David’s note: I have so much respect for what you did Jeremiah. You went to extreme lengths to achieve extreme results. I sincerely believe that you have a God-given talent as I’ve only seen a handful of people ever push themselves like this. I believe you are destined to succeed and it would be an honor to shake your hand one day!
Following my first degree in Information Technology I spent 4 years in the British Army working on Oracle CRMs. This gave me the appetite to pursue a second degree in Computer Science. I confess I was still not set on which career path to specialise on. All I knew was I wanted to forge a successful career in IT. With the plethora of IT careers to pick from, I could take the red pill and stay in ponder land but I stumbled across Salesforce back in 2013 whilst researching the best technologies to specialise in. I was so amazed at the flexibility that Salesforce offers and I was convinced I should give it a try.
At this stage I already had a promising job as a .Net developer, I felt like changing platforms would mean starting from the scratch again with zero experience in Salesforce. I was more worried about the cost of funding training courses to learn Salesforce. I was thinking, without a stash of cash, it would take me months to save up, and whilst I didn’t have access to the bank of mum and dad, I had to think of a plan B. So I was at my drawing board asking myself ‘How do I get into Salesforce, how do I become a Salesforce developer?’ I even called recruiters to understand the minimum requirements and level of experience necessary to break into a career in Salesforce. Most told me 3 to 5 years’ experience would be the requisite to break into Salesforce.
My Salesforce ambitions were dampened, as I only had 1 year experience; then I stumbled upon David’s blog SFDC99. I read all the articles and how to get a job as a Salesforce developer. I was so inspired at David’s success story and told myself, if David can do it, so can I. At the same period, my company downsized and I knew it was my perfect timing to make the move into Salesforce.
I started learning about the admin side of Salesforce following David’s article. After getting some admin knowledge, I offered my services free of charge to not for profit organisations as an administrator. I got lots of rejections but I persevered and got a couple of volunteer positions as a SF administrator. I had finally made it… well made one step further on my journey and more importantly I was practicing and getting real world experience.
By now, my passion for Salesforce was in the clouds and I was eager to demonstrate this drive further. I joined my local Salesforce user group (London Salesforce admin and developers group) where I met so many like-minded people. Everyone was helpful and encouraged my passion and ambition to succeed.
Following many interviews and rejections, I got my first proper job developing on the Force.com platform (quiet cheer). I didn’t slow my SF growth, if anything I doubled my determination. I continued learning every day to improve my skills using David’s article Guide to passing all Salesforce certifications. I was so inspired by Mayank and Adam’s success stories that I said to myself I want to also match and even better that record. If they could do it in 6 weeks, I will aim to do it in 5 weeks.
I started studying for 4 – 5 hours every day after work. All day on Saturday and Sunday after church, I burnt the proverbial ends of the candle. I also used my commute to and from work on the train to study. Every minute of my spare time was used for studies and practice. I watched all the training videos I could find online and completed all exercises. I printed all the documentations listed on the training guide which I still have for reference purposes. I took the exams one after the other in the order in which David prescribed and through all my practice and study I got all 5 certifications (Salesforce Certified Admin (201), Force.com Developer (401), Advanced Admin (211), Sales Cloud Consultant, and Service Cloud Consultant) in 5 weeks. Thanks to David, I did not have to pay a single penny for the training, all I did was follow his advice and it worked for me.
What next for me? I have ambitions to do my Dev 501 and eventually CTA in the near future. Therefore I am more motivated than ever to demonstrate my knowledge and expertise as a Salesforce professional. I have been fortunate enough to have started a new position as a Salesforce Lead where I hope to grow and keep adding to my learning. I agree with David when he said “To be a good developer, you have to be a good administrator” with my new role, I will consolidate all the stuff I have learnt and gradually work towards 501 whilst exploring the declarative part of the Salesforce Platform. I code for 2 hours every day after work, but not weekends for the now.
Thanks David, I look forward to shaking your hands and saying thank you in person! You are truly my Salesforce role model!
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