Salesforce Admins Podcast

This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, it’s time for a spooktacular October Retro. In this episode, we’re getting ready to pass out the candy as we go over all the top Salesforce product, community, and careers content for October. We’re joined by J. Steadman from the Admin Evangelist team.


You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation between Mike and J.

Podcast highlights from October.

For J., the podcast that stood out was a discussion of Tableau with John Demby. “As I look at how our admins are focusing on their skills and technologies that are valuable and relevant today and how we at Salesforce are working to better incorporate our products together,” J. says, “conversations about Tableau are really high-yield for our admins.” Mike points us to the IdeaExchange episode, and how Salesforce is always working to better improve how they incorporate customer feedback into their design and development processes.



Blog highlights from October.

For blog posts from October, both Mike and J. picked a post about custom permissions. As the features available to Salesforce admins become more and more robust, it gets harder to manage everything if you’re hard-coding values. With custom permissions, you go to a single place to turn things on or off and can keep on top of everything easier. “At one time, Profiles were enough,” Mike says, “but now, Profiles feel like a dump truck when you need a hand shovel.



Video highlights from October.

It might sound cheesy, but we get the question a lot: what is a Salesforce admin? Mike highlights a great, 1-minute long video to explain what it is you do to friends and family. J. recommends adding it to the signature line of your emails. J. points you to another great piece of content about custom permissions and screen flows.



The Kooky Spooks


  1. and Mike also talked about their favorite Halloween costumes. Here’s a picture of Mike’s, from growing up int he 70’s and 80’s:


[Cooky Spooks picture]


We also hear what J. has picked up for Halloween, so be sure to listen to the full episode.

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Full Transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to Salesforce Admins podcast in the October monthly retro, or should I say the Halloween special, for 2021. I'm your host Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we'll review the top product community and careers content for October that we really, really want you to catch up on. And to help me do that, I am joined by J. Steadman. Hi J.

J. Steadman: Hello. Thank you very much, Mike, for having me here. And I'd like to suggest that we upgrade the title of this to a spooktacular since we're in Halloween time.

Mike Gerholdt: I will say the number of Halloween title updates on apps and things for Halloween is starting to become quite a bit. But I think Hulu has Huluween or something.

J. Steadman: You know, that's good. That's good. Huluween.

Mike Gerholdt: That's great. Then it changes the whole thing. And you know, like, what? I just want to watch the American Pickers show.

J. Steadman: Well, Mike, change is hard.

Mike Gerholdt: It is. So before we get into all of the fun October topics that we have talked about, I do want to remind you that there's podcast swag on the store, which is always fun to hand ... you could hand out swag to trick-or-treaters. I mean, what trick-or-treater in your Hollywood, in your Hollywood, in your neighborhood, wouldn't want some podcast swag? Maybe you live in Hollywood, and you're trick-and-treating.

J. Steadman: Yeah. I was going to say to our listeners in Los Angeles, if you're in Hollywood, in your Hollywood, hand out this swag. Just catch-

Mike Gerholdt: It's required. It's required. That's the new-

J. Steadman: It's the new decree. In your Hollywood. I like that.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yeah. In your Hollywood, I mean, that's maybe what we start calling neighborhoods now.

J. Steadman: Every neighborhood is a Hollywood.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, everybody's got like a podcast and a Twitch and a, what is it, TikTok. I sound old. I should stop talking about apps. God, I sound like grandparents talking about-

J. Steadman: No, you're doing good. You're focusing on all the big things, podcasts, TikToks.

Mike Gerholdt: No congratulations. Your VHS doesn't flash 12.

J. Steadman: Wow. I remember that setting, wow. Setting the clock on a VCR was so hard.

Mike Gerholdt: I honestly think it was easier for us to put somebody on the moon than it was to set that clock, because that was the thing, man, when the power went out ...

J. Steadman: Yeah. So if you're listening and you never had a VCR-

Mike Gerholdt: Or you don't know what VHS is.

J. Steadman: Yeah. So VCR is a video cassette recorder, right? The VHS is the cassette you'd put into the VCR. So to set the clock, because they always had clocks for some reason, which thinking back on it makes no sense, it's not as though they had some kind of menu that you could mess around with. There was a play, fast forward, rewind and stop. And I guess record if you were very, very lucky. That's crazy. I forgot that those were the buttons that you'd have to use to set the clock.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, there was always some sort of weird combination of three buttons that you had to press at precisely the same time.

J. Steadman: Yep, like nuclear code same time.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, I mean turn the keys. You ready? Okay. You down there. Press record when I press play.

J. Steadman: On my mark.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Three, two. Okay. All right. It's flashing. Wait, is that good? And oh, you remember the number of flashes?

