Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the Monthly Retro for February. Mike and Lead Admin Evangelist J. Steadman. We’ll review all the top product, community, and careers content for February so you don’t miss a thing.


Join us as we talk about Block Kit Builder, how to ask the right questions, and Albuquerque, NM.


You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation from our Monthly Retro.

Blog highlights from February

Mike was a huge fan of J.’s video about how to reuse Block Kit templates in Slack. He wants the world to know he’s a big Block Kit Builder nerd and he’s not afraid to show it. They can save you a serious amount of time! February was also the month of Release Readiness, and if you’re a fan of automation you just can’t miss the Einstein Automate piece on that topic. “If you do automation in any way, doesn’t matter if you’re using Workflow Rules, or Process Builder, or Flow Builder, check this out,” J. says.


Podcast highlights from February


  1. podded up a storm while Mike was off on vacation. One conversation that stood out was with Austin Guevara on product design. If you’ve ever wondered how we make the products you use every day from a design and user experience perspective, give this a listen. J. also had a chat with Susannah St-Germain on what it’s like to be an Architect. Her career journey from starting out convinced she would be a professional viola player is truly fascinating and inspiring.



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Full show transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast in the second Monthly Retro for 2022. I'm your host Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we will review some product community career content for the month of February. And to help me do that, a very familiar voice on the pod. Welcome back, J. Steadman.

J. Steadman: Oh, hello. Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm glad to be here.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, thank you for pitch hitting while I was out in January, taking a little time off.

J. Steadman: You deserve it. And I am so glad that you had the opportunity to take some time off. And I have no limit of words that I'm capable of saying. So this is a great fit.

Mike Gerholdt: That we know. One highlight of taking time off, for the first time, and probably, I don't know, I might do it again, but for the first time I drove through Albuquerque, New Mexico. And if you're a fan of a certain AMC show about a certain chemistry teacher, oh man, let me tell you, there's a whole Google Map you can download of filming locations.
And Mike might have gotten up super early in the morning so that I arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at a reasonable time to drive around their fair city and take pictures, and completely nerd out at the fact that I was standing right in front of certain people's houses and locations and car washes.

J. Steadman: Did the house still have a pizza on top of it?

Mike Gerholdt: No. Interestingly enough, you should Google that.

J. Steadman: They took if off the roof?

Mike Gerholdt: Well, so I don't have a famous house.

J. Steadman: Uh-huh (affirmative). Uh-huh (affirmative).

Mike Gerholdt: But if you go on TripAdvisor and you Google some of that, they have erected an eight foot non-scalable fence around their house.

J. Steadman: Oh, wow.

Mike Gerholdt: To the curb.

J. Steadman: Wow.

Mike Gerholdt: So I actually feel sorry for those people that own that individual's house, because fans were breaking in and throwing pizzas on the roof or jumping in the back pool. And I'm like, "I love ..." By the way, I went to all the filming locations of a certain 1977 Burt Reynolds movie that was filmed in Georgia. I nerded out over that, man. That was really cool. But some of it's on private land.

J. Steadman: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: And you'd just be like, that's their place. And so it was me and a friend and we very respectfully parked a block away in a legal parking zone on the street, walked on a public sidewalk. And then we stopped about, I'd say about a quarter of a block from the house and got a nice picture, but it's private property, people. Look, just have your moment, but also be respectful that it's not yours.

J. Steadman: This is good advice. I lived in Los Angeles for a number of years and LA folks want to see all of the famous places that they've seen. Most movies are filmed in Los Angeles so there's huge film history. There's a way to do it that is non-obtrusive, and then there's the throw-a-pizza-on-someone's-house way. So I love that you didn't throw a pizza on someone's house. Thank you, Mike.

Mike Gerholdt: No. No. I did go to the collectible store. Some enterprising individuals have opened a collectible store. I may have bought a couple bobble heads and some rock candy.

J. Steadman: I was just going to ask if they had some blue rock candy.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes, they did. And I have it. I'll probably never eat it, so I should probably eat it, but it's totally on my credentials. But, yeah.

