Find the Sunshine and Grow Where You’re Planted  

If you ever find yourself heading towards Denver International Airport, you might decide to skirt  the heavy traffic of downtown.  In doing so, you might find yourself in the midst of a Random Place of Beauty that takes you somewhat by surprise.  While they are not on any maps, there are acres and acres of sunflower fields surrounding the city to the east and north, populated with expansive formations of yellow faces turned perpetually toward the sun, tracking its progress across the sky each day.

We’ve spent the last few months listening to all sorts of advice about how to get through these “unprecedented” and “difficult” and “challenging” times.  Like most people, I’ve spent some hours wondering, “where is the sun?”  I find myself unconsciously turning sunward whenever possible, whether from the patio chairs out back (which also helps avoid glare on my laptop) or simply adjusting my position on the sofa.

But more practically, I’ve found it crucial to keep my eye on growth opportunities and professional development.  While I can’t control the situation, I can always control how I pivot. As a Salesforce professional, this has been the perfect time to skill-up, both for today’s challenges and the future. 

Keep Growing

During the past few months, I’ve had the chance to knock out a couple of new certifications.  I have also been researching some of the newest, interesting tracks out there to continue growing.  My current favorite picks:

Certified CPQ Specialist

 In the immediate response to such “interesting” times, our clients are incredibly innovative and creative when it comes to maintaining business-as-not-so-usual.  The ability to nimbly and dynamically customize a new selling and quoting process with CPQ allows their sales teams to pivot quickly to new product offerings and scenarios.

Certified Field Service Lightning Consultant

Field service industries have come under increasing demand in the past few months.  While some of us need more help to get things together while at home, others are taking advantage of slow business to remodel and innovate business facilities.  Add to that the increased service needs for deliveries and keeping the supply chain moving.  The demand for solutions that keep these mobile workers connected and moving efficiently is growing rapidly, and I expect that many of these new ways of managing field services will persist even after this is all over.

Certified B2C Commerce Developer

Again, looking at how businesses have changed, we can expect many of them to keep their new “emergency” sales channels open for the long-term, not just for the next few months.  With so many companies turning to rapidly deployable, integrated cloud services, the need for maintenance and refinement in the future will make these skills highly sought-after.

Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer

 While a lot is going on that pulls my attention to the “right now” demands, I still want to keep my eye on my longer-term career goals, and this one makes the list because I’m making a concerted effort not to get too distracted, despite all the changing priorities around me.  This certification is a great way to leverage your expertise in Salesforce solutioning while getting your feet firmly on the path to Certified Application Architect. 

Leverage New Salesforce Features

And since we have been quite busy helping clients respond to current circumstances, I have found myself genuinely appreciating the newest enhancements in Salesforce that help me quickly execute new solutions.  Understanding how to leverage these improvements have been valuable additions to my day-to-day skill set:

Improvements to Flow Builder

I’m a big fan of the Flow.  When working in older orgs, especially those with several custom objects and processes, I find myself often running into DML limits and timeout issues caused by multiple triggers, field updates, and processes that are all trying to execute in the same context.   
The Flow Builder is a lifesaver, allowing me to combine several messy processes into one update process that saves processing time and eliminates the need to chase down multiple asynchronous executions in the debug logs to find the culprit of an error.  Many small improvements are rolling out with the Summer ’20 release that will allow me to rely on this tool, even more, letting my clients unwind from the tangle of separate processes in their org. 

    • Replace multiple “after save” Process Builder and workflow automations with the ability to auto-launch a Lightning Flow based on record save or other platform events.
    • The debugging feature makes better sense for testing now, as you can implement a “rollback” feature that allows you to monitor the flow on your test record without committing the changes to the record when the flow completes.

Dynamic Forms!

Yes, this improvement warrants exciting punctuation, even though it’s “not quite ready for prime time”   I can’t wait to jump in and start leveraging this new feature, and I’m very excited Salesforce is rolling it out in preview status. 
As a staunch believer in the power of good UX design, I have spent countless hours creating round-about solutions to ensure proper field visibility and efficient layouts tailored to each user group.  With this feature, I won’t have to go through several separate design components to deliver a dynamic, customized interface for my users. Yes, it’s just a “preview” for now and may change over time, but this release hearkens many good things to come when it comes to managing page layouts and user interfaces.

Follow the Sun

I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a company and a community of Trailblazers that provides a ray of sunshine to many of our clients when it comes to finding nimble, proactive solutions.  Yes, we need to rethink many things about how we do business  to make it through.  And how we continue to seek growth opportunities will have everything to do with leveraging flexible, rapidly deployable, cloud-based solutions.  To fall back on a McCartney-ism:  when it’s raining, I’ll follow the sun. 

Carolyn Campbell, Manager, Salesforce Practice

Carolyn is a results-driven leader with experience in technology development, business strategy & communications. Focused skills include programming (Java, web, SQL), BI, project leadership, & data-driven marketing strategies/automation. She’s a passionate believer in creative problem-solving, communication and personal growth!

Trailblazing with Salesforce since 2003, Carolyn has received her Trailhead Ranger badge. She holds 4 Salesforce certifications in addition to an Oracle Java Developer certification. She has managed CRM orgs and lead sales enablement, marketing integration, web development and business intelligence for businesses large and small.

Reach out to Carolyn to explore these ideas further!