SaasGuru Logo

Behind the Certs – Arun Nair

Table of Contents

SG – Let’s get started. Why don’t we begin at the beginning? Please tell us about your education/ career before coming into the Salesforce ecosystem response. AN – I completed my degree in Computer Engineering at Mumbai University (India) and started my IT career as a Developer working on Pro*C, Oracle PL/SQL and Shell Scripting. After a couple of years, I began working with Iflex Solutions (Now Oracle Financial Services Software Ltd) and started my Core Banking application product learning curve with Flexcube – Retail Banking. As a Tech Analyst, I worked on a core banking application, progressing to a more challenging Techno-Functional role working on a few Implementation projects for Tier-1 banks, which was a terrific learning environment for me. You get a solid fundamental understanding of the industry, the players, and the whole process when working inside these massive financial institutions; I learned things that I still utilise today. My journey with Oracle continued for 12 years before I moved to the Salesforce ecosystem. SG – That’s awesome. We’d love to know the tipping point, that moment when you said ‘I want to make this change’ and what was the trigger? AN – After working 12 years on the same product and technology (i.e. ‘my Comfort Zone’), I started feeling I was lagging in the technology space as the world of cloud tech was racing ahead at great speed. Working within the shell of the same technological environment made me ignorant of the advances happening around the world. During my time at Oracle, I heard about Salesforce as a fast-growing company. Still, I had no idea about the ecosystem, the tech around it as it was a completely different domain for me. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and reinvent myself and take on a new challenge. I knew I would have to go through a steep learning curve to bring on that change, but I was up for it;  after all, if you’re not changing, you’re not growing (I’m not sure who said that first, but it resonates with me). I started looking for roles in my new technology (Salesforce), but decided to stay close to the subject matter I knew best – Financial Services, confident my skills were transferable. I found a Salesforce partner who appreciated the domain knowledge I had, I pitched my willingness and ability to learning all things Salesforce both at work and in my own time. I think we both found something the other didn’t have and we would add value to each other and grow together. Become a Salesforce Certified Professional SG – You achieved many certs along the way. Can you share three things with us,
  1. why you value certs
  2. challenges associated with the process and,
  3. your top tips for being successful in cert exams?
AN – Why I value certs Certifications help focus you on a goal, subjects to learn and an exam to pass – it’s a disciplined way of learning a new skill set. The rigour and legitimacy of the process make it valuable / something worth achieving, and it increases your marketability as you have this bonafide recognition of your practical knowledge. Challenges I found Some of the bigger challenges I faced are
  • Finding legitimate, at the very least accurate, study material which focuses on the topics related to the certification
  • Not being able to spend enough time on hands-on exercises. I find things land more solidly when I do them/use them rather than just reading from a website or text. Salesforce’s Trailhead is excellent from that perspective, but you still need a plan for ‘what’ you will study.
My top tips
  • Regularly set time to prepare for the certification, I found a routine that helped me from a discipline perspective, helped my family support my study and gave me a good work/study/home life balance.
  • Follow a known source of study material to prepare for the certification; it is a terrible feeling when you spend hours absorbing something then find a contradictory set of information somewhere else. Find accurate and trusted sources; my colleagues were great help with this.
  • Have a time-bound approach. Work out how many topics you have to learn, give yourself a set amount of time for each topic based on the weighting Salesforce share for each exam, the higher it impacts your score the more time you give it in preparation. This ‘proportion’ approach helped me give the right amount of times to the right topics.
  • Set a regular time every day to do hands-on exercises and learn; this created discipline and helped me manage my busy life; small bites over a longer time was more manageable for me.
  • Plan for a couple of practice tests; understanding the exam topics is only part of the battle. Being familiar with the exam conditions, question style, time limits, etc., will keep you calm and confident on exam day.
  • Do not use question dumps. I found most of these are old, so no longer relevant for current exam topics/questions, but also, many of them are fake; they aren’t dumps from Salesforce exams; a lot of it is clickbait in my experience.
SG – What do you enjoy most about your work as a certified Salesforce professional? AN – The construct of the Salesforce platform and its capabilities have changed how I approach any problem presented to me, we always look to extract maximum value from configurable/clickable solutions. The learning opportunities that have opened up and continue to open up makes each day exciting and different. The overall ecosystem (apps, partners, events, user groups) that Salesforce has created show you there is always more to do and more to learn. Get your Salesforce Certifications on the first go SG – Time for gratitude!! Finally, is there anyone (individual or company) you would like to take this opportunity to thank for their role in helping you along your journey? If Yes, what was their role in your success? AN – I have gained a lot by working with some incredible people within the Salesforce community; I’m lucky in that way. I particularly want to thank Amit Choudhary for allowing me to enter into the Salesforce world. I remember a 15-minute conversation with him that changed everything for me. Taking a chance on a person coming from a non-Salesforce background, this was a golden opportunity for me, my ‘big Salesforce break’ in many ways. Thank you, Amit, for trusting me and for all the guidance and support. Shout out to Siddharth Malhotra for encouraging and assisting me with the Salesforce Certs in the early days; you made a daunting task seem more achievable. Thank you to Alan Babakhanian for providing me guidance on newer consulting techniques; I am a better consultant today because of them and you. Thank you, Atif Saad, for trusting and guiding me. Thank you to all my SaaSfocus colleagues who have supported me throughout the journey. All of this would have been impossible without you; I’m genuinely grateful for the fantastic team around me.

Looking for Career Upgrade?

Book a free counselling session with our Course Advisor.

By providing your contact details, you agree to our Terms of use & Privacy Policy

Related Articles

saasguru is Scaling Up with New Seed Funds of 4 Million AUD

saasguru has successfully raised a whopping amount of AUD 4 million in the second seed funding round led by Square Peg Capital on November 29, 2022. Read more.

How To Transition Into a Cloud Career Without Experience?

Explore ways to get a job in cloud computing without prior experience and how to use your certification to get a job in the cloud. Read now!

AWS Certification Types and Their Costs in India 2023

AWS certifications are divided into 4 tiers – the first being entry-level & the 4th being the most advanced. Explore AWS certifications & their costs in India here.

Scroll to Top