Nerdforce #36 – A Nerded Soliloquy

Misty Jones @MistyRaeJones, Rachel Watson @theRachelWatson

I finally had a moment to bring this episode to you.  As you may suspect, Nana and I had a great time recording with these two amazing women.  I’ll get back to our conversation in a moment, but first…

I wanted to get some things off my chest.  Life has a way of happening to all of us.  I have found myself buried in obligations backing up further and further.  There have been many times when we’ve discussed “Imposter Syndrome” and its proven to be a common theme in many burgeoning Admin out there.  I wonder if there may also be a growing consensus of self-prescribed guilt over all our plans that never achieve closure.  Just a number of weeks ago, I was honored to be accepted as a Salesforce MVP alongside so many great Ohana Leaders; which I am humbled by, immensely.  Still, there is a voice in the back of my mind smirking, “Yeah John, but what have you done lately?”  Just saying this out load, I can already hear Friends like Nana and Ben telling me that I’m being absurd.  I have nothing to feel guilty about…  I know, you two are right.  But really, who out there hasn’t found themselves wanting to be more omni-present?  I mean, there’s an entire film genre of Men and Women who are super busy and productive in Act I.  “Look at me, I’m an amazing Business Dude!”  By the end of Act IV, the Tim Allens, Jim Carreys and Diane Keatons have realized they’re missing the chance to spend more time with their families.

These are fun stories, but they don’t speak to reality all that well.  They were struggling with balancing Work and Family, but how many of us only have two major facets in their lives?  I have a great number of things I want to do.  Family and Work are the least of my worries.  I spend much of my time building toys for World Water Works and goofing around with my kids.  It’s all the other driving forces that aren’t getting the time they deserve.

My house is going on the market today.  I’ve spent the last 2.5 weeks preparing our house for that.  I’ve sat on this amazing podcast for nearly as long because I’m too exhausted to finish the edit after a long day.  I recently joined an RPG campaign because, well… When someone asks if you want to roleplay as a Warcasting Wizard with a Steampunk Robot at your side, you don’t say no.  What about the time needed to build an amazing presentation for a crowd of X-Author enthusiasts next month?  Let’s not forget the time and/or money needed to fix a website infected with some sort of Malware.  I love recording the Nerdforce Podcast and interacting with all the great Ohana folk out there.  I want to do something amazing at Midwest Dreamin’.  I’m not even sure what that may be, but it will demand some prep time from me for sure.  Let’s not even mention preparation for any conferences that may take place in November.  My #AwesomeAdmin game has become an amazing theory, but has yet to become a viable product.  Oh, also, since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m considering doing a little freelance work in the Voice Over Biz.  At what point does my insatiable thirst to do MOAR become a Bane over a Boon?

Well, I certainly have gone down a rambling rabbit hole, haven’t I?  Look, This Nerded Soliloquy is NOT meant to be a posted complaint.  I know that my position in this world is privileged and blessed.  I’m not really sure what its purpose is other than a venting of my anxieties.  To mold this into a step toward progress, let’s say this is a public declaration that I will continue to achieve my ambitions.  My successes will be celebrated and my failures will be lessons.  I will give all of myself to every project in front of me and weather the storm.  Just as a man piloting his sloop through a tempest, I have no other choice but strive to carry on.

With that said, let’s talk about this episode of Nerdforce.  We sat down with Misty Jones and Rachel Watson, two fantastic Ohana leaders from the Southwest.  Talk about ambitious, these two have Trailhead Badges and Certifications pouring out their ears.  I’ll let them speak for their selves.

On a final note, I’ll say what we’ve all thought before and many of us a thinking right now.

I am Groot.

Nerdforce #32 – The Ohana of Things

This episode, Nana and I were lucky enough to sit down with returning Guest Accomplice Jeremiah Dohn and the incredible Charlie Isaacs.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment… Charlie Isaacs!!!!  We talked about #BlackGirlsCode, #HiddenFigures, IOT, Nerding out over Salesforce, Benioff & the Bull and the devices we can connect to the cloud.  We are super excited to bring you “The Ohana of Things”.

