Wed, 25 March 2020
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re happy to have Gillian Bruce back for a special show we’re calling, well, the What Do We Call This Episode. On the last Thursday of every month, Mike and Gillian will run through Salesforce content that caught their attention this month and give you some takeaways. Really, though, we need some help coming up with a name, so please reach out on Twitter and help us brainstorm.
Join us as we talk about all the great Salesforce content from this month, and a flashback to what was going on in March, 2018.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation between Mike and Gillian.
From the Evangelist team, LeeAnne Rimel has a timely article about telecommuting. She’s been doing it a long time with our team, so she has some great insights about how to successfully navigate the transition into working from home. From setting up a dedicated workspace to tips for creating a new routine you can stick to, there’s a lot to learn.
Salesforce.com MVP Amber Boaz shares a workaround post about customizing the idea of My List View when you’re looking at custom objects that you’re not necessarily the owner of. If you’re hungry for more workarounds, Mike recommends looking at your global variables within your organization. The tips in this article can help you bring more ease to users when they’re trying to do something they expect to be able to do.
We also wanted to flash back to one of our favorite Salesforce Admin Podcast episodes this month, “The Chemistry of Salesforce” with Jerrel Ramos. This was a really interesting one because, first of all, he’s the first chemist we’ve had on the show, and second of all, he’s new to Salesforce but really digging in to make the platform do something new. It covers not just how he’s adapting his org to suit his needs, but also how he’s approaching Trailhead as a newcomer. And don’t forget to check out Jerrel’s podcast about vaporwave music, the Virtual Ocean.
Flashback to March
Around this time in 2018, we were actually doing the podcast twice a week. Just to take you back to those heady days, GDPR was new and organizations around the world were rushing to keep up. Gillian had a great conversation with Ian Glazer and Lindsey Finch to go everything admins needed to know. Now, of course, we’ve got a Trailhead for that. We also talked to Marc Baizman about the DOITTT framework, the process to go through before you go through the Process Builder.
Also in March of 2018, LeeAnne wrote an excellent (and super relevant for right now) post about the “5 Ways to Include Your Remote Meeting Attendees.” It’s chock-full of helpful information about technologies and strategies to help your collaboration on a mixed team, for both people in the office and those beaming in.
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Wed, 18 March 2020
Starting a Salesforce Podcast with Michael Rose
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re joined by Michael Rose, Director of Solution Engineering at Salesforce and host of the Aftershow, a podcast about technology. We learn the ins and outs of podcasting with two pros who have been there and seen everything.
Join us as we talk about how to figure out what to talk about on your podcast, what questions you need to ask about your show before you make it, and why iteration is so important.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Michael Rose.
How Michael got started in the podcasting biz.
“I’ve been at Salesforce for seven years, which is kind of astonishing to me,” Michael says, “and my entire career has been in the Solution Engineering organization.” This team does discovery and works with customers to help them find a Salesforce solution that fits their needs. He runs a team of Presales Technical Architects that works to make sure everything under the hood makes sense for a particular customer. “As I say whenever asks me about Solution Engineering at Salesforce, this is the best job anywhere, ever, and you should do it because it is great,” he says.
Before Salesforce, Michael was an editor at the Unofficial Apple Weblog, where he hosted a weekly live podcast. “It was a tightrope walk of extreme proportions,” he says. One unique thing about his show was that they were able to take live calls from listeners as they were recording, which made every episode a new adventure. These days, he continues that work on the Aftershow, a podcast focused on the intersection between technology and modern life.
Tips from the pros.
So what’s Michael’s advice if you’re thinking of hopping on the podcast train? “It’s a lot easier now than it used to be,” he says, “I think the part that has always been the lighting-in-bottle piece of it is figuring it out what it is you want to discuss.” If you’re listening to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, you’re probably interested in, well, Salesforce, and perhaps wondering how you could possibly one-up us. For one, you can’t. For another, Michael’s advice is to figure out your specific angle. “Start with the structure you want to try for, and then iterate,” he says.
When it comes to the technical requirements you need to get started, the bar is pretty low. You need something a little better than your phone to record the audio, and then there are several options out there to do the editing. If you want to do interviews it gets a little more complicated, but it’s still relatively simple. One of Michael’s biggest pieces of advice is that if you like the way a certain podcast sounds, reach out to the creators and find out what gear they use. People love to nerd out, and most are more accommodating than you might think.
Mike and Michael (Mike2) have a lot of specific advice about gear, publishing platforms, and the mistakes they’ve made along the way, so be sure to listen to the full episode.
Direct download: Starting_a_Salesforce_Podcast_with_Michael_Rose.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am PDT
Wed, 11 March 2020
The Chemistry of Salesforce with Jerrel Ramos
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Jerrel Ramos, who is the first chemist we’ve had on the pod. We learn about how he’s building a Salesforce app to help him with his research.
Join us as we talk about the apps he’s built for work and for fun, how building an app has helped him learn about Salesforce Object Creator, and why jumping into events in the Salesforce ecosystem is so important.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Jerrel Ramos.
Our first Salesforce chemist.
Jerrel is the first guest we’ve ever interviewed on the pod with a degree in chemistry. “I’m one of those few people who decided to major in an excessively difficult major,” Jerrel says, “chemistry is everything so I do get an understanding of everything from nature to technology—it’s given me a foundation for big-picture thinking.” At the same time, he’s a bit of a renaissance man, with some stage and screen acting credits on his resume as well.
So how do chemistry and acting get you into Salesforce? “My sister’s fiancé has been a Salesforce admin since 2011,” Jerrel says, “and I’d heard of it before but I didn’t know what it was.” He ended up taking a quick intro course to make a Trailhead and developer org, and started messing around with it but had problems getting further with it. However, a year later, he started freelancing and needed to track his clients and his work. “When I picked Salesforce up back again,” Jerrel says, “I realized the standard parts of this app cover the different parts of the business cycle.”
