Thu, 29 December 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the Monthly Retro for December. Join us as we review the top product, community, and careers content for December, and hear about Gillian’s visit to French Touch Dreamin.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation from our Monthly Retro.
Go to an event!
Gillian just got back from delivering the keynote address at French Touch Dreamin. If you’ve never been to a Dreamin event, there’s probably one near you or even remote options available. They’re organized by the community and have a very different feel from the official Salesforce events like World Tour, though you should also give those a try.
Blog highlights from December
The weather outside is frightful, the fire’s so delightful, and you know what that means: it’s time to get ready for the Spring ‘23 Release. Ella Marks put together a great blog post laying out the major milestones you need to have on your calendar to get ready.
Video highlights from December
If you haven’t checked out the official Salesforce Admins YouTube channel, you’re missing out. Jennifer Lee is rocking some great live streams—Automate This! is must-see TV. You get to watch Jennifer and some amazing Trailblazers solve problems, live, right in front of your eyes, and if you miss anything you can always go back and watch the replay.
Podcast highlights from December
We really think you should take a listen to Brenda Glasser’s episode if you missed it the first time. She’s currently a Salesforce Architect, but the story of her career goes hand-in-hand with how she was able to champion the Salesforce platform at her organization, and she has a lot to say about how to do that effectively.
Just for fun
Mike and Gillian check in on their feelings about candy canes and ask the hard questions, like why are there fruit-flavored candy canes and who actually enjoys them?
Full show transcript
Mike: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast in the December Monthly Retro. Oh, the last one for 2022. I'm your host and in this episode, we will review the top product community careers for December plus anything else we can think of that's top of mind. I don't know. You never know what's going to come to our minds, but also joining me is Gillian Bruce. Hey, Gillian.
Gillian: Hi, Mike Gerholdt. How you doing?
Mike: Good so far.
Gillian: Happy December.
Mike: I know. Can you believe it's already? It happened just like boop. Oh, 2022 is over.
Gillian: Yeah. It felt like this year went a lot quicker than the two years prior.
Mike: Right. Yes. Well, maybe we're catching back up.
Gillian: It's a good thing.
Mike: You fast forward the VHS tape. Because everything is digital now, you don't fast forward. We did some things. You did a thing. You went over to France and did French Touch Dreamin.
Gillian: I did.
Mike: Let's kick off there because that was fun.
Gillian: I got on an airplane. I got to go to Paris. I got to hang out with our amazing EMEA Trailblazer community. Let me tell you, this event, so French Touch Dreamin, it's got to be the biggest, or if not, along with maybe London's Calling, one of the biggest community events outside of the US. Jean Michelle has been running this for a while. It is such a cool event. They had an overwhelming response this year, so they had a lot more people attend than they had planned. But it was wonderful. It was just really a great opportunity again to see folks I have not seen in many years, to meet a bunch of new trailblazers in the EMEA community. It was also pretty sweet because the Salesforce office, for those of you don't know, is literally right next to the Eiffel Tower.
Mike: Well, it is the holidays. Or I would add, Gillian, really any community event, because there's a lot of community events across the US. You don't have to fly all the way to France.
Gillian: Yeah, there's community events everywhere. There was a community event in Morocco, North Africa Dreamin just a month ago. No matter where you are, really, hey, if you have not attended a Dreamin event, I guarantee you there's one within a reasonable distance of where you live, so check it out. There's also a lot of virtual ones, too, which is pretty fun. Definitely a lot more of a program than a typical user group meeting. It's very different from going to a Salesforce sponsored event because these are all put on by the community. Salesforce has nothing to do with the programming and sometimes they invite people who work at Salesforce like myself to participate, which is really cool.
Mike: Speaking of Salesforce sponsored.
Gillian: Good segue.
Mike: We also did World Tour New York early part of December, it was December 8th. I want to say. For some reason that sticks in my head.
Gillian: I think you're right. Yeah.
Mike: That looked like a packed event. We had Lisa there and Jennifer and Ella from our team. That was a really cool event and a ton of community people. Holy cow.
Gillian: The Twitter thread was unending of all of the selfies and the photos. Michelle Hansen, our golden hoodie winner from our keynote at Dreamforce was there giving a session. Michael [inaudible] won the golden hoodie in the main keynote. It was very, very cool. Just from what I heard, what Lisa and Ella and Jen said is it was packed. There was so many people.
Mike: It looked packed. Did you see that? The pictures, it looked packed. It reminded me of London World Tour that one year that was just like...
Gillian: That's right. It was like 10,000 people.
Mike: Let me just wiggle through people.
Gillian: Yeah. Javits Center was going off with a lot of Salesforce content and some fun. If you missed it, you could actually, I think watch the broadcast that happened during the event. Check that out. I know they definitely got a version of Mark's keynote on there, which is interesting to always check out and see what's top of mind for him. Definitely had even a new framework that he's playing with about playing on the seven habits of highly effective people, the seven habits of highly effective companies. Check it out. An interesting approach.
Mike: Yeah. Wonder if we've done that. Anyway, let's talk about the cool content we had for December, at least the three things we think you should pay attention to. I'll kick off. Wouldn't be December if it wasn't talking about spring, because the second, a little flurry flies, we immediately start thinking about the next season. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the spring '23 release dates countdown blog that we put up, because you probably already have those dates on your calendar as an admin. If not, you will.
Gillian: Yeah. Get them, because guess what? It's right around the corner. It's a season of giving gifts and we're giving you the gift of another release coming very soon.
Mike: Yeah, it feels like. Okay, you do the holiday stuff. Yay. New Year's. Okay, now it's the release time.
Gillian: Yeah, it's release time this year. Trailblazer DX time, too.
Mike: Oh yeah, we have that coming up. We'll save that for our next Retro.
Gillian: Okay. I thought it'd be more of a January topic anyway.
Mike: Right. One thing at a time.
Gillian: I know, I know. I think [inaudible], what are we working on all the time every day right now? Oh, right. That's not actually for everyone else for a few months.
Mike: Right. Yeah. It's 90 days out. That's a long time in the real world.
Gillian: Yeah. In the real world. Well, in Salesforce timeline, that's was yesterday.
Mike: Right. Gillian, you did a great podcast with Brenda on propelling your career.
Gillian: Yeah. Brenda Glasser, she's actually an architect, but she came in as an awesome admin and has really worked in her career to build her skillset and grow into now, she manages a team of Salesforce professionals. She's working at a really cool innovative startup company, but she has been around on the ecosystem almost as long as I have. I think we've both been in around like 12, 13 years, which sounds crazy to say that, but she has really found that the way that she's been able to propel her career is by being an internal advocate for Salesforce. By being the person who keeps pushing the idea that, hey, could do this with Salesforce, we can build this out with Salesforce has really enabled her to grow her career and help her make the moves that she's been able to make to now be a really seasoned professional leading a team.
Mike: I enjoyed it. And then of course, we always point out video and I'm wanting to point out something a little different in not a specific video, but kind of a specific video, in that we do what I think is super cool, the royal we, Jennifer does live streams on our YouTube channel. I'll include the link in the show notes, but Automate This, it's just this really cool live thing that she does that I feel is, man, it's up there in terms of fun stuff to watch that you can just chime into and if you miss it, you can go back and watch it, but you also know when the next one is coming. I don't know, I find stuff like that really neat.
Gillian: Well, it's really innovative. Really, nobody else is doing what Jennifer is doing. It's highlighting trailblazers who are doing really interesting things and really going through it live. You are a part of it. This is not pre-recorded. It's a really fun way to really get involved, to feel connected, to learn. If you missed anything, you can then go back and watch the replay. But she does these quite often, so if you've never tuned into one, please go investigate.
Mike: Seriously. I feel like I'm constantly looking over at my Twitter feed and being like, oh, Jennifer is live on YouTube again.
