Surviving Big Tech – Post 1

In this series, I will be getting personal. I will be sharing stories of major events (with lots of candor) that led to my career in this industry. A career which you may eventually be surprised to learn I am still extremely grateful to be a part of. Take what you like and leave the rest please.

Humble Beginnings

When I was a child, I visited this place – located less than an hour from my home in Southern Louisiana. It is a former plantation and you will be grateful to know that this post has nothing to do with it’s history. It is just representative of the mindset and culture that dominated where I grew up. Enough said.

At an early age I quickly realized that I did not belong here. I was actually born in Manhattan New York. But, for various reasons my parents moved to this place when I was a young child and this is where I grew up and where my family continues to reside. I LOVE my family and that is why I have remained here. Enough said about that.

Pretty girls in Louisiana were not valued for their intellect. I knew that. So I hid mine – all through school until college. As a result, I scored terrible on the math portion of the ACT.

Entering College, I was desperate for something meaningful, as well as some money. I had neither at that time. Unfortunately, because I had scored so badly on the math portion of the ACT, my college advisor actually told me not to pick any major that was math oriented. By that age, I was pissed and defiant. I was not accepting that outcome.

I passed on the counselors well meaning advice and immersed myself in math classes. I had to start with remedial math (which was beyond humiliating). But I made it through quite easily. Turns out, when I actually tried, I was both good at math and liked it very much.

I graduated Louisiana State University with good grades in Quantitative Business Analysis with an option towards Computer Science. It was all math, with some computer science classes. I loved it. I was hooked. And thus my career began.

Stay tuned….

Real-World Advice for New Salesforce Developers

At this years Dreamforce (2014), I did a talk about Career Strategies for Developers Transitioning to Salesforce. I interviewed several developers, who all had some great advice to share. Even though I have spotlighted three developers who had a lot to share, this post is a summary of some of the best advice they ALL offered for those developers new to the platform.

EricBellEric Bell – Salesforce Developer at Polymorph Corporation

“As in everything else execution is critical. Newbies will make many, many mistakes but it in the actual doing it that they have the best chance of learning, improving and mastering. They need someone with experience to review their work and make improvement suggestions. This is the only thing that counts in the end – doing it.”

RahulBorga  Rahul Suresh Borgaonkar – Salesforce Developer at SYNETY PLC

“Certification will give you basic knowledge but experience counts a lot. Always try to get hands on approach if you find anything new as you will remember it for future use. Read latest blog updates and developer board all the time. Get inspired by people who have achieved all Salesforce certification and try to follow them. This will refresh your knowledge and keep you in learning mode.”

MichaelClaytonMichael Clayton – Software Developer at American Thoraic Society

“Go light in salesforce. the ease of development can sometimes encourage bad habits, like quick and dirty code.”

HargobindSinghHargobind Singh – Technical Architect at Acromobile

“Read Documentation, End-To-End. No exceptions or shortcuts. Study guides, e.g. Apex Guide, Visualforce Guide, and Apex_API.pdf have a lot of information. Though it takes time to read, and it might seem that just reading relevant topics is enough… but this would be time well spent. There are so many aspects of everything in Salesforce that knowing things completely is the only road to success. In addition, if a developer knows all aspects, they can implement an optimum solutions. In my whole career, I have seen a lot of newbie developers writing non-optimized code, and using code where they can use point-and-click, or not implementing not-to-hit governor limits. “

JasonHammerleJason Hammerle – Salesforce Technical Architect at PROS

“If you already program in Java or C# then the transition will be very easy for you.  If you are a front end developer then your experience would likely be extremely valuable to a Salesforce development team.  And to all other developers (and even managers), you can be a Salesforce developer too by leveraging the great Salesforce training course, Salesforce resources, Success forums, blogs, and the many many people (like Sara) that have already transitioned and really want to help you.  I also very much would like to help anyone that wants to make this transition too.”

michaelwelburnMichael Welburn – Salesforce Technical Architect at 7Summits

“Pay attention to the best practices that are documented, you will see them ALL. THE. TIME. The workbooks that Salesforce provides for, Apex, and VF are also extremely helpful. Beyond that, just get your hands dirty in a dev org! “