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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Full Transcript

Marc Baizman: Welcome to the Salesforce for Good mini-series on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. My name is Marc 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. In this podcast mini-series, 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’re talking to Matthew Poe, Salesforce Architect and Senior Administrator at Open Philanthropy Project. In this episode, we talk about the experience of those who are curious what it takes to go from admin to architect and Matthew has some great advice, so let’s get him on the pod. Hello Matthew and welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast.

Matthew Poe: Hello, I’m so excited to be here. I’m inside the podcast. This is a little bit surreal.

Marc Baizman: You’re inside the podcast, you’re going to listen to yourself on the podcast and in recursive, your head is going to explode.

Matthew Poe: It’s going to be really weird. I’m going to be in a car or in the shower one day I’m going to hear my voice and I’m going to be like, “It’s collapsing on itself, the whole logic of the world.”

Marc Baizman: Fantastic. All right. So Matthew, I’d love to hear a little bit about what you do and where you work.

Matthew Poe: So I’ve recently started a new job and I’ve got my dream job, I think it’s safe to say. So it’s like hashtag thank you Salesforce because, it’s because of this career that I’ve been able to get to do this work that I love so much.

Matthew Poe: I am a Salesforce architect and senior administrator at an organization called the Open Philanthropy Project and sometimes when I say architect, people are like, “What does that mean? What do you actually do?” And I think architect can mean a few different things in the Salesforce world. So in my case it means I spend my days designing solutions, designing applications for our users at Open Philanthropy. Also I am responsible for making sure Salesforce is talking to the other end points in our systems. So talk [inaudible] to all the other systems, gets data in and out.

Marc Baizman: Are you a certified technical architect?

Matthew Poe: I am not. I’m a baby architect. I both had the domain certification system and application architect, but I’m still chasing that CTA.

Marc Baizman: Got it. But I believe you have a number of certifications, is that right?

Matthew Poe: I have a few too many certifications. Maybe I have 20 certifications now.

Marc Baizman: Twenty? Amazing.

Matthew Poe: You know, it was fun for me. I think it’s not for everybody, but 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 of the platform and learn about different pieces of the platform, it’s a good way to do that. It ensures that you’re thinking about specific aspects of solutions in Salesforce sequentially.

Marc Baizman: Fantastic. I’m convinced. So it sounds like you have a new role at the Open Philanthropy Project. Can you tell me what is this organization? What do they do?

Matthew Poe: I would love to tell you about the Open Philanthropy Project. I should say first that I am new there and I don’t speak on their behalf, so I’m speaking for myself when I tell you about what they do. But what they do generally is they think about how to do the most good in the world. So they’re kind of like a foundation in most ways. And they’re rooted in this… If you’re a philosophy nerd, they’re rooted in this utilitarian, effective altruist movement. So what the people who came up with this framework are thinking about are ways to bring evidence and rationality and reasoning and logic to how we can spend our limited resources to do the most good in the world. So what’s different about Open Philanthropy is it approaches the idea of how do we do the most good in this really rigorous framework? It’s thinking systematically about what it means to evaluate opportunities against one another.

Matthew Poe: And the framework that it’s come up with is, it wants to solve big problems that are neglected and that are solvable. So unlike a lot of foundations, we have a blue sky mandate. Anything that we determine fits into this framework of doing the most good is something that we’ll consider funding. And we’re looking for problems that are big, that affect the greatest number of people or animals that are neglected. So, there are a lot of big problems that have a lot of smart people doing a lot of smart things and all things being equal, we would prioritize an opportunity where no smart people are doing smart things. So if there’s an angle that nobody is really taking on a big problem, that’s where we want to be and solvable. We want problems where a funder can make a difference.

Marc Baizman: This is fascinating. Is there a particular area that the Open Philanthropy Project is working on right now?

