There’s this one guy from high school I’ll never forget.
He wasn’t a particularly popular guy, but everyone knew this about him: his goal was to join the U.S. Air Force. That was his sole mission – most people probably don’t remember much else about him.
Years pass. I graduate from high school, then college, then start settling into my adult life. One day, for the first time in many years, I happen to think of him.
…I wonder if he ever made it into the Air Force?
I start Googling. I’m actually nervous as I’m about to find out whether he achieved his goal.
How heartbreaking would it be if he failed his destiny and ended up in some soul-less desk job? What would it mean for a guy like me who had no goals, if a person as driven as himself failed his?
Then I see it, and all is right again in the world:
Looking back, there were so many things remarkable about this person, including:
I learned a lot from this guy, and he’s one of the reasons I wrote down my life goals too. They haven’t changed in over 5 years and they help keep my life on track. I think about them daily.
If you haven’t already, I recommend setting life goals for yourself too. Make sure to make them clear and ambitious, like Andrew did. You shouldn’t have more than three of them.
Here’s an example of a good goal:
It’s a lofty goal and and there’s no confusion over what criteria needs to be met to check it off.
Here’s how to make that goal even better:
Here’s an example of a bad goal:
The intent of this goal is good but it’s not a real goal since it’s not clear how it’s met. Is it achieved if your children go to good colleges? Or if they have good morals? Or if they make a lot of money?
If you’ve got any ideas on how to improve that goal I’m all ears =) Being a good dad is tough!
(I changed his named to preserve his privacy!)
It’s a great honor for me to speak to the Salesforce.com Philadelphia User Group!
Hope you can stop by, say HI, and talk about the best thing in the world – Salesforce!
User Group Event Information:
Thursday, May 17th @ 6:00PM
CityCoHo, 164 S 24th St Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA
Take your career in a new direction and learn to code!
Everyone, especially Admins, can benefit from knowing a little code! Join us to learn why it’s more important than ever to know how to code in the “Lightning” era, how to write your first Apex trigger, and your specific steps to continue learning Apex to grow your career.
This is always my favorite topic because this is the talk that changes lives! It certainly changed my life when I attended a similar session years ago. Who knows, maybe you’ll be next! =)
Special thanks to the following people for making this happen!
See ya there!
P.S. yes I will bring free t-shirts!
David’s note: John, you’ve officially broken the record for oldest person to have an SFDC99 success story =) You know what, you’ve inspired me to take a look at myself to see if I have any bias against older professionals. If I missed out on a candidate like you it’d be a huge loss! Thank you for sharing and reminding us that age is just a number!
You have posted some great stories recently about older folks who have transitioned to Salesforce developer. So, I thought you might like my story too.
I just picked up my 6th certification, Platform Developer I, at 60 years old. Woohoo!
Thanks for allowing me to prep for the test with some of your developer courses on Pluralsight!
Recently I started a new job as a Solution Architect for one of the Salesforce Platinum Partner consulting firms. Cool title.
I believe there is some age discrimination in the workplace. It was mentioned in a recent HR diversity webinar I took during onboarding with my new employer. In the Salesforce industry, if you know the subject matter, the demand is high enough that some companies are willing to hire us more mature Salesforce professionals. The age discrimination issue doesn’t get as much attention as some of the other diversity issues, but as the baby boomers age and are forced to work longer, it might become more of an issue.
I have a BS in Computer Science. I was a systems programmer for many years. After some success, I went into the NPO world managing technology for good. I stopped programming and started working in the NPO technology space.
I started working on Salesforce over 6 years ago. I came into Salesforce from the NPO side. I worked at a non-profit technology company that did consulting projects for other NPOs. We also ran an HMIS database system for 5 counties. Our users came from many NPO agencies. The HMIS database had over 600 users and we needed a help desk! A woman on board of directors recommended we use Salesforce to build the help desk because it was free for NPOs. Thanks for being my Salesforce mentor Connie!