J. Steadman: Wonderful.

Mike Gerholdt: Anyway, fun stuff you do while you're on vacation. But we're here to talk about cool stuff that we produced in February and everything that you need to listen to, I think. I'm going to kick it off. J., you did a blog post, and embedded in the blog post is a video on how to reuse Block Kit templates in Slack. And I picked it for the sole fact that I am a huge Block Kit fan, because it looks like code if I put it up on screen, but I know what I'm doing.

J. Steadman: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: And it produces an amazing Slack post.

J. Steadman: Yes. It seems just a little bit silly that the content of the video is so straightforward, but I really love Block Kit Builder as well. In fact, if I've got any kind of significant communication that I want to send out to teams in Slack, Block Kit is really the way to do it. But I really don't like recreating the Block Kit that I create.
So little URL reuse allows me to quickly and easily get in there into that JSON payload, which is a JavaScript object notation, for those of you out there interested in acronyms like me, and you can just very easily tweak the parts that you want, but you keep all of that fantastic structure that's been put together.
And for those of us that are sending out regular communications, you and I sit in a larger marketing org, we save a lot of time by reusing Block Kit templates.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It'd be great if somebody named Jason started a moving company that they called payload.

J. Steadman: I like that. Yeah. That's-

Mike Gerholdt: Need to move? Call JSON Payload.

J. Steadman: Yep.

Mike Gerholdt: And then everybody in the Valley would call him and then all the rest of us would be like, huh.

J. Steadman: Yeah. It would need to be a Bay Area moving company.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Right.

J. Steadman: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Maybe Austin, Texas. I think Austin.

J. Steadman: Yeah. Austin would do it too. Indianapolis.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

J. Steadman: Maybe Chicago.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep.

J. Steadman: There are a number. New York, everywhere.

Mike Gerholdt: It's hubs.

J. Steadman: All of the places. I don't want to live [crosstalk].

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Let me just go out on a limb. Kearney, Nebraska? Probably not going to pick up on it.

J. Steadman: We are going to get a direct email.

Mike Gerholdt: Greensburg, Kansas? Not happening.

J. Steadman: We're going to get a direct email now. Someone is going to be like, "I created JSON and I live in this town."

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

J. Steadman: Mike, I thought February was the month of Release Readiness and Release Readiness Live. And for all of the right reasons, it's really popular content. So dear Admin listening in here, make sure that you check out the pieces of Release Readiness that are relevant to you. But specifically, if you're anyone that's using automation at all, which I imagine is the vast majority of our Admins, the Einstein Automate Release Readiness Live, I thought was particularly power.
We have been really innovating quickly for flow builder and the other Einstein Automate solutions, and the new addition of collection filters which greatly reduce the complexity of the flows that you want to build. You now are able to add sections into your screen flows. There is the new flow trigger explorer and flow ordering for record triggered flows. All of these things are game-changers. And in the Einstein Automate Release Readiness video, which is now available on demand, they've got a fantastic demo that highlights all of those features all together, in a really understandable way.
And we also talk about a new best practice for how you build and construct your flows. Diana Jaffe breaks it down in a really nuanced way that recognizes a lot of the history of previous best practice, in terms of how we architect our automation. So if you do automation in any way, doesn't matter if you're using workflow rules or process builder or flow builder, check this out because it has content that I think you need to see.

Mike Gerholdt: And even if you're not, I think the future is automated. The more time that you're saving yourself or your coworkers or your company, is more time that it frees them up to do what they do best.

J. Steadman: I think this is a really good call out and something that I probably shouldn't have overlooked initially. The content in the Einstein Automate Release Readiness Live, there's no barrier to entry. If you're familiar with the products, great. You're going to get a lot of value out of that. But if you're unfamiliar with those products or solutions, you should not avoid the content.
No one's going to be speaking above your head or over your head, or anything like that. Instead, what you're going to get is a really nice overview of how you can automate stuff. And if anything, you'll probably leave with a bunch of ideas about how you can automate things in your own work.

Mike Gerholdt: Now, J., you did some pods.

