This is a guest post from one of our Developer MVPs, Robert Fedoruk, on how to be a better ServiceNow developer
“If I’m not a developer, how do I be a better ServiceNow Developer”?
(I’ve placed a TL;DR section at the end) A subscriber asked me this today. I thought the answer might benefit everyone. There’s two options available to become a “better ServiceNow developer” if you don’t have a developer background.
- Learn to be a developer.
- Learn to embrace non-developer roles.
This will be a mixed purpose post. Half thoughts, and half resources.
LEARNING TO BE A DEVELOPER
My father was an infantryman. A few times in my life I was lucky to watch him with his men during drill. Simple activities done communally & consistently so everyone an execute perfectly. Your DRILL should be reading the first page of the Developer forum on Community every day. Everyone wants to know my ServiceNow secret. This is it. 4000 days of drill.
But What About Front End?
OTHER GREAT (AND REASONABLY PRICED) DEVELOPER OPTIONS
Another great book is from Goran “The Witch-doctor” Lundqvist. The Witchdoctor’s Guide to ServiceNow Written by the same Witch Doctor from the Youtube channel. Deep dev best practices. ServiceNow hired him shortly after writing this book.
The Secret to Better Building is Building
Your advantage over me is that you start with a developer instance. It took me years to get one. Build on your instance. Don’t ask me what to build. Build anything. Try building something that already exists. Hell, I’ve built stuff completely unsuited to ServiceNow just to learn unique lessons.
ServiceNow Developer Site
LEARNING TO EMBRACE NON-DEV ROLES
KNOW THYSELF (for those of you who want to get deep philosophical)
First, clarity. When I say ServiceNow developer I mean someone who builds apps (complete apps) and configures ServiceNow objects at the code level. It’s important to realize that ServiceNow Devs are not the only resources that make the world go around. Would you be surprised if I told you I don’t identify as a ServiceNow developer? I’m an architect. Here are some other roles that others find great success in.
ServiceNow Business Analyst
My empire for a good BA! If you have a good working knowledge of ServiceNow, you don’t have to be a dev. You can interface with customers and understand the true nature of their needs. Then express those to the devs or architects. The best BA’s I worked with were Certified Admins.
ServiceNow Process Specialist
Now that ServiceNow is so wide, it isn’t uncommon to see people who are not generalists, but also not Devs. I’ve seen companies with dedicated Service Catalog build teams. I’ve seen dedicated HR & ITBM experts that work only in those contexts. I’ve seen people dedicated just to chat bots, or integrations, or orchestration. Or, god help me, the CMDB. A narrow focus lets you gain expertise quickly.
You really should be a competent developer to get to the architect position, but you don’t have to be an apex developer. I made a conscious decision years ago not to go “full dev” and instead spread my interests wide across the platform. I could NOT be the dev I wanted to be AND go as wide as I have.