The Salesforce Admins Podcast is back with another episode of our mini-series, Salesforce for Good, hosted by Marc Baizman, Senior Admin Evangelist at Salesforce and nonprofit veteran. For this episode, we’re talking to Kestryl Lowrey, Technical Architect at Cloud for Good, who helps nonprofits create Salesforce solutions that scale.

Join us as we talk about how Kestryl became an Architect, why the best way to learn is to start building, and why Trailhead is only the beginning.

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

From printer repair to Director of IT.

“I work with our consultants, developers, and architects to help design big solutions, troubleshoot weird edge cases, help our sales team figure out the most innovative solutions we can offer, and run our internal technical academies for our teams as they work on their professional development,” Kestryl says. “I get to do a lot of different things, but it’s all really towards the mission and goal of nonprofits and higher ed increase their impact using the Salesforce platform.”

When Kestryl first started working with nonprofits, he was excited about everything that the organization was doing. “I got to help kids access painting classes, dance, theater,” he says, “but I was also the only person in the office that could fix the printer.” That landed him pretty quickly as the Program Manager and Director of IT. They were working with a homebrew system built-in SQL that nobody had admin access to, so Kestryl had to spend the weekend not only teaching himself the language but also how to hack into his own database and make changes. “I realized I was having more fun with the technology than I was with the program management and program delivery,” he says. That lead him to specifically apply for a job in IT, which landed him as a Salesforce admin on an implementation that could grow with him.

Helping more nonprofits as a Salesforce consultant.

After working as a Salesforce admin for a while and learning all sorts of new skills, Kestryl got to a point where everything was working great for his organization and found his role had shifted. He decided to make a change and go into consulting. “I’d seen the impact that cloud technology and Salesforce, particularly, can have for just one nonprofit. I wanted to have the ability to help more nonprofits increase their impact by using this technology,” he says.

Making the jump to consulting from an admin role was definitely challenging. “You have to have a very curious and problem-solving mindset,” Kestryl says, “you have to come into it with an openness to always want to find the best way to do it.” Starting out, he was doing just about everything you could do on an implementation: project management, gathering user stories, building the org, testing and QA, coding, data migration, and more. “As I got deeper into that, what I really found was that the thing I found most interesting about the project lifecycle was figuring out the overall whole systems view of what is the best way to do this, what is the way that is not just going to work now but is going to scale,” Kestryl says. That insight lead him to his current role as an Architect.

The making of an Architect.

“One thing that a lot of people don’t realize about being an Architect is you have to be an excellent communicator,” Kestryl says, “you have to be able to share that vision and that plan out to the people who are then going to implement it and take action on it so you can keep moving on to the next big problem.” Along the way, he’s solved problems like building a HIPAA-compliant integration for a health nonprofit that works around encryption and creating an integration between a custom frontend and Salesforce NPSP written in Jitterbit to make maintenance easier.

With a career that has had some major shifts along the way, Kestryl has had a lot of help from the community. “The in-person community at things like Dreamforce and the NTEN conference were all really fundamental in both supporting my learning and also giving me a vision of some of the different options of things to do on the platform,” he says. “When I started as an admin, I didn’t even know that becoming a consultant on the Salesforce platform was a job option out there,” he says, to say nothing of an Architect role. “Having the community helped me see those possible paths.”

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Full Transcript

Mark Baizman: Welcome to the Salesforce For Good miniseries in the Salesforce Admins podcast. My name is Mark Baizman, and I’m a Senior Admin Evangelist here at Salesforce. Before I was an Evangelist, I worked at Salesforce.org and in the nonprofit world and I made many incredible connections with people doing amazing things with Salesforce technology and nonprofits, and I really want to share some of them with you.

Mark Baizman: In this podcast miniseries, we’ll be talking to a variety of folks in the Salesforce nonprofit ecosystem including admins, architects, consultants, and Salesforce.org employees. By the end of the series, you’ll learn what makes the nonprofit sector special, how Salesforce technology supports the missions of some amazing organizations that are making a huge impact, and you’ll learn about the fantastic community of people that are making it happen. This week, we have the amazing Kestrel Lowry on the podcast to get admins thinking from an architect’s perspective.

