SG: Let’s get started. Why don’t we start from the beginning? Please tell us about your education/ career before entering the Salesforce ecosystem.
DP: I started my career as a PHP developer with Root Info Solutions, a boutique IT company. There I worked on a web application and learnt about the basics of web technologies. Later, I moved to Planman Technologies, where I worked as a software developer using Java/J2EE technologies and helped develop an ERP system. Also, I got an opportunity to work as an Integration developer integrating web applications with the back office using Jitterbit to develop a donation platform for a leading Indian NGO.
SG: That’s awesome. Now we would love to know what was the tipping point when you said, “I want to make this change,” and what was the trigger for that?
DP: While working on an integration project where Salesforce was being used as a back office application, I got an opportunity to explore Salesforce. Having experience in PHP and Java/J2EE technologies, I very quickly realised the power and potential of the Force.com platform. It was just introduced back then. How it enables developers to focus on actually solving business problems by taking away a lot of overheads involved in traditional web application technologies caught my attention. Considering the power and potential of the Force.com platform, it was an easy decision to move to Salesforce technologies. Having a good understanding of web technologies, learning both config and customisation aspects of Salesforce was fun.
SG: You achieved many certs along the way. Can you share three things with us?
1. Why do you value certificates?
2. What are the challenges associated with the process?
3. What are your top tips for being successful in cert exams?
DP: The answers to the 3 questions are,
- Challenges – Everybody has their own way of preparing for certification exams. Even though Salesforce provides excellent resources and the community is very helpful, finding a concise set of resources that is aligned to an individual’s way is difficult. I have seen people getting frustrated when they don’t feel engaged going through the resources. Another major challenge is the timeline. People tend to either procrastinate or prioritise other activities over certifications. So the real challenge is to make the certification prep journey engaging, focused, and entertaining.
- Tips – Set a definitive timeline and stick to it as much as possible. Make sure not to get demotivated and adjust your plan (and timeline) accordingly if you come across any imbalances between life and other priorities. Find additional genuine resources (blogs, study material, etc.) in addition to the official Trailhead. Remember, it’s an opportunity to learn something new, which certainly will help you in your career progression.
SG: What do you enjoy most about your work as a certified Salesforce professional?
DP: As a certified Salesforce professional, when I speak to my clients, I can understand their business and objectives in a very short time, courtesy Consultant certificates. Admin, Consultant, Dev, and Architect certifications help me design and develop secure, scalable, and robust solutions harnessing the power of ever-evolving platforms. Solving business problems more efficiently is paramount and the most enjoyable aspect of my work.
SG: Time for gratitude!! Finally, is there anyone (individual or company) that 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?
DP: I am immensely fortunate to have so many people in my life who helped me reach where I am. I am incredibly thankful to all my colleagues, managers, and companies (where I worked).
I would like to thank Saurabh Saroj (https://www.linkedin.com/in/saurabh-saroj-pmp/) for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to be a small town fresher.
I would like to thank Sumit Pachnanda (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sumitpachnanda/) for introducing Salesforce to me. Life would not have been the same without your help and guidance (a true leader).
Special shout to Vineet Kaul (https://www.linkedin.com/in/vineetkaul/) for always being there, just as a mentor but, more importantly, as a friend.
I learnt a lot not just about work but, more importantly, about life from Manu Dewan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/manudewan/) and Gulshan Middha (https://www.linkedin.com/in/gulshanmiddha/) while working at Make Positive.
Very special thanks to Amit Choudhary (https://www.linkedin.com/in/amitchou/) and Atif Saad (https://www.linkedin.com/in/atif-saad79/) for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to relocate to this great country (Australia).
Last but not least, many thanks to Kyle Dunsire (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-dunsire-b9a368/) and Mark Denford (https://www.linkedin.com/in/markdenford/) for their belief in me and setting an example every day.