How to become a ServiceNow Developer?

how to become a servicenow developer - final

ServiceNow is more than a decade old company but in no time this domain has become the attractive career path for many software professionals. The most sought job profile in ServiceNow domain is ServiceNow developer. Why? The reason is simple, there is not enough competition in this domain. But do you have enough information around ServiceNow developer job profile? You may have questions like how to become a ServiceNow developer or how is the career progression for a ServiceNow developer?

Also Read: What is ServiceNow?

Surprisingly there is not sufficient information available on the internet and that’s why I am here to give you the holistic idea around how to become a ServiceNow developer. Folks, this blog is an overview of the ServiceNow development language and not a tutorial. Also, I have tried to cover basic aspects of ServiceNow developer career path, salary, etc.


Prerequisite Learnings to become ServiceNow Developer

Let’s deal with basic questions around ServiceNow developer learning prerequisites. Which skill sets or learnings are required for ServiceNow development?

  • JavaScript – There are two types of scripting available in ServiceNow Development as client-side and server-side. You must learn JavaScript to do coding in ServiceNow Development tool. Don’t worry if you do not have any background in the programming language. JavaScript is easy to learn and there are many tutorials that you can follow. I would recommend you go to this website. Although there are other websites too, which you can refer.
  • You may require some knowledge of ITIL (Information technology Infrastructure Library) – As you know ServiceNow is an IT Service Management tool. It has applications for business management as well as other domains. You have to start your learning with Incident management process and the Lifecycle of an Incident.

You may require honing your skills for grasping and learning JavaScript and the Incident process. Also, I would recommend you to write a few programs related to manipulating strings, arrays, loops and conditional logic. Let go more technical and understand the complete learning path of ServiceNow developer.

ServiceNow Developer Learning path

ServiceNow is a SAAS based tool. In other words, it is a web based tool and has forms for every table. The form is designed and supported by data stored in tables. The data in the tables are manipulated using client-side scripts and server-side scripts. Let me list down the components which will help you in understanding the ServiceNow Development tool in a better fashion.

  1. Form Designing
  2. Client-Side
    • Client-Side Script
    • UI Policy / Script
    • Data Policy
    • View
  3. Server-Side Script
    • Table creation / modification / deletion
    • Business Rule
    • Script Include
    • Fix Scripts
    • Validation Script

Don’t get bogged by this big list of key components. Things will become simple as I explain.

Form Designing

A unique feature of ServiceNow development platform is that you can customize or modify any form depending upon your need. Below is a screenshot of Form Designer view. You can drag and drop fields, create sections, create new fields in the table and add it directly in the form.

servicenow form designer
ServiceNow Form Designer

Client-Side Script

Any script that runs on the user interface is called Client-Side script. The user interface, in this case, could be the web browser. Client-side scripting is also known as Frontend script. In order to run these front-end scripts, the browser must support JavaScript. Below is the actual snap shot of Client-side script.

servicenow cleint script

The client scripts type could be either as Desktop or Mobile or sometimes both if the script supports. ServiceNow Development platform supports four types of Client-side which are:

  • onCellEdit
  • onChange
  • onLoad
  • onSubmit

UI Policy / Script

As the name suggests, UI means User Interface. This kind of configuration/scripting is very helpful in building form policies. UI Policy support two types of scripting which are onLoad and onChange. One UI policy can take care of two such scripts that you may have to write as Client scripts.

servicenow UI script

Data Policy

Data policy is a great source of imposing rules on the data. Using client script and UI policy, you can control data on the form. Data policy will help you to define rules for saving data in the system.

servicenow data policy


It provides various views of the same form. You may have one table but you can create multiple views depending upon on requirements. You can learn ServiceNow configuration and scripting on the ServiceNow wiki URLs below.

ServiceNow Developer Portal

Till now, we went through most important elements of ServiceNow development. Now you might be wondering as where you can practice all this. Alone reading is not going to take you anywhere. The good news is that ServiceNow is a developer supported organization and they provide you with a ServiceNow instance free of cost. You can sign up for the developer instance at their ServiceNow developer portal.

servicenow developer portal

Click on the Register link and sign-up.

servicenow developer portal sinup

Upon successful registration and login, you will get a manage menu bar or click on Request Instance. You can now spin up a ServiceNow developer instance for all your practice needs, free of cost.

The developer portal provides ServiceNow documentation and free ServiceNow training courses. The explanations are great and a novice developer will surely like it.

ServiceNow Developer Certifications

Once you become a developer in ServiceNow, you can get certification from ServiceNow. There are three certifications offered by ServiceNow which are- Certified System Administrator, Certified Application Developer, Certified Implementation Specialist.  You can register for the certification at the webassessor portal. Trust me, you will not fail in the ServiceNow developer certification process if you did development for at least six months.

Recently I have heard that ServiceNow might be coming up with new developer certifications and the old certifications will no longer be valid. It seems that even the new certifications will have validity period and you may need to renew it every two years.

ServiceNow Developer Salary

Recent years trends have shown ServiceNow as a promising domain for many software professionals. It is going to grow for sure. The salary package of any ServiceNow developer varies with designation and experience. But overall the package of any ServiceNow developer is quite decent.

During recent Knowledge17 conference (annual developer conference of ServiceNow), a brochure of the salary survey was distributed and looks like the numbers are enticing. Below salary figure is in dollars per annum.

servicenow developer salary

Source:  Washington Frank

ServiceNow Developer Career path

Above snap shot gives a clear picture of ServiceNow developer varies roles. In short, you might be able to wear several hats with the career progression in ServiceNow domain. Let us see a brief summary of these roles in a nut shell.

ServiceNow Job Role Brief Description
Functional Consultant A person who knows about the ServiceNow tool functionalities. He provides notions on the requirement provided by the client.
Technical Consultant A person who knows in-depth of the ServiceNow development platform. He can provide you with development possibilities for a given requirements.
Developer A person who develops requirements on the ServiceNow Developer Platform.
Project Manager A person who manages the ServiceNow Project.
Business/Process Analyst A person who discusses requirements with clients and brings the requirements to board.
Administrator A person who can administer daily activities required to maintain the ServiceNow Platform. He may do small enhancement/developments as well.
Technical Architect Highest role in the ServiceNow Developer Career path, this person is the final Authority on the ServiceNow Development Platform. He designs the complete architecture of your ServiceNow as how it should be architected with other applications in the Enterprise.
Process Architect A person who is the final Authority on the ITIL Process, he is responsible for defining and designing processes for the applications installed in ServiceNow.
Implementation Specialist A person who is an expert in implementing a specific module or an application but may be individually owning a certain piece in the complete ServiceNow Development Platform.
Technical Lead A person who is not an architect but leads the complete development team. The developers refer to him for any issues. He refers to Technical Architect if a platform level decision needs to be taken.
Platform Owner Most Powerful person for this ServiceNow instance. All other roles will functionally report to him. No one can make any development changes in the environment without his approvals.


I am sure you have had a good overview on how to become a ServiceNow Developer. For all the newbies, I would like to recommend to connect with some System Architect who can guide you in learning System Development.


I was kind of fortunate to have Jim Myrah on my side who helped me in learning System Development. The whole learning process carved out a ServiceNow Developer from me while I was deployed at Verizon as Integration Lead.

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Rahul is a technology geek and a professional Java developer. He is FIDE rated Chess player and he loves to spend his free time playing Bullet Chess. Currently, he is residing in NewJersey with his wife and a cute daughter. He loves writing about latest technologies and job opportunities.