Meet Adam, MVP, 11x Salesforce certified, & self-identified nerd
I am further ahead in my career now than I ever would have thought possible just a few years ago. I hit a few roadblocks along the way but that's what happens sometimes when you're blazing your own trail.
Currently I work at Youtube (which is owned by Google) as a contractor and my dream job would be to work full-time for Google. I also have a goal to become a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect. More broadly, my idea of a dream job is a position where I can be proud of the work that I’m doing, work with exciting and innovative technology, all while feeling like I’m making a positive change in the world. Working with Salesforce is a great way to meet most of those goals because the technology is innovative and the company is extremely philanthropic.
Where do you find inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by the Salesforce community. I have friends all over the world because of Salesforce. A lot of them I got to meet at Dreamforce, but some of them I've never even met in person. But everyone is close because there is this strong notion of giving back, helping others, and sharing your knowledge. You don't see that very often in our society.
If you could master one skill, what would it be?
I’m tempted to say coding but I’m not sure you could ever “master” coding. It’s almost impossible to master skills these days because by the time you master something, later that day you’re behind the curve again because the innovation is constant. Isn’t that exciting though? There is always more to learn.
How do you make time for Trailhead?
I don’t worry about how much time each badge will take to earn because it can be hard to set aside an hour or more of your day. Instead, I think about Trailhead in units. Most of the units take around 20 minutes to really read through, think about, and then complete the challenges. I often find myself reading through units on my phone while I wait in lines, or during the evenings when I have 15 minutes to spare I will check out a unit I bookmarked. Every so often I’m able to set aside larger blocks of time but for the most part, I’ve found success tackling Trailhead in smaller pieces.
Everyone started where you are. While there are lots of Salesforce experts and accomplished Trailblazers, each and every one of us is always able to learn new things.
How did you prepare for your Salesforce certifications?
I’ve been certified 11 times but I have 10 certifications technically because one of my certifications replaced an earlier one. I saw David Liu speak at my very first Dreamforce and I found his site SFDC99.com very helpful in getting started. At first I studied the official Salesforce certification study guides to pass the non-coding certifications. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about Trailhead at first! I wish I had because I would have learned so much faster. When I was ready to tackle the developer certification I used the Apex and Visualforce developer guides, the free Salesforce workbooks, and the associated Trailhead modules to prepare. I found Trailhead especially helpful for making sure I understood the vast array of Salesforce terminology.
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
A Trailblazer is someone who isn't afraid of taking some smart risks and betting on him or herself. There were several people who said that I should lower my expectations and consider settling for other things in my career but I refused to listen to them and instead believed that I could achieve success. Through hard work, motivation, and some luck mixed in there as well, I am further ahead in my career now than I ever would have thought possible just a few years ago. I hit a few roadblocks along the way but that's what happens sometimes when you're blazing your own trail.
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
So much! This is such an exciting time for Trailblazers. If I had to boil it down to two pieces of advice, I would say:
– Don’t ever be intimidated. Everyone started where you are. While there are lots of Salesforce experts and accomplished Trailblazers, each and every one of us is always able to learn new things.
– Be brave. Don’t be afraid to broaden your horizons a little bit, learn a new skill, and try something that you think is beyond your abilities. Look around for skills you would like to have and take the time to test them out through Trailhead and with the community’s support.
What's your favorite joke in Trailhead?
::goes to check old tweets:: There are a TON but my favorites are actually the amusing answers to the quizzes. It's hard to pick a favorite but the most recent one I found was:
Q: "What does a channel strategy describe?"
A: "How your family handles the TV remote."