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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