Archive for March, 2012

March 30, 2012

The Importance of Being Cert-ed

“ Admin”

“ Developer”

These days, it seems like those are magic words if you’re job hunting. And when that happens, along come people who are willing to ride the wave for as long as they can. Because of this, being able to separate yourself from the pack & have some independent “proof” that you know what you’re doing becomes that much more important. certifications are the way to do this.

With seven different certifications available, finding the one (or many) that fit your role and skill set should be easy. But here is the guidance that I’d like to share. If you’re a Button-Click Admin, strongly consider taking the Developer Exam. I know the title sounds scary, but the basic dev exam is all clicks, zero code. Conversely, the Admin Exam has a lot of things they I never touch in my day-to-day & was a lot trickier for me.

Some of you will be able to take the exam on your skills alone, and some of you might need to take a course to help prep you. There’s no shame in that – these exams are hard for a reason. You *earn* the certification. You then have to maintain the certification, which forces you to set current on ever release — not a bad thing!

And while I 100% believe it’s important to love your job, it’s also important to show the world the skills you have & get the credit you deserve.

March 9, 2012

I’m a groupie!

I’m so fortunate to be a co-leader of the Boston User group – the biggest and (in my opinion) best one out there. And I know I’ve blogged about user groups in the past.  So maybe you feel as though you should go, but maybe you aren’t sure why. So here are my reasons for attending meetings as long as I have been.

  • Networking – The number one reason to go to you local user groups – the people! I’ve found the Salesforce community to be the most helpful one I’ve ever encountered. By attending a meeting, you might find someone who can help you fix a  troublesome validation rule, or give unbiased opinion on a partner product you are considering. Or maybe you can pay to forward & help another user with an issue they are having. It’s like the Salesforce Answers site, but live!
  • Product Information – With three releases a year, and release notes that frequently are 100+ pages, it can be hard to stay on top of all the Salesforce platform can do. At the user group meetings, you will often have someone (maybe even a Salesforce employee) presenting on the most recent release or newest features (or if you’re lucky, a preview of an upcoming release).
  • Answers – Some what of a combination of the previous two points, but at a user group meeting, you’ll have the chance to ask a live person any questions you may have and (hopefully) get an answer. And sometimes, hearing the questions that other users have can help you to rethink about how your company is using Salesforce.
  • Free Goodies – And if all those reasons don’t convince you, you can often get some free Salesforce or partner swag at the user group meetings. At the Boston User Group, we even raffle off a Dreamforce pass or two every year.

These were my reasons for attending long before I became a co-leader, and are the reasons that I’m so thrilled to help run a group myself. What do you get out of the User Group meetings that you attend?

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