Matthew Poe: Yeah. Well we have a few big focus areas. Some of the main ones are farm animal welfare. So we do a lot of work in trying to think about how to improve the lives of farm animals, which is really exciting. Another reason or another way that we’re not traditional foundations is, we don’t really manage grants directly, but we have a network of funding partners that we recommend grants to, which enables us to make different kinds of grants, or different kinds of investments sometimes. So an example in this farm animal welfare space is… Open Philanthropy was an investor in Impossible Foods. They thought that that was a really interesting and promising way to move the needle on farm animal welfare.

Matthew Poe: And even though that’s not what a typical foundation would invest in, it’s not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It is impact investing basically. Sometimes we invest in political campaigns, we work a good deal in criminal justice reform and one of the things that we think is really likely to move the needle there, a promising way to move criminal justice reform forward is prosecutor reform. So there’s a lot of different avenues we can take to move these things. So those are two of the big areas that we work in… farm animal welfare, criminal justice reform. We do a lot of funding in basic science. In the science realm, some things that we think are really interesting and that we have an opportunity to contribute new angles to are development of better vaccines, improving the way that vaccines work and the ability to scale up a new vaccine.

Matthew Poe: We think about a lot about particular infectious diseases that are causing outside suffering in the world and how we can help solve some of those problems. So we focused a lot on Malaria and different novel interventions and trying to interrupt the spread of Malaria. [crosstalk] actually really interesting issue for us. So with the opioid crisis, a lot of that is related to the way that pain management medicine works. And if you can figure out different ways to do pain management medically, maybe that’s another way to attack the opioid crisis.

Marc Baizman: Wow. This is heavy, heavy stuff. This is very cool. If I want to learn more about effective altruism and how to do the most good, do you have any resources that I should check out?

Matthew Poe: Oh heck yeah. So, thank you for asking that question. I think if you’re interested in this kind of thing, one of the most interesting ways that you can apply this framework is to your own career. So one of the most valuable assets any of us has is our working life. And spending our working life in the service of a mission where we can really do the most good and advanced something that we care about. So there’s a project called 80,000 Hours… 80,000 Hours is the idea of… Your working life is 80,000 hours, how can you spend it to do the most good? 80000hours.org exists to help people think about that question. It’s actually how I found my job.

Matthew Poe: So it’s a community that’s based on this effective altruist idea. Of course Open Philanthropy’s website or there’s a sister organization called GiveWell. We actually came out of the GiveWell organization, which does charity evaluation around these aspects. So it’s looking at opportunities as an individual giver where you can make the most impact in the world using this framework. Those are all great places to learn more. Also, some great Ted talks on this… Will MacAskill’s Ted talk or his book, The Life You Can Save.

Marc Baizman: Oh, amazing. Wow. Thank you.

Matthew Poe: It’s the most good you can do. [crosstalk]

Marc Baizman: Yeah, the most good that you can do. That’s great. I feel like all I’ve learned about this, I’ve learned from watching the Good Place… I don’t know that that translates. So tell me a little bit about how you found your way into the philanthropy/nonprofit realm. What is your background?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, I’ve always been in the nonprofit e-realm, nonprofit adjacent realm. I think I spent a long time in Performing Arts Administration at university. I spent a decade as a performing arts administrator and just always knew that I wanted to be working in mission driven or artistic spaces. I’ve been lucky enough to get to do that.

Marc Baizman: Very cool. Awesome. I would love to hear about how Salesforce came into your life. Where did you encounter that in your travels?

Matthew Poe: So I moved across the country a little bit more than five years ago now for love. I had a 10 year career as a performing arts administrator at this university and I got a new job, also at a university here in New York, which is where I live now. And they knew I was techie… techie curious, liked to solve problems with technology and so they had asked me to think through some contact management problems that they were having or some contact management challenges, I’ll say. The mission of this department was to encourage students to go into public interest or public service work.

Matthew Poe: So nonprofit or government work… they’re law students and they want public interest lawyers and government lawyers. So it’s a really complex relational database question because you have folks that you’re tracking from the time before their students, through their career as students and all the kind of ways that you would want to interact with them and advise them and sponsor them for pro bono opportunities and connect them with judicial clerkships and all of these opportunities that law students need.

Matthew Poe: Then they go on and graduate and you want to maintain those connections because if you’re successful, those are the folks who are going to be hiring the next generation of students and supervising them. This was all happening in spreadsheets and email and people’s heads. And I thought, “this is a really interesting problem to solve with Salesforce.” I became more and more obsessed with the Salesforce solution for it and started building out all these cool pilot projects that could do this. I decided in short order that I loved this technology so much and I saw so much potential in this technology to really change the way that nonprofits work for the better, that I just wanted to solve these problems all day with Salesforce. That’s what I was lucky enough to do.

Marc Baizman: That’s fantastic. I love that. So you started working at this University, Columbia, and were digging deep into Salesforce stuff. Then you made a move, right? You became a consultant.

Matthew Poe: Yeah. And I would say that was the first dream job leap that I made after I started working with Salesforce. I think I spent a lot of time thinking about, “Could I be a consultant someday? Could I actually be the expert in this thing that people would pay to help them with Salesforce?” What I found out is that is super possible and I think that is something I would like to tell people on this podcast because, I think probably five year ago me would have liked to have heard that, “It’s more possible than you think it is. If you want to do that, that’s a realistic goal.” I loved being a consultant. I got to see so many different setups. I worked just with nonprofits and I got to just learn so much about the different ways people use Salesforce.

Matthew Poe: My clients were all really great, really fun to work with and it was a heck of a learning curve and really helped shape everything that came later. To have a team of experts that you can talk to when you’re working at a consulting firm is such a shift in the way of thinking… from being a solo admin and having to solve every problem more or less on your own. But also just seeing the breadth of things that people are doing with the tool and the common sticking points that they have.

Marc Baizman: Sure. Can you talk a little bit about how being a consultant is different than being a solo admin at an organization?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, like I said, I think the biggest difference for me was this brain trust. We were a remote firm, so everybody was working separately… physically, separately.

Matthew Poe: But the idea that we had this Slack channel or chat channel of 50 of the smartest Salesforce people that I knew who could answer any question, who’d seen everything three times, was such an accelerant to being good at what I do. Just having that resource is irreplaceable and you can get part of that from the community if you’re connected to your local community group or know people locally who are using Salesforce. But I think, being in that atmosphere where there is a whole team of people who are ready to help you have seen a lot is a real shift and it’s a great step forward, if that’s something that you’re interested in. I think just the breadth of applications too. The nice thing about being a solo admin is, you can get so familiar with your users and so familiar with your own business processes and you can build something that’s really specific and really perfect for your organization.

Matthew Poe: There’s also satisfaction to having a longterm view of the evolution of your organization. It’s satisfying to get to work on the project for years and see that project pay off. But I think on the flip side, it’s really fun to see a lot of different projects and to learn a lot really fast.

Marc Baizman: Awesome. Because you mentioned community, I’d love to dig into that a little bit more. Can you tell me about your community involvement and maybe just generally how you feel like they helped… I’m putting words in your mouth here… But tell me about your experience with the community.

Matthew Poe: Yeah. Well, the community really shaped my experience with Salesforce. One of the first things I did when I was digging in and trying to solve all these really complex contact management problems by myself is, I started going to our local nonprofit user group here in New York and I found those folks so welcoming.

Matthew Poe: I felt immediately like there was a space for me and there were people who understood what I was trying to do and who also felt passionately about using this tool for nonprofits and higher ed institutions. I just felt like I found a home there and I felt like I found such great resources and such great opportunities to grow and learn. I actually made a lot of friends there too, which was something I might not have expected from something that seemed professional networky. So I felt really motivated to try and pay that forward. Now I’m one of the co-leaders of the Developer User Group here in New York city and I really try to bring a lot of non nonprofit specific content to our Developer User Group. I also really try and make all kind of people feel welcome, especially people who are curious admins or even earlier in their Salesforce careers.

Matthew Poe: I want it to be a group that’s very accessible and very welcoming to try and create that atmosphere that I benefited so much from.