J. Steadman: I don't.

Mike Gerholdt: You had to wait. So when it flashes really fast three times, then it's in like the time mode and then you have to press forward to move the clock forward, and then like rewind to set the hours or something, because every button did multiple things. It was hard. If I got the clock within 10 minutes of what the real time was, it was good enough.

J. Steadman: It was good enough. Do you remember, so when the iPhone launched, people were like, "This is crazy. How am I going to be able to control things with no buttons?"

Mike Gerholdt: Right. But there was a button.

J. Steadman: But looking back at the VCR, it's like, "Look, you had buttons and look what you did to us."

Mike Gerholdt: I know. It, well-

J. Steadman: It should have been touch screens all the way down, throughout history. Should have been touch screens in like 1910.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I mean, if you've had any kind of satellite TV within the last 10 or 15 years, I feel like it was an arms race of how many buttons can we add to the remote?

J. Steadman: I haven't had those services, but I've seen the remotes you're talking about.

Mike Gerholdt: 10 million. Nearly 10 million. And some buttons you would press once a year, but they had to exist.

J. Steadman: Like it's the Christmas button?

Mike Gerholdt: It's like the Christmas button.

J. Steadman: Or the Yom Kippur button.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it's the one time a year, you got to press this button, like recalibrate settings or something. And then the bad thing is you press, what button you push? I don't know. They put them a 16th of an inch apart.

J. Steadman: Yeah, I don't have anything that small. I think there's some larger than that.

Mike Gerholdt: So every time you go press the button, you're pressing like six, perhaps five maybe, and all the numbers around it.

J. Steadman: That sounds like my experience ... I tried using a Blackberry once. I never had one, but I tried using one once, and you push one button and it's like J K L M O N altogether.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. But those had stylus. They gave you a needle to play with them.

J. Steadman: Yeah. I guess they did.

Mike Gerholdt: Remember those? I had one of those little pocket calculator things. It had a stylus.

J. Steadman: Oh, like a PDA?

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Yes. I couldn't even remember the name there.

J. Steadman: Personal digital assistant.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. It was not very personal.

J. Steadman: I had a PDA for a while and it held like five songs. Like five MP3s on a [crosstalk].

Mike Gerholdt: Oh. I mean they were the most five you ever listened to.

J. Steadman: Oh yeah. I was like, "All right, let's do this." It took like 25 minutes to get them uploaded onto the card.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. You start the night before, "I'm going to be so cool tomorrow."

J. Steadman: Yep. That's exactly right. And then, it didn't always work. Transfers could get like an error message or something. So if you tried to upload the songs, it wasn't just pushing the new songs that you added. You had to reload everything from scratch. So you'd be on campus walking around, hoping to listen to your 15 and a half minutes of music and the whole thing got corrupted. So nothing loaded up. It was a perfect day then. Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And of course it didn't tell you that while it was synching.

J. Steadman: No, Nope.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, why? Just fail-

J. Steadman: It said something like operation complete.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

J. Steadman: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Oh fun times. Oh, fun times. Well, I have no segue.

J. Steadman: Well [crosstalk].

Mike Gerholdt: [crosstalk] segue it from old technology to podcasting, which half the people in the world still don't listen to?

J. Steadman: Well, here we go. So that's a great example of technology and all of the issues that it caused for us and how uncomfortable it made us, even though it was providing us the features that we were looking for. In our October topics highlight, we're going to be talking about great features that are helping people's lives and improving some of those old deprecated things that we never want to see again.

Mike Gerholdt: That was really good.

J. Steadman: You're welcome.

Mike Gerholdt: You should write more of my segues.

J. Steadman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mike Gerholdt: Okay, good.

J. Steadman: I'll send you my rate sheet.

Mike Gerholdt: Good. Oh, could you fax it over so I can make a mimeograph of it?

J. Steadman: Absolutely. I'll fax it over so you can Xerox it.

Mike Gerholdt: My dot matrix. Oh, there's somebody out there listening to this going, "I don't know why any of this is funny."

J. Steadman: Because it was so bad and so hard to use.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

J. Steadman: And now you know that the joke is good because I explained it.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. So let's explain podcasts that we liked in October.

J. Steadman: Yeah. Do you mind if I go first, Mike?

Mike Gerholdt: I was going to ask if you'd go first, and just dig us out of this conversational rut that I've put us in.

