that he will have you go through are very helpful.