Why in-person events are so important for learning.
Recently, Jerrel has been working on creating a customized app to help him in the lab. “Anytime a sample is logged in that is requested by a client, this app will automatically create tasks, send out emails, and generate a related test object,” he says, “and essentially just automate a lot of what would happen if a lab were to receive a sample from a client.” Combining learning Salesforce with a practical use case has really accelerated Jerrel’s growth on the platform, “I haven’t missed a question about standard and custom objects in my practice tests recently because of this app,” he says.
For Jerrel, part of learning the platform has been getting out there and going to his first user group event. He recently went to Sacramento Salesforce Saturday [GOOGLE]. “I was thinking, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t go until I have my certification and then I can be part of the gang,’” he says, “but I went anyway and automatically it felt like I was already part of the family.” Getting to connect with other folks working on the platform in-person has been a big help in taking his Salesforce skills to the next level.
The Virtual Ocean podcast.
If his job as a chemist, his passion for acting, and his newfound love of Salesforce wasn’t enough, Jerrel has also somehow found the time to host a podcast, the Virtual Ocean, about the music genre Vaporwave. It started with a song created by slowing down a Diana Ross single, and grew into a bigger movement from there. “Artistically, it draws a lot of inspiration from video games, electronics, and 80s music,” Jerrel says, “it takes the bright optimism of the 80s era and flips on its head.”
“What this music is is a statement on where society is in the 2010s,” Jerrel says, “what happened to that optimistic future that people in the 80s and 90s wanted?” In the podcast, he breaks down all the subgenres that have emerged in the Vaporwave movement, so take a listen because there’s a lot to get into.
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Wed, 4 March 2020
Another day, another episode of the Salesforce for Good mini-series on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. These special episodes are hosted by Marc Baizman, Senior Admin Evangelist at Salesforce and nonprofit veteran. This time, we’re joined by, Matthew Poe, Salesforce Architect and Senior Administrator at Open Philanthropy Project, to talk about how to go from admin to architect and what advice can help you out.
Join us as we talk about how user groups can help you at any stage of your Salesforce journey, how consulting helped Matthew take his career to the next level, and how his organization practices effective altruism to do the most good it can.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Matthew Poe.
Effective altruism and the Open Philanthropy Project.
“Sometimes when I say ‘Architect,’ people don’t know what that means,” Matthew says, “in my case, I spend my days designing solutions and applications for our users at Open Philanthropy, and I’m also responsible for making sure Salesforce is talking to the other endpoints in our systems.” While he’s still working on getting that Technical Architect certification, he’s no slouch, with 20 others including the Domain Certification and System and Application Architect Certification. “If you’re a person who thinks in a structured way about things and likes to set a goal and pursue it and is looking for a structured way to think about different aspects and learn about different pieces of the platform, it’s a good way to do it,” he says.
At the Open Philanthropy Project, he’s helping an organization that is quite literally trying to figure out how to do the most good in the world. If you’re a philosophy nerd, they’re rooted in the effective altruism movement, the idea that you can use evidence, rationality, reasoning, and logic to use limited resources to do the most good in the world. The Open Philanthropy Project tries to solve big problems that are both neglected and solvable—other than that, anything’s game. Some examples include impact investing in Impossible Foods to ultimately support farm animal welfare, funding campaigns to support criminal justice reform, funding in basic science to ultimately tackle malaria and the opioid epidemic, and more. Check out the episode because that’s only the beginning.
How Matthew got hooked on Salesforce.
A little over five years ago, Matthew moved across the country for love. He left an arts administration job he had been at for a long time and set out for a new position at a university in the Big Apple. “They knew I liked to solve problems with technology, so they had asked me to think through some content management challenges they were having,” he says. They were trying to get their law students to work in public interest or public service work, which meant they needed to track their experiences and opportunities as students through the careers they eventually went on to have.
Matthew quickly recognized that this tracking problem was perfect for Salesforce, and jumped into developing solutions to replace all of the spreadsheets they were using whole hog. “I saw so much potential in this technology to really change the way nonprofits work for the better that I just wanted to solve these problems all day with Salesforce and that’s what I was lucky enough to do,” he says.
Matthew’s journey to Salesforce architect.
Eventually, Matthew left that job to become a Salesforce Consultant full time. “Five-year-ago me would’ve liked to have heard that it’s more possible than you think it is,” he says, “if you want to do it’s a realistic goal.” He worked exclusively with nonprofits, and got to learn about all the different ways that people use Salesforce. “Having a team of experts you can talk to when you’re working at a consulting firm is such a shift from the way of thinking when you’re a solo admin trying to solve every problem on your own,” he says. Access to a Slack channel of 50 of the smartest Salesforce people you know who have seen every problem three times was such a big part of Matthew’s growth on the platform.
After he was a consultant, Matthew got the opportunity to lead an enterprise implementation of the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) at an environmental nonprofit. “The had been working with an implementation partner already, and I had a lot to catch up with on a short time,” he says, “and I realized I could attack this architect pyramid at the same time as I structured my thinking about how to approach this new project.” When he was working on their security model, he was also studying for the security exam. When he reworked their integrations, he studied for the integrations exam. “It was objectively a crazy amount of time to spend thinking about Salesforce in a very short period, but it was also really really helpful,” he says, “thinking about the real-life scenarios that I could see in my org helped me prepare for the exam, and preparing for the exam helped me think about the scenario in the org.”
This episode is jam-packed with insights about how Matthew helps Open Philanthropy Project get the most out of Salesforce, the work that they’re able to get done because of it, and the challenges he’s overcome along the way, so make sure to take a listen!
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