Gillian: Yeah. And then everyone is like, oh my gosh, did you see this? Did you see this? I didn't know you could do this. Yeah. Very fun. Check it out.
Mike: Cool. Well, last Retro of 2022. I'll pull from an internal question that we asked the team. Gillian, do you have a preference on candy canes? Do you like the peppermint or do you like the fruit?
Gillian: Fruit candy canes are what? Why?
Mike: I know, right?
Gillian: I like the pretty colors, the rainbow colors are...
Mike: I think they're sweet.
Gillian: I see what you did there.
Mike: I try.
Gillian: I like a good peppermint candy cane in my hot cocoa. Mm-hmm. Just a little minty.
Mike: Oh, yeah. This is that time of year when everything becomes candy cane flavored.
Gillian: I will say my three-year-old son Jack just had his first candy cane the other day and it blew his mind. He also didn't understand the thing that you're just supposed to leave it in your mouth. He kept taking it out and touching it and getting all sticky and getting everything else all sticky. At some point, I just made it disappear. Candy canes. Mike, what about you? Fruit candy cane?
Mike: No, I'm team peppermint. There's one reason it should be striped like that. I also would buy candy canes if they were peppermint flavored, but had the beauty of the fruit candy cane. If I want a piece of fruit, I'm going to get a Jolly Rancher or something. That to me doesn't say holidays. This is the one time a year you can walk around with a candy cane in your mouth and not look like a weirdo.
Gillian: I guess that's a good point.
Mike: Why waste it on a fruit candy cane?
Gillian: You know what else I really like to do with candy canes? I like to make peppermint bark.
Mike: Oh, I just like the regular bark, the almond bark. Do you like chocolate bark or almond bark? I like almond.
Gillian: I don't really discriminate, but a good peppermint bark is really hard to beat. The William Sonoma Peppermint bark, that's the bar to meet. But making your own peppermint bark, I like milk chocolate with the candy canes.
Mike: Oh. I think I pepperminted myself out too much one year. They had a peppermint coffee and I drank too much of it and now I'm just a little, it's like pumpkin spice.
Gillian: Well, I wonder if we're going to start another feud here because we're both big peppermint proponents, but what are the other holiday flavors? There's eggnog, hot cocoa.
Mike: In a candy cane? Here's an eggnog candy cane. Oh, that sounds horrible.
Gillian: Eggnog is just not my thing anyway.
Mike: No, no.
Gillian: Well, mulled wine is a thing that people get into at the holidays, which is quite delicious and so boozy. It's so dangerous.
Mike: I thought we were talking about candy canes.
Gillian: Yeah, sorry. I just took it another direction. I apologize. I don't know of candy cane things.
Mike: Would you like a mulled wine candy cane, an eggnog candy cane, or a no thank you, we're good candy cane?
Gillian: Yeah. Other than the fruit version. I don't know of any other non-peppermint candy cane.
Mike: Right, because it's a waste of time.
Gillian: Yeah. Well, now everyone is going to want to eat a candy cane.
Mike: I know. Well, 'tis the season. All right, well, if you want to learn more about all things admin and anything that we just talked about in this episode, minus fruit flavored candy canes, please go to admin.salesforce.com to find those links and resources. You can stay up to date with us for all things social. We are @SalesforceAdmns, no I, on Twitter. I'm of course @MikeGerholdt on Twitter and Gillian is @gilliankbruce. With that, stay safe, stay awesome, have a great holiday season, and we will see you in the cloud.
Thu, 22 December 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Rohit Mehta, Senior Product Manager for Sandboxes and Scratch Orgs at Salesforce.
Join us as we talk about how to think about sandboxes and scratch orgs and some tips for how to use them better.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Rohit Mehta.
Diving into sandboxes
We’ve talked a lot about why sandboxes are so important for admins over the years, but we’ve never really gotten into the nitty-gritty of it. That’s why for this episode, we thought we’d bring on the sandbox PM, Rohit, to talk through everything.
Rohit has been at Salesforce for a long time, first as a computer engineer and then later on the product side of things. In fact, he says, “a lot of the product that I manage nowadays I actually built, years ago.” Since he took over the team, there have been a lot of improvements to what sandboxes have to offer, including upgrades to speed and reliability, data masking, and partial sandboxes, and the future is looking even more exciting.
Hyperforce and the need for speed
One big thing coming up is sandboxes for Hyperforce. If you’re not familiar, Hyperforce is a Salesforce deployment on public cloud infrastructure (like AWS). “One of the most common complaints that we get from customers is that their sandbox takes too long to create,” Rohit says, “but now with Hyperforce, we can produce sandboxes much much faster due to a newly-rearchitected design.”
They’re starting with Quick Clone for Dev and Dev Pro sandboxes coming up in Winter ‘23, with an eye towards a GA release in Spring ‘23 (forward-looking statement!). The Create operation will be coming along shortly after, so lots to look forward to. “People don’t often think about speed as a feature,” Rohit says, “but we make speed improvements on every release.” And the goal with Hyperforce is to be able to create sandboxes an order of magnitude faster than before. That’s 10x, for those of you playing along from home.
Check out scratch orgs
Rohit is also the product manager for scratch orgs, so we figured he’s perhaps the best person in the world to ask this question: what’s the difference between sandboxes and scratch orgs? scratch org is a source-driven and disposable deployment of Salesforce code and metadata. A scratch org is fully configurable, allowing developers to emulate different Salesforce editions with different features and preferences, and they only last 30 days. Sandboxes are copies of your Salesforce org that you can use for development, testing, and training, without compromising the data and applications in your production org.
Source-based development can really improve the speed that you’re able to deliver complex projects, so Rohit encourages every admin to give scratch orgs a closer look. While creating one through the CLI may seem complicated, there are a lot resources out there to help you make it happen, and new declarative options are on the way.
Thu, 15 December 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Eddie Cliff, Senior Director of Product Management for Salesforce Easy.
Join us as we talk about what Salesforce Easy is and what it means for Admins.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Eddie Cliff.
What is Salesforce Easy?
Eddie has had a varied career that has taken him all over the world. He’s lived and worked everywhere form NYC to Singapore to Sydney. Nowadays, he’s based in New Orleans, which means he can say he’s from the Big Easy and works on Salesforce Easy. Eddie leads the team of product managers working on it and that’s exactly why we brought him on the pod.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Salesforce Easy aims to help companies of all sizes get started on Salesforce faster and, yes, easier than ever before. As Eddie says, they’ve adopted a mantra of “Easy by default, and advanced by choice.” In practice, it means you can get set up on the critical aspects of a deployment first, and then expand your functionality as you go. You can think of it as a new front door for Salesforce.
An Innovation Center for everyone
On the top floor of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, there’s something called the SIC: the Salesforce Innovation Center. Here, we bring together Salesforce customers with leaders from the Salesforce team to share best practices, case studies, and more, with a focus on digital transformation.
“The unfortunate thing about the SIC is there’s only one top floor of the Salesforce Tower,” Eddie says, “so they don’t scale very well.” Salesforce Easy aims to bring all of those learnings and best practices to everyone, with an onboarding process that helps every company implement them right away, without the commute to San Francisco.
Salesforce Easy asks you questions as you’re setting up in order to recommend out-of-the-box sales processes that are tried and true, and start closing more deals — fast. This includes declarative defaults across Sales and Service processes, reports and dashboards that work from jump, consistent record page layouts with best-practice information architecture, a simplified import experience, and so much more.
Elevating the admin
So what does this all mean for admins? The benefit of a streamlined setup that implements so many best practices is that the more technical, repetitive, and support tasks are already taken care of for you. That frees up admins to be more strategic and focus on integrating Salesforce with their organization to improve business processes and support business objectives.
Most importantly, Salesforce Easy expands on existing platform capabilities and solutions that admins can leverage to help their users. You can take advantage of features like in-app guidance and in-app learning that make it, well, easy to onboard users who are new to Salesforce or changing roles.
