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Behind the Certs – Gaurav Kheterpal

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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. GK – I started my career in telecom with Alcatel Lucent right out of college – nearly 22 years ago. There, I worked on large-scale billing and call routing solutions. Later, I moved to Siemens where I developed device drivers and payment gateways. This was followed by a stint at a startup (the word startup had not been coined by that time) doing some really interesting Fax over IP (FoIP) innovation before my career took a turn toward the Salesforce ecosystem. Become a Salesforce Certified Professional 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? GK – Up to that point, I had been immersed in primarily coding C/C++. I was curious about Apex and the Salesforce platform in general, and in 2008 – I got the chance to investigate further. A client was interested in building a project on the Salesforce platform and I used my time to look into it. After reporting my findings to his managers, they liked what they saw well enough to move ahead on Force.com. One thing led to the other and we were among the first few companies to actually do Salesforce mobile development. I was fortunate that I started early when the platform and SDKs were not fully evolved. The only way to learn was to try things out and ask in the forums. It was the hard way but it has helped me in the long run. 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?
GK – 1. Why – It brings discipline to my learning. With a clear end goal – I’ve a target exam date and a study plan where I track my progress on a weekly basis. I encourage my team members and the broader community also to achieve certifications as it’s a validation of their skill and uplifts their value proposition in the ecosystem. 2. I usually find that although people aim to do certifications, they tend to procrastinate and de-prioritise it as compared to their other focus areas. If you are really serious about it, you should make the time for it 3. Prepare a Study plan, track your progress against your plan and if you’re not doing well, pivot or adjust your plan but keep making progress or else you’ll never be able to do it. Make good use of resources such as Trailhead, PLC. All the resources you need to study and prepare are there. If you get your act together, you can do it SG – What do you enjoy most about your work as a certified Salesforce professional? GK – The community vibe is what I find the most exciting aspect of being a Salesforce professional. Several people have helped me get to where I am in my Salesforce certification journey and I see it as my moral responsibility to give back and help others up-skill themselves in their journey as well. 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? GK – There would be far too many people to name so I’ll just say that I’m incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Salesforce ecosystem. The global Salesforce Community has been very kind to me. I feel privileged to be a part of the Salesforce MVP group, the companies I’ve worked for, and the people I’ve worked with. I have built lifelong friendships with several people who work at Salesforce. All in all, everyone who’s been a part of my journey in the Salesforce ecosystem for the last 15 years in any manner – thank you!

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