YeurDreamin’ 2019 is complete, and I am left in awe at how lucky we are to be in this space.
YeurDreamin’ is a shining example of this. In Amsterdam, far from the bustling Salesforce hubs in the USA, Salesforce enthusiasts from 30 different countries gathered to nerd out on the platform that has given us so much opportunity. All thanks to these volunteers who choose to give back.
You have to go to a Dreamin’ event to really understand how important they are. So many lives are changed when people volunteer their time to help others succeed in this industry. You see it especially during Dreamin’ events because they’re so intimate. Very few of us have succeeded all on our own. I really believe we’re part of something special here and I hope it continues.
The craziest part?
I remember when many of these volunteers started learning Salesforce.
Take Sergey Erlikh – Salesforce MVP, Amsterdam User Group leader, Salesforce Saturday organizer, and Salesforce Architect at Bluewolf. Not long ago this guy was working on getting his first job in the industry. Today, Sergey has 13 certs and is the heart and soul of the Amsterdam Salesforce community.
Then look at Jan Vandevelde. He started off as a Salesforce administrator. Then, he taught himself how to code. Since then he has been busy earning 16 certs, helping people pass the Platform Developer I certification, leading the Belgium User Group, and being a Salesforce MVP.
There’s also Daniel Stange. He’s a historian turned Salesforce Architect. 18 certifications, Dreamforce speaker, and leader of the Frankfurt User Group. This guy is about to publish a Pluralsight course more technical than anything I’ve ever seen. Brilliant.
Last but not least is Jurn Isema. He’s a philosopher who jumped into the Salesforce industry. I still remember sending him a free t-shirt when he started learning Salesforce at an Amsterdam User Group meeting. Today he leads a Salesforce Saturday group and was awarded a Golden Hoodie!
These are all people from humble backgrounds who have since chosen to give back to the Salesforce community. In the process, they’ve become titans in the industry and their regions.
I’m telling you these stories because I believe you can succeed too. You may be a Salesforce beginner today, but tomorrow, you could be that titan in the industry inspiring the next generation, just as these four individuals and the entire YeurDreamin’ staff have.
Anyone can give back, you just have to decide to do so.
Funny enough, it’s probably the best thing you’ll ever do for your career too.
Thank you for an unforgettable YeurDreamin’ experience, for inspiring me, and many others too!
Clear your calendars!!
Give coding a try this weekend. You have nothing to lose. It could change your life.
(Apex Academy: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Coding in Salesforce is only two hours long!)
BONUS: you actually get all 150 Salesforce courses on Pluralsight for free!!
Thank you Pluralsight for having this promo! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen them do this, so jump in!
P.S. if you enjoy it, consider following the full 15 week Salesforce Developer Curriculum!
David’s note: Dude, 11x your salary is insane! Congrats! You are a great guy setting a great example: Ambition + Goals + Persistence + Humility = MASSIVE SUCCESS! You’ve made your family proud!
Here’s my story on how I went from a beginner in the industry to Salesforce Certified Application and System Architect:
When I freshly graduated from my university, I started out my journey in a giant IT company with a minimal salary that could barely support my life in a city like Bangalore (India). I went to Bangalore just because I did not want to miss out on the opportunity to be in the industry. I was staying in my friend’s home in a small room just so that I can bear the expenses paying a small amount. In fact, I had to sometimes borrow money from my dad just to pay my daily expenses and eat properly.
An Accidental Discovery
I had a very keen interest in learning about entrepreneurs, and other successful people who made it large. I was always inspired by their success stories until one day that really changed my life and my world. While browsing through the books in my company library, I found Behind the Cloud. That time, I didn’t know about Salesforce, in fact, I never even heard of the name anywhere. But, interestingly, it was a success story about a person who revolutionized the whole industry, Marc Benioff. I borrowed the book from the library and that was the first time I heard about Salesforce. After I studied about it, I became insanely curious to know how it works.
I started learning Salesforce, and boom! One day, I got a mail from which I got to know that there is a requirement for Salesforce developers in my company. I couldn’t wait to pick up my phone and dial the number to talk to the people involved. I got to know that they are holding a 1-week training for Salesforce and they would be selecting some of the candidates from them. I quickly got myself registered for the training.
I’m on the cloud!
After the training, I got selected for a Salesforce admin position in my company. After just a few months, I found myself as a Salesforce developer in the same company. My passion for Salesforce grew much stronger and I discovered SFDC99. I started learning Apex from SFDC99 and started studying for certifications. I was really fascinated by David Liu and his quest to help other fellow developers in the ecosystem.