Eddie also shares some exciting ideas they’re working on rolling out soon, including smart guidance and spotlighting to help users do their jobs better every time they log in. Go ahead and sign up now—it’s free and takes three clicks—and Eddie would love to hear your feedback.
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Thu, 8 December 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Brenda Glasser, Salesforce Architect at Ripple and co-leader of the Atlanta Salesforce Architect Community Group.
Join us as we talk about how evangelizing Salesforce and being an advocate for expanding the use of Salesforce within your company can help propel your career.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Brenda Glasser.
Why Salesforce can do more
Brenda has built out Salesforce implementations at several different organizations over her long career in the ecosystem so we brought her on the pod to share some lessons she’s learned along the way. “Salesforce, as a platform, can do so much within an organization,” she says, but it can be hard to think big when you’re only using one or two clouds and you’re a solo admin.
If your data is in a bunch of different places, or if you are seeing people lose time to tedious manual processes in email or spreadsheets, it can be really powerful to step forward and point out how Salesforce can make things work more smoothly. But how do you take the first steps?
Show your work
Advocating for big changes takes time: you need to build trust and credibility. Brenda recommends trying to find some low-hanging fruit where you can make a big impact quickly. It’s also important to realize that the people in your organization who are struggling the most with Salesforce can be your biggest opportunities. “If they don’t like it, find out why,” she says. After all, it’s your job to help them do their job better, and if you do that you can turn your worst critics into your biggest fans.
The other thing that works really well with stakeholders is building a proof of concept. Gathering some quick requirements and making something can show them that what you’re suggesting is really possible. As the saying goes: you have to see it to believe it. Your Salesforce account team and the Trailblazer community can help you figure things out—you don’t have to go it alone.
How your career can grow with your org
For Brenda, being an effective champion for Salesforce starts with listening. Always be on the lookout for problems you can solve. Being eager to jump in and start building can put a lot of work on your plate, but it also makes you visible to leadership as somebody they can count on.
“If you work for a company that is supportive and committed,” Brenda says, “then that will mean you’ll get additional resources.” You can soon find yourself leading a team, or learning more about the platform and moving into a different role as your org grows. But it’s all about stepping forward and saying, “Hey, Salesforce can do this and I can show you how.”
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 how you can be a Salesforce evangelist within your own organization. Today we are going to be speaking with Brenda Glasser, who is a community leader. She has been in the Salesforce ecosystem for, I mean, longer than I've been in, maybe around the same time, about 12, 13 years. So a while.
Brenda Glasser: Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here.
Gillian Bruce: Well, I am very glad to have you on. We've got a really fun discussion in store. But before we get into that, why don't you take a moment and just kind of introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do, how long you've been in the ecosystem?
Brenda Glasser: Sure. So I'm Brenda Glasser. I live in the Atlanta area. I am currently a Salesforce Architect for a company called Ripple, which is in the cryptocurrency space, which has been an interesting journey for me. Yeah, I've been in the ecosystem, I think about 13 or 14 years. I don't actually know, but I've been around for a while. I got started sort of pre-Trailhead and all that good stuff. And I also help co-lead the brand new Salesforce architect Trailblazer Community Group here in Atlanta.
Gillian Bruce: That's awesome. So just a few years in Salesforce, still learning the ropes, right?
Brenda Glasser: I am though. That's the thing, is you never stop learning. So I am still learning the ropes.
Gillian Bruce: I love that. I love that. Well, congrats on leading the new architect group there in Atlanta. Very exciting. Brenda, I wanted to get you on the podcast because with all of the experience that you've had in Salesforce over the years, you had a lot of experience kind of working with organizations and getting them on board with Salesforce and kind of making a case for why they should use more Salesforce. I wanted to get a talk about how admins can really think about setting a vision for Salesforce. And so can you talk to us a little bit about how setting a vision for Salesforce has helped you in your career?
Brenda Glasser: Yeah, absolutely. So I think the first thing is just to know that Salesforce as a platform can do so much within an organization. But I know I have, especially when I was first starting out, where you're in roles, your company is using it maybe for only certain use cases, or maybe they just have Sales Cloud or they just have one or two Clouds, especially if you are a solo admin or working in a smaller org with a very small team, it can be easy to sort of think of Salesforce as smaller than it really is. But as a platform and with everything, all the different Clouds and different offerings, there is really just so much that Salesforce can do for any organization. And so I think as I have been on my Salesforce journey, I've had the opportunity to get experience and learn about a lot of the different Clouds.
Gillian Bruce: So I mean, I think, you hit the nail on the head a lot of ways about understanding, hey, Salesforce can do so much, right, even if you're only working on Sales Cloud. It's really good to know, oh, it can do all of these other things as well, especially now with Tableau and Slack and MuleSoft in the house.
Brenda Glasser: Mm-hmm.
Gillian Bruce: In order to kind of get buy-in from stakeholders to maybe expand the business a bit and expand the use of Salesforce across the business. What are some things that have helped you in the past? Maybe pushed for that? Because I can imagine especially, I mean, a lot of times Salesforce admins we're the only ones in the company who even knows anything about Salesforce, right?
Brenda Glasser: Mm-hmm. Yep.
Gillian Bruce: So what are some things that have helped you in the past kind of sell the business in terms of getting them to expand the use of Salesforce? Maybe think about bringing more processes within the Salesforce platform.
Brenda Glasser: Yeah, I mean, I think the most important thing really is to kind of build trust and credibility amongst your team and amongst your stakeholders. So if your stakeholders don't know you or they don't trust you, or maybe don't fully buy in to Salesforce, that could definitely make it harder to get their buy-in. So I think trying to proactively find and help support maybe some low hanging fruit and spending the time to understand, hey, if they maybe are not the number one fans of Salesforce within their organization, if they find it clunky or it's not easy to use or they don't like it, I think find out why, right? So really go in with an attitude of, Hey, I'm not here to be defensive. This is a platform and it's my job to help you do your job better. So I think it really does start with building that trust and credibility.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. You got to see it to believe it, right? I mean, that's kind of the idea. And I really like how you broke it down into the two steps, right? First, really establish that trust. Establish yourself as the subject matter expert, as the trusted advisor when it comes to Salesforce, that you can deliver results, you can have an impact. And then when you want to expand, be like, oh look, look what I can do. Look what I can build for you. I think that's a really, really good kind of two step vision setting process there.
Brenda Glasser: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I think the first part, I just really love building stuff on Salesforce. So for me, it's fairly natural because I really like solving problems. And that's the reason that I fell in love with Salesforce to begin with was something so simple of I can create a field for you, look at that and receiving that feedback selfishly. I love almost nothing more when I can solve an issue for somebody, even if to me it's something really simple, it can really kind of make somebody's day. So for me, definitely I am just super passionate about the platform and what it can do. And so I am always looking for opportunities to raise my hand or poke my head in to say, actually Salesforce can help with that. Do you want to learn more? Do you want to see how? So I think it really starts with, again, listening, looking for problems, looking for opportunities.
Gillian Bruce: I love that. It's an investment in yourself, which also turns out to be an investment in the company and in Salesforce too, because the more people like you that are out there, the better the product gets because you give us feedback. But I think one of the things that I heard in that is, hey, it can be a little scary because you're the eager person and you create all this more work for yourself and you create all these opportunities, which means there's just endless things that you can work on.
Brenda Glasser: Yeah. So I think one is, and this is something that you kind of develop a muscle for over time I think is setting expectations. So just because you're saying yes, Salesforce can do this is not the same thing as saying Salesforce can do this and I'll have it done by next week. You are constantly having to evaluate and also prioritize with your leadership, with the company's priorities. Just because you as an individual or you as an admin team have identified a problem that you can go solve doesn't mean it's the top priority. So you have to constantly check in with yourself, check in with your team, check in with your manager, your leadership to make sure that you're focusing on the right things at the right time. But also providing that feedback and expectations to your stakeholders to give them realistic timelines, understanding scope, and having them understand they're going to have to participate in the process.