I rolled out Salesforce with Cases and a help desk. Email-to-Case, Web-to-Case, assignment rules, all that fun stuff. I really enjoyed working on the platform. We used it for the help desk, to track grants, and I started getting requests for more features. I decided to go to Dreamforce. Wow! Mind blown! During Mark’s keynote, he asked everyone that worked for NPOs to stand up and be recognized. I was humbled. He said these people are doing God’s work, help them. I still do some volunteer work for my favorite NPO, an agency I helped convince to manage their programs using Salesforce.
After Dreamforce I was hooked! I drank the Kool-aid. I got my Administrator certification, I got my Force.com Developer certification. I got a job doing Salesforce full time and I got a big salary increase. I kept studying and slowly adding certifications. Now I have 6 certifications including the shiny new Platform Developer I certification! I wonder if I am the oldest to pass the PD1 certification exam?? Probably not, because I know lots of smart old people. :-)
I have told a few of my older developer friends that if they want to renew their skills, stay productive, and work on a fun platform with a great community behind it, learn Salesforce! But sometimes it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Not this old dog.
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Do you really need any more reasons to become a Salesforce Technical Architect?!
Most people consider Salesforce Technical Architects to be the best of the best. The cream of the crop. The pinnacle of Salesforce expertise! I personally believe it’s true.
So if your goal is to master Salesforce (it’s my goal), consider the architect journey.
Salesforce recently published a blog post that I recommend reading for extra motivation:
4 Reasons Why There’s Such a Buzz About Salesforce Architects Right Now
In summary, the reasons are:
It also encourages women to pursue this journey via the Ladies Be Architects Trailblazer Community.
My favorite part of the article is it encourages everyone to take the architect journey – it doesn’t matter what background you have, what college you went to, or your GPA. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can become an architect too.
Check out the full article over a nice cup of coffee =)
Did you go to TrailheaDX this year?
If you haven’t heard about it, TrailheaDX is the second biggest Salesforce conference of the year. It’s like a mini-Dreamforce, but it’s a little different:
Basically TrailheaDX is an event focused more on learning, rather than hype. This is true especially after they merged with my beloved Destination Success.
Let’s get you up to speed with what happened this year:
Salesforce certification maintenance is now free!!!
Isn’t that the most dreaded thing to show up in your email?? Well it’s about to get a lot less painful!
Certification maintenance is moving to Trailhead and it’ll be completely free starting with the Summer ’18 release.
Salesforce is starting this program with the Admin, App Builder, and Platform Developer 1 certifications, but they eventually plan on moving all maintenance exams for free into Trailhead. More information here.
I was so sure Salesforce made a TON of money through certification maintenance. I always liked Salesforce but this makes me love em even more!
Salesforce Lightning is here to stay
There was no sign of Salesforce Classic *anywhere*. Talking about Classic in this day and age is like still wearing baggy clothes from the 90s – it’s embarrassing, you’re showing your age, and it’s time to move on. I know… I secretly wish they were still in style too…
In the past, you’d hear about new Salesforce features that worked both in Classic and in Lightning. At TrailheaDX, everything was 100% Lightning. It’s as if Classic never existed.
So if you haven’t started migrating yet, it’s really time to do so. Believe me, I work in an org that’s 100% Lightning and it’s a whole new world. Every day you’re still in Classic is another day you’re falling behind!
Salesforce is serious about the developer experience
Salesforce DX is Salesforce’s solution to making your coding life a little less painful.
If you don’t come from a traditional developer background (like me), Salesforce DX can seem a little scary. Command lines, source control, and scripts – it’s a lot more to learn and worry about. But it’s also one more tedious manual process that you can automate elegantly… and that’s what we like to do as developers right? =)
I think Salesforce is taking DX seriously. I know because they started their keynote telling us how badly they screwed up the Metadata API, an API that needs to function well for Salesforce DX to work. I can’t remember ever hearing Salesforce saying anything negative about their products in a keynote!
