Meet Clara, MVP and lover of Salesforce, beer, and bacon
I was amazed when I saw what I could do with points and clicks. Every possibility was right at the tip of your finger, just by clicking your mouse.
How did you get your start in tech?
I got my degree in network IT back in 2010 and landed a job as an engineer, a woman in a field dominated by men. Around Christmas that year, I lost my job and the only job I could get was at a call center. I was so depressed that I had spent 5 years studying IT in college just to take calls. A friend of mine in New Jersey told me there were a lot of job opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem. I thought this had to be a scam since I had never heard of getting paid for working on the internet. Good thing I was wrong! The same friend ended up offering me a job and flew me out to NJ to interview with the CEO of the company. Little did I know, that CEO was my future manager.
What was your first experience with Salesforce?
Once I started the job as an admin, I started learning everything I could about Salesforce. I was amazed when I saw what I could do with points and clicks. Every possibility was right at the tip of your finger, just by clicking your mouse. I started building workflow rules, importing data, you name it. After a month of working as an admin, my manager said I should write a trigger. I had no idea what Apex was! I went to the community for help and eventually I was able to write a very basic trigger. After experiencing the platform, I knew that I wanted to become a developer. So I studied really hard and got my certification!
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
If you get to say you're a Trailblazer, it’s like saying you're an Olympic Athlete who won a medal. It’s like saying you're always keen to learn, which not everyone is. When I hear Trailblazer, it makes me proud.
If you get to say you're a Trailblazer, it’s like saying you're an Olympic Athlete who won a medal.
What motivated you to learn through Trailhead?
When Trailhead first came out, I spent like 3 hours a day earning badges. It was so much easier to learn and way more interactive than boring workbooks. With Trailhead you get to see an example. Then you get to do it on your own. And furthermore, you get points! I’d set goals for myself, “Ok I just got 500 points. I want to earn 5,000 points by the end of this week.” My team even started competing with each other to stay motivated. Whoever earned the least amount of points in a week would have to buy a round of drinks at happy hour.
What is your biggest #TrailheadWin?
The company I work for, Great Wave, needed to develop an offline iOS app for Salesforce, but I had no idea how to integrate Salesforce with an iOS app. Luckily, there was a whole trail on building iOS apps with the Mobile SDK on Trailhead. That was a lifesaver. It covered everything I needed to learn -- templates, SmartStore, and more. I was so relieved when I found it. I started applying what I learned from Trailhead to build the app. Trailhead saved the project.
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
Be curious and don’t be afraid. That’s what I’d tell anyone, regardless, if you’re studying Salesforce or how to ride a bike. Those two things are key.