Welcome to the SFDC99 Golden T-Shirt giveaway!
This is that magical event where I give out limited edition free t-shirts, because, ohana!
How to win a t-shirt:
Method #1: Tell me your #1 career or parenting tip! Leave it as a comment on this post!
Method #2: Email me your success story!
Good luck to everyone who participates and I hope you have as much fun with this as I do!
This year’s Dreamforce was really the best Dreamforce ever!
Marc Benioff said in the keynote that this year’s Dreamforce is about celebrating us, the Ohana. He was spot on. I’ve never really been a touchy feely kind of person, but, the Salesforce Ohana is real.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t MASSIVE feature announcements. In fact, this year we saw the best new features announced since the Lightning release – in 2015!
Here were my takeaways from the most important Salesforce week of the year:
Marc Benioff is a humble genius
What words come to mind when you think about Marc Benioff?
“Humble” probably isn’t one of them. I certainly never thought so too – until this year’s Dreamforce.
I had the opportunity, along with a few other Salesforce customers, to preview Marc’s keynote and provide him feedback… live and in person! YIKES!
I was shocked that Marc actually gathered customers to critique his keynote. I was doubly shocked that he insisted on brutally honest feedback, even prodding for it. I was triply shocked that the entire executive team was present the entire time.
And the most shocking thing of all?
…He listened. He listened to everything. Most of our suggestions were implemented.
Einstein Voice is the best feature since Lightning
Einstein Voice is stupid easy: control Salesforce with your voice.
I love stupid easy. And Einstein Voice is simple in so many other ways:
The best part? It’s totally free!
The second best part? You can customize it with triggers.
I can’t wait to build my own dumb use case!
The Salesforce ecosystem is MASSIVE
Remember when all the different Salesforce products fit into a single cloud picture?
Those days are long gone. Now there are at least 12 different “clouds”. And if I’m to be truly honest with myself, I might have some knowledge in three of them.
Nowadays, each of those clouds represent entire industries by themselves. You can spend an entire, fulfilling career exploring just one of them.
How are we, as Salesforce system administrators, supposed to keep up with the entire ecosystem?
Really, we can’t. Choose the portions of Salesforce that interest you most. Accept that you cannot do everything, and give everything to your particular areas of choice.
The feeling of overwhelmingness is real. You are not alone.
Find your Salesforce Ohana
I know there are a lot of introverts out there who shy away from this Salesforce social media and community gatherings stuff. Believe me, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Witness as these groups literally change their member’s lives and bring people to tears. I personally watched Rachel Park, Salesforce admin and cancer survivor, tell her heartwarming Salesforce comeback story to hundreds of people at an Amplify event. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
You aren’t supposed to be able to find a family for yourself in your career world. But we are so lucky to be in the Salesforce industry, with the most giving community members ever.
Things won’t always be this good. So remember to enjoy it while it’s here!
What the heck is Customer 360?
I feel obligated to mention the Customer 360 feature since it was in the keynote. Honestly, I don’t know why it’s so hot.
Salesforce says that Customer 360 assigns a special ID to every record that makes integration with all other products easier. Isn’t that just the record ID?!
Salesforce also says that Customer 360 automatically dedupes and cleans your data. That’s actually pretty neat. I hope it works.
The real benefit of Customer 360 comes when you use multiple Salesforce products together. Think Sales, Commerce, and Marketing clouds at once. Customer 360 keeps them in sync without duplicating data. That’s great but I guess most orgs are gonna have to buy more products to use it!
Dreamforce is STILL the Saleforce event of the year
If you have to choose one Salesforce event to go to each year, Dreamforce is the one.
This year I went to Dreamforce and it changed the course of my life. My life priorities shifted and I’d be going in a different direction had I not attended. This is how I know that Dreamforce is the best Salesforce event of them all.
Looking back, many of my key life events happened at Dreamforce. Meeting Jason Venable. Meeting Dan Appleman. Emailing Marc Benioff. I am a better person because of Dreamforce.
And hell, if it could happen to me, it could happen to you too.
See you next year!
This was the best Dreamforce ever =)
It was the proudest moment of my career and there is nothing more I will ever ask for.