I believe AI is the future
I’ve lost a lot of money betting on bad industries (why 3D printing… why!!), but I really have a good feeling about AI.
Salesforce is putting a ton of resources behind Einstein. I’ve never seen so many sessions around a product that so few companies are using. I personally don’t know a single org currently using Einstein.
But the upside is there. Google is betting big on AI. Salesforce is betting big on AI. Facebook, Amazon, Apple – they’re all in.
Whether you use Einstein or another tool for AI, you’re starting to learn a power far greater than anything ever accessible to us average human beings.
I think learning AI is the next generation’s equivalent of learning to code.
Blockchain is coming to Salesforce!
Don’t know what blockchain is? Neither do I. But that doesn’t stop me from pretending I know about it!
Supposedly it has something to do with Bitcoin. But after losing so much money on 3D printing stocks, I’m really over these crazy new technologies. Except AI of course!
Is TrailheaDX better than Dreamforce?
It’s different. It’s more learning focused. It’s not really about the hype!
But hey, if there’s only one conference you can go to each year – which one should you choose?
Dreamforce. Definitely Dreamforce. Unless of course your employer will pay for them both!
I may or may not be saying this because I received literally zero pieces of swag at TrailheaDX. I’m not bitter I swear!
Can you see how #StarStruck I am?!?! Finally met my #Salesforce idol and inspiration @dvdkliu from #SFDC99 -if you don't know what that is, go check it out!! And finally got to say THANK YOU in person to one of the people most influential to my Salesforce career journey #TDX18 pic.twitter.com/u8sDzXWqSF
— Rachel Natik (@RachelNatik) March 29, 2018
— James Chen (@JiaSupernova) March 28, 2018
— MISTY (@mistyfierro) March 29, 2018
— Olivia Davis (@pnwpegasus) March 29, 2018
“SO AWESOME to finally meet so many #SalesforceOhana in person at the @salesforce @WWDUG #TDX18 breakfast—esp my small but mighty sis, @sunnydalelow, & @RADWomenCode coach, @SueMaass! 👏🏼❤️ #Trailheart @trailhead @AmplifyNGO @LeahBMH @rockchick322004 @dvdkliu” – @SurvivorModa pic.twitter.com/4KwwWNRtmC
— ImagineCRM (@Imagine_CRM) March 29, 2018
— Alberto Ojedo (@trailberto) March 29, 2018
I had a great time meeting ya’ll and I hope to see ya at Dreamforce ’18!
Preface: this post is part of the Salesforce Careers series.
Ever wonder how much you can and should be making in the Salesforce industry?
…well this is the most important thing you’ll read all month!
These are the latest salary numbers from 2018 – the best you’ll find in the Salesforce Lightning era.
If you think you’re not getting paid enough, my advice:
Note: A Salesforce recruiter helped me find my Salesforce dream job in the past, so I generally recommend using one!
Hope this helps you!
P.S. I’ve worked with various Salesforce recruiting companies and have hired many Salesforce professionals myself – I definitely vouch for these numbers. Also in case you’re wondering, I don’t do any paid ads on this site =) Things only get posted if I think it’s good stuff!
David’s note: Trust me, this is a long story but it’s worth reading every single word of it =) Not gonna spoil anything here – just read it, absorb it, and enjoy! Carlos – you’re a rock star! Don’t ever change!
I arrived in New York City from Rio de Janeiro Brazil on Halloween night 1988. Had 8 years’ experience on the mainframe world, had no English and left family/friends behind in Brazil.
Took some odd jobs (Shoeshine on the World Trade Center, messenger, McDonald’s, etc.) to pay the bills and learn English. 9 months later I got my 1st job as a mainframe programmer and things happened really fast as demand for my skills were higher than the available experienced professionals. Worked in over 18 different cities/states as well as internationally (Latin America, Europe and Middle East), with roles as programmer, technical leader, instructors, systems engineer and pre sales support.