Marc Baizman: That’s great. I want to maybe dive a little bit deeper, because you’re a developer group leader and obviously this is the Salesforce Admins Podcast. Can you talk about maybe your journey from admin to developer and that, maybe it’s not a rocket science but people can actually [inaudible] it?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, this is one of my favorite things to talk about… to get on the soapbox about because I think, just speaking from my own experience, I was so intimidated by the Developer User Group that I didn’t go. It seems like a long time in retrospect, but it was probably six months that I was like, “No, that’s going to be over my head.” I don’t know what I thought. I think I had fears that they were going to make me write a four loop in front of the group in order to get in the room and I’d be like, [crosstalk 00:16:46]. Let me just set your mind at ease that that is not in fact what will happen if you come to the New York City Developer User Group or probably your local user group.

Marc Baizman: I’m going to go with any user group is not going to [crosstalk 00:16:55].

Matthew Poe: What will happen is, we’ll be so happy to see you. We will eat pizza. It might be over our heads. It might be over my head too. I think that’s one thing is… Technical experts in this space generally, developers for sure, architects for sure, sometimes admins too have this privilege. People defer to them and that privilege can intersect with other kinds of privilege and people sometimes end up deferring to you in ways that may not be appropriate. So I think it’s a nice thing to do and something I really try to do to say… whenever I can, “Just because I’m in the front of this room doesn’t mean I’m an expert here.

Matthew Poe: I’m here to learn and I think highest calling of this group is to get people who want to learn this stuff together and eat pizza with them. It may be over all of our heads this week and maybe next year it won’t be all over all of our heads if we stick with it.” But I think what I didn’t recognize at first, what I wish I had recognized sooner was, nobody just is a developer, right? The only way you get to be a developer is to decide you’re going to start learning. There’s, no other way forward there. So come out to the group if you want to and we will be so happy to see you.

Marc Baizman: I love that. I love that. Can you maybe talk a little bit more about how you became an architect… Certainly you have it in your job title, but how what you do has changed and how you think about perhaps Salesforce, your Salesforce instance, but more generally Salesforce Orgs in general, as an architect, as opposed to a consultant or an admin or even a developer.

Matthew Poe: Yeah, I think architect thinking is a pretty buzzy topic right now, for good reason. I think you’ll see a lot of presentations if you go to World Tour or Dreamforce or TDX on architect thinking. I think it is a real thing. I think it’s not just a buzzword. I think what distinguishes architect thinking… I’ll start by saying the way I got on this path was, after I was a consultant, I got the opportunity to lead this enterprise implementation, a big implementation of the Nonprofit Success Pack, NPSP at a big environmental nonprofit. I knew I was going to have to get really deeply up to speed on some pretty weedy stuff that had happened already. They had been working with an implementation partner already and I had a lot to catch up on in a short time.

Matthew Poe: I also knew that I wanted to pursue this architect path for myself and I thought I can kill two birds with one stone here… to use a very animal and friendly metaphor and I can attack this architect pyramid at the same time that I think about… to structure my thinking about how I approach this new project, and that’s more or less what I did. So I studied for the Security Designer exam and I thought about our security model and I studied for the data exam and I thought about our large data volumes, studied for the integrations exam and thought about our integrations.

Matthew Poe: I don’t know in retrospect how I had the energy for that because 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. I don’t know that I could have been as successful in that role if I didn’t kick it off with that structured thinking about these different aspects of Solution Design in Salesforce. It went both ways. So 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.

Marc Baizman: Excellent. That’s fantastic. So let’s maybe dive in a little bit into your current Salesforce org and what exactly open flip Open Philanthropy Project is doing with Salesforce. How are you using Salesforce to support the mission?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, we primarily are using it for grants management. So we really care a lot about smooth, non-bureaucratic, speedy experience for our grantees and for our programs team and for our grants team. So I’m building a system that really puts those users front of mind and makes sure that things are in the right place to make their job easy. I don’t ever want technology to get in the way of their job because their job is super important. It’s literally doing the most good they can in the world. I think that is a great approach for anybody who is… that is an approach I believe in very strongly… that user centric design. We’re always thinking front of mind about, “What is this grant’s team member trying to do? How can we support that? How can we make this application intuitive for them and make it so easy for them to do their job that it’s really just supporting their work invisibly, more or less.”

Matthew Poe: But then we get to do some really cool specific stuff too. We’re we’re talking a bit about some predictions tracking. That’s one piece of our organization that’s a little bit unique. Folks at our organization are encouraged to make predictions about everything in a pretty specific kind of prediction. So we’re big on confidence intervals. So we’re supposed to say, “We’re 40% certain that this will happen,” or “We’re 80% certain that this will happen,” and we’re really interested in how correct we are at those different confidence intervals because we want to get better at making predictions about the grants we make and about all aspects of our operations. So I’m just at the beginning stages of designing an application that will help us track these predictions in a specific way, which I think is going to be pretty cool if I can manifest it in the world the way it works in my head.

Marc Baizman: Sure, sure. that sounds fascinating. Do you see yourself using something like Einstein Prediction Builder for that?

Matthew Poe: I think probably not because there’s some pretty sophisticated statistical analysis that’s already very well established for these kind of things. So it’s not so much that we would use a machine learning model and train a model against our data, as we would use these established statistical methods to track our performance.

Marc Baizman: Got you. Very cool. Well that is great. So grants management is you’re giving money away. You can get a little bit technical here. Is this done with custom objects? Are you using the Nonprofit Success Pack? How are you actually tracking this stuff?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, well that’s a good first question and we are building everything custom right now, because we’re a little bit [crosstalk] of different… I want to put an asterisk there that it’s not… Of course that I would recommend lightly. It’s not [inaudible] for most organizations, I think it makes sense to use a product like NPSP or foundationConnect or the Outbound Funds package that has been built recently in the Community Sprints. But we took the path of building our own custom model, because we’re a little bit different in the way that we think about both selecting the grantees and also we’re not making the payments directly. We’re working with a network of partners to make the payments. So we’re not tracking things that foundations typically track with those off the shelf tools.

Marc Baizman: Got it. Makes sense. Classic architect thinking, “We’re going to build it ourselves.” No, I’m just giving you a hard time. Are there any really cool things that you’ve built or cool problems that you’ve had to solve for, maybe at Open Philanthropy or maybe at one of your past roles?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, there’s so much. What I love about my work is that every day I get to solve a new problem. I think people who are drawn to this world are people who generally really like to solve novel problems everyday and think of new ways to do things and get something to work that they weren’t sure they were going to be able to get to work that morning. So I think the very first taste I had of that was at the law school where I was building an app to try and connect students to judicial clerkships. And that was just such an interesting… I mean that was when I first started building custom objects and relating them to one another and I just felt that was so magical. That was my aha moment.

Matthew Poe: It’s like, “Oh, I understand how this works and I can make this do cool things.” It took a life of its own. I ended up getting to present it to bigger and bigger decision makers. At one point I presented it to the whole faculty of the law school and I got prepped for this presentation by a really famous litigator who was on faculty there and it was all a lot, but it was all really exciting. It was stuff that I was like, “I can’t believe I built this. I didn’t know how to build this last year and I built this thing that’s really cool and that people are taking seriously and can solve a problem for [crosstalk 00:00:25:27].”

Marc Baizman: That’s great. That’s great. What challenges have you had to overcome in your journey? I feel like we talk a lot about the successes, which is great, but I’d love to hear a story about a particular challenge that you’ve overcome or just general advice that you might give for other advents. Maybe combine a little of both of those.

Matthew Poe: Yeah, the Salesforce journey for me… I know I sound like I really drunk the Kool-Aid here, but the Salesforce journey for me has been almost entirely positive. I can’t think of much that’s been hard or unpleasant about it, but I think that’s not everybody’s experience. I was having a drink with a friend last night, a friend from the community group actually, and we were talking about how I think Salesforce has done such a great job of solving the problem of workforce development. They’ve created Trailhead, there are these third party programs like PopUp Tech and Vetforce that are really focused on doing the great work of training people to take these roles. The jobs are so plentiful and the need for these skills are so great.

