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 ;-)
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