Admins Can Code Too with David Liu


This week on the podcast we are speaking to David Liu about learning code as an admin. You might remember David from his intensely popular Dreamforce session, Admins: You Can Code Too.

David is such a success story­—not only because he’s an admin that learned to code, but because he’s also teaching admins how to code and inspiring them in the process. David is a Salesforce MVP, a self-proclaimed “accidental admin” who worked his way up to his position as Technical Architect at Google.

More about David’s session: Join us as David shares his coding tips and delves deep into what he calls his magic formula. We’ll also walk through the highlights of his Dreamforce session, including how he didn’t even show a single line of code. The goal of his session was to inspire people to learn.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with David Liu.


David Liu’s magic formula.

It all comes down to perseverance. As David puts it, “I’m not the smartest person, but I never give up.” If you’re looking to succeed, David has what he calls his 38times rule. “If you improve yourself and your knowledge by 1% every day, by the end of the year you’ll be 38times smarter than when you began,” he says.

“You can do a lot more than you give yourself credit for,” says David. But you have to be persistent and do it every day for 5 minutes.

Learning to code is daunting, to say the least. A huge part of teaching admins to code is helping them get over that initial fear, says David. As he points out, “there are so many people who have taught themselves to code. That’s incredibly inspiring for anyone who wants to follow the same path.”

Be a jack of all trades.

Success comes from being well-rounded. As David shares, “I know a little bit of everything.” From being able to speak about admin and coding technology to presenting on Salesforce and being able to interact with executives, David says, “I think that’s something that’s at a premium in the Salesforce industry. Being a jack of all trades is more useful than someone who might be the best Salesforce developer in the world.”

Skills that you’ve acquired in other industries are an asset. David who has a marketing degree says, “my marketing skills help me in my daily job responsibilities.”

Great admins make good developers.

Not everyone is looking to code 40 hours a week. In fact, the majority of David’s students are people who want to have coding in their skill-set so they can talk to developers and manage projects more efficiently. As David puts it, “you have to be a great admin to be a good developer. I don’t think there’s any way around that.”

David suggests starting with the basics. As he points out, there are so many Pure Apex resources that are really good. “Learn Pure Apex and learn Java on the side. That’s the way to go nowadays.”

Lightning for everyone.

What is David most excited about? “I’m excited to see where Lightning goes, what updates come out and how people innovate with Lightning,” he says. As David shares, “at our organization, in 2017 we’re going to have Lightning for every single user on every single page.” Exciting, indeed.




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