Thank you community. That is the best way I could start this post. A little over three years ago, I had my first introduction to Salesforce as a user. Since that time, my experience with it and my involvement with the community has increase exponentially. Just over three months ago I was named to MVP program and co-founded a developer user group with a friend I made through this community. Now I have just finished my third highly enjoyable week at my #dreamjob with Acumen Solutions. All this is was possible because this amazing community exists and the friends I have made.
What I’m trying to say is, just be yourself, embrace the awesomeness that is all everywhere in this great community. Join your local user group or start one if one isn’t nearby. Plug in and get to know the community! You’ll be glad you did. I am extremely grateful and happy today to be a part of such an amazing community. Many people in this community have been a part of my journey, have helped shape who I am today and will continue to do so for years to come. THANK YOU!
Where do I begin? Before I get to the exciting news announced yesterday, let’s rewind about a month when someone I have a ton of respect for first approached me about becoming an MVP. I was immediately humbled that one of my peers wanted to nominate me. Especially, since this individual was an MVP already. That alone was an honor.
What is an MVP you ask? For my friends and family who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s acknowledgment from my peers in my professional community who are Salesforce.com users and advocates that I am someone who is active and supportive of members in the community. Here’s the official (and more detailed) Salesforce MVP definition.
Fast forward to April 10, 2013 when I woke up a little early to get my day started off on the right foot. Literally, I went for a run to kickstart my day. I tend to feel more energetic throughout the day which helps me avoid “hitting the wall” later on. Perhaps, those two cups of coffee might have added an unnecessary boost, but none of these things compare to the rush of energy I got when I received an email at 10:20am EST. This is when an email with the subject “Welcome to the Salesforce MVP Program!” flashed on my screen.
Holy expletive, Batman! is the first thought I had. My excitement could not, would not be contained. Immediately, I dialed the person who first nominated me. A couple of quick calls later, I was still stuck on the first paragraph, “Congratulations!” Words can’t explain how excited I am to be included in the latest crop of MVP’s. This program wouldn’t exist without the community, to whom I am grateful for the opportunity interact with, share with and learn from. Doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or grizzled veteran in the Salesforce ecosystem, do not underestimate the power of the community!
Get involved like I did and now I’m an MVP because of it. I started a new Force.com Developer Group in my area to compliment the general user group. I’m happy to say that our first formal event will be hosting a joint Hackathon on April 27th during the upcoming (global) Mobile Developer Week with the larger user groups from Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte. Get on the Answers boards to help and learn from each other. There’s always something to discuss on Twitter where I get much of news from, especially the latest and greatest from this community. These are just a few examples of how I got involved and it’s these type of activities that contributed to being named an MVP. Sharing is Caring! For my own part, I will put my best foot forward (the same way I started my early morning run) to make the community as proud as I feel right now. Absolutely humbled, but proud nonetheless! It’s still sinking in as I write these words. It is my privilege to say thank you, I won’t let you down!!
This past week I went to an all day platform workshop. One whole day dedicated to developing apps, Visualforce, Apex and more! If Salesforce comes to your town with it’s FREE day of learning, it’s worth going. Whether you’re just getting started, interested in something new or even looking to get more advanced, chances are you will find it here. Keep an eye on the developerforce calendar to find out what’s going on in your community. You will find both online and in-person events on their calendar.
My workshop started with declarative (button-click) application building and went deeper into custom territory as the day went on. Our instructors were knowledgeable and took the time to answer every question thrown their way. I was most excited about moving beyond the standard point and click functionality, not because that’s the end all be all of developing a platform, but is great to see how a mix of standard and custom dev can coexist and compliment each other. Best part of all, every exercise was an extension of the last. This way, you will see how the building blocks fit together. At the end of the day you will leave with more than you came in with. More knowledge, bigger community and platform starter kit (aka box o’ goodies).
If you can’t wait for an event to come by and you’re ready to jump right in, then register a free developer account and get cracking with any of these workbooks! I got my dev certification mainly by focusing on the workbooks and this book on fundamentals, both available online for FREE! While you’re at it, bookmark these cheat sheets for reference. Happy coding!