When everything finally sank in, I cried. Never in a million years did I imagine myself ever wearing this hoodie. If you had told me just a few years ago that I’d create SFDC99 and win awards from Salesforce, I would have laughed. That can’t be me – I’m just an ordinary guy.
I’ve always been an ordinary guy and I still am. Somehow, this ordinary guy achieved a dream by chasing it with childlike belief. And if I could do it, I believe that you can too.
And also, thank you to the Salesforce Developers team for making it so special. I had no idea!
To everyone who has ever read SFDC99, thank you for your support and thank you for dreaming. Dreaming is the first step of an incredible journey. I hope you achieve your dreams and pass it on too.
P.S. I’m going to have a special, limited edition giveaway to celebrate =) Stay tuned!
Can you really learn Apex in just 14 weeks?!
…and be on your way towards a $150,000 salary?!
…even if you’ve never coded a single line of code in your life?!
…even if you don’t have a technical background?!
…even if <insert a reason here> ???
Heck yea you can do it! I’ll do my best to help!
I created a 14 week Apex learning curriculum to help get you off your bum!
More information: 14 week Apex learning curriculum.
I’ll be test driving this program with a live (online!) group of students and continue to make it better and better. Registration is closed, but who knows, maybe we’ll open it up to the general public! Until then, here’s the curriculum so you can at least try it yoursef!
Finally, some of the tutorials are from the Apex Academy and thus require a paid subscription. I care more that you learn Apex than I do making extra money, so I’ve included alternate free tutorials. You can also email me with a flattering message to request a scholarship. I do my best to help =)
Good luck and check out these success stories for some inspiration!
P.S. See you at Dreamforce next week!
Something special is happening!
In our lifetimes, some of us will be lucky enough to stumble on one, maybe two great opportunities. Opportunities that give us the power to support our families, not worry about having a job, and also, the privilege to work on compelling things.
If you’re reading this post and you’re not yet in the Salesforce industry, this is your great opportunity.
I spoke about this phenomenon during Pluralsight LIVE. Here are the slides and key points:
UPDATE: the full recording is now available! (Pluralsight subscription required!)
My recommend learning path can be found in the final slides at the end.
I hope you find success and I wish you the best in your life journey!
I watched Mulan for the first time in 20 years and there was one scene that hit me right in the feels.
It struck me that many people in the Salesforce world, including me, went through similar struggles as Mulan did. I thought I’d share this scene with you to remind you that sometimes you need to struggle before you can succeed.
Let’s get down to business…
Mulan didn’t belong in her world
Unbeknownst to her ailing father, Mulan disguises herself as a man to go to war in her father’s place.
Like many others, I never belonged in the Salesforce world. I had a marketing degree from a non-prestigious college, I was a professional email spammer working at a no name company, and I had never even heard of CRM.
And coding? Forget about it! I didn’t know how to write a single line of it!
Mulan hit rock bottom
Mulan is sent home from the war for failing to keep up physically. She brings dishonor to her family.
One day after sending a massive email spam to tens of thousands of customers and accidentally using their incorrect names, I received a reply back with seven pages of the word “F@#$ YOU!!”
I remember printing that email out and keeping it by my desk. When I was growing up, I used to dream that I would have a great career that could support my family. At this point, I couldn’t have been further from that dream.
At night I’d stay awake and wonder how I messed up my career so badly.
Mulan doesn’t give up. She works while everyone else is sleeping
Unwilling to go home, Mulan decides to prove herself by taking on the impossible task: climbing to the top of the pole while wearing the heavily weighted straps.
In my heart I knew that learning to code was the way to turn around my career.
I knew I’d be far behind everyone else since I didn’t know any code and they had formally learned it in college, but, I hoped that if I worked harder than them that over time I would catch up and maybe even surpass them.
It would be painfully hard work, but not as painful as if I continued my career as an email spammer.
Mulan takes her weaknesses and turns them into her strengths
Mulan takes the weighted straps, wraps them together, and uses them to help her climb the pole.
My job application was just rejected by Google for the 10th time in a row. On try number 11, I decided to do things differently.
Borrowing on my previous knowledge from the email spamming world, I decided to purchase the contact information of Salesforce professionals at Google and email spam them my credentials until they brought me in for an interview.
One success changes Mulan’s trajectory forever
Mulan reaches the top of the pole and earns the respect of her comrades. She goes from being the worst member of her unit to one of its best.
This is the story of the first piece of code I ever deployed to a production org.
While in my email spamming job and learning to code on the side, I was sitting in a meeting with the company’s executives (it was a small company). They needed to automate a key accounting calculation in Salesforce and were discussing their options. There seemed to be no path forward other than hiring a Salesforce consultant and spending tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
This was my moment. My heart was beating and my hands were shaking. I put my hands on the table, stood up, and told the executives that I could do it myself. I had no idea how to code it, but I knew I’d work nights and weekends until it was done.
I told them to give me a month, and if I failed, it would cost them nothing and they could move forward with hiring a Salesforce consultant.
I ended up successfully building the accounting code. As a reward, the company transferred me to the engineering team and paid for my coding courses. The rest is history.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
Check out the full Mulan – I’ll Make a Man Out of You music video to see the full scene!
David’s note: Atul – I have the utmost respect for those who achieve success from the humblest backgrounds!! Your journey was far tougher than mine and I am in awe at your perseverance! If I’m Superman then you gotta be Batman! =)
I was thinking to share my story from many days and today finally I dare to do that.
I belong to such an area where “Internet” is a big thing and there is not such word called “Internet” that you can actually hear. When I completed my schooling I didn’t even know “How to start a Computer” and even how to refresh things on it. Sounds funny! Right?
After that I decided to pursue my graduation in Information Technology. For that I shifted to big city Delhi and on a serious note that city was going very fast to me.
I completed my grad but didn’t get how to code. If somebody used to talk about coding in front of me, I used to think “How do these guys do coding?” So, I started memorizing theory of Java and started giving interviews. I gave around 30-40 interviews but eventually failed.
At that point of time, one of my friends suggested to start fresh and
talked about Salesforce. It sounded interesting to me and I searched the same on the internet. Guess what I found at top: SFDC99.com.
I went through that site and for the very first time in my life I understood little bit of code and that made me interested in code. Then after I started learning from Apex Academy. I watched all the videos many a times and practiced a lot.
Doing this made my life great, I got selected in one Salesforce firm as a Developer and I was consistently following your advice and cracked 2 Salesforce certifications and recently I was awarded as a “Star Performer”.
All credit goes to you David. I’m huge fan of yours and my colleagues called me “Indian David Liu”. =)
And one of my greatest moment was when you came to India for the India Dreamin event and I personally met you. You were the simplest person that I ever met, you are amazing David..
Last but not the least “You are SUPERMAN to me!!”
Inspired by this story?
Read more success stories from other SFDC99 students!
Want to tell the world your story too?
Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and your story could be heard around the world!
Forcelandia was incredible this year =)
I might like these community events more than Dreamforce! There’s something about the smaller crowds that makes every interaction mean more. There’s something to learn from everyone.
This year, I left inspired as if I had just attended the Dreamforce keynote. All thanks to the KILLER lineup of speakers that included Irena Miziolek, one of the first and greatest certified Technical Architects, and Steven Herod, a personal all-time hero of mine.
Go to your local community event. I promise you it’s worth it =)
Here are the slides to the two talks I did this year at Forcelandia:
…Should you code?
…Can you code?
…How do you code?
Learn how to make the most career important decision of your life: which path to take long term!
To the kind people of Portland and Seattle – it was an honor meeting you and thank you for hosting me in your wonderful city! I miss Portland already =)
How lucky are we to have a community that organizes these types of events for us!
I love going to Salesforce events because I need to know all the latest trends so I can (hopefully) build a long and successful career. Learning and getting inspired by others much stronger than me in many things is the key to improving.
I hope you feel the same way about your progression and I hope to see ya there if you’re in the area!
I’ll be sharing my knowledge on two of my favorite topics:
Preface: this post is part of The Definitive Salesforce Careers Guide series.
Your Salesforce resume is only living up to 10% of its potential!