By the time I gained confidence, I already made an aim for myself to complete at least 2 certifications. Nothing comes easy and I’m no exception to it. So, the first year, I could only do 2. The next year I doubled the aim and completed 4 certifications and the next year following it, I completed 9 certifications. So, by this doubling strategy, I have already completed 15 certifications in total including Platform Developer II, System Architect, and Application Architect. I still remember, my first attempt to get the System Architect failed and I had to take the Integration Architecture Designer certification again with countless sleepless nights. So, by the age of 25, I already had 15X Salesforce certs.
Continuous challenges and motivation during the journey
I was a mere beginner sitting between a pool of highly skilled and talented Salesforce developers. In the beginning it was very difficult to even keep pace with the other experienced developers when I started out as admin. It was difficult to ask for a developer role when I got interested in coding and was merely few months old in IT company and Salesforce. But, my strategy has always been to take risks and learn new things. So, I never said no to an opportunity, in fact, I used to ask for immensely challenging tasks that sometimes I, myself didn’t know how to solve :p . But, I would sit overnight and not quit until I come up with a solution and implement it. This approach helped me to a great extent and yes, attracted a great series of certificates, awards and appreciations.
With the certifications and ever-growing knowledge, I tried for a challenging senior role in another company and immediately got an onsite opportunity to work overseas in Malaysia with a much higher salary package (more than 11X of my monthly salary in previous company).
I owe a great thanks to David Liu for such a great blog and for inspiring me and my family who has always supported me in every decision I made for myself, and myself for picking up the book that day Behind the Cloud ;-)
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!
Don’t worry if you missed TrailheaDX 2019 – let’s get you up to speed on the latest Salesforce info!
1. Blockchain for Salesforce is here!
This year’s main keynote announcement was the new Salesforce Blockchain platform. Now your Salesforce org can be the secure source of truth for integrations spread across many other applications with minimal code required. Sweet.
I still don’t know what blockchain is or how I can use it, but you bet I’m gonna go to work next week and pretend I know what I’m talking about!
2. AI is still the future
Unlike other over-hyped technology (*cough* blockchain *cough*), AI has only become more practical, accessible, and useful for us humans! I am fully aboard this train!
Key Einstein AI features announced:
Thank you our AI robot overlords, and TAKE THAT blockchain!
3. Many people prefer TrailheaDX over Dreamforce
Unlike Dreamforce, all attendees are Salesforce admins, developers, and architects. You won’t find a ton of sponsors, people in suits, prospective customers, or random stuff from random clouds.
Every session you could possibly want is in the exact same building and you can get in easily even if you’re not registered for it. Plus, you get two free certification vouchers for attending.
TrailheaDX is built for Salesforce learners like you and me. I’m not surprised people prefer it.
4. No other conference has this much Technical Architect material
As an aspiring CTA, I was blown away at how much relevant material there was for me to absorb:
Heck, they even made a new Trailhead character Ruth just for the Architect journey.
In short, if you have any interest at all in becoming a CTA, you MUST go to TrailheaDX!
5. A lot of people want to become Technical Architects!
The Architect Lodge was packed for both days, with all seats taken and bodies crowded in the standing sections. Both Architect Bootcamps (and only the architect bootcamps), were sold out.
This is truly the next big thing for us. Still, there are less than 300 CTAs out there.
6. TrailheaDX is NOT just for developers
Even if you have no interest in learning to code, there’s still plenty for you at TDX.
7. There’s a new mobile app for Salesforce
They listened and made the mobile app look and feel more like the desktop version. Plus, it’s more customizable now with features like component visibility based on form factor.
8. India – TrailheaDX is coming to you!
9. The RAD Women team won Golden Hoodies!!
I’m a big fan of the FREE RAD Women Coding School!
Sad fact: they don’t have enough coaches to teach their many aspiring students! Let’s change that!
Congrats to everyone who solved the riddle and won a Golden T-Shirt from me!
Fun fact: 50% of people got the riddle wrong! My wife needed four tries so don’t feel too bad!
Thank you everyone and see you next time!
