March 30, 2012
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. Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com 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 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?
June 24, 2011
Looking at the landscape of Salesforce admins, there are really three flavors – the newbie admin, the ‘button-click’ admin & the super-coder admin.
- Newbie Admins – These are admins at small companies, or companies that are new to Salesforce. Usually administering Salesforce isn’t their only job duty, but most are eager to learn & get super excited about how *cool* Salesforce is.
- Button-Clickers – These are the seasoned admins who wield all the declarative power available to them with the platform. Typically, they’ve been using Salesforce for a few years & probably even have a certification or two. They are the auto-magicians of Salesforce.
- Super-Coders – People who fall into this category usually have a technical coding/development/computer science background. They dream in SQL and SOQL. They know the difference between an object and an sObject. They use phrases like ‘standard controller’, ‘instantiate’ and ‘system-dot-assert.’
The problem that I think a lot of us ‘button-clickers’ run into is how the heck do we make the move to the next level. Fairly recently, Salesforce started offering the DEV 531 course (which you already know that I’m a huge fan of), and that’s a step in the right direction for enabling admins to progress. But a 5 day course isn’t going to get you all the way there.
Enough with the rambling – what’s your point, Becka? My vision for this blog is to really target that need. I’ve already started with a few of my posts, but I really hope to continue that vision & really flush it out. I’m only baby steps into this journey, but I invite you to join me.
(While joining me in the journey, why not also join me on Facebook!)
January 24, 2011
I was lucky enough to get my first Salesforce job as a transfer over from Sales, working for someone who had been using Salesforce since 1999. An OG is the Salesforce world for sure. The majority of my initial training came from her. I also started attended User Group meetings & learning from the folks I met there.
The true test came when the certification exams were announced. Would my ad-hoc education suffice? Answer: yup! I passed both the Admin and Dev Exams with no formal training. However, the subsequent exams that follow each release has definitely kept me on my toes.
And lastly, this past summer, I got to a point where I had to reach beyond what I could learn along my way, and I attended an offical Salesforce.com training class – Getting Started with Object-Oriented Programing. This class was incredible, and you can read all about it over on Mike’s blog. I would encourage all button-clicking admins out there to take this class.
So what’s the answer? For me, the mixed approach was ideal. What was your approach? Did you do formal Salesforce training, or did you learn it all on the job? What would be your perfect training world?