J. Steadman: I did. I did a couple of pods.

Mike Gerholdt: A few.

J. Steadman: I did a few. There are a few more that may ... I got busy while you were gone. I was like, "How many pods can I put on his back?"

Mike Gerholdt: There's 24 hours in a day and it takes about this long to record a pod, and I need this long to microwave a sandwich.

J. Steadman: Yes. Can I highlight a couple of the pods that I thought were particularly-

Mike Gerholdt: This is your introduction to do such.

J. Steadman: Okay. Well, so there are two pods that came out in February that I think deserve your attention. Listen to all of our pods, they're great, but I was really happy to talk with Austin Guevara about product design and how he designs products here at Salesforce. It gives a great sneak peek to anyone out there wondering how we produce the products that we produce, from a design or a user experience perspective.
And Austin also had these really fantastic perspectives on how we engage our users, how we ask questions of our users. So we talk a lot about Salesforce Administration By Walking Around or SABWA. We've really drilled that information into our essential habits content. And this is a great way to hear from a designer, the value of those conversations. So I definitely encourage you to listen to the On Product Design with Austin Guevara podcast.
And then also, I talked with Susannah St-Germain on what it's like to be an architect and her journey to an architect position. And I think that there's a lot of value in this podcast because Susannah is in a role that many people consider to be the height of technical accomplishment in the ecosystem. An architect, that's a serious role in terms of the technical responsibility that goes along with that.
When we think about the role architect in that way, it can create a ceiling. It can separate the idea of the role from who we are and where we are at. And what I love about Susannah's story is it is a series of decisions that she made to pursue her interests. And currently, that step has her sitting in this architect role. So she was not always an architect.
She used to be a viola player. She still plays I'm sure, but she was a classically trained violist that was going to school for music. And she started to make a series of steps into nonprofits, and then into technology, and then deeper into configuring that technology, and then deeper into structuring that technology, which I think is really fantastic.
And it's important for us to realize that our careers are always evolving and that there's no one linear trajectory that is the right way or the wrong way to career. So those are the two pods that I was super excited about in Feb and I think deserve particular highlight for those that are listening in.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. When we came back, I was toying with some of our promotional tools that we use for the pod. And I was scrolling through the transcript of the Austin podcast. I stumbled upon the part of the conversation where you were speaking about the nuances of how you ask a question. And I found it fascinating, just thinking through the way questions are framed so as to elicit a certain answer, or so as to pigeonhole the respondent in answering in a certain way, when that's really not your intent.
And so I will leave that as the teaser, but I probably read that part of the transcript like 10 times. Because the way in which you asked the question and the words in which you use are sometimes overlooked as the easy part of getting feedback, when in fact, it's some of the most critical

J. Steadman: Absolutely. And I won't give any spoilers on the conversation that we had specifically with Austin, but I'd say for yourself, myself, and for our listener, we have to be very conscious that oftentimes, I'd argue all times, when we're interacting with people, we have things that we want from them. And we often bias the way that we talk to people toward the things that we want.
This comes from my actor background, but we're always trying to get the things that we want in the world. And Austin was a great foil to that, and he's got great perspective on how you can short circuit that impulse in yourself. Because at the end of the day, confirming your own beliefs is of limited value. Confirming the value that your users need is of much greater value.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, that is a great way to end our February Retro pod. So if you want to learn more about all things that we just talked about in today's episode, go to to find those links and many more resources. You can stay up to date with us for all things social, on Salesforce Admins at Salesforce Admins. No "I" on Twitter. Fun fact, we did a podcast about that, too.
I'm on Twitter at Mike Gerholdt, and Gillian, who is currently on leave right now, is on Twitter at Gillian K. Bruce. Of course, J., don't forget to give J. a follow. You can follow them on Twitter at J__MDT. I think I got that right.

J. Steadman: You did.

Mike Gerholdt: I did it from memory. Sweet.

J. Steadman: That's right. I love it.

Mike Gerholdt: So with that, stay safe, stay awesome. And stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.

Direct download: February_Monthly_Retro_with_Mike_and_J.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT