Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the Monthly Retro for August.

Join us as we talk about all the Salesforce content you shouldn’t miss from August.

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

Winter ‘23

Pre-release orgs have been available for Winter ‘23 since August 11th, so make sure to sign up, and release notes have been out since the 17th. If you’re trying to move a sandbox onto the new release, the deadline to get that done is TOMORROW, August 26th.

Dreamforce is coming up

Join us for our 20th Dreamforce, coming up September 20-22. Full conference passes are already sold out, but you can jump on a waitlist or tune in via Salesforce+. We also have a full slate of pods to help you get ready coming up in September, so smash that subscribe button!

Blog highlights from August

There was a flurry of great Automate This! content in August, including an appearance by pod regular Karmel James. Jennifer Lee’s blog posts are thorough, fun, and easy to follow so make sure you’re not missing out.

Video highlights from August

We’ve given “How I Solved It” a Salesforce+ glow up and we think it’s worth a watch. A dream team of Trailblazers tackles real problems in their orgs and takes you through the process, every step of the way. 

Podcast highlights from August

A couple podcast episodes stand out from August. We spoke to Amit Malik, a longtime instructor for the Global Architect Program about why admins should take architect courses. We also caught up with Stuart Mills, VP Trailhead EMEA to learn how you can grow your career and why you might end up in a role that hasn’t been invented yet.

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Full show transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast in the August Monthly Retro for 2022. I'm your host, Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we'll review the top product, community and careers content, well, for the month of August, just like I said. And you know what? Helping me do that the very familiar and excitingly fun posting voice of Gillian Bruce. Hi, Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Hi, Mike. Thanks for having me.

Mike Gerholdt: Thank you for surviving the heat waves.

Gillian Bruce: Well, we didn't get any heat waves out here in San Francisco, at least not yet, but our summer is coming soon, soon.

Mike Gerholdt: Summer and state fair for everybody right now.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Things on a stick. Things are fried. People are getting sunburned.

Gillian Bruce: I'm going to have to go to a state fair at some point.

Mike Gerholdt: Funnel cakes. That's the one thing. Funnel cakes and Ferris wheels.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I remember as a kid getting on some janky, awesome carnival rides at I think it was the County Fair or something.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, there is no safe fair. They're all sketchy. They all make you question the safety. And that's why they're fun.

Gillian Bruce: I always remember it was like a spaceship one you go into and it's spins really fast and you're on the wall. And then the centrifugal force pushes you up against the wall.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh.

Gillian Bruce: So you're kind of like, yeah, I remember it was like, God, I was really young, but I think we went on that about 10,000 times in a row. So we just spent all of our tickets on that one. I'm surprised nobody got sick.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh yeah. Well, yeah. I usually rode the little thing where the cars went in the circle.

Gillian Bruce: Shocker. You liked the car ride. I'm so surprised.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I couldn't do anything. The steering wheel, you just spun. There's pictures of me as a child looking over at my mom turning this steering wheel that does nothing.

Gillian Bruce: Aw. You're like, what is this? Come on.

Mike Gerholdt: Come on. Seriously, people get it together. And then two minutes later, you're off. Ugh, waited in line forever. Anyway, nobody wants to hear that. What is going on besides state fairs and things on a stick?

Gillian Bruce: Well, Mike, we are getting ready for a couple of big things in Salesforce world. The first of which is relevant for every single person, no matter whether you are coming to an in-person event that we will talk about in a moment. Winter '23 is coming. Believe it or not it's August, but it's time to start thinking about the Winter release. So August 11th is when the pre-release orgs have been available. So get your hands on that. Release Notes coming out on the 17th. So they've been out for a little bit now that you've heard this podcast. And then if you've got sandboxes that you want to move to the new release or keep on the existing ones, that deadline is the 26th of August. So start thinking about Winter '23, we've got some really awesome Winter '23 release stuff happening at Dreamforce, which is coming soon.

Mike Gerholdt: Ooh.

Gillian Bruce: So stay tuned for more on that. I'm not going to give away all the deets yet. It's a little early, but yeah, Winter '23, here we go. Another release.

Mike Gerholdt: Another release and another Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Sorry. I buried the lead there. Yes. Another Dreamforce. A really big deal. Dreamforce. This is our 20th Dreamforce believe it or not.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. I haven't been to 20. I bet some of our listeners have been to 20.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: That's a lot. And we have some Dreamforce themed pods coming up. In fact next week after this one.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, we've got a couple of really exciting and special Dreamforce pods coming your way. And even if you're not attending Dreamforce, which I totally understand.

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm.

Gillian Bruce: It's still not the easiest thing to travel and all of that.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Gillian Bruce: But good news is this Dreamforce is going to be the most digital Dreamforce that's going to be the first real hybrid in person/digital experience. We learned a lot over the last few years about digital and we keep getting better. So there's going to be a lot of content and a lot of great things that we're working on for Dreamforce that everyone will be able to participate in and get a piece of. So we'll cover a lot of that in these upcoming next episodes. So again, we're just full of teasers today.

Mike Gerholdt: We are just full. And to continue the teaser theme, we might actually tell you some of the stuff that we've got planned for Dreamforce in those episodes.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Just saying.

Gillian Bruce: And ways that you can come be a part of it either virtually or in person, so.

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm. Or just be jealous, be like that sounds cool.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. Yes. Green with envy.

Mike Gerholdt: So for the month of August we did some really cool content. I'll start off, literally the note that I wrote was to highlight, Automate This on the blog, because when I go to our website, it's really hard to miss all of the Automate This stuff.

Gillian Bruce: And it's amazing.

Mike Gerholdt: I know that's why I'm calling it out, because I clicked on it, it was like, I seem to find a link for one of my previous podcasts here. Nope, Automate This. Oh, on this and on this and on this. Seriously, maybe you've been at a state fair and you had too many corn dogs and you took a week off and you missed all the Automate This stuff. Well now is the time to catch back up, because we have a ton of really cool Automate This content on the blog. Jennifer did an amazing job with all of that.

Gillian Bruce: Well, yeah, and she does live Automate This on YouTube, which is incredible.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Gillian Bruce: And I think Karmel James was just a guest not too long ago. That's a great episode.

Mike Gerholdt: Mm-hmm.

Gillian Bruce: It's incredible content. So hey, whether you're a flownatic or new to the idea of automation, you're going to get something out of this really incredible content that spans both the blog and video and all of the things.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, speaking of video, it's like you gave yourself your own segue.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, it's natural at this point, Mike. We've been doing this long enough. Yeah, so we had an amazing... Well, the first one came out the end of July, but this whole month of August, we've been releasing How I Solved It videos, specifically made for Salesforce Plus. So it's a long, beloved and amazing series that Jennifer Lee hosts on YouTube as is. And what we wanted to do is kind of bring that magic to Salesforce Plus and expand it beyond kind of our typical admin channels. And we did. So we have five incredible episodes that have been coming out over the last five weeks actually, between Trailblazers solving all different kinds of problems, from user management to marketing automation, to security, to project management. There's five total, so you can check out, I'm going to do some Trailblazer callouts. We got Andrew Russo, we got Madeleine Coutanceau from Brisbane and we've got Karmel James.
We've got Tony Nguyen and we have Sarah Pilzer. So definitely check those out. I don't know how you missed them if you haven't seen them already. But definitely make sure at the end of this pod you go check them out because they're pretty awesome. And if you really like them, or you have feedback or questions, please let us know. Not only does each of the Trailblazers featured in those episodes, super excited to talk more about what they did or to answer any questions, but we also want to know what Salesforce what you think, because we take all of our direction for what we do from what you tell us you like or didn't like, or what worked or didn't work. So let us know. Let us know what you think.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I was just thinking we should probably spin up an IMDb page for all of them at some point.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. Like an IMDb of the Cloud.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I mean, where's all of Karmel James been on? And you just go to IMDb. It's like, oh, well she's been on all these Salesforce Plus, this other little thing called podcast that a couple people listen to. So pretty cool.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. That's good. Yeah. Like a Salesforce IMDb. It's an Internet Movie Database is what it stands for.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: It could be Internet Salesforce Database.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Oh, this is why we don't name... Actually it'd be called Internet Salesforce Database for a release.

Gillian Bruce: Right.

Mike Gerholdt: And then it would be called the Lightning Internet Salesforce Database.

Gillian Bruce: It'll be Einstein and it'll be [inaudible].
And then we could go old school and it'll be touch and then it'll be [inaudible].

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Gillian Bruce: Then it'll be... I mean, let's just go through all of the things.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yep. And then we'll scrap all that and we'll go back to our roots, right? We'll stay true to the core. And we'll call it the Internet Salesforce Movie Database 2.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. It's always fun poking at our own [inaudible].

Mike Gerholdt: Well, anyway. So other fun stuff. I recorded a couple podcasts in August. Had to think about the month for a second.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, you were busy.

Mike Gerholdt: Geez. Wow. Hey, here we go. So the first one was with Amit Malik just, could you bottle his energy? That's all I wanted the whole time. I'm soaking up all the information he's throwing down and I'm just like, wow, I really would love to pick up your energy. But he's so passionate about teaching admins. A lot of the fundamentals that architects know and love. So we covered that in that podcast. And then Stuart Mills, who's the VP of Trailhead for EMEA got on. He was over attending a community conference and had time to chat. Lot of really cool stuff coming from him. A lot of cool perspective on the admin role, on admin careers, trajectory, where things are going, where he sees things going, skills going. I got him talk about admin skills, Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Good job.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. But the one line that stuck with me was, "grit is a transferable skill." Thought that was a really great line. So check out those two. We'll include links. Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: So good. That was such a great interview. You did a great job with that, Mike.

Mike Gerholdt: It's a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun with both those. Sometimes you're kind of, especially heading into Dreamforce, availability's tough and getting stuff scheduled is tough. And then people really just don't want to talk about deep subjects. But I think we did the pod proud.

Gillian Bruce: Sure did. Sure did. Good job.

Mike Gerholdt: The last thing that I noted, so I know in the July retro, we gave you a link to filling out a letter to convincing your boss to go to Dreamforce. And if you still need that, if Dreamforce is still open for registration, I've included a link to our blog where we kind of help you fill out that form a little bit. Also it works for other events. If you want to go to a community dreaming event, or a world tour event, which we'll have coming up later this year, I think that form would work as well.

Gillian Bruce: 100%. I mean, even if you were having a hard time getting support to go to a lunchtime user group meeting or something. If nothing else, even if you don't use it, it helps you frame why participating in Salesforce focused events is valuable to not only your career but to your company, right? To me, sometimes it takes a while for people to understand that jump or really how to frame it and talk about it. And this is a great tool to help you.

Mike Gerholdt: Agreed. Agreed. Okay. Well, Gillian, this is our last Retro before Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Oh my gosh. You mean the next time we're going to do a Retro it'll be after Dreamforce?

Mike Gerholdt: We'll be retroing Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, we will. Hopefully we'll still have voices. How about that?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. It might be a few octaves lower.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. We'll make it through.

Mike Gerholdt: Right.

Gillian Bruce: And yeah, again, so much great Dreamforce related content coming your way over the next few weeks. And again, if you're not able to join us in person, don't worry. A lot of this will still be very relevant for you. So stay tuned.

Mike Gerholdt: So if you want to learn more about all of the things we just talked about in today's episode, please go to to find those links and many more resources. You can stay up to date with us for All Things Admin on social. We are @SalesforceAdmns. No I on Twitter. I am on Twitter @MikeGerholdt and Gillian is @gilliankbruce. So with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the Cloud.

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

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Trailblazers Karmel James, Senior Associate at Dupont Circle Solutions, and Andrew Russo, Salesforce Architect at BACA Systems.

Join us as we talk about their experiences appearing on How I Solved It for Salesforce+

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Karmel James and Andrew Russo.

How I Solved It on Salesforce+

We’ve taken some greatest hits from the How I Solved It series on Youtube, hosted by Jennifer Lee, and spruced it up for Salesforce+. We have five episodes featuring real Salesforce admins explaining how they solved some big business problems in innovative ways. Be sure to tune in on Salesforce+ and don’t miss out.

Andrew Russo’s super app

We’ve already had Andrew on the pod, and his story was so cool that we thought it would be worth devoting a How I Solved It episode to highlight how his user management super app works. Users can create a case, make a user story to request new features, and communicate with the admin team, all in Salesforce.

Even cooler, at the end of the whole process, Andrew can track how much time his team has spent on a case versus how much time the solution they developed has saved the business. All of this is laid out in a way that you can learn from to implement in your org, and there’s a blog post to help document what’s covered. “Now with How I Solved It,” Andrew says, “each one of the episodes has been actual stuff that you can go implement to bring and deliver value to your company.”

How Karmel James automated a marketing problem

“As a marketing champion, I really wanted to showcase the fact that marketers also have issues in Salesforce,” Karmel says. Her solution shows how you can use Salesforce to automate what happens around someone unsubscribing from a mailing list. You want to know what they’re unsubscribing from, maybe make sure that information gets to someone else on their team, and you may even want to set up a call with the customer to make sure there’s still follow through.

In order to go about solving this problem, Karmel uses Flow, cases, task records, and Groups to send out notifications, showing how these Salesforce tools can combine like Voltron. Karmel and company have been having a blast hosting watch parties for each new episodes, so make sure to follow the link below to join in the fun.

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today Gillian Bruce and we are going to talk about one of the most fun projects I've had the opportunity to work on this year. The How I Solved It series that we just premiered on Salesforce+ a few weeks ago. Now, I hope that a lot of you are already familiar with How I Solved It. It's an amazing YouTube series that Jennifer Lee has been hosting on YouTube for the last almost year of real-life admins showing how they solve problems in Salesforce. Showing you their demos, diving into the org and what we did is we kind of spruced it up a bit, shined it up and created five episodes specifically for Salesforce+. Which is our streaming service at Salesforce, and created a mini-series basically of the How I Solved It specifically for Salesforce+ and featuring some incredible trailblazers and we solve all kinds of different problems. We also focus on skills from the Salesforce Admins Skills Kit.
So I wanted to get a couple of the guests that we featured in those episodes to talk a little bit more about what they did in the episode. What it was like to be part of that experience and then kind of what next? If you haven't watched any of those episodes, I want you to pause this podcast right now. I want you to go to Salesforce+, and I want you to click on How I Solved It series and you will see the amazing Andrew Russo, Karmel James, Tony Nguyen, Madeleine Coutanceau and Sarah Pilzer solving real-life business problems and showing you how they did it using Salesforce. So without further ado let's welcome our first guest onto the podcast Andrew Russo. Andrew, welcome back to the podcast.

Andrew Russo: Thanks for having me back.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I had you back because we're going to talk about something pretty fun that you and I got to work on together and that is How I Solved It on Salesforce+. Andrew, talk to me a little bit about what we did in your episode.

Andrew Russo: Yeah. So in my episode, actually we did it based on what we have in our production environment for the company I work for and we're able to track the time spent on cases. So we actually are able to have the users submit cases through a flow for their internal request. Whether it's adding a field, help with a report, anything like that they can submit it through a case. We get the case, we're able to work on it. When they want a new feature like a field getting added, we're able to send an email or a message right back on the case to them and they can actually then go fill out and create a user story right inside of Salesforce. It gives them the training of, hey what a user story is and all of that kind of stuff right in Salesforce so they don't have to actually leave where they're working. Then once they're able to do that, we can actually go and track the process of the actual case.
So we can track the time it spends in each status, we know exactly where every request is and we can go back and understand why we made decisions we did in the future. So it's really all around how to manage user requests and user management of Salesforce itself.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. Well, yeah clearly I liked it because I was like, "Hey, let's feature it in How I Solved It." So let's talk a little bit, get a little kind of behind the scenes info here to our listeners. Andrew, what was it like being part of filming How I solved It for Salesforce+?

Andrew Russo: Honestly, it was kind of a crazy thing. So it was like, "Hey, can you do it?" And I was like, "Yeah. Why not? Let's do it it sounds fun." But overall, it really wasn't a crazy ask do because it's not like I made up some giant process to just go do and I spent hours building it. I took it from production environment, packaged it, put it into a demo org and then I just had to create some test data. Because I can't show our company's data obviously to the world, so put some test data in and that was it. So from the standpoint of building out it really wasn't bad, it's not like it was some crazy made up scenario. The flows were straight out of our production environment and honestly it was a lot of fun to get to share it, and there was a lot of people. I kept seeing the same question come up of, "How do we manage user stuff? Do we use an email?"
And I was like, "Wait for it. There's going to be something coming out in a couple months. You're going to see some awesome stuff, it's going to be great." And I shared it back to the people and they're like, "That's exactly what we wanted." So they ended up going and building it in their org.

Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. Well, see I love that. See, that's the thing about How I Solved It Andrew, right? Is we're taking actual things that you and other people have done and then sharing that with everyone to help everybody else figure out, "Hey, maybe there's something in there that I can replicate or I can use or an idea I can apply." So, that's awesome. Now, I know you say it wasn't that bad but I know we asked a lot of you in terms of filming and the process and all that. Were there any moments that surprised you during that whole process?

Andrew Russo: Yeah. Originally it was like, "Okay, well there'll be people filming and stuff." And I was like, "Okay, this'll be..." And then when they show up at your door at work, and people are all... I just booked a conference room and I was like, "Okay, we're going to film this. It'll be easy." They show up with multiple carts rolling in with camera equipment, lighting stuff and it's like, "Okay, this is not just someone brings a better camera than a webcam and shows up." It was production quality filming of it which was kind of cool but also not what I exactly expected with it.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. We had a whole film crew coming in and film you, so that was good. I remember also there were some really funny moments while we were filming that didn't make it into the episode, but I think we're going to have a blooper reel coming out at some point. Do you remember what I'm talking about?

Andrew Russo: Yeah. For a second I'm like what is she talking... And then yeah, we had window washers, we had the pest control people show up behind us in the window. I don't know if stuff like that happened with anyone else when they were filming this stuff. But it was just one after the next thing that happened in the background, it was just like, "Don't look at it. Just keep looking at the camera."

Gillian Bruce: This is what happens when you film something live, you just never know what's going to be happening around you. I also remember that you had a little fun with the spinny chair.

Andrew Russo: Oh, we love spinny chairs.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. When we're filming things we like you not to spin around in a chair. So anyone who's about to film something don't sit in a spinny chair because you're going to want to spin.

Andrew Russo: Yeah. But then at the end the spinny chair made it back for the promo stuff. We brought the spinny chair back.

Gillian Bruce: It's good for gifts. Yeah.

Andrew Russo: Having a chair that you can't move in, they're very important I've learned.

Gillian Bruce: Good for gifts. So Andrew, I also wanted to talk to you because this is a series that we launched a few weeks ago. With this week, we actually had Tony's episode go live and we've got one more episode coming next week. But I would love for you to talk to me a little bit about these amazing watch parties. So your episode was first, talk to me about how you all decided to put together a watch party for the premiere.

Andrew Russo: So to be completely honest I wasn't planning on watching mine, I was actually just not going to watch it. Multiple people said like, okay we need to watch part of your stuff up to the day before on the Tuesday. It was like, okay well you need to watch it and I was adamantly not going to watch mine. Because I was like no, and then on Wednesday morning Tony was like, "You need a watch party." So I was like, you know what? Okay we're doing it. So I think this started at 8:00 AM where we're doing a watch party and then from that point to when it went live I think we did the watch party at 3:00 PM in the afternoon. We ended up somehow 30 people I think showed up for the first one, which was kind of crazy to get 30 people in a matter of four hours signed up and going to show up to the watch party.
So we just kind of ran with it and then it was just crazy. Honestly, it was a bunch of fun though watching it and seeing what was there and I'm actually planning on going back to re-watch mine. Because I started to realize I didn't notice... I've noticed in everyone else's there's all the cool sound effects stuff. I didn't even notice that in mine when I was watching it, but I'm thinking that they were probably there unless mine was [inaudible]. So I got to go back and watch it to look for all the small details that I wasn't paying attention to.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, it's a lot to take in seeing yourself on the screen and then also, oh right there's all these other things. So yes, you should totally rewatch it. Well, that's awesome. I mean, Andrew seriously thank you for being a part of How I Solved It. Now, if you were to explain How I Solved It to somebody who hasn't seen it yet what would you say?

Andrew Russo: It's like the first technical show. So if you go on Salesforce+ there's a lot of kind storytelling, people's pass up. What there isn't right now before this going back two months ago, it wasn't technical stuff. Stuff that you could watch and then go do in your org, bring back value to your company, it wasn't there before. But now with How I Solved It, each one of the episodes we've seen so far including Tony's this week has been actual stuff that you can go implement and bring value and deliver value to the company which is kind of amazing. So it's really the start I think of something and I'm hopeful that there's going to be more How I Solved It on Salesforce+ in the future to really bring that hands on. Okay, I can watch it. Okay, there's a blog that's also there showing kind of still image of hey here's what was in there and you can go build it out and then be creative with it. Because with flows and everything, pretty much all of them have had flows other than Tony's.
But a lot of them have flows and you can customize it to fit what you need, you don't have to take exactly what you see. So it's kind of a really cool thing to be able to show the world that.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, well that's great. Thank you, I love that glowing endorsement for How I Solved It. We'll definitely be doing more and also as a reminder for everyone listening, How I Solved It exists on YouTube already. Jen Lee is doing an amazing job hosting How I Solved It for almost the past year and so this really was an adaptation of that for Salesforce+. So check there's lots more How I Solved It, but yes we're going to be working on getting more kind of technical how to great content on Salesforce+ soon. So thanks again Andrew so much for participating and for being an awesome first guest on the Salesforce+ version of How I Solved It and hey we got one more watch party to go. Right?

Andrew Russo: We've got one more to go and then we've got Dreamforce in... I think what is it? Less than 40 days.

Gillian Bruce: It's 30 something days. Yeah.

Andrew Russo: I'm excited.

Gillian Bruce: That's awesome.

Andrew Russo: It's going to be a crazy next month.

Gillian Bruce: It's Dreamforce season is what they say, right? It's Salesforce all the things right now.

Andrew Russo: Salesforce as a lifestyle.

Gillian Bruce: There you go. S-A-A-L.

Karmel James: Capital S, capital L, lowercase As, SaaL.

Gillian Bruce: Well with that, Andrew thank you so much. All right. Well, you just heard from Andrew Russo who is one of the amazing trailblazers we featured in the How I Solved It series, where he showed his amazing user management solution. Definitely check it out. But we've got another trailblazer who was featured in one of the episodes Karmel James, who is going to join us and talk a little bit more about her specific solution she shared and her experience being part of How I Solved It. So without further ado welcome Karmel back to the podcast. Karmel, welcome back to the podcast.

Karmel James: Thank you, Gillian. I'm so happy to be here for my now second time.

Gillian Bruce: Hey, when we find good amazing guests we like to have them back and Karmel, can you tell us a little bit about your episode and what you showed? What problem did you solve?

Karmel James: Yeah. Well of course Gillian, I solved a data management problem. So as a marketing champion I really wanted to showcase the fact that marketers also have issues in Salesforce and say, what happens when someone unsubscribes to a newsletter? I think it's really critical that if you're going to have a Salesforce org that tracks that. You want to know if someone's unsubscribing from something really key that you actually would like them to get that information and be subscribed and know what's happening in your org. So we talked about what happens after someone decides to unsubscribe and then go through a whole process where someone else on another team gets that notification. They get to have a call with that customer and then they get to resolve that case because of it.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean it was a whole combination of different features that you kind of used to solve that. Can you just give us a highlight of some of the things you used?

Karmel James: Yes. Well, I started with flow because flow is the biggest thing. It's the new transition and if you haven't started thinking about it you should absolutely do that. By all means, go watch some of the Automate This episodes and obviously How I Solved It episodes. We're always talking about flow I think. But I used flow, I used cases to track information, I used task records and I even used groups to send notifications to.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. Yeah, it was a really fun demo. A really great problem that you solved and thank you for being a part of it. Now, Karmel this was the first time you've really done a big video thing with us at Salesforce. Let's pull back the curtain a little bit, give some people some backstage insider intel. What was it like to film this project with me?

Karmel James: Well, it started out as a shock when I learned that I was going to have to let a camera crew into my life and for those who don't know I'm currently on a nomadic adventure right now. So I don't have a home and at the time I couldn't go to my office, it was going to be too noisy. So I actually had to find and rent an office to allow a camera crew to record this. So it was pretty cool because you're like, okay this is cool, you're like it's just maybe a camera and then you watch them bring in all of these boxes and they set up a light and then there's a teleprompter and you're like, "No we're really doing this. Okay, cool. Yeah, no, I can hear you guys. You can hear me. This is awesome. Here's the mic. Yeah, no, we're good. Okay." So as much as I'd like to say it had action and camera, the whole, it was just truly amazing. There's nothing like it.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, you kind of feel like you're on TV really, right? It's like a whole nother level. It's a little different than just looking into the webcam.

Karmel James: Yes, it is a full TV production.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. So aside from seeing many, many, many boxes come into this amazing office that you rented. Any part of the process in putting together the content or anything that kind of surprised you?

Karmel James: No. It really felt like I was just being an admin and just having to showcase one of the solutions that I built, right? Getting a dev org to go ahead and build something out, that's what I do every single day. So it was super easy to say let me build out this flow, let me test it and if you go back and watch my episode my flow says version nine because that's true. I had to go through multiple versions of testing and making sure that what I was about to show on camera actually worked. So it was super easy to just dive in and be like, cool here you go. Here's my flow. Here are the records that get created. Here's the automation that's going to fire the chatter notification that's going to come up. It was every day. The only difference was there's a teleprompter in front of me.

Gillian Bruce: Right. Because we had to fit everything into 10 minutes, so we had to keep it concise and that's great. I mean, Karmel this is exactly why we had you, we had Andrew, we had Tony, we had Madeline and we have Sarah coming next week. Sneak peek to listeners. Because these are problems that you are already solving, you weren't making this up specifically for something we had specifically asked you to do. So I think that's really great and I really appreciate you sharing your expertise with our audience. One other thing I wanted to talk about Karmel and that's pretty fun. So we have one more episode coming out, as I said sneak peek Sarah Pilzer is going to be featured in next week's episode. It's the last of five that we're featuring on Salesforce+. Our team discovered at Salesforce that you all, the amazing guests who were featured in these episodes were hosting watch parties for the premiere of your new episodes. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Karmel James: Yes. So those watch parties were the culmination of a really great meeting at one of the dreaming events. It's just Tony and Andrew and I, and we're having a great time Midwest dreaming and we're just talking about how we're all really excited for these episodes to come out, right? We're jazzed because none of us have seen anything that we've done. All we have is our own individual experiences in front of the camera. So Andrew's like, "Oh my gosh, should we do a watch party?" And we're like, "Yeah, let's do it." So we just were like we can get the community involved in this. We can absolutely just live stream it for ourselves and all watch it together and oh my gosh, having all of these people show up to watch your episode with you is a little scary. Because you're like, "Oh my God that's where I fumbled. Oh man, I had to do that four times. If I have to repeat that's How I Solved It. Oh my God, I'm so afraid. Please don't make me watch this in front of people."