It’s been such an amazing two days here in San Francisco for the #TDX19 conference. Sadly, it must come to an end. On my way back to NYC repping my #SF99 t-shirt from the AMAZING @dvdkliu 🎉🤘🏼💙 pic.twitter.com/eCu3PVeyrP
— Daniela (@DaniDevelops) May 31, 2019
— 🌻🍷LadiesBeArchitects™️👩🏻💻🌻 (@ArchLadies) May 31, 2019
— Michael Cappuccio (@macappuccio) May 31, 2019
I participated in Admins Who Code panel yesterday and today I had a privilege to meet in person the genius whose Apex Academy helped me become #AwesomeAdmin who code. Thank you so much for everything you do for the dev community @dvdkliu! You truly are a rock star! #TDX19 pic.twitter.com/h7YuaqcxtH
— Aleks Radovanovic (@_AleksM) May 30, 2019
— Aquib Javed (@reach2javed) May 29, 2019
— xixiao (@xixiaofinland) May 29, 2019
— Ashok V Shenoy (@avshenoy6) May 29, 2019
— James Ellis (@sfdcjames) May 29, 2019
— Daniela (@DaniDevelops) May 29, 2019
For the record, the correct answer to the riddle is dream. Hope you guessed it right!
I wonder – what excites you the most?
The sessions? Bootcamps? The Macklemore bash?
For me it’s the inspiration
Your life can change in a flash.
But I know, there’s something else you want too.
Something rarer than rare.
Is it Salesforce fame? Or fortune?
No, it’s something you wear!
I have a Golden T-shirt.
And it’s yours, for just a word.
Find me at TrailheaDX
And make your guess heard!
I’ll give you some hints.
This word inspires all hope.
When your future looks gloomy.
The word helps you to cope.
It’s one of my favorites!
In fact, it’s this site’s major theme!
The word starts with a “D”…
The secret word is _____!
This week at #TrailblazerDay, I somehow found myself sitting for a couple hours with Marc Benioff, Ivanka Trump, and Trailblazers Aaron McGriff & Justice P. Sikakane at the fanciest dinner I ever had.
To say it was surreal would be the understatement of my life!
We were chosen to sit alongside these giants to share our stories of how Salesforce has changed our lives, and how the Salesforce model could be scaled to inspire and educate American workers.
– Aaron McGriff shared his story about how he went from unemployed to a Golden Hoodie winner.
– Justice P. Sikakane told his story about how he became a game changing accidental admin.
– And I shared my story about how Marc Benioff changed my life with a single email.
I’ve always dreamed of sharing my story with Marc. To do it here alongside Ivanka was special.
Ivanka was especially curious about how the average American person could find success like we and many others in this industry have. We told her the key was combining the community with technology. Inspirational stories, strangers helping strangers, and a learning platform like Trailhead.
I told Ivanka that I believed it was the American way for people to help each other, and if given the opportunity through technology like Salesforce’s, they would.
The next day (yes Ivanka spent TWO days with us!) was a special celebration where Marc signed a pledge to train 1 million workers. In true Benioff fashion, he delighted us all by doubling his initial promise of 500k workers. Steph Herrera, Zac Otero, and Shonnah Hughes shared their stories and signed the pledge as well. More than a few people, including me, teared up during the ceremony.
My biggest takeaway was how special the Salesforce community is and how lucky we are to be a part of it. The fact that a high profile person like Ivanka Trump (and her secret service!) spent two days with us showed me that this community is the real deal. Add the fact that she needs us to help her scale it out to the average American person – incredible! We really have a responsibility to give back and inspire the next generation of Salesforce talent.
If you’re curious about Ivanka – she was an absolute class act. She was polite, soft spoken, curious, listening, and not condescending in the slightest. She was extremely generous with her time and took selfies with everyone who asked. Politics were never part of any conversation – we were focused on the community.
Marc was Marc. This guy is larger than life.
What’s your secret to working hard and being productive?
I know what I need to do but I’m struggling to find the motivation to actually do it.
I don’t know how you manage to do it with Google, kids, and SFDC99. Please help.
Thank you for asking this – I believe it’s among the most important questions of our generation!
I don’t consider myself ultra-productive, but I have learned a few tricks from people who are:
Focus on a purpose
A purpose is a deeply rooted need in your heart. It’s different than a goal, but works alongside it by providing meaning to your goals.
Instead, you should focus on your purpose, or your reason for having the goal. Maybe your purpose for learning to code is so you can provide for your kids and pay for their college tuition. Or to give your family a better life than you had growing up. Maybe it’s just to pass the death bed test. The key is to focus on something with greater meaning than just yourself!
Remove distractions – no multitasking
There are so many distractions in today’s world.
News, social media, email, after hours messages from your day job, etc, are all good things, but horrible for productivity. The further you can distance yourself from these things while working, the more effective you’ll be.
Sit in a dedicated working area. Leave your phone outside the room. Close all browser tabs unrelated to work. Set a structured time frame for later in the day when you can check them, and stick with it.
And if you’re really addicted to social media, for example, delete it (even temporarily)!
Build good habits
Productivity is a muscle that needs to be trained.
As with exercise, it’s better to do a small workout everyday than to do one long workout each week. Force yourself to work towards your goals each day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Weekends too!
Reward yourself for small milestones too
If you only reward yourself for the big milestones, it’s easy to lose your motivation.
Simple things, like going out for ice cream after writing a trigger, can be so satisfying. And when you reach your big milestones, like passing a certification, you absolutely should also have a BIG reward.
Hope these tips help you in your journey!
Join the discussion in the comments section below! Got a question? Send it to the mailbag: email@example.com
Amsterdam, here we gooooooooo!
I’ll see you in 57 days in Amsterdam for YeurDreamin’, the very first Dreamin’ event in Benelux!
This is going to be an extra special event for me – why? Well, it’s my first time doing any talk in Europe and I would love to get a feel for the community there! Are things different?!
ALSO – I will be going all out and doing THREE talks!
Session: Lessons From a Failed Certified Technical Architect
Session: Admins – You Can Code Too!
Session: Leveraging your Network for Career Development within the Salesforce Ecosystem
(co-presented with the great Steph Herrera!)
You bet I’ll be giving out free t-shirts too! More information on how to snag one soon!
For now, register for YeurDreamin’ and stay tuned for updates!
Special thanks to Kevin Jackson, Jan Vandevelde, and the entire YeurDreamin’ team for organizing this event, giving back to the community, and inviting me! Also, a sentimental thank you to Steph Herrera!, who is one of the most persistent people I’ve ever met.
SEE YOU IN AMSTERDAM!
Preface: this post is part of The Definitive Salesforce Careers Guide series.
You can make your resume twice as effective without changing a single word in it!
Fact: Most hiring managers will read less than 10% of your resume.
People skim – it’s human nature. There is nothing you and I can do about that… except…
People skim text in predictable ways. Observe yourself the next time you read a news article that may or may not be worth your time. You’ll probably only read a portion of the first paragraph, the first sentence of each of the next few paragraphs, and, anything in bold.
The more you like, the more you’ll read. The less you like, the more you’ll skim or quit altogether.
Thus, the key to maximizing your resume is this:
Place your best attributes in the areas that hiring managers will read while skimming:
Have you won any important awards? Put that section at the top where people can see it. Did you do something at a job that had extraordinary impact? Make sure that’s the job’s first bullet point.
Here’s a real resume (with personal info changed) with its most important areas highlighted:
Did this candidate maximize his resume by putting his best attributes in the highlighted areas?
Judge for yourself because I didn’t read the rest of it!
Do you see yourself coding up until retirement?
For many of us, coding is the endgame. You’ll certainly make plenty of money and live a comfortable life doing so. Nothing wrong with that.
But for some of us, coding is merely a stepping stone. A stepping stone into the prime phases of our career where it’s difficult to imagine spending 40 hours a week behind a computer.
And that feeling is understandable. Think about the most influential people at your companies. They probably spend very little of their time coding, if any. Don’t get me wrong, they could have spent a majority of their lives coding, but in the current peak of their careers, they’re likely not coding at all.
So what’s next after development? I see four common paths.
This is the most counter-intuitive path to me. I went into coding to work less with people, but as a manager, you primarily work with people. That said, this is the realistic path for most. Every company needs managers, and, you can officially take yourself out of the rat race of keeping up with technology hard skills. For many, our backgrounds and growing maturity will naturally lead us here.
This is the pinnacle of the individual contributor ladder. It’s the path I hear most up-and-coming developers refer to as their endgame. Make no mistake, it’s the most challenging technical path and it requires you to be world class in a broad range of technical skills. On top of this, you will need to have the soft skills to influence teams without having a formal team of your own to supervise.
Start Your Own Company
Here, you do exactly what you want and forget about what anyone else might say. This is the only position where no one still tells you what to do. It’s perhaps the most fulfilling path of them all, but it’s also the riskiest by far. Few of us have what it takes to be successful here, but the ones who are will probably be the envy of us all.
I hate to say but this is probably the path of least resistance. Forgo much of your experience, value, and earning potential, then find the next best thing to learn and master. This is not the ideal path to be on, but it’s the path many of us will be forced onto if we do not plan carefully. There’s nothing wrong choosing this path, it’s just a tough pill to swallow hitting the reset button on your career.
This decision is a difficult and courageous one to make at any phase of your career.
I often wonder for myself what I’ll be doing down the line, and, I often catch myself running away from the question entirely.
One thing I do know – NOT planning my career is the riskiest path of them all.