Try this: save a copy of your current resume. Then, remake the exact same resume using every tip in this post. It won’t be easy. When you’re done, compare the resumes side by side. Night and day!
I know this will work because I’ve read literally thousands of Salesforce resumes and less than 5% of people really get it right. But don’t be too hard on yourself – my resume sucked too until I was put into a position to hire Salesforce professionals. Once you’re on the other side your eyes are opened!
Rule #1: Have at least three Salesforce certifications
In the current era of Salesforce, there are no excuses for having less than three certifications.
There are over 20 different Salesforce certifications and on average I see at least three certifications per resume these days. Ideally, you’d have at least five.
If you need help getting certified or you’re not sure which ones to get, read my Certifications Guide.
P.S. if you have more than 50 Trailhead badges, put that on your resume too.
Rule #2: Specifically add Lightning as a skill
Even though most orgs are still on Salesforce Classic, almost all are planning to migrate to Lightning.
That means you either already know Lightning, or the company will have to train you. Your Lightning experience now has a huge premium and it’s something you must specifically call out.
Rule #3: Put your best material on the top of your resume
Fact: Hiring managers will judge your resume in less than 10 seconds.
It’s unfair but it’s true. The only part of your resume that’s guaranteed to be read is the first sentence.
Have a ton of certifications? Put the certification section first. Went to a great school? Put that up top. Won some interesting awards or worked for a nice brand name company? Straight to the top!
This applies to each subsection too. The very first bullet point for each job should be its best.
Rule #4: For each org you’ve worked on, include the number of users
There are few objective measures in this industry that’ll give recruiters insight on your Salesforce knowledge. Your user count is one of them.
Generally, having experience in Salesforce orgs with more users is a good thing. You get exposed to more Salesforce features and challenges that smaller orgs never see.
You can still stand out if you don’t have experience in a small org. For example, you can highlight that you’re a solo admin and thus have experience as the decision maker in an org.
Regardless, different companies are looking for people with different backgrounds. Include your user counts to let them know where you stand.
Rule #5: For each org you’ve worked on, tell one interesting fact about it
Companies want to hire people who have solved interesting problems. It’s boring seeing resume after resume where candidates just say they implemented Process Builders for Sales Cloud.
Tell me a story. Make me believe you were part of something special. Was your org featured at Dreamforce? Does it have an abnormally large amount of integrations? Does the CEO log in every day? Did you max out your storage limits?!
These are the tidbits recruiters love to share with their colleagues as they hype up your interview!
Rule #6: Include specific AppExchange app experience
Every org uses AppExchange apps. And if a company sees you have experience with an app they use, it’s a strong indicator of a fit. Plus, it’s one less thing they’d have to train.
Including the names of apps you’ve worked with is an easy way to get free resume brownie points!
Rule #7: Tweak your resume to match the job description
Your resume should be different for each job you’re applying for.
Find the keywords that are used in the job description and make sure to include the exact same keywords in your resume.
Does the job description mention “reports” often? Splatter the word across your resume!
This gives recruiters confidence that you’re a match, and, it especially helps if they’re using technology to bubble up candidates.
Rule #8: Use a lot of numbers to show impact
At least half of your bullet points should have some number in it.
Many resumes say something like this: Improved efficiency by building XYZ
Improve that same bullet by saying this: Improved efficiency by 25% by building XYZ
If you don’t have any metrics around your contributions… are you sure you really improved things?
Regardless, start tracking metrics in all your projects from now on. If you really don’t have any metrics for a past project, estimate it.
Rule #9: Only use @gmail.com email addresses
I’m not biased, this is just how things are. People will assume you’re not up to date with technology.
Rule #10: Keep your resume under one page long
Fact: people will read more words in your resume if it’s less than a page long.
Brains instantly shut off when they see a lot of text. Heck, I’d be surprised if you’ve even read this far.
If you’re applying for a job in the USA and you don’t manage more than 40 people, you absolutely should have a one page resume. Mine certainly is.
Some tips for keeping your resume under one page:
Whew! That’s a lot to take in!
We’re going to analyze some real Salesforce resumes to make sure this all sinks in.
Hope you enjoyed!
Next post: Salesforce resume analysis #1: Mid Career Professional!