Matthew Poe: But I think an underrated problem is that first job. There is a whole body of people, I see this for sure in New York, I think there are some extremely talented people who have a lot of certifications and a lot of badges on Trailhead and it just takes longer than they expect to get that first admin job. And it can be really discouraging. I think my desire there is to tell people to stick with it. It’s going to be a frustrating jump. It’s going to be maybe a more frustrating jump than you think it is, to go from all of the learning you’ve done and really excelled at, to getting that first admin job. But when you make that jump, I think everything changes.

Matthew Poe: The message I would like to give is, “Stay the course, you’re so close. It may take six months, it may take a year to get that first job, but it’s worth it and having that line on your resume is really going to make a difference moving forward.” I can say that with some confidence because five years ago I’d never touched Salesforce, and now I’m a community group leader and an MVP and have my dream job. The further I get into this role, the more opportunities there are. But I think, that first jump is the hard part and I think people aren’t always prepared for that.

Marc Baizman: Yeah, and hopefully at some point you will be in a position where you will be able to give those folks who are graduating from those programs an opportunity. So as an architect, perhaps you don’t have a team yet, but at some point you will and you will hopefully be in that position to pay it forward. So I’d love to close by hearing maybe something that you’re planning to do or planning to build. It sounds like you’re in this relatively new role and you’ve got lots of big plans. And then I have one more fun question for you after that.

Matthew Poe: All right. Yeah, there’s so much. I think the next big phase of my thinking about Salesforce at Open Philanthropy will be to really bring our program officers in a solid way. So those are the folks who are the subject matter experts in our focus areas, in our fields like Criminal Justice Reform and Biosecurity and really smart policy people. I want to make their lives as easy as possible and really support their work seamlessly, if I can. So once I get grants management working well, I’m going to start thinking about how to make program officer’s lives easier.

Marc Baizman: Fantastic. And then I would love to know, what sort of fun stuff do you do that’s maybe outside of your day job?

Matthew Poe: Yeah, I love theater. So New York city is a good place for me. On a good week, I could see up to two or three shows. That’s not so unusual for me. So if I’m not at Salesforce, you’ll probably find me at the theater or with my dog in the park. Those are probably my-

Marc Baizman: What’s the last great show that you saw?

Matthew Poe: Oh, I really liked this… It’s pretty obscure, but it’s this Taylor Mac show called Gary, which was a comedy with Nathan Lane and it was very, very strange and very fun. It was a sequel to Titus Andronicus and involved question of, “Who cleans up after tragedy?” It was funnier than it sounds.

Marc Baizman: I’m like, “Titus Andronicus, not funny. For those who don’t know… Tragedy, very much a tragedy. So, great. I love the idea of a sequel. Cool. Well Matthew, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. I really appreciate it and lots of really, really valuable tips about becoming an architect and just your journey. I’m so glad it’s been so positive for you.

Matthew Poe: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It’s a real treat to get to be here.

Marc Baizman: You bet. And we’ll find out more about doing the most good. I’m looking forward to it.

Matthew Poe: Awesome.

Marc Baizman: That was such a great chat. Thank you again, Matthew. I think you truly inspired some folks who are or were a bit timid to step out of their comfort zones. The first steps you should take once you’ve decided you want to learn is to get out and go to your local developer admin Trailblazer community group. They have pizza. Seriously. These groups are full of people just like you. They love Salesforce, are eager to learn and not afraid to fail and want to support you. And if you love Salesforce as much as Matthew and I’m sure you do, because you’re listening to this podcast, maybe you want to get into consulting, which is great because you’re exposed to all the possibilities of solutions people are working on around you.

Marc Baizman: You have a whole team of people wanting to help you succeed, to make your clients’ lives easier and better. Don’t forget to check out the resources in the show notes for the suggestions Matthew gave us and to learn more about effective altruism and 80,000 Hours, which is super interesting. Thanks so much, Matthew, and stay tuned for the next episode of the Salesforce for Good mini-series on the Salesforce Admins Podcast.

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