Gillian Bruce: I mean, I think we all struggle with that, all these competing priorities, all these things that want a piece of us in our lives and figuring out how to divvy that up in the right way. So well said, well said. And I think this discussion ties pretty well with another episode that was recently on the podcast kind of dealing with talking about burnout that was on the developer podcast. So I think it's a really good conversation to say, Hey, yes, you can go be an evangelist for Salesforce and you can help grow your abilities and grow the capabilities of Salesforce within your organization, but also you need to make sure that you're taking care of what needs to be taken care of, which is number one yourself, right?
Brenda Glasser: Yep.
Gillian Bruce: And making sure that by investing both in yourself by growing your expertise within Salesforce and growing your responsibilities at your role at your company, but that you're not doing it at the compromise of something else.
Brenda Glasser: Yeah, I mean, I think just sort of getting to know even at a really high level what all is available from Salesforce. So again, when we were first starting out, we focus a lot on really kind of the core platform and getting admins search and kind of starting down our certification journey. But I would really recommend spending time on Trailhead or getting involved within the Trailblazer community on some of the other offerings. So there's wonderful Trailblazer groups and conferences and trails on things like Experience Cloud, on Marketing Cloud, on Tableau, on what else is out there. You certainly don't need to be an expert, but I think just knowing what those offerings are can really make a big difference to help you put on your creative problem-solving hat and looking for where there can be opportunities to expand your utilization of the platform.
Gillian Bruce: I love that. Expand your horizons a little bit. I think that's great, especially your note about you don't have to be an expert to go to a Marketing Cloud user group meeting.
Brenda Glasser: Nope, nope.
Gillian Bruce: Show up, take it in. Learn something.
Brenda Glasser: Exactly. Exactly.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, that's great. Well, Brenda, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today, and it's wonderful to hear about how you've learned to be an advocate for Salesforce within your organizations and then how it's really helped you propel your career, and then maybe give some insight to some others for some opportunities. So thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Brenda Glasser: Oh, well, thank you. Thank you so much for having me on. I really enjoyed it.
Gillian Bruce: Well, huge thanks for Brenda for taking the time to chat with us. I really enjoyed our discussion and I hope you enjoyed it too. I love talking about being an advocate, wanting to do more work, but also being very cautious about the work that you're taking on and trying to balance that with all of the other things you have and prioritizing. It can be hard sometimes, but I mean, I am very naturally an eager, let's go do all the things person, and I struggle with taking on too much myself. So really good discussion with Brenda about that. I wanted to remind you that as you go into your end of year/beginning of year planning and you're trying to figure out what you might want to learn, we have some really great content on admin.salesforce.com and if you haven't spent time there lately, please go check it out.
Direct download: Propel_Your_Career_by_Being_a_Salesforce_Advocate_with_Brenda_Glasser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT
Thu, 1 December 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we have a guest episode from the Salesforce Developers Podcast. Host Josh Birk talks to Drew Tauber, a Salesforce Engineer at Clear.
Join us as we talk about how to identify signs of burnout and the steps you can take to prevent it from happening.
When Drew was trying to change jobs, he went to an interview where the company had mislabeled the job title as “Systems Administrator” instead of Information Systems Specialist. He still got the role and it led him to transition to working entirely in Salesforce and taking on more of a Developer role. Today, he describes his job as somewhere between an Admin, a Developer, and a “proto-Architect.”
Signs of burnout
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, stressed, or like the amount of work you have to do is insurmountable, you may be headed toward burnout. Drew gave a presentation about this very topic at World Tour New York, and he’s had many conversations about it in his role as co-leader of the New York City User Group.
When the pandemic hit, “everyone’s work-life balance went out the window,” Drew says, and the same goes for traditional structure and support networks. Salesforce professionals were hit especially hard because as everything went remote, there was increased pressure to expand functionality to account for the “new normal.” At Drew’s company, for example, the Salesforce footprint doubled but his team remained the same size.
Why it’s OK to ask for help
The first step Drew recommends to help with burnout is to ask for help. It took a while to add more people to his team, “but even just seeing that there was a light at the end of the tunnel was hugely helpful,” he says. It’s in your company’s best interest for you to not burn out, so don’t be afraid to start a tough but necessary conversation.
Asking for help can extend to things beyond just asking for more people or resources. You can ask for help carving out some time away from the job, or help yourself by establishing clear communication boundaries so you don’t feel like you’re “always on.” There’s a lot of value in managing expectations by saying, “I can’t get to that right now but I will when I have a minute.” The research also shows that exercise is also crucial. “Stress is a physical reaction in the body,” Drew says, “and it definitely helps to get the endorphins going.”
There’s so much more in this episode so be sure to listen in and, if you like what you’re hearing, be sure to subscribe to the Salesforce Developers Podcast.
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Full show transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast. We talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. Now, this week we're going to try a little something different. So as you know, at Salesforce, we have quite a few podcasts, and one of those we're good friends with the Salesforce Developer Podcast hosted by Josh Burke. You've heard him here on the pod before. He's been on, talk about some developer stuff and Trailhead. And you know what? We wanted to try one do a little something different and we wanted to swap out some episodes. So recently Josh had a guest on who was Drew Talber, who talked about burnout and stress. And you know what? Admins get burned out and stressed too. So do podcasters.
So what we're going to do is we're going to rebroadcast that episode so that you have a chance to listen to it. I think it's a really great episode. I've listened to it myself. And then you know what? Give it a listen. And if you love the podcast, go ahead and jump on over the Developer Podcast and give them a subscribe and check out what Josh is doing. So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Josh, take it away.
Drew Tauber: When I was in college, I went to college for information technology, and I was adamant that the last thing I wanted to do was be a coder.
Josh Birk: That is Drew Tauber, a senior Salesforce engineer over at CLEAR. I’m Josh Birk, your host for the Salesforce Developer Podcast. Here on the podcast, you’ll hear stories and insights from developers for developers. Today we sit down and talk with Drew about something people are really starting to talk more about, and I think it’s great. We’re going to talk about stress. We’re going to talk about burnout.
Josh Birk: We’re going to talk about anxiety and we’re going to talk about how it can affect you in the workplace and what you can do about it. Before we get into that, we’re going to start right after that cold quote and get into how Drew really did become a coder. Why?
Drew Tauber: For me, at the time, coders were just down in the basement, typing it out and I wanted to be upstairs with the people, so I went into desktop support, service support out there, working with end users. I think that’s why Salesforce wound up jibing with me as a developer role because I’m not hidden in the corner. I’m out there with my stakeholders, building stuff for them.
Josh Birk: Gotcha. You always had that people skills layer that you wanted to be able to dive into?
Drew Tauber: Mm-hmm.
Josh Birk: What’s your earliest memory of the computer?
Drew Tauber: Fourth grade Apple IIes, we were using some word processor, Magic Writer or something like that.
Josh Birk: Yes. The one that taught you by… Was the one that had the letters that would pop up so that you know you were hitting it right?
Drew Tauber: I think so. There was some key command you could put in to change the font face from bold to outlined or something like that.
Josh Birk: Nice.
Drew Tauber: I remember learning that and I remember going around the room in the computer lab with all the other fourth graders showing them this key command you could hit that would change your font.
Josh Birk: Nice. Very, very nice. A hacker from way back then.
Drew Tauber: Yes. I also remember the same time Logo Writer, which I didn’t even realize until college that that was teaching me coding.
Josh Birk: Oh, right, because that’s in the Turtle Graphics family of things, right?
Drew Tauber: Yeah. It’s all Turtle Graphics. Step forward, turn right, step back. Then we learned how to make pinwheels. I’m like, “Oh, that’s a forward loop.”