Late 1990s I started to look for a career change as internet and new technologies were becoming available. I didn’t like Java and the market was really hot because of the “Y2K bug”, so I stayed doing what I was doing. Middle 2000’s I thought again about doing something new like Oracle, PeopleSoft, BMP, etc. Again, demand for my skills was high because of “Legacy Modernization”, where companies wanted to move off the mainframe and get into the Oracle stack (Java/Oracle), Microsoft stack (.Net/SQL server) or even packages like SAP.
While the money was great, most of the work was reverse engineering trying to find the business justification for the code, since documentation (as always!) was not available or updated. On August 2010 I was told about “Salesforce” to keep my Leads, Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities. I used it just for that, keeping track of my prospects and we didn’t even have an Admin.
Fast forward to 2015. After few years having lots of pain on my left hand/arm/shoulder, I was told that I needed a neck surgery (!). I was working in Los Angeles with a terrible contract and flying home to Tampa FL every 3 weeks. In the same time, I found Trailhead around July 2015…
This is when I made the decision to change my life. I scheduled my neck surgery for Thanksgiving Day 2015 and quit my contract in Los Angeles. Surgery was fine; I got a new titanium plate and would require me 6 months of limited physical activities, especially upper body.
On the same day I started to play with Trailhead and learn more about Salesforce.
On February 2016 I got my 1st official gig as an intern supporting 85 users at brand new Salesforce client. 1.5 hour drive each way, no salary, no team, just myself, Trailhead and the former Success Community.
On June 28th 2016 I passed the Admin certification:
On July 19th 2016, I got a job offer for my 1st paid Salesforce job as Junior Administrator. While I was really excited, I soon found out that the company was in reality a recruiting company trying to make into partner. In 3 weeks they changed me from a full-time salaried employee to an hourly contractor and only gave me 24 hours a week! It turns out that they were after my certification in order to qualify them as a partner. People, be aware of companies with these business practices as they will exploit you!
That didn’t stop me from pursuing my career with Salesforce. On Halloween 2016, I started to drive for Uber during the nights and use the extra free time during the day to learn with Trailhead, get involved on the Success Community, attended user groups and anything else that would allow me to expand my network on Salesforce.
By November 2016, I quit the “contract” gig after being several weeks without getting any work from them. Started to help people more often through LinkedIn, the Success Getting Started Group on the Success Community, Skype, Hangouts, WhatsApp, email, etc.
On February 3rd 2017, I passed the Platform App Builder certification:
And the next week I started working as technical support for a Salesforce partner, covering USA and Latin America.
In August 2017 I started working as a consultant for an emerging cloud company in Brazil.
I continued to be involved on the community and on September 17th 2017 I got the big news that I was voted Salesforce MVP:
In October 2017 I joined a major consulting company, being a part of a global support team of 29 members, supporting 5K users 100% in Lightning and soon to have another 18K users.
On November 4th 2017 I passed the Service Cloud certification:
And the next day I flew to San Francisco for my 1st Dreamforce event!
I met many people from the community, some famous, some others while not famous very dedicated to the ecosystem:
Holly Firestone – Director of the MVP program
I can’t remember this guy’s name, but I think he has potential…
This is how I feel after all:
In 19 months I went from unemployed to Salesforce MVP. While I realize that I am a MVP not because my strong (yet) technical skills on the platform, I assume that my involvement with the community and the immediate “giving back” is what pushed me for such honor.
My message for those considering Salesforce (or any other career change) is to follow your passion, be active, get involved on the community, ask/talk/post, seek a mentor, start to give back immediately, share, be humble.
You can check me on:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/akacarioca
LinkedIn – https://linkedin.com/in/csiqueira
Trailhead – https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/me/carlossiqueira
Trailblazer Community – https://success.salesforce.com/ProfileView?u=0053000000CSisTAAT
Inspired by this story?
Read more success stories from other SFDC99 students!
Want to tell the world your story too?