Mark Baizman: Kestrel sheds some great light into the transition from admin to architect. So, let’s not wait any longer, here’s Kestrel! Well, Kestrel, thank you so much for joining us today on the Salesforce Admins podcast.

Kestrel Lowry: Thanks for having me, Mark. I’m excited to be here.

Mark Baizman: You bet. So Kestrel, can you tell me a little bit about what you do?

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, so currently, my role is as a technical architect at Cloud for Good. And what that means on a high level is that I am responsible for the technical excellence of every project that we deliver. What that actually means on a day-to-day basis is that I’m working with our consultants, developers, and architects to help design big solutions, troubleshoot weird edge cases, help our sales team figure out the most innovative solutions that we can offer, and running our internal technical academies for our different teams as they work on their own professional development. So, I get to do a lot of different things, no day is the same, but it’s all really towards the mission and goal of helping nonprofits in higher ed increase their impact using the Salesforce platform.

Mark Baizman: That’s fantastic. So, as an architect, you kind of have your hands in all these pies, right? You’re helping internally enable other consultants on the Cloud for Good side and also working directly with customers trying to figure out the best way to set up their Salesforce instances. Does that about sum it up?

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, exactly. I have the internal side of it and then working with customers to really think big picture about their Salesforce journey, and not just what we’re doing right now for the first implementation project, but how the platform can grow with them as their needs expand and change in the next two, three, four, five years. So, it’s a role where I get to really think about both big picture and then get down into the weeds and figure out the best solution.

Mark Baizman: Very cool. All right, well, I’m going to dig into that a little bit later in our podcast today, but I’d love to hear a little bit about your journey and maybe what brought you into the nonprofit sector and how you became a consultant.

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, definitely. So I’ve been working pretty much my entire career with touching nonprofits or higher ed in some way. When I was a kid, I always wanted to make the world a better place. I’m a problem solver, I always see opportunities to optimize and make things better. So, it was kind of a no-brainer for me to go into nonprofits and have my work everyday be about making that sort of impact. When I finished my Master’s degree, I went into a program management role with an arts education nonprofit in New York City. And my perspective there was that I got to help kids access painting classes, dance, theater. We had a playwriting competition that the winners went on Broadway every year. It was really cool.

Mark Baizman: Very cool.

Kestrel Lowry: Having a great impact with that. But I was also the only person in the office that could fix the printer.

Mark Baizman: Right.

Kestrel Lowry: And so, I rapidly became program manager and director of IT, because I was fixing the-

Mark Baizman: Yep. [crosstalk 00:04:34] fax.

Kestrel Lowry: What?

Mark Baizman: Yeah, because you can fix the printer you’re now the director of technology. This is standard career path at small nonprofits, yep.

Kestrel Lowry: Yep. Small nonprofits, that’s how it goes. And so, I went from fixing the printer to then at that organization, we were using a homegrown system. We, unfortunately, weren’t on Salesforce. This was back in the dark ages, but we had… It was built on a SQL server I think and no one had admin access to that SQL server.

Mark Baizman: Right, of course.

Kestrel Lowry: And some changes… of course not. It was as well-documented as you could expect for a system like that. And so, I got to teach myself over a weekend how to hack into the SQL server and start making changes.

Mark Baizman: That’s fantastic.

Kestrel Lowry: Yep, and over the course of that job, I really realized so I like the nonprofits part, but I’m having more fun with the technology than I am with the program management and program delivery.

Mark Baizman: Fantastic, so tell me, how did Salesforce come into your world, into your… intersect your nonprofit zone?

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah. So, that’s then when I had that realization of I’m liking the technology part of nonprofits. I decided I’m going to go for just a nonprofit technology job. And I saw a listing for an organization that they had actually, they had implemented Salesforce as their technology platform probably about a year or so previously and they were looking for kind of an IT generalist, manage all of the on-premise and cloud software for the organization. It was a great immigrant rights org. And I looked at that listing and said, at that point, I’d never heard of Salesforce. But I did some Googling. This was before the days of Trailhead, so I was poking around on the Success community and thought, “Well, this looks great. There’s a lot of documentation, it looks solid.

Kestrel Lowry: I’m sure I can pick it up really fast.” Made a pitch of myself to this organization, and they decided to take a chance on me which I’m very grateful for, because I then had the opportunity to come in as their Salesforce admin for this about year-old implementation. Pretty quickly learned Salesforce, and then was really able to have that implementation in an instance grow with me as I started building out visual flows.

Kestrel Lowry: This was back in the days of this desktop flow designer, where you had to… and so-

Mark Baizman: Flash-based, of course.

Kestrel Lowry: Flash-based, we love Flash. And I think this was… So, it was before the Power of Us Hub, so it was the Google group.

Mark Baizman: Right.

Kestrel Lowry: And getting into NPSP-

Mark Baizman: So was that organization using the Nonprofit Success Pack at that time?

Kestrel Lowry: Not at that time. We were on Convio Common Ground and talk about trial by fire as a new admin, not long after I started there, Blackbaud acquired Convio. And then announced they’d be killing that package.

Mark Baizman: Sure. So, for those listeners who are unfamiliar with these things that we’re talking about, basically, it was a third-party application that essentially did fundraising, duplicated some functionality of the Nonprofit Success Pack, but actually had additional functionality, which was then acquired by another company which then essentially killed that product that they had acquired.

Kestrel Lowry: Yep, and this was also, this was back before the Nonprofit Success Packs that we know and love today. So this was in… We ended up from Convio, we moved onto the Nonprofit Success Pack, which had a different name at that point but I won’t say it on air.

Mark Baizman: Starter Pack back then, it’s fine.

Kestrel Lowry: Oh, you’ll say. That’s fine. Nonprofit Starter Pack. So we moved onto that from Convio, that was one of the big projects I had while I was there, but it was before we had wonderful things like household accounts. So, that was one project and I pretty much in my time at that nonprofit systematically moved every business process that someone could conceivably move onto Salesforce, we did that.

Mark Baizman: So like fundraising, what else?

Kestrel Lowry: We had fundraising. We moved on, so we did a lot of legal services and case management, we moved that all onto Salesforce. We moved all of our marketing to be integrated with Salesforce, all of it. It was a lot of fun.

Mark Baizman: What a great learning experience, too.

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah. Exactly. I got to learn a lot and connected to that also of like, “Oh, gee, instead of having a local server for all of our file management, let’s move onto a cloud server and retire having any sort of on-premises hardware that we have to maintain.” So, I learned so much in that job. I’m so grateful that they gave me that opportunity but then what ended up happening was after a few years there, it had gotten to a point of, “Well, it’s just keeping the lights on and keeping all the pipes working now.” There wasn’t as much space to do new things, and that’s when I decided to make the move to consulting because it was like, I’ve seen the impact that I can have and that cloud technology and Salesforce particularly can have for just one nonprofit. I want to have the ability to have more nonprofits to increase their impact by using this technology.

Mark Baizman: That’s fantastic. So tell me about making that move, because I feel like it’s a potentially big leap and folks can be really intimidated by that, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on maybe making the jump, the view from the other side as it were.

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, definitely. So, as I was saying, for me the motivation really came from wanting to have a bigger impact. And I won’t lie, I will say it was pretty intimidating when I first started, because you’re going from kind of being the expert of one Salesforce instance that you know inside and out to needing to be much more broadly knowledgeable about the platform and about use cases and features that you probably never touched before.

Mark Baizman: Right.

Kestrel Lowry: For me, the support from the team when I joined at Cloud for Good was phenomenal. I mean, even as we’ve grown, we’ve really maintained this team culture where people help each other learn new things and really are always willing to pitch in. But I think the thing that making the jump to consulting from an admin role, what I think is important for anyone doing that is you have to have a very curious and problem-solving mindset. You have to come into it with an openness to always wanting to find the best way to do it, which I think comes naturally for a lot of admins also. But in some ways, it’s a… You need to have kind of an ongoing hunger for it, because you can’t just say, “Okay, well we’re finished with that and that’s just how it’s always going to be. You’re really leveraging the continuing growth of the platform so that you can stay current and help new clients.

Mark Baizman: That’s great. I love that. Can you talk to me a little bit about how consulting to nonprofits is perhaps a different than consulting to a for-profit company?

Kestrel Lowry: Hmm, so with the caveat here of that my entire consulting career has been to nonprofits and to higher ed, which is a different vertical and has some of its specialties, but I would say higher ed is still in many ways more comparable to nonprofits than to for profit or corporate engagement. But my impression at least with working with nonprofits versus for profit clients is that the appetite for tools to make a bigger impact, that it’s really about making the world a better place and making that kind of change. And so in some ways, I think it shifts the conversation when you’re thinking about change management and all of that. It’s not just, “Well, here’s a different way to track your inbox,” or something like that.

Kestrel Lowry: It’s actually, “Here’s how we are going to help the people that we’re serving in a meaningful way.” So we I think get to see a lot more rewarding impact than this company sold more product this quarter than they did last quarter because we improved their sales process.

Mark Baizman: Got it, yep. Totally get it. That’s great. I’d love to hear a little bit more about your journey to architect. If I’m not mistaken, you are the literal face on the Trailhead website, the architect?

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah!

Mark Baizman: So I’d love to hear more about kind of your path there as well. So you made this leap into consulting, obviously you learned a ton more about the platform. I literally can’t count how many certifications that you have. I’m sure that you know, but I’m curious. What’s the number at?

Kestrel Lowry: Let’s see… I actually sometimes lose count too, and some of [crosstalk 00:14:33] that’s because some of the ones got retired.

Mark Baizman: Ah, of course.

Kestrel Lowry: I think it’s 16.

Mark Baizman: All right, that’s pretty great. That’s amazing.

Kestrel Lowry: I think it’s 16. Yeah.

Mark Baizman: So talk to me about your journey to architect. Why this path and what has it taken you to get there?

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, so I made the jump to consulting, and as… When I started as a consultant, I was really doing kind of soup to nuts, everything on a project. So I was doing the project management, I was gathering user stories, I was doing all of the build. I was testing, I was QA-ing. I was doing code. I was training people, I was doing data migration. You name it, I was doing it.

Mark Baizman: All the things.

Kestrel Lowry: Everything. And what for me, as I got deeper into that, what I really found was that the thing that I found most interesting about the project life cycle was figuring out big picture, long term planning roadmap, overall whole systems view what is the best way to do this? What is the way that’s not just going to work now, but that’s going to scale when our data volume goes to 10 times what it is now? What is the most stable way to do this? So that kind of big picture problem solving was really interesting to me. And then I also realized that what I really liked with solving problems in general, if you give me a really gnarly problem, I love digging in and figuring out, “Here is the best way to do it,” building out a proof of concept, making sure I’ve thought of the edge cases. But once I have that solution and once I have that proof of concept, I am so bored with implementing it.

Mark Baizman: Right, you don’t want to implement it. You’re like, “Here’s the answer.”

Kestrel Lowry: Right.

Mark Baizman: “Someone else can go build this.”

Kestrel Lowry: I already have the answer. I’ve done my homework, now let’s move onto the next one. So that in some ways fits really well for an architect role, if that’s the way your brain is wired because you get to solve lots of big, really gnarly problems and then you get to communicate the solution. I think one thing that a lot of people don’t realize for architects is you have to be a very excellent communicator, because you have to be able to share that vision and that plan out to the people who are then going to implement it and take action on it, so that you can keep moving onto the next big problem.

Mark Baizman: That’s great. I love that. So you mentioned this a little bit earlier, but you mentioned the Power of Us Hub and the Google group. There was, for those listeners who don’t know, there was a Google group of nonprofit Salesforce practitioners, which was moderated by Judy [Sown 00:17:18] who we’re going to have spoiler alert, later on in the podcast, and Sunny [Cloward 00:17:23], I believe. What role did the community play in your growth over this time? Obviously, you’ve managed to make this transition from working at a nonprofit and being the jack of all trades to consulting, to architect. Tell me about the community role there, is there is one?

Kestrel Lowry: I mean, the community has always been such a great sounding board and a great way to find out and learn from someone else’s mistakes. You know? It’s great to learn from your own mistakes, but it’s even better to learn from someone else’s. And so, being able to reach out to the community and say, “Hey, I’m trying to figure this out, can someone recommend a way to approach this?” And that kind of virtual connection really also just… For me, it came very naturally because my start in any sort of web or tech work had been back when I was making my first websites in the mid-90s, that you would go onto bulletin boards and whatever else and have chats there and figure out, “Oh, here’s how that weird little bit of Java script should work,” or something like that.

Kestrel Lowry: And so, plugging into that community and that support for the nonprofits on Salesforce came very naturally to me. But beyond the virtual community, also the in-person community at things like Dreamforce or folks that I met that were working with Salesforce at the N10 Conference, which is the Nonprofit Technology Network Conference that happens every year were all really fundamental in both supporting my learning and also kind of giving me a vision of some of the different options and things to do on the platform, because when I started as an admin, I hadn’t even know that becoming a consultant on the Salesforce platform was a job option out there. I don’t know that really an architect role on the Salesforce platform was anything I’d ever heard discussed when I was an admin, so having the community helped me see those possible paths.

Mark BBaizman: That’s great. I love that. They kind of opened your eyes. And are you active in your local community group?

Kestrel Lowry: I am. So here in Portland, Oregon, which I say that I’m new to Portland, but I’ve been out here nearly a year now, time flies.

Mark Baizman: Oh my goodness, you’ve been out of New York for that long, wow.

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, I know. I was looking at the calendar the other day and I was like, “When did that happen?” But we have such a great community out here in Portland. We actually just last week had our community conference, Forcelandia, which is a developer community conference though it also does have content that’s useful for admins and for architects and I think everybody can find something there. But that’s put on annually every July/August-ish. I think this was the fifth one. So there are several different user groups out here, we have a nonprofit user group, there’s a women in tech user group, a developers group, admins group, I know I’m forgetting a few.

Mark Baizman: That’s okay. That’s fantastic.

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, it’s great. It’s a great environment out here.

Mark Baizman: So, as an architect, can you talk about some of kind of cool problems that you’ve solved, cool things that you’ve built? And don’t be shy, you can get techie here. The nerds want to know.

Kestrel Lowry: Yeah, so cool things that I have built? Let’s see… One really cool one that I worked on was building out a way for getting a HIPAA-compliant integration for a health nonprofit where they needed to get some information into… out of the health system into their Salesforce instance. They had Salesforce Shield, which is platform encryption, which is really cool but it has some pretty specific limitations on how you can query for data. And so we had to build a solution that allowed us to match records to prevent duplicates and allow for updating things and whatever else matching based on encrypted fields, which you can’t query on.

Mark Baizman: Fascinating.

Kestrel Lowry: It’s a pretty cool synthetic key solution. I actually, I presented it at Trailhead DX this past year. So that one was fun. That’s kind of an in the weeds solution. A big picture one that I’ve been working on is kind of a full integration between a custom front end for a P2P donation site and Salesforce NPSP, and we’re building this whole integration out using Jitterbit, and that’s to allow the client had previously had an API integration that was pretty brittle, it was breaking frequently and not really scaling in the ways they needed it to.

Kestrel Lowry: So, we’re bringing middleware into that environment to support both a bit better bulkification and scale and also to make it easier for their team to maintain, since they don’t have developers on staff.

Mark Baizman: Got it.

Kestrel Lowry: And so, where middleware really helps there is that it tends to be a no code or low code platform so that someone with admin skills can often be making adjustments and tweaks to that sort of integration architecture.

Mark Baizman: Oh, very cool. That sounds great. So I’d love to hear maybe, and I think you talked about this a little bit, but maybe just some challenges that you’ve had over your career, and as part of that, maybe some advice for other admins?

Kestrel Lowry: Definitely. Challenges… I think one challenge that is… I’d say it’s both a challenge and a blessing, right? Is imposter syndrome. Especially if you’re an admin and you’re first moving into consulting, it can be really easy to feel like you’re in the wrong room and you don’t belong there. And that was definitely for me, when I was first starting kind of into my more technical career, coping with like, “Gee, I don’t necessarily have the same background as folks here. I didn’t study computer science, I’m self-taught for all of this.” And on one hand, I think imposter syndrome is a really good thing because if you don’t ever have imposter syndrome, then you’re probably not pushing yourself to do new things that you haven’t done before. You’re not pushing yourself to grow. It’s kind of the corollary of if you’re always the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong rooms.

Kestrel Lowry: But it’s also, it can be challenging and it can be difficult to kind of get the confidence to bolster you through that, and I think a lot of getting past that is having support of peers and finding kind of who your people are who are going to cheer you on and help you get past those roadblocks and find the solution for something that maybe you’re like, “I actually don’t know how to do this.” Someone else out there does, and someone’s solved it before and can kind of give you the boost.

Mark Baizman: Got it, that’s great, and the community can presumably help with that.

Kestrel Lowry: Exactly.

Mark Baizman: That’s great. So, for admins that are maybe thinking about going down the architect path, what would you tell them? If they’re looking at you most of the way up the mountain and they’re at the bottom thinking, “There’s no way I can get there,” what advice would you give them?

Kestrel Lowry: Start building. Really, I think the most important thing, if you’re interested in becoming an architect, that putting the work into practice is where you’re going to find the most growth.

Mark Baizman: Does that mean like Trailhead, or? Say more.

Kestrel Lowry: It means Trailhead definitely, to get you started. But I think that sometimes people will do a Trailhead module on something and say, “Great, I know it. Moving onto the next thing.” And Trailhead is, it’s the start of the trail. It’s not the finish it point, it’s something to kind of, okay, you’ve got the foundational skill. But what I really do, I have I don’t even want to know how many dev orgs I have at this point, I’m sure there’s something there and Salesforce is [inaudible 00:25:58] tax that, but I have so many dev orgs, because if I’m curious about a problem or something like that, I might do a Trailhead to start figuring out, “Well, how I would I use this feature?”

Kestrel Lowry: But then I’ll think of my own possible use case. I have all sorts of cat herding and cat ranch use cases that I come up with, and I’ll build something out and kind of proof of concept, so how would I do deal with this? And how would this work? Like really kind of getting into the tool and working with it beyond the guided trainings. The guides are a great way to get started, I’m not saying Trailhead isn’t incredibly valuable. I think it is an important part of anyone’s learning journey.

Mark Baizman: Of course.

Kestrel Lowry: But it’s the start.

Mark Baizman: But it’s the start of a journey, it’s not an end all, be all.

Kestrel Lowry: Exactly.

Mark Baizman: Understood.

Kestrel Lowry: And so I think for someone who wants to start on the architect path, don’t be afraid to get into your dev org and think of a problem that you think is interesting or compelling, and figuring out a way to fix it. One of the first apps that I built that we still use here at Cloud for Good was for… I was often hearing from our clients, “Gee, we wish we could put badges on records to have a little visual indicator without having to have all those image formula fields.” And I listened to the problem and was like, “Yeah, there’s probably a good way to solve that.” Let’s figure out how would we do that, and go and solve the problem and come up with something out of it. Not everything’s going to turn into an app or a package or something that gets shared, but the learning that you get when you’re working on solving that problem is what really is going to cultivate that architect skill set and architect mindset.

Mark Baizman: That’s great. I love that. And I can’t help but ask how did you solve that particular problem? I feel like I’ve done image formula fields until the cows come home, so what did you do? Are you using static resources? What are you doing?

Kestrel Lowry: So, what it is is it’s a Visualforce page with a controller that gets… the controller queries for… It’s a custom object called Badge Settings, where someone on the Badge Settings says, “Okay, here’s the criteria for the badge. I want this badge to show up if the contact has more than five gifts and their most recent gift date was in the last year,” or whatever. You can set whatever criteria you want. If it fits into the where clause of a SOCO query, then you can use that as your badge criteria.

Kestrel Lowry: You include a link to an image for the badge, which can either be uploaded as a file relayed to it, you can put it into static resources, we just need the URL essentially for where that images lives and set whether or not that badge is active or not. We only display the active ones, and then there’s a sort order setting so you can say, “This is the one I want to show up first, second, third, et cetera.” So the Visualforce page that can go on the contact’s account or any other standard or custom object goes, gets the badge settings, compares the contact that’s being loaded with the settings that are active, and then displays the images that apply.

Mark Baizman: Fascinating. So I’m thinking about how I might do this in Lightning in a declarative fashion and I’m thinking I could have a formula field that returns a true or false and then use a Lightning component that’s really just an image that would appear based on the result of that formula field.

Kestrel Lowry: So you could, but then you would need a separate Lightning component for every single one of those images.

Mark Baizman: That’s true.

Kestrel Lowry: And with this, this Visualforce page, I should update it to just being a Lightning component, but right now you can still put the Visualforce page into your Lightning page. This way, you can hae as many images as you want. I don’t recommend that people put more than about 15 badges on, just because then you have to scroll over on the page and it gets ugly. But it scales to let someone define a whole bunch of different visual indicators without having to do a lot of configuration on the page itself.

Mark Baizman: This is very cool. Well, this is why I’m not an architect. Okay. I have one final question for you, Kestrel, and that’s what kind of fun stuff do you like to do when you are not being a Salesforce architect during the day? What do you do in your off time?

Kestrel Lowry: I have lots of things I do in my off time. So, I have three dogs. I spend a lot of time with my three dogs going and doing stuff outside, hiking, heading to the beach with them. One of those dogs is a Newfoundland, so she’s happiest when in the water and swimming. Aside from that, I like to cook and particularly to bake. I’m a musician, I play the fiddle.

Mark Baizman: Fantastic!

Kestrel Lowry: And I do a lot of performance and playwriting work, so sometimes I can be found on stage.

Mark Baizman: Fantastic, well that is amazing. Kestrel, thank you so, so much for spending time with me today. I really, really appreciate you taking the time and just being on the podcast. It was wonderful to talk with you.

Kestrel Lowry: Definitely, thank you for having me, Mark. This has been great.

Mark Baizman: If you’re a natural problem solver and an excellent communicator and you’re always thinking about the big picture, then technical architect might be the path for you. It was so great to hear about Kestrel’s journey with Salesforce, their experience with the NPSP and honing in on the nonprofit perspective as a way to shed light on how impactful the Salesforce admin, consultant, or architect can be in this ecosystem. Per Kestrel, the best way to get hands-on in thinking like an architect is to start building. Common theme from our guests, right? Make up your own problems in that developer org, or maybe six dev orgs, and you can start on Trailhead to get that knowledge that you might need.

Mark Baizman: Then go on to use those examples, build out a proof of concept, and then iterate. And don’t be afraid to break anything. Do it over and over and over again. Thanks, Kestrel, for telling us all how to think about scaling for growth and giving us insight into the mind of an architect. Stay tuned for the next episode of Salesforce for good. Thanks for joining us!

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