Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we sit down with Barb Dietz, Sales Operations Analyst and Salesforce Administrator at NTT Data Services. She’s also one of the people behind Texas Dreamin’, where we were able to catch up with her to hear her incredible story.

Join us as we talk about how to best take advantage of the amazing Salesforce community, and the Dallas Nonprofit User Group’s inspiring Summer of Salesforce initiative.

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

Can you look into this thing called Salesforce?

Young Barb originally wanted to be a sports medicine technician, but once she got to college she got a management/information systems degree and moved into technology. Barb explains: “I moved to a new department and they said to me, ‘Hey, we have this thing called Salesforce and we’re not really sure how to use it, but would you be able to figure it out for us and tell us how it can help us?’” The rest is history.

This was in the days before Trailhead, so sources of information were limited. “Google was my friend,” Barb says, “but I was also fortunate enough to go to Admin 201.” She picked up all sorts of new knowledge and was able to go back to her team and tell them just how much more Salesforce could do for them.

The wide world of User Groups.

“A colleague recommended that I go to a user group, and since I was at a 501(c)(3) I went to the nonprofit one,” Barb says. Once she walked in the door, she immediately started to feel welcome and comfortable. One by one, she started going to more and more groups: the Dallas User Group, and one for Women in Tech. “I really liked that sense of community and collaboration and people helping people— the Ohana,” she says.

If you’re looking to get started in the Salesforce Ohana, Barb’s advice would be to jump in with both feet. “If you’re nervous about walking up to somebody that’s OK, people will be there for you if you want to talk to them,” she says. Networking becomes effortless, and actually a conversation with someone from WiT she was sitting next to at the Dallas User Group lead her to her next job.

The Summer of Salesforce.

One of the big things that Barb is doing to give back to a community that has given her so much is to serve as the Nonprofit User Group co-leader in Dallas. “One of the things we’re doing in our group is called Summer of Salesforce,” she says, “it allows people to apply to volunteer to do Salesforce work pro-bono for local nonprofits.”

“We ended up with more volunteers this year than we had nonprofits,” Barb says, so anew thing the Dallas Nonprofit User Group is trying is to pair up volunteers. This lets people with less experience get a chance to collaborate with someone with more experience. The end result is that the program not only helps nonprofits but gives the volunteers working on it a learning and mentoring experience as well.

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