Email it to email@example.com and your story could be heard around the world!
The Olympics are a big deal in my household!
I experience a rollercoaster of emotions: glory, heartache, patriotism, and even a little bit of jealousy.
How I wish one day it was me standing up top that podium with the whole world cheering! I know once the Star Spangled Banner plays, I wouldn’t be able to keep it in and I’d cry the happiest tears =*) Just thinking about it makes me smile.
Snap back to reality. If I wanted to be in the Olympics, I needed to have started training 20 years ago!
…I know I’ll never win anything in the Olympics. I’ll never achieve glory at an international stage.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t have an “Olympic” moment in my lifetime!
What’s my gold medal that I’m working towards?
I can think of a few. Raising a strong child (or children!). Earning my CTA. Traveling with my wife.
I may never achieve a real gold medal, but I can still win my own medals if I focus and work towards them. I don’t want to be looking back in 20 years, wishing I did something meaningful with my time.
I hope you too, no matter what your age or situation, can take a moment today to think about your “gold medals” and how you’ll achieve them =)
…And if all that doesn’t work out, I suppose we can just force our children to train to be Olympians!
If you’re near Bozeman next week, join my Salesforce training session at their user group!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Salesforce Career Path Strategies
Which Salesforce career path is right for you? In this session, we evaluate the pros and cons of the core Salesforce career paths: admin, developer, and architect. Every aspect is examined including pay, short and long term job prospects, end games, and more.
Coding for Salesforce Admins + Hands On Training
Every Admin can benefit from knowing a little code! Join us to learn why it’s so beneficial to know how to code in the “Lightning” era, how to write your first Apex trigger, and your specific steps to continue learning Apex.
Workflow, Process Builder, Flow, or Apex?
In the age of Lightning and its many tools, how do you know which one is right for the job? Join this session to learn the pros and cons of each tool and how to decide which one to use!
|Impact level Salesforce partner focusing on nonprofits.|
|“No offshore” Salesforce managed services and support.|
|A nonprofit that equips partners with data collected from the outdoors.|
|The global Salesforce nonprofit User Group program.|
Special thanks to Tim Lockie, leader of the Bozeman Salesforce User Group, for coordinating this!
Preface: This post is part of the How to get a Salesforce developer job series.
You gotta start somewhere, right?! =)
How do you go from an Apex hobbyist to an Apex professional?
Here’s exactly what I would do if I were in your shoes:
Build your own Salesforce org
This is straight up one of the best ways to learn:
BONUS: Show off your Salesforce org during your interviews and/or on your resume!
Answer questions on Salesforce forums
Fun fact: I have close to 4,000 answers on Salesforce community!
Guess what? I learned more there than I did from any job I’ve ever had!
BONUS: Doing this is a great way to start building your Salesforce MVP resume!
Volunteer with nonprofit orgs
This is the best way to get real hands-on experience!
Donating your time isn’t easy for many reasons, so make sure you’re committed before diving in.
You can sign up to be a volunteer at Taproot, an organization that connects nonprofits with volunteers. Or you can find a local nonprofit to help.
Personally, I’d call up all my local nonprofits and/or visit them in person to apply.
PRO TIP: Having Salesforce certifications (guide) makes a big difference!
Rebuild your workflow rules and process builders
This one’s pretty straightforward!
PRO TIP: Don’t do anything that’ll get you fired!
Do some freelance work!
Make money and earn Salesforce coding experience!
Remember though that the key here is to get experience. Set your rates low and perhaps more importantly set your client’s expectations low too.
Your ideal client is someone who needs cheap Apex work and doesn’t want to pay a premium. Pour your soul into your work, get good reviews, then increase your rates over time.
I love this option because it puts you in a sink or swim scenario!
PRO TIP: Check out Upwork, one of the more popular freelancing markets!
Follow these tips and will yourself into becoming an expert Salesforce developer.
You know what to do, now nothing’s stopping you but yourself! Go get em!