J. Steadman: Well, I was happy where we were, and I'm happy where we're going. So in looking at all of October and the fantastic guests and subjects that you focused on, my favorite, I think, was the Tableau discussion that you had with John Demby. And the reason that I think that that podcast was great this month is, as our admins are focusing on their skills and technologies that are valuable and relevant today, and I look at how we, as Salesforce, are working to better incorporate our products together, I think conversations about Tableau specifically are really, really high yield, very, very valuable for our admins. I'm a huge fan of Tableau. I think the technology is fantastic. I'm a huge fan of John Demby. He is a super great person to talk to. He's very passionate about our community. And I think that anyone who cares as much about our admins as John does, let's never stop inviting him in. And I'm also a huge fan of you. So the three things all together in a single podcast, that to me is like peanut butter and jelly.
And seeing some of the things that y'all are talking about, bringing the power of Flow into Tableau, I think that that is legitimately a game changer. I know that that gets thrown around in tech a lot, but that's a significant upgrade to the technology. Seeing that SOQL was going to be coming into Tableau, I think that that's really, really huge for our existing admin base. So if you haven't listened to it yet, folks, please do. That is my vote for best podcast of October.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I agree. I enjoyed that. I enjoy always talking with John. I just enjoy having worked on the platform for, I don't know, over a decade, what Tableau brings in terms of ease of use and reportability, because it's so real-time and it's so intuitive for me to build stuff, as opposed to some of our other analytics products. And it just feels very approachable.

J. Steadman: Yeah. And I think the approachability is a huge factor. And I think that it's really important to recognize that, if you're not using Tableau today, you can go and get a free account. You can interact with it, you can start using it, and it's not as difficult as you think. And when we're looking at our total, like all of the admins in the world, we have to recognize that many of our admins are using all kinds of technologies now. Like as a team of evangelists, we focused really well on core technologies, what we call core technologies. And I'm really excited to see us start to really embrace all of these other technologies that we've acquired over time, and that are really becoming more entwined with our platform, right? Because there are admins out there that definitely benefit from this Tableau content, people that are already using Tableau today, people that may be using Tableau in the near future. So anytime that we're able to ... whether it's Tableau or MuleSoft or Slack, I love that we're starting to bring those family of products into our conversations here.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely. I will highlight the IdeaExchange podcast that I had with Scott and Hannah. I think, thinking back to just the time that I've spent on the platform, and I remember early days looking at the IdeaExchange and thinking, "Wow, that is so cool that the company is open to taking these raw ideas from their customers." And at the time I was working for an organization that had boisterous customers, but wasn't listening to them in the same respect. And I just happened to think of, like that is such a neat concept and I wonder how they're executing on it. And I never really thought of, and who could, what happens when a decade or two goes by and a thousand ideas become tens of thousand, become hundreds of thousand, and yet you still have this big corporation driving a product vision. How do you mesh those two?
And so I thought it was interesting to sit down and chat with Scott on how they've moved to having the community prioritize things, things that they're working on, the amount of time that they really encourage product managers to get in there and get their hands dirty with the idea, and see whether they can't incorporate that stuff into their current roadmap. And also just be completely transparent with the community and say, "This might not make it," or, "This will totally make it. And here's where we're at with it."

J. Steadman: Yeah. I think, as I look at the IdeaExchange from a customer perspective, so I've worked here at Salesforce for about three years now, three and a half years now, so I wasn't a customer too, too long ago. And I was there around the time that things started to change over, I believe, from just throwing in an idea and getting up votes to this idea of prioritization. I think I was just making the transition into the company here at Salesforce when that change was made. But what I loved about it is it took this idea of our suggestion box, and it's starting to supercharge it and operationalize it a little bit. I love that you were able to pull the curtain back and have a conversation with them about how product managers are really trying to dive in and take a look.
Our admin community is so passionate and driven to bring up those features that they really need and that they really desire. And they do a great job of socializing these ideas amongst one another. And I don't think any solution is going to be perfect, because we have so many admins, right? So many admins, which is fantastic. I love the idea that our admins are becoming a voice at the table to really prioritize features, prioritize these really roadmap items for our product. The closer that we can bring our community to our product managers, as we all continue to scale. We were talking about this a little while ago, like the scale internally at Salesforce is insane. Take the product away, just look at the number of employees that we have, and managing all of those folks and how they're taking in ideas from other people. That's got to be just a Herculean task. So really excited to hear about these changes.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Now, before we get into the blog, well, as we get into blog highlights, I want to point something out. I noticed we both picked a post about custom permissions.

J. Steadman: Oh yes.

Mike Gerholdt: So why?

J. Steadman: Well, my picks don't end there. I'll throw down a further hint. I have another custom permissions thing that I've picked later on in our conversation as well. Do you want me to go with the why first or do you want to go with the why first?

Mike Gerholdt: I would love for you to go with the why first.

