Why did you become a Salesforce Admin?
I didn’t want to be an old cranky programmer. I had hit a wall as a python developer at my former company since there was no room for growth. Right around this time, a colleague of mine contacted me, offering me a chance to help him grow his Salesforce practice. I saw the opportunity for leadership and growth, so I jumped on in. I was doing well with Salesforce, but I wasn’t fully sold on being a Salesforce Admin until Dreamforce 2014, where I performed a song I wrote as part of the Community Keynote. It was at that moment that I was thrust, full-speed ahead, into the Salesforce community, and I was blown away by the passionate people who proudly call themselves Salesforce Admins. No other platform has anything remotely close to this community. That’s when I decided to go all in and proudly own being a Salesforce Admin.
What’s your favorite part about being a Salesforce Admin?
I really enjoy how easily I can make people happy. They come to me with tedious processes, and I can show them a new, better way to get the same thing done in Salesforce. The best part is their reactions: “Oh yeah, I like this!” I get to build little things that make other people’s daily jobs easier, which then lead to bigger things that transform businesses.
What’s the most important skill for a Salesforce Admin?
You have to be a great translator. Being able to speak to both users and technical teams about what matters to them is an invaluable skill for an Admin. Users think they know what they want, so you have to be approachable and speak in non-technical language so they feel comfortable explaining their needs to you. Technical teams like IT and developers are often stuck in their ways, so you have to be able to explain user needs to them in a non-threatening, opportunistic way. It isn’t an easy skill to learn, but once you get it, you’ll find that you can get so much more done than you ever thought.
What’s your advice for other Salesforce Admins?
Always keep learning! Spend the time to learn new features and how to apply them. Stagnation is dangerous because you can get left behind really quickly – Salesforce moves fast. Also, be sure to take care of your org by keeping data clean and having up-to-date documentation. Pro tip: Use the description fields on everything in your org. Explain what the field is, why it is there, and what processes it touches. It is extremely difficult to figure out this information detective style. I force myself to fill in every description field I come across and make sure it is updated with the current information. Just do(cument) it.