Josh Birk: Yep. Exactly. I can’t remember which interview it was that came up. I don’t think it’s been published yet. Logo came up again. Logo was weirdly my first computer science programming class. It was supposed to be just the basics of programming and so they used Logo as the starter kit. I remember I had homework that was converting Arabic numerals to Roman and then back again, and it would work five times and then it would just stop doing anything.
Josh Birk: To this date, I have no idea if it was because I was a bad programmer or because Logo sucks. 50/50 chance probably. When did you first get involved with Salesforce itself?
Drew Tauber: I first got involved with Salesforce… I actually just recently checked my dev org. I think it’s 12 years old.
Josh Birk: Oh, wow.
Drew Tauber: I was working at a payroll company in New Jersey. It’s a classic accidental admin story. My CTO, I was basically the IT guy there. Desktop servers, networks, AV equipment. Anything that turned on was my job. I’ve been one of the guys. My boss came to me one day, said, “Hey, our sales team’s been using Salesforce. It’s getting big, we’re taking it over in IT. You’re in charge of it.”
Drew Tauber: Then this was pre-Trailhead but we had Premier support so I’m doing the training webinars and everything. As I’m learning, I was like, “This is pretty good. I could do it. There’s a lot of stuff I could do here.” Now, I had been doing web development in my spare time and PHP so I had a idea for like, “Oh, yeah, there’s a lot of stuff that could be done here. I want to believe in that job for other reasons.”
Drew Tauber: But when I was looking for a new job, I completely… Completely by accident, so one of those sliding doors, serendipity moments. This job I was looking for… or I got called for, had mislabeled their job title as systems administrator.
Josh Birk: What was the title supposed to be?
Drew Tauber: Information system specialist. This recruiter was like, “Hey, I’ve got this job. It uses Salesforce. It’s a system administrator. I’m looking for system administrator roles. Do you want to go to this interview?” I was like, “Yeah, sure. Let’s do the interview.” I go in there and I quickly find out it’s a all-Salesforce job, which was not something I had been… I hadn’t thought about it yet I had been thinking like, “Oh, CRM would be a cool thing to do.”
Drew Tauber: I knew I had to pivot at some point because there wasn’t really going to be much of a use for on-prem server admins for much longer with AWS and everything happening. I was like, “Sure, I’ll go do this Salesforce role.” That was my first full-time Salesforce job and where I actually started developing.
Josh Birk: Interesting. Well, and so that was going to be my next question. You got launched into the you have to be the jack-of-all-trades person. How did you find learning development on Salesforce?
Drew Tauber: Good. I’m a learn by doer kind of thing. I love Trailhead, but I’m really much better at… The first thing I built on Salesforce was one of the call center agents… Because I worked in the office for my company where our customer support team was located and this was back in Classic. They said, “Hey, it’d be great if there was a way that we could see when someone sends a screenshot, if we could just see it on the page without having to click into the attachment, download the attachment and then open it up on our computer.”
Drew Tauber: I was like, “There’s got to be a way to do…” I basically started figuring out in Apex, how do I get the attachments? In Visualforce, how do I display the attachments? How do I make it so when you click on it opens up in a little modal window and shows you the actual screenshot of it?”
Josh Birk: Nice.
Drew Tauber: How do I make it show an icon if it’s a PDF kind of… And it just went from step one through step N as I just keep going.
Josh Birk: Yeah. I think it’s interesting how so many early use cases it’s just attachments were another interesting data point. Once you figure out how Apex can manipulate them, there were actually some kind of cool tricks you could do with it.
Drew Tauber: I spent two years at that company. They were really great. I mean, their whole idea is that we hire people who don’t know a ton of Salesforce have them learn on the fly. Then I spent two years there, got all my certifications from admin to dev one. Then after two years there, I moved to my current job.
Josh Birk: Gotcha. How would you describe your current role?
Drew Tauber: Officially my title is senior Salesforce engineer. I am basically the guy that all of our Salesforce customizations runs through to some degree. I started as the guy, I was the Salesforce guy. Now we have a team and it’s kind of an architect role, but not officially an architect role.
Josh Birk: Gotcha. The proto architect, but you’re still sort of the jack of all trades. You’re just the jack of all trades who can also help other people get their job done?
Drew Tauber: Mm-hmm.
Josh Birk: Nice. Nice.
Drew Tauber: We don’t have any admins. We just have four developers so we’re all kind of everything.
Josh Birk: Gotcha. I think if there’s an admin listening right now we might have just sent a little shiver down their spine.
Drew Tauber: Oh yeah. No. I could definitely use an admin, but we don’t have one.
Josh Birk: Gotcha. Before we get into the topic at hand, what’s your current role in Salesforce community?Drew Tauber: I’m a co-leader of the New York City user group and then just fan and everything else.
Josh Birk: How long have you been in the developer?
Drew Tauber: I’ve been a user group leader since March of 2020 which I don’t know if you remember, a lot of stuff happened in March of 2020.
Josh Birk: Oh, the timing.
Drew Tauber: It was literally… So there were three co-leaders of the user group. One of them got a job at Salesforce and I had already been doing presentations and helping out, so I always joke around the one thing that we’re great about as a Salesforce ecosystem is identifying people who will say yes to anything.
Josh Birk: Gotcha. Nice.
Drew Tauber: They asked me, “Do you want to be a co-leader?” This was literally my last day in the office before our one week test quarantine happened.
Josh Birk: My God.
Drew Tauber: I said, “Yeah, sure. I’ll do it. I’ll talk to you guys in a couple of weeks when this whole COVID thing’s over.”
Josh Birk: Wow.
Drew Tauber: Fast-forward to two years, I’m now doing in-person meetings again it’s weird for me because I’m like, “I’m just so used to it. I just throw up a Zoom link and people join. Now I got to find food for people? This is weird.”
Josh Birk: Weird. They actually need to eat and stuff.
Drew Tauber: I need to feed people and find space?
Josh Birk: Nice. Nice. Okay. Today we’re going to talk about burnout, which I believe you presented at World Tour New York, correct?
Drew Tauber: Yes.
Josh Birk: Nice. Let’s start at the beginning. What were some early signs that were making you question just how stressed are you?
Drew Tauber: A lot of it is just feeling overwhelmed. You have trouble not necessarily getting up in the morning, although that’s definitely part of it sometimes, but just seeing the list of work you have to do, and just seeing it as being insurmountable to the point where you don’t even know how you can start because you don’t see how you can finish and just gets debilitating in that respect.
Josh Birk: Yeah. Were you falling prey… And I am blanking on the term because there’s actually a cognitive term for it, where you look at a task and your instant reaction is that task clearly is going to take three/four hours, which is not true but your brain is convinced that it is true.
Drew Tauber: Yeah. That would definitely happen. I think there’s some… I don’t know what the official term of it, but there’s a phobia of an empty notebook and that same kind of situation where in my head I know in intellectually like yeah, once you just get started on a project, it just snowballs and then you finish it eventually. But it’s like seeing how many things have to be done, just the idea of starting it would feel so daunting.
Josh Birk: Yeah. I think it was somebody on the ADHD side of things that told me about the fork theory. The fork theory goes that a normal person, if they think about their day, they think about it in terms of five straws. It’s the five straws, those are the big five things that they’re going to have to accomplish through the day. The problem is some people get that detail-oriented way of… that hyper-vigilance way of thinking about it.
Josh Birk: It’s like they actually see five forks and of course each fork also has five tips to it. They’re not thinking in terms of five things they got to get done through the day. They’re thinking in terms of 25 things that they got to get done through the day.
Drew Tauber: Yeah. I like that analogy.
Josh Birk: Were you running into other things like sleeping, eating, that kind of stuff?