J. Steadman: Yeah. So we both picked blogs that highlight custom permissions. The reason that I think custom permissions are being selected here, and the reason that they are important, is as our tools, as admins, become more and more robust, which is what's happening, whether we are looking at the features that are available with an app builder, like Dynamic Forms, Dynamic Actions, Dynamic Interactions, or if we're talking about just old-school features like validation rules, or if we're talking about things like displaying a Lightning Web Component or making certain fields on a Flow available to a user, all of these things can be really difficult to achieve, if we're hard coding values, right?
You have to dive into things, type them out manually. If you've ever got to change, if we're talking about, let's say, a Lightning Web Component, if you want to change the visibility, well, you'd have to go back into that component. You'd have to edit whatever you've typed in there. Custom permissions are a fantastic way to stop all of that. Instead you go to a single place, you have a custom permission, you can turn it on or off. And we really highlighted, this month, a number of different applications for custom permissions that you can use in your app building, in your declarative business logic, in your UX, all to benefit your users, and give you, as in the admin, super, super granular control over who sees what or who can do what. And I think that those are some of the most powerful levers to pull as an admin. So that's my long answer to why.

Mike Gerholdt: But it's a very good answer.

J. Steadman: Well, thank you.

Mike Gerholdt: So I added it just for the simple fact that I feel like, at one time, profiles were enough, and now profiles feel like a dump truck when you need a hand shovel. The amount of product and the amount of features that an admin's managing, you can't give them the experience, a user, the experience that they need in order to work as efficiently as possible with just a profile. And that's why I chose that, that and also, sneak peek, next week on the podcast, you'll hear Cheryl Feldman, who is the PM for profiles and permission sets and permission set groups. But I do really feel like we're at the point now where you need a scalpel to very finely trace along the tissue paper of a user and make what they need to do, what they need to see, what they need to interact with, as fine-grain as possible, so that they can work as efficiently as they need to, because everybody's up to more screens now.

J. Steadman: Yeah. That's the absolute experience of an admin who's creating something's for an end user, like we need to be able to really narrowly slice permissions and hand them out in a way that makes the most sense. And then there's also the question of maintainability. Me as the admin, how do I know who has what permissions? And I think that that's where, as our products became more complex and time passed, that's where profiles really started to get that dump trucky aspect that you just pointed out. I once worked in an org where every user had their own profile. And the reason that that happened, and thankfully it was a small org, but the reason that happened is the admin was struggling with how to assign a profile to more than one user. In trying to come up with this way to, what's the lowest common denominator? How do I only assign those permissions that I need to, and then stack? And I think that might have even been before permission sets were a thing, caveat.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, I was close. I was close when I was an admin. I used to have maybe one or two users per profile. It was just so hard, even when you group your biggest set of users together, like sales, you still had people in pre-sales or people in deal support, or like different stages of the cycle, and they needed to do different things to the customer record or the opportunity or the contract.

J. Steadman: Yep. And that's where custom permissions ... so you should check out the blog ... we should actually say what blogs we're highlighting here.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. We should. Well, the links are in the show notes.

J. Steadman: That's true.

Mike Gerholdt: See, that's the trick, because then they have to open up the show notes.

J. Steadman: Yep. Do you want to give the title of yours first?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Mine is Why You Should Add Custom Permissions to Your #AwesomeAdmin Tool Belt.

J. Steadman: Yeah. And mine is Allow Certain Users to Edit Data Using Custom Permissions in Validation Rules.

Mike Gerholdt: And yours came out a week after.

J. Steadman: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Both Jennifer Lee posts.

J. Steadman: It's true.

Mike Gerholdt: She knows a little bit about permission.

J. Steadman: She did a nice little mini deep dive into custom permissions.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. And completely dominated the blog highlight section of the retro podcast.

J. Steadman: Good job, Jen.

Mike Gerholdt: That's a campaign right there. So last in the bucket of content that we put out, before we start our Halloween theme discussion, which I know I didn't tease out at the intro, but I'm sure everybody, now that they've heard it 22 minutes in, is just begging for us to get to, is video highlights. This time, I will go first. So I included a link to our YouTube video of What is a Salesforce Admin? I know it sounds cheesy, but we get the question a lot. And so does everybody else. And I just felt like the video we put together for Dreamforce was really cool and a minute long and just kind of something that it just made me feel good.

J. Steadman: I agree with the feel good vibes. I think as a person who is like ... most people in my family have no idea what I do, and they haven't for years. And a video like this is good for two reasons, I think. One, it can communicate really well who an admin is today, which might be slightly, I don't know, I think we're slightly more robust than we were 10 years ago. We're doing a little bit more stuff in the business, I think. But two, it communicates that with a sense of joy, and we're seeing a lot of faces from the community, and people have heard me talk about this in the past, but I genuinely really believe in this as a career. I genuinely think that we are improving lives. We're improving our own lives, the lives of people at our business and subsequently things at our company. And I'm really proud of that, right?
So to have a nice succinct video that brings that all together and is able to be shared amongst other folks, I think that's a really powerful calling card. And I'd invite any of our admins to pick that card up and share it with someone. If you've ever gotten the question of like, "Hey, what is an admin? What do you do?" Or if you need something zesty to add to your signature line of your email.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, yeah, there you go. Here's what I do. Click play.