Gillian Bruce: But you all did it to yourself.

Karmel James: We did, we absolutely did and now we get Tony's watch party and Sarah's watch party it's just rolling. So it's just the best time, I don't even know what to say other than we're just having fun with it.

Gillian Bruce: Well, what's so great is I've been able to jump in on the watch parties and just seeing how many people from all different parts of the community have been a part of that. So, I mean the watch party that we did for your episode was last week. There was a woman who jumped on who's like, "Oh, I'm really brand new to the Salesforce ecosystem and this video just totally made sense to me. I don't know the technology, I don't know the terms. But to see a real problem getting solved by someone who is realistic to me and I can relate to and then seeing the payoff and really walking through the process in a fun way that's easy to consume." So that made me feel really good. Because I mean, this is the work that you all have done so we're just highlighting it. So yeah, it's great. So everyone listening if you want to join in on the last watch party, which will be for Sarah Pilzer's episode coming up on Wednesday.
Check the show notes for deets, because I will definitely put some info there and also follow all of our amazing guests on Twitter because that's where you're going to see everything.

Karmel James: Oh yes. Tony right now is telling me I can't believe that that's the picture that you used and I'm like but it's a beautiful picture of you. Yes, we are going to embarrass you as we embarrassed all of ourselves. We did this to ourselves like you said. But I will say those watch parties are absolutely incredible to see the entire community come together and have that exact reaction of I didn't know that this was possible. Can I come ask you questions? Do you mind if I do that? And I can say for myself and probably for Andrew too we absolutely do not mind if you come ask us questions. That's why we agreed to be part of this. We are more than happy to help other people in the community, especially if you're struggling with flow. If you're struggling to understand a Salesforce concept, we want you to feel supported and we want you to know that there are other people out there who have these same struggles, who know what you're going through and we are live people.
It's not just a thread on the trailblazer community, we are here. We are real. We are the Steve Mo's of the world.

Gillian Bruce: Steve Mo will be so happy that he's been honored in this podcast.

Karmel James: I hope so. Because he has the biggest thread of all of us in the community of just answering every single question.

Gillian Bruce: Well #belikestevemo right?

Karmel James: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: Anyway, Karmel seriously thank you so much. You were fabulous in your episode and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise. Once we did this with you, I know that you also were just part of Automate This, which is another amazing series that Jen Lee does on YouTube. So I'll put a link in the show notes so people can check out that episode as well and looking forward to all the other great content that you're going to continue to generate. So thank you.

Karmel James: Oh, thank you Gillian. This has been the most amazing thing and I'm just so honored to be part of the process and I look forward to seeing who the next trailblazer is on more episodes later.

Gillian Bruce: I love it calling out for more trailblazers. All right, thank you so much Karmel.

Karmel James: Thanks Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Thank you to both Andrew and Karmel and all of our guests that we featured on How I Solved It, not just for the Salesforce+ series. But for the YouTube series as well and huge shout out to Jen Lee who is the host of our YouTube version. She also hosts Automate This, which is another amazing actual live YouTube session where you see how admins are solving real problems. If you haven't watched this series, seriously go to Salesforce+ check out How I Solved It. I want to know what you think as you heard from Andrew and Karmel. If you've got questions and you want to ask more about what they showed please reach out to them. They're super easy to access and I guarantee that our other guests would also be more than happy to answer questions that you have about anything you saw in their episodes. So check out the show notes I've got links for everything in there and if you want to join the watch party for the final episode of this five part series that we're airing on Salesforce+ stay tuned to @salesforceadmns on Twitter.
That's where we will reshare the watch parties that the community is organizing all on their own and you can join in and be a part of the fun. This is I guess a series finale for Salesforce+, but don't worry we're already working on more. So if you want to learn more again about anything you heard about today or about anything that helps you be a more awesome Salesforce admin go to, my favorite website. You can find blogs, you can find videos, you can find product information and if you're getting ready for a little thing called Dreamforce there's going to be some information on there too. So thank you so much for joining us today, if you want to find my co-host Mike Holt, you can find him at Mike Holt. If you want to find any of my guests today, Karmel James is @Armejam on Twitter and if you want to find Andrew Russo, he is @_andrewrusso. Again, all the links are in the show notes, really appreciate you joining us today.
Check out How I Solved It and if you've got an interesting problem that you've solved with Salesforce let me know. You can find me @gilliankbruce on Twitter. With that I hope you have an amazing day and we'll catch you next time in the cloud.

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

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Stuart Mills, VP Trailhead EMEA and Ecosystems at Salesforce.


Join us as we talk about why Admins are so important, future roles and career paths, as well as the best way to keep learning.


You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Stuart Mills.

Essential Habits for Admin Success is now on Trailhead

That's right, the webinar/trailhead live/presentation you have all loved and listened to is now a learning module on Trailhead, so head on over and be one of the first admins to get the new Essential Habits Trailhead Badge.

Why tech is only as valuable as the people behind it

Like a lot of people we talk to on the pod, Stuart got his start as an accidental admin. “We found Salesforce as a colorful version of a CRM technology,” he says, “ever since then it’s been this thing that’s grown with me—I’ve grown with it and it’s grown on its own.” He was actually originally an aeronautical engineer, and Salesforce stuck out as a platform where he could understand what he was looking at and solve his business’s needs.


Stuart sees the Admin role as critical for any organization that wants to succeed with Salesforce. “Understanding how you administer and use a technology like Salesforce is how it has value,” he says, “tech is only as valuable as the human solutions it solves for.” 

The power skills are transferable skills

A truth in this industry is that many of the most important jobs people will do in the future don’t exist yet. For example, for many of you reading this today, the Salesforce Admin role probably didn’t exist when you graduated from college.


Stuart points out that the growth in technologies like AI is going to necessitate people learning new things and taking on new roles that they can’t even imagine, and so that means you need to focus on the “Power Skills” you bring with you to into that new career path or new function. Transferable skills won’t necessarily show up in your badges and certifications, but they’re just as important to show as anything else on your resume. 

Different approaches to learning

In his role as leading Trailhead Academy EMEA, Stuart gets to see so many different people go through their learning experiences and he has a few observations. While it’s true that almost everyone at one point or another needs a teacher, you also need a peer. Someone to push you and help you engage with problems and with whom you can grow together.


Of course, the more diverse your peer group the stronger you are for it, and one of the biggest leaps they’ve taken forward in recent years is improving the accessibility of Trailhead. One of the guiding principles they stick to is the idea of “Ethical by Design,” meaning that accessibility is deeply thought about from the ground up. As Stuart puts it, “you can’t be what you can’t see.”


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

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Amit Malik, Senior Manager, Global Architect Program.

Join us as we talk about the Architect courses on Trailhead and why all Admins should think about taking them.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Amit Malik.

Why Admins are already Architecting

We wanted to bring Amit on the pod because he’s the only Architect Trailhead Instructor, and we wanted to find out more about what’s on offer and if they make sense for Admins. One thing he loves about his current role is that he can see “how Administrators, Developers, and Architects are having a similar thought process in terms of how to see Salesforce from different perspectives and how we can add value by sharing the perspective of different personas with each other and expand our mind horizons,” he says.

One message he has for Admins out there is that a lot of the work you’re doing is already giving you the context to upskill into an Architect role, or otherwise expand your knowledge of the Salesforce ecosystem as a whole. If you already know Marketing Cloud, it’s a lot easier to learn Experience Cloud, for example. As Amit puts it, you can look to grow both horizontally (between products) and vertically (in terms of depth of knowledge on a platform) as you advance your career.

The three-step learning process

When you’re looking to learn something new, Amit encourages you to think about it as a three-step process:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Experience
  3. Exposure

Knowledge comes when you read about something, watch a video about it, hear about it at a conference, etc. Experience is applying that knowledge to specific situations in a real-world setting. Finally, exposure comes from conversations with experienced people who may have gained a completely different perspective than they had when they started. It’s that three-dimensional view you get from understanding how something works in conjunction with everything else.

Architect courses on Trailhead

Amit wants you to know that Architect courses aren’t just for Architects. “We all are Salesforce professionals,” he says, “Administrators, Developers, Solution Architects, Technical Architects: we all are Salesforce professionals.” If you’re discussing integration in your meetings, or large data volume, or single sign-on—anything that involves multiple Salesforce products talking together—you have a lot to gain sitting in on an Architect course or two.

The 101 course is there to provide a broad, big-picture overview of what being an Architect is all about. As Amit puts it, the goal is to point you in the direction of what there is to learn about so you can fill in the details in whatever way is most helpful to you. “The challenge of the learner is that they don’t know where to start,” he says, “the moment that they know where to start they can keep on learning faster than I can teach them.” From there, the next level courses are more specialized, after you’ve completed some basic Architect certifications. “Join these courses to discover yourself so you can make the right decision for your career,” he says, “if you don’t know we will help you see the path because we’ve already walked through these journeys.”


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