Drew Tauber: Oh yeah. I mean, a big part of it is… Especially in the last couple of years, everyone’s work-life balance went out the window. All of a sudden, I’m not commuting to work anymore, at the very beginning started off like, “Oh, I can sleep until 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be working and then roll out of bed and walk down the hallway to my home office and start working? Great.” That slowly turned into… I’m a late person normally.
Drew Tauber: On weekends, I’m up pretty late and this started turning to be like, “Oh, I’m going to be up to like 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, go to sleep, wake up at 8:30 in the morning, roll out, get my work done.” Sleep, it all… Part of it was stress but part of it was also just my pattern was already off. I was already halfway there.
Josh Birk: Yeah. I mean, think there was a collective groan around the world in March of 2020 because people who had very structured lives are suddenly trying to figure out which couch is going to be the most comfortable for them to sit down with their laptop. There’s just nothing healthy about any of that.
Drew Tauber: Yeah. All the gyms were closed. Thankfully I have a dog so he forced me to get outside of the house once or twice a day to take him for a walk.
Josh Birk: Yeah. That’s one of the things I really miss about having… I always joke cats are great if you want to stay in bed. Dogs are great if you want to get out and take a walk.
Drew Tauber: Yeah. Especially because at the beginning we thought, “Okay. Everybody is going to be a recluse for a month and come back, so why not live it up a little bit? I’m not going out and getting the healthy food options. I’m getting DoorDash. I’m getting whatever junk food I want to get sent to my house.” It gave me a head start towards a lot of these issues that turned into burnout.
Josh Birk: Well, and it’s like, it gives you a head start. You’re not socializing, you’re not eating, you’re not sleeping right. These are all core things that start the patterns that get worse, and everybody else is in the pandemic so you have this… At least I found it as you blanket it as normal. Like, who am I to complain about these things because the whole world is effectively going through it? Somewhere in my emotional brain, it was like, “Suck it up buttercup.” Which is not a great mental health response to anybody including yourself.
Drew Tauber: Yeah. Yeah. Part of it’s… Yeah. It’s definitely like, what right do I have to be more put out than… I’m in relatively good shape. I’ve got space. I’m not in a tiny little closet of an apartment somewhere trying to make it. I’ve got space. I’ve got people. But at the same time, I couldn’t go see my family. I couldn’t go see my friends. I used to go out to the movies most weekends with my friends. That went out the window immediately, still hasn’t quite come back.
Drew Tauber: I’ve found… Because I’ve been talking to a lot of people about burnout around my sessions and the commonality I found is a combination of, one, everyone’s support structure went out the window. Everyone’s coping mechanisms went out the window, and also… I think this is not unique to Salesforce, but definitely common among Salesforce people I’ve talked to, is that as every company went remote, everyone had to fall onto their remote collaboration tools a lot more.
Drew Tauber: Salesforce is obviously front and center in a lot of people’s workflows. That just put a lot of extra pressure like, “Oh, Salesforce is good for this, but we need to make it do X so we can better support our remote workforce.”
Josh Birk: That makes a lot of sense now that everything is a remote workforce. Yeah. Yeah. One of the symptoms you had on one of your slides, which I thought was interesting because it’s one I hit really hard and wasn’t thinking about it, it’s a lack of satisfaction. You’re not getting joy either out of your work and it might even be hard to get joy out of the things that are supposed to relax you. Did that hit you?
Drew Tauber: Yeah, definitely. I think that a lot of that goes back to seeing the list as so insurmountable. Achievements that I would normally be like, “Oh, I pulled this off. This is great.” Turns into “Oh, well, okay, I’ve done step one of 27.” It’s hard to be thrilled that you made it to base camp when you need to get to Everest kind of thing.
Josh Birk: Right. Exactly. Yeah. I think people get into this where they think it’s like “Well, it’s my job. It’s a pandemic.” Once again, it’s an excuse, right? Like, why… Of course, I’m not happy right now, but the problem is it’s almost the second tier, you’re going to get more anxious and stressed and depressed if you can’t counter that with fun and joy like you’re saying, giving yourself that pat on the back for an achievement.
Drew Tauber: Right. Definitely.
Josh Birk: Now, what factors do you think led to your burnout that we haven’t… We’ve talked about pandemic, we’ve talked about quick shifts in Salesforce, in your work, lack of a social structure is gone. Anything else that you think was leading you towards this path?
Drew Tauber: I think the biggest thing just is like I’ve said before to people I work with, between the pandemic and the unique ways that our business changed in the pandemic, our Salesforce usage essentially doubled. Our Salesforce footprint. We added a new org. We added whole new people who hadn’t been using Salesforce before. Our Salesforce usage footprint at the company had essentially doubled and my team had not.
Josh Birk: Which now of course you have proof that you’re right, it’s an insurmountable amount of stuff because everything just doubled, even if there’s a irrational layer to it, there’s still a rational amount of data for you to enforce it. When you first started realizing this is a problem, what did you do?
Drew Tauber: Probably when I noticed was a problem I started asking for help. One of the great things about my manager and my company in general is that they were very supportive. It took a little bit for them to get to the point where they were like, “Okay, let’s hire some people.” But they got there. Then obviously the job market being what it was, it took us a while to get somebody who was able to come in and help, but even just seeing that there was a light at the end of the tunnel was hugely helpful.
Josh Birk: Nice.
Drew Tauber: The thing I always tell people is it’s in your company’s best interest for you to not burn out. Obviously from a people perspective, your manager doesn’t want you as a human being to burn out and be in a bad place. But even just the corporate ones and zeros straight numerical perspective, it is cheaper to keep you happy and productive than it is to hire somebody new because you flamed out and had to leave.
Josh Birk: Yeah. I mean, I think if you look at some of the other symptoms we haven’t talked about that are purely cognitive, in the sense of you get more forgetful, you’re more anxious. You’re more likely to snap at a coworker, all of these kind of things, not leading to what one would call an efficient job environment.
Drew Tauber: No, definitely not. There’s definitely been times when, and still happens to a degree, where I found myself apologizing for my tone way more than I should. I would be in a meeting and I could tell that I was being real snotty about my answers. I was being really snide. I was being really short. I was sarcastic. I’m like, “This is not the way I want to be sounding, but I just can’t pull myself out of it. I’m too into it right now.”
Drew Tauber: Immediately after the meeting would end, I would go on Slack to the person I was talking to, “Hey, I’m sorry. I know that came out the wrong way. I’m sorry that came out…” I wouldn’t necessarily apologize for the points I was making because the points I was making were valid, but there was definitely a better way I could have come out and said it.
Josh Birk: Yeah. You heard yourself in your head and you’re like, “I didn’t have to be that sharp about it.”
Drew Tauber: Yeah. It’s like an out-of-body experience. Like, “Why are you being such a mean person?”
Josh Birk: Well, and that’s an interesting cycle I think, because when you’re being the mean person, it’s because you’re getting that cortisol spike, you’re getting that little fight or flight instinct to it. But part of that situation is you don’t really know you’re in it. The brain’s just poking you and poking you. Then you get out of the room, be relaxed and then it’s like you said, out-of-body experience like, “Oh, wow. Was I the jerk? No, I might have been the jerk.”
Josh Birk: Yeah. Outside of getting more help and more resources, did you take time off for yourself? Did you try to counter any of the workload with going out and having more fun or doing more walks with a dog or anything like that?
Drew Tauber: Yeah. There’s definitely time, I definitely took some time off. I think my boss at one point insisted.
Josh Birk: Good. Good.
Drew Tauber: Good boss. Good boss.
Josh Birk: Good boss. Good boss.
Drew Tauber: Insisted I take some time away, which at the time it was hard. Being such a small team and like okay I can step away, but here’s all the stuff that’s not going to get done while I’m gone and just be like, “Okay, it’ll get done when you get back.” The other things I would do, yeah, people I work with have gotten pretty accustomed to the idea that if it’s between 10:30 and noon, and I have a meeting where I am not going to be needed to be on my keyboard, I’ll take that Zoom from the park when I’m walking my dog.
