David’s note: Doubling your salary in only one year and getting six certifications including Platform Developer I?! That’s not a bet I’d normally take but I’ll put my chips on you anytime =) Great job Nick and thank you for inspiring others by sharing your story!
Two years ago I tried to play poker full time and things went a little off the rails for me. I ended up almost completely broke and back at a 9 to 5 job. I felt totally defeated and really down in the dumps. At first, all I could think about was the fastest way to get myself back to playing poker full time. I knew I HAD to escape calling (sometimes angry) people on the phone all day to collect overdue bills.
My law firm uses Salesforce as their CRM solution and lucky for me they had a few one-off problems that needed to be solved. After writing some simple workflow rules for them in my spare time I found out 1) how much value Salesforce skills provide 2) how much fun working on Salesforce was compared to calling people and 3) (after stumbling on to your blog) how much Salesforce skills pay!!
I talked to management and found out that, if I got good enough, they’d be willing to let me work on Salesforce full time! That was just the motivation I needed. I started studying everything I could get my hands on, even working nights and weekends to be ready (anything to escape the phones).
I even was featured in your Mail Bag after asking for series #4 of the Apex Academy. I was so excited to interact with the King of Salesforce that day. It didn’t come close though (so sorry) to how excited I was, after studying for months, to achieve my first Admin certification by using your study tips, because that was exactly what got me promoted to full-time Salesforce work and a 50% raise!!
Now I knew I wanted be all-in. I barely even thought about poker anymore, and promised myself to get to the first major milestone in your certification guide of the five core certifications. I failed my first try at my next test, but refocused intently on “study for understanding, not memorization” and went on the pass all the rest of my certifications on my first shot. A few months later (with more studying) I even got certified as a developer!
I had never written code before the Apex Academy, so to do so much in a year was amazing for me. With so many certifications I got another job offer for 33% more than I was then making. I was able to use that for ANOTHER RAISE at my current company, which brought me up to DOUBLE my starting salary from only 1 year before! Your blog and Salesforce changed my life so incredibly fast and I could not be more grateful :)
By then, I had completed so many fun and valuable projects that my company flew me out to Dreamforce – where I was lucky enough to meet you in person before the Developer Keynote.
You were so gracious despite (I’m guessing) warming up to share your story with everyone, and then you won the Golden Hoodie! It was awesome to be there for that. Congratulations, it is most definitely well-deserved.
I feel like I’m only just getting started on my Salesforce journey but I can honestly say I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am without you and your blog. After reliving this story by typing it out in an email, its way less about that Golden T-shirt and way more about saying THANK YOU!! and telling others that ANYTHING is possible in the Salesforce world.
I appreciate all your hard work and consider myself proof you fulfilled the promise to Mr. Benioff of giving back :)
Hopefully I’ll see you again at Dreamforce!
Update: December 30, 2019
Hope you’re having a great holiday season. Writing to let you know I passed my Data Architecture & Management Designer exam to finally become an Application Architect. I also became a Platform Developer II last month!! My journey started by reading your blog and I’m very grateful I did. I can honestly say it changed my life :)
With 11 total certifications now I’m managing a team of 4 other admins and developers, I’m responsible for executing monthly sprints for my company, and earning an amount that I once didn’t think was possible for me because I hadn’t been to college. I remember thinking “Wow it would be so cool if I was ever able to become a developer and architect!” and now (with help from you and the SF Community) it’s reality. My future is bright and I’m optimistic. Thank you!
I was hoping to give back in a small way to others on their own journey with some things I thought helped me. Surely they won’t apply to everyone but if one idea helps one other person then I’d consider the effort worthwhile. And with that low bar in place, I’d say to anyone who wants to grow their Salesforce career:
In the last three years my life has become significantly better because of Salesforce and hope that the same thing happens to everyone reading this! And thanks again for all you do David, I’ll be sure to write you again if I ever become a CTA! Hahaha. Here’s to 2020 :)
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