J. Steadman: Yeah. So my video pick is actually a video that I made, and it's not because I made it-

Mike Gerholdt: Sure.

J. Steadman: ... because that's whatever, it's because it's about custom permissions, right? So where we were discussing custom permissions, why you should use them, in one post on the blog, and then how you can use them in validation rules, in another post on the blog, this video focuses on how you can use custom permissions to display a screen Flow to certain users. So I recommend that you take a look at that, because the power of custom permissions cannot be overstated.

Mike Gerholdt: No. And if you think they can be, read last discussion. Just rewind-

J. Steadman: Just rewind a little bit.

Mike Gerholdt: ... just six minutes to when we talk about blog highlights. Okay. So that is the content. I mean, that's not all the content. There's a lot of great content out there. It's just, this is the content we'd really like you to listen, maybe play the podcast a few hundred times-

J. Steadman: A few thousand times.

Mike Gerholdt: ... on your speakers, to your neighbors. That would be cool.

J. Steadman: Loud speakers, portable speakers.

Mike Gerholdt: Just get like a big speaker, like in Blues Brothers, and drive an old cop car around your town, playing the admin podcast. I'll send you a sticker.

J. Steadman: As a side note, don't do what Mike just suggested, right?

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, if you had an old cop car, like the Blues Brothers, it would be kind of cool. I dressed up as Blues Brothers for one Halloween.

J. Steadman: Did you?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, of course. I mean, I have total black suit, just like that, and the Ray-Bans, and I'm built like Jim Belushi.

J. Steadman: I feel like this was a Midwest thing, and we both talk about the Midwest sometimes, but did you ever ... your costume was just wearing a pumpkin on your head?

Mike Gerholdt: No, but mine was close. So I was going to ask you, J., what your favorite costume growing up was.

J. Steadman: Oh, okay.

Mike Gerholdt: So I tried to find the picture this weekend. I couldn't find it, but growing up, I had a costume. It had a bib, because all the costumes in the '70s and '80s had bibs, but mine had some sort of headdress thing, rubber thing that you tied around your neck and then you blew it up and there was another head on your head. And it was yellow, this like yellow scary monster thing. And then it came with some makeup, like green makeup and stuff that you had to put on your face. And I remember putting that on and being like, "I am the scariest thing on the block. I am a little monster."

J. Steadman: Wow. That sounds really-

Mike Gerholdt: I still remember that.

J. Steadman: It feels like there's tying, there's inflating, there's makeup.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean the inflating was the hardest part.

J. Steadman: Yeah. I was trying to, like you explained that you have to inflate it after you put it on?

Mike Gerholdt: No, before. It was just like a beach ball.

J. Steadman: Crazy. Was it like a pumpkin beach ball?

Mike Gerholdt: No, I'm trying to find it. No, I mean, not pumpkin. It was yellow, but they had different colors. I was an '80s kid. Yeah. Oh, it was called the Kooky Spooks 1980s inflatable head Halloween costume.

J. Steadman: Spooks.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

J. Steadman: 19, okay.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I'll put a picture in the show notes.

J. Steadman: Do it. Do it.

Mike Gerholdt: I don't have the picture of me. I know the picture of me exists. It's somewhere in this world. I'm just unable to find it.

J. Steadman: I want to use that statement more frequently in my life. I know it's somewhere in this world, but I don't know where to find it.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, it's true. Yeah.

J. Steadman: I think my favorite Halloween costume growing up, when I was in my late tweens, early teens, maybe like 13 or something, I came up with this really clever double costume idea.

Mike Gerholdt: Ooh.

J. Steadman: So what I did was, I dressed up as a werewolf, including like a mask and some kind of spooky hair tufts. And then I also put a pumpkin on my head. So what I did was, I walked around the zone that I was trick-or-treating, got all the candy, and then I took off the pumpkin on my head and threw it in a bush. And then I was wearing like a cloak that I removed and then I was a werewolf. And then I hit the neighborhood a second time. Very efficiently, might I add. So it wasn't really about the costumes per se. It was more about the cleverness and the candy yield.

Mike Gerholdt: I never thought twice about going around in the neighborhood. I never thought about that. I also didn't do the costume change. You just turned my world upside down.

J. Steadman: So at least in the neighborhood that I grew up in, parents can be a little odd about deciding when a trick-or-treater is too old or not old enough or anything. But one thing that was in my neighborhood was like, no repeat offenders. You cannot come back if you've already been through once. So I was like, "Well, okay. You just won't recognize me."

Mike Gerholdt: Sure.

J. Steadman: And the pumpkin's great because it adds a little height.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

J. Steadman: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay. So I added this. People probably won't understand what I'm talking about, but you know you go trick-or-treating, and nowadays including myself, I have two bins of stuff. I have packaged candy, Snickers, your Twix, your M&Ms. And then I have stuff for children that are allergic to things. So-

J. Steadman: Oh.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So you know about that? You put out like a teal colored pumpkin. And then that way kids can go trick-or-treat in your house and they know they'll get something safe. So I'll buy like little mints or notepads or pens or fun erasers. And it's basically like non-food item, like you give a non-food item. And the kids that come up, I only get like usually one or two every year, they trick-or-treat, and, "Oh, could he have a non-food item?" "Yeah." And it's like a whole bin of fun kids grab toys stuff. But growing up, it used to be a regular occurrence, you'd go into the older neighborhoods where the grandmas and grandpas lived. And they would make non packaged food to hand out to trick-or-treaters, which doesn't happen now. But I wondered what your favorite non packaged Halloween food was?

J. Steadman: So I have never been lucky enough to go to a neighborhood that was actually handing out like a fresh, big treat from somebody that I felt trusted me and I trusted them. But I can tell you, I've attended my fair share of Halloween parties. And Halloween parties, at least in the Midwest, are usually potlucks, and everyone brings in the usual suspects, but they're all Halloween themed. They've all been dressed up for Halloween. And I think my favorite Halloween dessert, it's the dirt cupcakes with a worm coming out of them.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Yes.

J. Steadman: Yeah. Yeah. I like the dirt cupcakes. I like them because sometimes the Halloween foods can just end up getting real gross looking. But the dirt cupcakes are cool, because-

Mike Gerholdt: Bleeding eyeballs or something.
Yeah. Like I don't really want to eat that, but it's a gummy worm, so I can get behind that.
Right. Yeah. What was the dirt made out of? Crushed up Oreos.

J. Steadman: Yeah. It's crushed up Oreo or any dark ... like sometimes people put sand, so it could be like graham cracker.

Mike Gerholdt: Not literal sand.

J. Steadman: It's just sand. It's real gritty, really crunchy.

Mike Gerholdt: Gran was out baking the cupcakes, drops them in the sandbox.

J. Steadman: Yep. It's really horrible. It hurts a lot to chew.

Mike Gerholdt: So I will see your dirt cupcakes and I will raise you popcorn balls.

J. Steadman: Oh yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh man. Popcorn balls were the best.

J. Steadman: Yeah. Yeah. I totally forgot about popcorn balls until right now.

Mike Gerholdt: There used to be a couple houses growing up that I would go to, and she would wrap the popcorn balls in like an orange Sarah Wrap or something, so it looked like a little pumpkin. And that used to be the best, just the best, because it's the best part of popcorn. It's like a solid, sticky caramel popcorn, and it's dense. Oh.

J. Steadman: Yeah. It's kind of like Cracker Jack, but it's a big old ball.

Mike Gerholdt: It like if you were to accidentally get a good box of Cracker Jacks, they'd seen a little heat, and stuck together. Yeah.

J. Steadman: There's a gourmet popcorn place in Indianapolis called Just Pop In!, that was just down the street from me. And I feel like they did popcorn balls.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, I'd buy them.

J. Steadman: I feel like they did. Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: I'd have a ... "Do you guys have a punch card?" "Not for you. We're just giving you equity stake in the business."

J. Steadman: They switch from the punch card to like bulk rate, right?

Mike Gerholdt: No, we bought you a forklift.

J. Steadman: I'll have one pallet of popcorn balls.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. In orange Saran Wrap, please. Okay. It seems everywhere I turn, at least around the holidays, for Halloween, people are always talking about candy corn. Are you a yay or nay on candy corn? Because it feels it's somewhat divisive as a sweet treat.

J. Steadman: I think candy corn is divisive as a sweet treat. But I would like to give you an answer that is both yes and no, but I'm going to categorize it. I am yes for candy corn as an ambassador of the season. In other words, I recognize candy corn as a symbol that All Hallows Eve is nigh approaching, right? So like if it's on a T-shirt, awesome. If you've got like some kind of cool graphic, I get you. If we're talking about candy corn as a food, I have to say no, because it's not a food. It's just gross.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So I still hear no, because if I stick you at a party, and there's a bowl of candy corn, at the end of the night, I'm fairly certain that bowl of candy corn's still going to be there.

J. Steadman: That's true. But if you didn't do any other decorations, I will take the bowl of candy corn as a signifier that we are at a spooky party.

Mike Gerholdt: Just wow. So July 4th, somebody puts candy corn out. It's a spooky party now.

J. Steadman: It's a spooky party, yep. And if you're upset at me for thinking that your party is spooky, you should not have put candy corn out on the 4th of July.

Mike Gerholdt: It's your fault. It's your fault.

J. Steadman: It's like putting out a Christmas tree on, I don't know, like Indigenous People's day or something, right?

Mike Gerholdt: Sure. Sure. Yeah. May 25th. So I see your nay-ish, and I-

J. Steadman: Eating, I'm a solid nay.

Mike Gerholdt: A solid nay, no matter what?

J. Steadman: Eating, solid nay.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay.

J. Steadman: They do have a chocolate candy corn that I've had.

Mike Gerholdt: Why would you do that?

J. Steadman: Because it tastes better.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, you put chocolate on a flip flop and it tastes better.

J. Steadman: No, it's not on top. It replaced one of the-

Mike Gerholdt: Inside?

J. Steadman: Yeah, no, it's not inside. It's like, I don't know what candy corn is, wax?

Mike Gerholdt: It's made from child's tears, I think.

J. Steadman: Yeah. So the candy corn itself is made from a chocolate flavored something.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, then that's just chocolate painted like a candy corn.

J. Steadman: Listen, you asked me what my opinion is.

Mike Gerholdt: I did.

J. Steadman: And I am telling you that the chocolate candy corn is a yay from me.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay. All right. It just feels like it's just chocolate. So here is my one and only condition for eating candy corn.

J. Steadman: Okay.

Mike Gerholdt: If it's mixed with salted peanuts.

J. Steadman: Oh, interesting. I've never done that.

Mike Gerholdt: It's kind of ridiculously good.

J. Steadman: How did you stumble into that combination?

Mike Gerholdt: I was at a tailgate, and the breakfast hadn't arrived. I need a little something to munch on, and there was a bowl of candy corn and peanuts over there. And I went over and I started to pick the peanuts out. And my friend, who was hosting the tailgate, said, "You either eat it as is, or you don't eat it at all." And I said, "But the candy corn sucks." And they said, "Not with peanuts."

J. Steadman: I have this mental image of this person that prepared the party. They were like, "Okay, I'm going to get rid of this candy corn that I've had for the last five years. And I'm going to make sure that anyone who touches the peanuts have to take it. I'm not going to be left with a bowl of candy corn again."

Mike Gerholdt: Nope. Nope. And they convinced me. So I won't eat a lot of it, but it's sweet, it's salty and it just balances out right.

J. Steadman: And it's chewy and crunchy.

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, yeah. It works. It works. But candy corn all by itself, nope. I mean, it'll be there. I'll be long gone and the candy corn bowl will still be there. So I'm a nay, unless it's got salted peanuts with it.

J. Steadman: Do you accept it as an ambassador of Halloween spirit?

Mike Gerholdt: I don't know. I mean-

J. Steadman: Well, that sounds like a no, to me.

Mike Gerholdt: It just feels like ... have you ever seen the video where somebody stacks a whole bunch of candy corn around a paper tube, like a paper towel tube? And it actually looks like corn cob.

J. Steadman: I haven't seen it.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I watch a lot of weird things. All right. We've just about exhausted our Halloween theme discussion, except ... so obviously we know you don't hand out candy corn to trick-or-treaters. What are you handing out this year to trick-or-treaters?

J. Steadman: So I decided this year, it's been a rough couple years for everyone, so I went to Target where they sell the same boxes of candy that you get at the movie theater, but they're a dollar each. So I went out and I bought 25 boxes of movie candy, five boxes of five different kinds. And that's what the kids get to pick. After that, we got a couple of the mix and match miniatures of like M&Ms and Twix and Snickers and gummy bears and whatever. But I wanted to start off, "Here it's been a rough time. Eat some sugar."

Mike Gerholdt: And you're making the effort to get outside.

J. Steadman: Yeah, that's right. You deserve this.

Mike Gerholdt: You deserve this.

J. Steadman: Also we're at the end of the street, so if you made it that far, congratulations.

Mike Gerholdt: Here's your reward.

J. Steadman: That's right.

Mike Gerholdt: I am the same. So it's interesting. When I moved, my old house, I used to be on a heavy trick-or-treat street. And by heavy, I mean like, lights on at five, you don't even go inside your house, you have to sit out front, because there's a line of trick-or-treaters that come through. My neighbor, in my Hollywood-

J. Steadman: In your Hollywood. Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: In my Hollywood, the person next to me would decorate their house, and make these poor kids walk through a maze. And so when they got to my house, I was just sitting outside. I'd have a cooler of beer for the parents and then just fun size candy, but I do it by the handful. But I would go through, I kid you not, $300 in candy.

J. Steadman: Whoa.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That's how many kids we had go through. We would have people drive to our street and park.

J. Steadman: Wow.

Mike Gerholdt: And there would be a line waiting for people to pull and park on the street, run their kids up and down the street. I mean, it was nonstop. It was nonstop for like three and a half hours.

J. Steadman: Wow.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That was my old house. So I moved. New house-

J. Steadman: Specifically because of the trick-or-treaters, I was out of there.

Mike Gerholdt: There was a candy corn farm just down the street. I moved, I mean, a new development. And I know all the kids now, because obviously we've moved in. Interestingly enough, the first Halloween, there was no neighbors here, because we were the first house in the development. And then the second Halloween, there were no kids because it was COVID. And so this will be our first Halloween, and we already know all the kids in the neighborhood. So I bought full size candy bars.

J. Steadman: Ah, good on you.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I'm like your Halloween candy full size, right? Like, "Trick or treat? What you get?" "Here's a Snickers bar," and just that thud that it makes when it hits the bottom of their little pumpkin bag. Like, "Oh my, that's wonderful."

J. Steadman: I think we're going to take Ruby trick-or-treating, like bless your heart for giving out full size stuff. I think about it now from both sides of the mirror. I'm a new-ish parent, and it's like, "Oh wow. So, okay. We're doing right by those kids who have earned it." And then I think about somebody giving my 22 month old kid like-

Mike Gerholdt: Full size Snickers.

J. Steadman: ... a three pound bag of Raisinets, and it's like, "Oh, well, I guess we'll eat that, then."

Mike Gerholdt: Maybe that's ours. Maybe that's ours. But you know the opposite, so I would encourage everybody to do this, because there are a lot of kids that go trick-or-treating, or don't go trick-or-treating, because they can't handle the sugar, and they're allergic to chocolate or various things. Those party supply stores always have like little bags of little yo-yos and fun pens and stuff that light up. So I'll buy a bag of those. It's like 10, 15 bucks. And usually you only get one or two kids. So I give them like half the bag. And then they go back home and they at least have something. So keep non candy stuff at your door. That's why.

J. Steadman: That's a wise ... that's sage wisdom.

Mike Gerholdt: You know, you feel bad when, "This is all you have?" "Yeah." And then just, oh, a little Spiderman walks away and ...

J. Steadman: Oh, little Spiderman, don't be sad.

Mike Gerholdt: It hurts. It's so hard. Anyway. Well, I would love to know what your favorite costume, non packaged Halloween food, if you're a yay or a nay on candy corn, what you hand out to trick-and-treaters. You have a lot of things to tweet at us when you listen to this podcast. And especially bonus points if you have pictures of yourself in your favorite Halloween costume.

J. Steadman: Yes. And remember, if you want us to understand that your tweet is Halloween themed, you must signify it-

Mike Gerholdt: You've got to include candy corn.

J. Steadman: ... with a candy corn emoji.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yes. Because otherwise-

J. Steadman: How would we know?

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, you could include the pumpkin or the ghost and we're still like, "This could be anything."

J. Steadman: Yeah. This could be autumn. This could be a cemetery.

Mike Gerholdt: Maybe they're just tucking in a pumpkin. Maybe they got a cut pumpkin.

J. Steadman: Maybe.

Mike Gerholdt: And here's its little sheet friend, and they just go around solving crimes.

J. Steadman: Whoa. Spinoff. We're going to make a show, Pumpkin and the ghost.

Mike Gerholdt: But if it's candy corn, then it's a Halloween.

J. Steadman: Then we know it's Halloween.

Mike Gerholdt: Then it's Halloween. Yeah.

J. Steadman: It's the only place that candy corn shows up in the world.

Mike Gerholdt: Is Halloween. Yeah. Oh, I'm going to include the link to a YouTube video of Lewis Black talking about candy corn, because I think he best sums it up for me.

J. Steadman: I'm going to guess that he's a nah then, because I know Lewis Black and-

Mike Gerholdt: Most people are nah.

J. Steadman: Yeah. He doesn't talk about [crosstalk].

Mike Gerholdt: Unless you put it with salted peanuts, then it's remarkable.

J. Steadman: Well again, that's your plug, salted peanuts, candy corn.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. If you want to learn more about all things that we just talked about, like the Halloween stuff or the candy corn, please go to to find those links and many more resources. You can stay up to date with us for all things admins. We are @Salesforceadmns, no I, on Twitter. I am @MikeGerholdt on Twitter, Twitter, can't even say it. It's all the candy corn in my mouth. If Gillian were here, you can tweet at her. I think Gillian's probably nah on the candy corn. She is @GillianKBruce. And of course my guest host today was J. Steadman, and give them a follow on Twitter @J_mdt. So with that, please stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.

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