Josh Birk: Awesome point.
Drew Tauber: I’ll turn the camera on him and I’ll point the camera at him on my Zoom and people will appreciate that more than seeing my face.
Josh Birk: I love that. I love that so much. Now I have to repeat Mike Gerholdt’s… I think he tweets this every three weeks or something like that, just a friendly reminder, not only is it okay to have your kids, your cats and your dogs on your Zoom call, we want to see them. It’s actually a plus because we’re still a little trapped inside. Yes, I love that. I love puppy Zoom.
Josh Birk: Also, just really, I think that’s part of the Zoom fatigue, is that feeling like you have to be there in person. As somebody who’s worked remotely for a little over a decade now, I found it weird that I was actually finding every now and then I’ll do the same thing. I’ll take the call outside or I’ll take the call on my couch and I just turned the camera off. It’s like if I’m not necessary, then I can listen and be present without having to necessarily feel like I’m also on camera.
Drew Tauber: I think I saw something a while back about how psychologically what Zoom does to people because you can be in a meeting room and obviously people can see you, but you know when people are looking at you. But when you’re on Zoom, you don’t know what square… Even if everyone’s got their camera on, you don’t know what square on the Zoom Brady Bunch panel they’re looking at.
Drew Tauber: You have to be like, “All right. I’m being seen by everybody on this meeting simultaneously,” is where your head goes. I think one of the best things I did for Zoom in general is I just have everything set to default off.
Josh Birk: Nice.
Drew Tauber: I join a meeting, my camera’s off. My microphone is muted and I have to go in and push the buttons like, “I’m ready to talk. I’m ready to be seen.” I’ll turn the camera on. If not, I just won’t. Sometimes I’ll say, “Oh, I’m not turning my camera on. I’m eating lunch and I don’t want you all to watch me eat a sandwich.” Sometimes people just… Thankfully as a company, we generally don’t have the expectation that you have your camera on at all times.
Drew Tauber: If it’s a standup meeting, if it’s my morning meeting with my team then I’ll have my camera on because I know these people. But if it’s a group, a lot of times I won’t. Sometimes if I know that I’m not going to be able to keep my eye rolls to myself, I’ll keep my camera off.
Josh Birk: I love it. There’s wisdom in that. It’s self-knowledge. I like that. It does occur to me that prior to the pandemic and when everybody going into Zoom calls that this design of 12 huge faces and perfect squares in front of you, that’s the kind of stuff they used to put in supervillain movies.
Drew Tauber: Oh, yeah.
Josh Birk: It’s like this weird awe of power kind of thing in front of you. Now, I’m trying to figure out, did you manage to… Because socialization is such a huge role in maintaining stress and lowering stress. It’s considered to be one of the great ways of trying to help people through things like drug addiction. Did you manage to find a way to add any of that stuff back to your life?
Drew Tauber: Yeah. I mean, I feel like everyone had their friend Zooms at the very beginning before we all realized that this is not a great way to hang out with people.
Josh Birk: I know.
Drew Tauber: But we’d play video games with each other and if we’re playing a game, we would fire up a Discord chat or something so we could talk to each other while we’re playing. That way we’re not staring at each other, but we’re playing a game. We’re just talking. There’s actually a really cool game that I found called Starship Horizons where it’s a group game where one computer is the host and everyone else logs in on a web browser and everybody is a different station on your Starship.
Drew Tauber: It’s like one person logs in and they pick the tactical console and they’ve got the tactical station. One person’s the helmsman and one person’s communications. Then one person’s the captain and all they really do is they just tell other people to do… The captain has nothing. The captain just has… You rely on just like if you’re in Star Trek, let’s say you’re relying on your tactical person telling you information.
Drew Tauber: You’re relying on your op station giving information. You’re giving orders and they’re all executing, but it’s just finding ways to hang out without just staring at each other on a Zoom screen and be like, “So what are you guys up to?” “Nothing. I’m all at stuck at home. What are you up to?” “Nothing. I’m stuck at home.” It was all very important.
Josh Birk: Nice. I like it. I like it a lot. Now, on the flip side of video games, another thing I’ve had to accept because I was never much of an exercise fan, shall we say? But the science is undeniable as to the effect it can have. Even walking, running, whatever, it reduces your stress, it reduces anxiety, et cetera. Was walking the dog your exercise or did you tack on more stuff?
Drew Tauber: For a while it was my exercise. It definitely wasn’t enough exercise as far as staying healthy. I wound up starting to go do a more regular exercise regimen again. That’s the thing I always mention, is stress is a physical reaction in the body and I’m not going to say the best way to deal with your depression is to go out and exercise necessarily, but it definitely helps to get the endorphins going.
Josh Birk: Yeah. No. Totally. I’m a big fan of mental health is physical health. It’s all wrapped into one thing. Even if stuff’s just occurring in your brain, your brain’s on a brain stem and brain stem’s controlling the rest of your body. The proof is there that it’s just like this stuff can really hurt you physically over time, which is another reason why if there’s managers listening to this, it’s like at some point… When I was going through some stuff, I had a family member who was just not getting it, not realizing what was happening.
Josh Birk: My therapist was like, “Well, if they’re not going to appreciate your mental health, would you tell them that you would prefer not to have a heart attack?” Yeah. I will try that then. What else have you done to make sure you’re not going to get back there?
Drew Tauber: Yeah. I mean, a lot of stuff I’ve done from a work perspective is I don’t do quick things anymore if I can avoid it. It’s a trap that I find I used to fall into a lot all the time and I find a lot of people do the same thing where someone comes up to you and say, “Hey, can we add a field that does something?” You’re like, “Yeah, sure.” Click, click and is done. You get the immediate endorphin rush, you get the immediate satisfaction.
Drew Tauber: It’s like, “Oh my God. That’s so amazing. Thank you so much. That’s great. I can’t believe you were able do it so fast.” Then you fast-forward to a week later when they need three more fields. They’re like, “Well, you were able to do it in two seconds last time.” It’s like, “Yeah. Well, I’m busy now.” You set the expectation that you can do it quickly. I’m going to keep throwing out the Star Trek analogies.
Josh Birk: Please do. Yeah.
Drew Tauber: Scotty would always say like, “Oh, yeah, I multiply all my time estimates by four. That way you would believe I’m a miracle worker.”
Josh Birk: Right. Exactly.
Drew Tauber: I’m not saying lie about how long your timeframe’s going to be, but even if it’s something quick like that, it’s very much like, “Okay. Put it in a Jira ticket so none of us forget. We’ll plan it out. If it’s quick, we’ll do it.” I can’t just be like, “Oh, yeah, sure. I’m going to stop what I’m doing and go do your thing.” I always find people are very understanding of that. You always worry it’s like when you say like, “Oh, I can’t do it right now, but I’ll get to it when I have a minute.” Unless it’s super urgent I’m like, “Oh, well I actually need it right now, and-
Josh Birk: Right now. Right.
Drew Tauber: … the CEO’s demanding this field in the next five minutes or I’m fired.” Obviously stuff like that doesn’t happen in my company. Yeah, just managing expectations in a lot of ways. I’ve heard a lot of times a saying, if it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist when referring to sales opportunities and leads. I have the same thing with Jira. If it’s not in Jira, it doesn’t exist to me. If you want something done, especially if it’s a change that we need to be able to have good tracking on you need to make a Jira ticket.
Drew Tauber: I mean, I’ll do… You can come to me and say, “Hey, can you tell me why this thing happened to this person?” I’ll go and I’ll do some investigation, but if it takes me more than a few minutes, it’s like, “Okay, we need to plan this time out because I’ve got my sprint that I’ve committed to doing and if I don’t get that done, because I spent all my time doing all this troubleshooting stuff that was not on my list of things to do I have to answer to people for that.”
Drew Tauber: Also, going back to being able to justify hiring more people. If you’re doing all your work off the books-
Josh Birk: You can’t. Right.
Drew Tauber: … my boss might know that but when he goes to his boss, say, “Hey, we need to hire more people to help Drew?” Like, why? He’s getting-
Josh Birk: Why?
Drew Tauber: There’s nothing in his backlog and he’s getting all of his stuff done.
Josh Birk: Yeah. Yeah. Back when I was a dev lead, I told our business partners, it’s like everything’s an hour. Just assume it’s an hour. I know you think it’s simple. I know you think it’s straightforward, but assume that the developer has to actually research something to make sure they’re doing it right. They actually have to implement it and they actually have to test it. It’s just nothing is less than an hour.
Josh Birk: For a while I had a rule back when I was a people manager for tenure, if it’s not in GUS… And GUS was our internal sprint manager type thing. I’m like, “If it’s not in GUS, it won’t happen and if it’s not on Chatter, it didn’t happen.” Because you should do is go do good work and then brag about it on Chatter. Totally with you there.
Josh Birk: A big one that comes up a lot is notifications and having your phone on and stuff like that. Have you reinforced rules to get that stuff out of your cognition from time to time?
Drew Tauber: Yeah. I mean, I spend a lot of time on Slack boundaries. Part of it is just the idea of… I think I moved up by an hour, at least, the default times in Slack when they say, “Okay. This is your I’m not working anymore no-notifications time, unless it’s an emergency.” The bedtime rules or whatever. They recently released, I think in the last six months, the ability to set different times for weekends.
Drew Tauber: Basically extend your do-not-disturb time to the weekend and even sometimes during the day. If I’m focused on working on something, I’ll just set my notification. I’ll set do not to disturb because I’m really focused right now. That’s definitely important to me.
Josh Birk: Yeah. Back when I worked in an office, we would refer to it as heads-down coding because you could see the developer hunch. We trained everybody who wasn’t on the development floor like, “If you see them like that, if you have to talk to them, approach slowly. Make sure you realize you are probably bringing them out of a flow state and that’s not what they need.”
Drew Tauber: Well, it’s like yeah, back in the office, everyone would have headphones. If you see someone with their big cans on you don’t bother them.
Josh Birk: You don’t bother them.
Drew Tauber: But we don’t have that same thing anymore on Slack. The other thing I always say with Slack is Slack is great and I prefer it over email, but Slack has this implied immediacy to it that email doesn’t have. You get a message at like 10 o’clock at night it’s like, “Oh, I just got a Slack message. I need to reply.” I’ve tried to get into a habit of if this Slack message were sent to me via email, would I feel like I need to reply to it right now?
Josh Birk: Yeah. Exactly.
Drew Tauber: If I don’t feel that way, then I won’t.
Josh Birk: Then don’t. Yeah. Another big tip I always tell people, especially on that front is if your work phone is your personal phone, definitely fix that especially in the Slack world, it’s like if you can just walk away from your laptop and your work phone and just have no capacity to see any of these notifications, it’s so much easier than trying to figure out when is it my phone and when is it my work phone?
Drew Tauber: Yeah. I haven’t had that luxury since way back when I worked for a small company called Lehman Brothers, when everyone was issued a Blackberry and that was your only work device and people would say, “Oh, why don’t you get your regular stuff on your Blackberry?” I was like, “Because I want to be able to put my Blackberry in a drawer at the end of the day.
Josh Birk: Yeah. Exactly.
Drew Tauber: Now I do a pretty good job of like say managing notifications for off hours. Going in and if I’m going to be away snoozing my notifications, if I’m going to be really away, just turning off Slack, turning off do not sync my Gmail into my phone. If I’m on vacation, I don’t want to see it. If I’ve got time and I want to go check something or check on work, I’ll go in and I’ll pull the refresh and I’ll make it pull down but do not automatically background refresh this app.
Josh Birk: Nice. Nice. Now, when did you say, “I want to do this as a presentation? I want to get up in front of other people I want to talk about this.”
Drew Tauber: Probably late last year is when I started really bumping around. It was one of those things like I think I had the slide deck in Google Slides. I was just popping in like, “Oh, this is a good thing. I should say this kind of thing.” I say one of the parts of doing this is being able to go out there and talk about it and destigmatize it. Every time I do this presentation, I’ll do like, “Show of hands, how many people have felt this way?” Then most people put their hands up.
Drew Tauber: My favorite is I was doing the presentation in Chicago and I see a whole bunch of people on their laptops and on their phones while I’m presenting. I said, “Show of hands, how many of you are working right now?”
Josh Birk: Now.
Drew Tauber: They put their hands up. How many of you do you… I’m at a conference. How many of you do your managers know where you are right now and they’re still asking you for stuff? Most of them keep their hands up.
Josh Birk: Yeah. Well, yeah, and I thank you because it’s like I completely agree. I think awareness and transparency, that’s the front line that I think the community can embrace. It does help to know if you’re in a room there’s probably… John Oliver just did his episode of mental health and he’s like… It went back in the 2010s. It was one in 10 adults suffered from anxiety and depression. Now it’s up to like four in 10. I guarantee you in the tech industry, it’s more like six in 10 or seven in 10, if we’re lucky.
Drew Tauber: I think a lot of that is just, don’t think a lot of it… There’s definitely a part of it where people are getting more anxious but I think a lot of it is people are recognizing it more.
Josh Birk: Yeah. Agreed.
Drew Tauber: It used to be like, “Oh, I’m just in a funk or I had a bad day.”
Josh Birk: Right. Or of course it’s been a long work week. That’s what work weeks look like.
Drew Tauber: Then you realize like, “Oh, no, my bad days are outnumbering my good days.” Then you finally realize like, “Oh, no, this is actually something real.”
Josh Birk: That’s our show. Now, before we go I did ask after Drew’s favorite non-technical hobby and it’s honestly one that he shares with a lot of people in the community.
Drew Tauber: I’m not sure if this is non-technical or not. It’s definitely more analog, but I enjoy woodworking.
Josh Birk: Oh, yeah. That’s definitely… If Kevin Portman’s listening right now, he’d be like, “No, Josh, it’s a technical thing.” I get you because it’s-
Drew Tauber: Yeah. There’s a lot of math involved. There’s a lot of… Because if you’re off by a little bit and it just cascades through your entire project… So it’s definitely I’m away from my computer. I’m working with my hands, I’m outside, and at the end of the day, I can point to a table that I made, it’s like, “I made that.”
Josh Birk: I want to thank Drew for the great conversation and information, and as always, I want to thank you for listening. Now, on a personal front, I just want to say, we’re talking about very serious issues out there. I do want to call out and just say, if you are feeling symptoms of anxiety and depression, you’re making it something that’s hard for you to get through work, please, please seek help. There’s a lot of great telehealth services out there, but first of all, you’re not alone and with help, you can get through it.
Josh Birk: Once again, thank you everybody. If you want to learn more about this show, head on over to developer.salesforce.com/podcast, where you can hear old episodes, see the show notes and have links to your favorite podcast service. Once again, thank you and I’ll talk to you next week.
Mike Gerholdt: So I really enjoyed that podcast and I will echo where Josh left that podcast off. If you're listening to this episode or any other episode and you're feeling stressed out, you're feeling burned out, reach out to someone. Don't be afraid to talk that that can be incredibly helpful. There's a lot of help lines, there's a lot of people I promise around you that are there to care for you. So I took a lot out of that podcast. I hope you do too. I really identified with how Drew brought up feeling overwhelmed. I thought it was interesting, the empty notebook syndrome that he talked about, which is looking at something and thinking of all the things that need to be done and the Zoom fatigue.
Direct download: Guest_Show__Burnout_and_Stress_with_Drew_Tauber.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT