The 'New Dev' Experience

The other day I had someone from the Service Desk approach me and ask how he can help get something automated in ServiceNow. He knew a little powershell and has been an ITIL user for about a year. I called him and shared my screen, and we ran through Flow Designer, IntegrationHub and Actions with Powershell steps over about half an hour. After the call I had a bit of an epiphany - or, more came to the realization of how big ServiceNow is if you have never touched it before.

If you are a New Dev

So, you are starting to look at ServiceNow as a possible career choice, or, more likely, your business has bought it and you have been THRUST TO THE FOREFRONT OF MODERN WORKFLOW AUTOMATION. - Don’t despair, we have all been there.

ServiceNow is Huge. Massive. Giant. Don’t expect to get it straight away. Focus on solving a problem. Extending an Out-of-the-box process. Make your life better, and you will learn.

Eventually I want to do a big write-up of all the content available to help people like you, but for now, here are some quick suggestions to get you started down the path:

Join SNDevs slack, and read posts in General

People are asking questions that will help you learn. Others are answering them, and explaining why they chose that answer. Knowledge like this is invaluable. Ask follow-up questions! Give points when you find something helpful (@username ++ in the thread). People are generally friendly there.

Use the Official Resources

If you are a visual learner, go to NOW LEARNING. They have videos, quizzes, and have a neat Badge system for your profile

If you are a do-er and learn by exploring and breaking things, go to NOW DEVELOPER. Register a free “Personal Developer Instance” and get hands-on. Follow their labs. Build Apps. Go nuts.

Read (and ask) questions on NOW COMMUNITY. Similar to slack (but a bit slower pace) the official Community is a great resource.

Follow the YOUTUBE CHANNELS. Live Coding Happy Hour, Chuck’s Community streams, and much much more give you a more passive approach. Also look at the new BUILDER SERIES or LEARN JS ON NOW

Build a Tribe

If you are serious about ServiceNow, and want to learn from some of the greats, make connections! Make friends! Follow people!

Even just putting “ServiceNow” into the search in LinkedIn, or #ServiceNowDev in Twitter can introduce you to amazing people. I would be happy to be in your tribe too 😄 - Just reach out!


Like most things, wisdom is understanding how much you don’t understand. ServiceNow wisdom is similar. If someone offers a suggestion, listen to it. If you have questions or don’t understand, ask. Especially if that person has been doing it longer than you, they have probably been bitten before!

If you are an Old Hat

I’ve been developing on ServiceNow for about 4 years as my “100%” job. Every day I wake up, I go to work (downstairs, currently) and I build amazing things with this crazy platform. Every day I learn something new.

Remember: We learned as ServiceNow GREW. Some of us from ITSM roots, some a bit after, but coming to the platform now is so much harder.

It’s up to us to take a step back and remember what it was like trying to work out what a “GlideRecord” was. Why can’t I compare these two dates? What do you mean “roles”? And now we have to be across something like 100 Major Products and so many more smaller modules.

Be understanding. Be gentle. Be helpful.

Take the time to lay the groundwork for our new devs. One day they may be teaching you something (Or doing all that scutwork you don’t want to 😉)

Take away

Hopefully if you are a new dev I’ve given you something to help. If you are not a new dev, I hope you can take a minute to imagine what it’s like stepping into this ocean for the first time.


- Andrew

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