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To develop a relatively simple, custom application, you can use Salesforce’s tool and do it without any coding. They go out of their way to make it simple, and I would say anyone with experience as a Salesforce Admin could do it pretty easily. The more familiar with Salesforce one is, the better of course, but it’s not like developing an application from scratch. They have a pretty solid workbook available free to walk you through the steps, so you can take a look and see if it looks like something you want to try. Once you get beyond relatively simple apps and start working with APIs, some development background would be good though. http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/workbook/index.htm