Wed, 26 February 2020
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, it’s time for another Lightning Champion Spotlight episode. We talk to Shun Kosaka, Salesforce Application Development Specialist at Accenture. We’re at the final episode of our six-part series, the Lightning Champions Spotlight, hosted by Kelly Walker, Senior Adoption Consultant at Salesforce. We talk to our amazing Lightning Champions to find out about their career journey, how it lead them to the Lightning Experience, advice on handling change management, and why Lightning Experience is so awesome.
Join us as we talk about how to win over stakeholders by focusing on game-changing features, and what it was like to translate all fourteen Superbadges into Japanese.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Shun Kosaka.
Why showing is better than telling with Lightning.
Shun initially studied electrical engineering in university with an emphasis on telecommunications. “I wanted to work with something I can use to realize business more quickly, so I got a job as a software engineer,” he says. He started out working on general system development and supporting project management.
“After I completed some Lightning Projects,” Shun says, “I think one very good point of Lightning is that the component features are intuitive and easy to explain.” So when he’s showing Salesforce to the business side people on his team, he can simply change things on the fly to really demonstrate the power of the platform and how it can make their jobs easier. Features like Mass Quick Action combined with Flow, Process Builder, and the other automation tools can create some really powerful synergies. The game-changing applications can really win over stakeholders and drive adoption.
Communicate for success in change management.
Based in Tokyo, Japan, Shun has really taken a deep dive into his community to drive enthusiasm for both the platform in general and Lightning in particular. He’s done a lot of work to localize Salesforce content for his Japanese audience, translating the Trailhead Superbadges for his community. He recently worked through the Process Automation Superbadge and the users who worked with his translation passed, which gives him a lot of satisfaction.
As far as change management goes, Shun has a lot of experience both changing from Lightning to Classic himself and helping his clients through the process. “When we work with technology, we always need to handle change management,” he says, “before starting your project, define the guidelines of change management, define the communications with executive stakeholders, and assign a team for it.” In other words, make a plan for how you’re going to execute rather than wait for problems or miscommunications to pop up.
Tue, 18 February 2020
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re bringing on Donald Bohrisch, Director of Practices and Alliances at MST Solutions, Group Leader for the Phoenix Admins User Group, and a trainer in the Salesforce Military program. We learn about how he’s combined his passion with his career to build the Audi Army App.
Join us as we talk about the apps he’s built for work and for fun, how building an app has helped him learn about Salesforce Object Creator, and why jumping into events in the Salesforce ecosystem is so important.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Donald Bohrisch.
Giving back through the Trailhead Military program.
When we sat down with Donald, he had actually just recently been promoted from Salesforce Senior Architect to Director of Practices and Alliances. “But outside of my 9 to 5, I also run the Phoenix Salesforce Administrator Group,” he says, “and I help out with the Salesforce Military program that trains up veterans and their spouses in the Salesforce ecosystem.”
This program, which used to called Vetforce, holds a near and dear place in Donald’s heart because it’s how he first got involved with the platform to begin with. Using Trailhead Military, the Salesforce Military program helps people work their way through the ecosystem. You can train for a specific position like Salesforce Consultant or Salesforce Developer, “or you can even start with Admin and then work your way through the career ecosystem,” Donald says.
Building an app to learn the rules of the road.
If you listened to last week’s episode, you might discover a certain similarity between Donald and last week’s guest, Nick Lindberg: the need for speed. Mike and Donald met at Dreamforce 2019, where Mike couldn’t help but notice some racecars on the slides for his presentation. As a fellow gearhead, the next logical step was clearly to bring him on the pod to geek out. Donald just got accepted into NASA—that’s the National Auto Sport Association and not the space agency—and he’ll be working his way up through their tiers in the near future.
Catch Donald on TV tomorrow (no really).
“As you work your way from an Admin all the way up to being an Architect,” Donald says, it’s not always so much about remembering how to do something, “it’s reutilizing what Salesforce provides out of the box, and learning how to properly use the data models, objects, and fields that come with Salesforce.” In other words, it’s about thoroughly understanding the best practices so you’re not having to recreate a bunch of custom objects to get it to do what you want it to do.
For Donald, the next step is getting the Lightning Object Creator involved. He’s working on a NASCAR Truck Series pit crew, so he’s tweaking the Audi Army App to help his team keep track of everything. If you listen to this episode the day it comes out, tomorrow (February 21st) you might be able to catch Donald in the pit for trucks 33 and 34.
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Direct download: Racing_into_the_4th_Industrial_Revolution_with_Donald_Bohrisch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am PDT
Wed, 12 February 2020
An App to Make Your Heart Race with Nick Lindberg
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking to Nick Lindberg, Senior Business Analyst at University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and co-founder of the Twin Cities Nonprofit Salesforce User Group. We learn about Nick’s drag racing app and how that’s lead him to master App Builder.
Join us as we talk about how an app idea can come from just about anywhere, how he used his hobby to help him develop his Salesforce skills, and how it’s lead him to learn more about IoT integrations and Einstein.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Nick Lindberg.
Always an accidental admin.
“I’m trying to be a pain point picking machine,” Nick says, “taking all those pain points and using Salesforce to solve them.” But it wasn’t always so easy. Right out of college, the nonprofit he helped found as a student, Students Today Leaders Forever, was trying to take the next steps and by paying a fulltime staff.
Tracking everything was quickly becoming a challenge, but they stumbled across Salesforce and the Nonprofit Success Pack at just the right time. However, they needed one of the five full-time staff members to take it over. “Nick knows Excel,” they said, “so he can implement Salesforce, naturally.” Being able to learn the platform and help an organization near and dear to his heart helped him quickly progress from accidental admin to awesome admin, and he realized he could make a career in Salesforce.
Start your (app building) engines!
Building apps is something that every Salesforce admin should take a crack at, but it can be hard to get engaged if you’re working on something dry. Nick got inspired by Mike’s Top Gear app and decided to create Dragforce. “You can’t drag race in the winter in Minnesota,” Nick says, “or at least not safely,” but he wanted to feed his passion for going fast and furious. A big part of drag racing is keeping a logbook to track your interval times, so he figured he could replace that paper process with a Salesforce app.
If you don’t know much about putting the pedal to the metal, prepare for Mike and Nick to nerd out (more than) a little bit. There’s actually a lot of data to keep track of, and interval times are important because the driver with the highest MPH isn’t always the winner. Not to mention the temperature, the barometric pressure, and almost 20 other weather metrics can all affect your car’s performance, so dashboards are a big help for taking everything in. Along the way, Nick’s passion helped sharpened his app development skills and even got into Visualforce (before Lightning came along).
Mastering Einstein and IoT integrations.
Moving forward, Nick is hoping to enlist the services of a consultant to take his drag racing to the next level. “In the type of drag racing that I do, it’s not just about fast you go but more how consistent you are,” he says, “I need to know, going down to a thousandth of a second, if the car is going to change between each run.” He’s looking to learn Einstein Prediction Builder as a way to get an incredibly accurate picture of how his car is going to perform.
To make this happen, Nick recently got an IoT-enabled weather station that he’s trying to integrate into Salesforce. He’s hoping to get to a place where he can pull live weather metrics directly into the app and then run it through Prediction Builder to get performance projections with that thousandth of a second accuracy. Along the way, forcing himself to tinker with all of these things will help him build the skills he needs for work and for racing down on the track.
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Direct download: An_App_to_Make_Your_Heart_Race_with_Nick_Lindberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29am PDT
Wed, 5 February 2020
The Salesforce Admins Podcast is back with another episode of our mini-series, Salesforce for Good, hosted by Marc Baizman, Senior Admin Evangelist at Salesforce and nonprofit veteran. For this episode, we’re talking to Kestryl Lowrey, Technical Architect at Cloud for Good, who helps nonprofits create Salesforce solutions that scale.
Join us as we talk about how Kestryl became an Architect, why the best way to learn is to start building, and why Trailhead is only the beginning.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Kestryl Lowrey.
From printer repair to Director of IT.
“I work with our consultants, developers, and architects to help design big solutions, troubleshoot weird edge cases, help our sales team figure out the most innovative solutions we can offer, and run our internal technical academies for our teams as they work on their professional development,” Kestryl says. “I get to do a lot of different things, but it’s all really towards the mission and goal of nonprofits and higher ed increase their impact using the Salesforce platform.”
When Kestryl first started working with nonprofits, he was excited about everything that the organization was doing. “I got to help kids access painting classes, dance, theater,” he says, “but I was also the only person in the office that could fix the printer.” That landed him pretty quickly as the Program Manager and Director of IT. They were working with a homebrew system built-in SQL that nobody had admin access to, so Kestryl had to spend the weekend not only teaching himself the language but also how to hack into his own database and make changes. “I realized I was having more fun with the technology than I was with the program management and program delivery,” he says. That lead him to specifically apply for a job in IT, which landed him as a Salesforce admin on an implementation that could grow with him.
Helping more nonprofits as a Salesforce consultant.
After working as a Salesforce admin for a while and learning all sorts of new skills, Kestryl got to a point where everything was working great for his organization and found his role had shifted. He decided to make a change and go into consulting. “I’d seen the impact that cloud technology and Salesforce, particularly, can have for just one nonprofit. I wanted to have the ability to help more nonprofits increase their impact by using this technology,” he says.
Making the jump to consulting from an admin role was definitely challenging. “You have to have a very curious and problem-solving mindset,” Kestryl says, “you have to come into it with an openness to always want to find the best way to do it.” Starting out, he was doing just about everything you could do on an implementation: project management, gathering user stories, building the org, testing and QA, coding, data migration, and more. “As I got deeper into that, what I really found was that the thing I found most interesting about the project lifecycle was figuring out the overall whole systems view of what is the best way to do this, what is the way that is not just going to work now but is going to scale,” Kestryl says. That insight lead him to his current role as an Architect.
The making of an Architect.
“One thing that a lot of people don’t realize about being an Architect is you have to be an excellent communicator,” Kestryl says, “you have to be able to share that vision and that plan out to the people who are then going to implement it and take action on it so you can keep moving on to the next big problem.” Along the way, he’s solved problems like building a HIPAA-compliant integration for a health nonprofit that works around encryption and creating an integration between a custom frontend and Salesforce NPSP written in Jitterbit to make maintenance easier.
With a career that has had some major shifts along the way, Kestryl has had a lot of help from the community. “The in-person community at things like Dreamforce and the NTEN conference were all really fundamental in both supporting my learning and also giving me a vision of some of the different options of things to do on the platform,” he says. “When I started as an admin, I didn’t even know that becoming a consultant on the Salesforce platform was a job option out there,” he says, to say nothing of an Architect role. “Having the community helped me see those possible paths.”