Mr. Graforium’s Wonderful #AwesomeAdmin RPG Application

There were a number of quiet days of contemplation as I wrapped up 2016.  I spent that time building the first iteration of my RPG (Role Playing Game) #AwesomeAdmin App.  This post is meant to briefly describe how this app has come together.  Even better, all of this was developed in Lightning!  Your thoughts and feedback will be a huge help as I develop this further.  My goal is to have something solid and perhaps used by a few people at Dreamforce this year.

Before I get into the mechanics, let me introduce you to the concept.  I have been employing a productivity technique inspired by Chris Hardwick’s “The Nerdist Way”.  The idea is to treat your life as a Role Playing Game.  By that, I mean you gain Experience points (EXP) for all actions.  The accumulation of experience builds to higher and higher levels in six separate categories.  The gamifying aspect is the increasing volume of experience points required to continue leveling up.  These categories are where the app gets subjective, and I’m completely interested in discussing other’s interpretation.

So what are these categories that make up a well-rounded #AwesomeAdmin?  I’m so glad you asked.  In no particular order, an Admin levels up in Work, Career, Family, Self, Giving-Back and Ohana.  Some of these are obvious and others tend to overlap.  What I find interesting is how an Admin Action can be interpreted in a number of different ways, and in turn can be manipulated for greatest gain; but in the end you are accountable only to yourself.

At the core of this application are two Objects.  Level Up and the Child Object AdminAction.  Each AdminAction Record is where we are logging basic tasks completed.  These records calculate how many Experience points are gained based on a few variables.  I’ll get to that formula shortly.  The Master-Detail Relationship is important because we want to get Roll-Up Summaries to the Level Up record.

So what fields are important for calculating the EXP Points you gain?  We want to be able to quickly create these AdminAction records, so the number of fields need to be reduced to the bare minimum.  At the same time we want to give more credit for actions that demand more effort.  For example, an Awesome Admin should get more Experience for writing a blog over reading a blog.  Let’s take a look at the input fields.

There are two other Input fields to help with review and reporting.  Date simply defaults to Today() and Description allows us to…  well that’s pretty obvious isn’t it?

Now we can get into the fun stuff!  Let’s talk about Formulas!!!

Start with 10 points per Admin Action.  Time Expended is a direct variable, but the longer we spend on one task returns a lower multiplier.  The idea behind this is that we grow less productive the longer we stay on a task. The Outcome of “Consume” or “Create” returns a separate multiplier at a 4 to 10 ratio.  Read over my formula and let me know how you would build it.  Are my numbers fair?

The Attribute Experience Points are separated into six fields at the AdminAction level for easier reporting.  Here is the basic formula that is repeated for each attribute: Career, Family, Giving Back, Ohana, Self & Work.

Moving up the ladder, we see these Experience Points rolled up into the Level Up Parent record.  We have six fields that simply roll up the EXP for each Attribute.  Once we have the total EXP for an Attribute, we can figure out our Level in that particular area.  Just like in Dungeons & Dragons, each level gets progressively harder to reach.  My formula here only gets you to level 30.  Do I need to go further?  Is the progression too harsh?

So now we have six attributes and six separate Levels.  By the way, when you Level Up… Celebrate!  You deserve it.  So how do we figure out our absolute Admin Level?  This one is simple, or at least it should be.  Just take the average of each of your Attribute Levels.  If only it were so easy.

FIE!  FIE ON YOU, COMPILED FORMULA CHARACTER LIMIT!!!!!

Alright, let’s calm down.  There is always a way around an obstacle.  We just need to step back and the path will appear.  How about a Process Builder?

  • Start the Process when an AdminAction is created or edited.
    • Criteria to Execute is when this formula evaluates to be true:
      • OR(ISNEW(),
      • ISCHANGED([AdminAction__c].Attribute__c) ,
      • ISCHANGED([AdminAction__c].Outcome__c ) ,
      • ISCHANGED([AdminAction__c].Time_Expended__c ))
  • Update the Level Up record.
    • Admin Level = ([AdminAction__c].Level_Up__c.Career_Level__c + [AdminAction__c].Level_Up__c.Family_Level__c +
    • [AdminAction__c].Level_Up__c.Giving_Back_Level__c + [AdminAction__c].Level_Up__c.Ohana_Level__c +
    • [AdminAction__c].Level_Up__c.Self_Level__c + [AdminAction__c].Level_Up__c.Work_Level__c ) / 6

Pretty Straight forward.  We will need to create the single Level Up record to attach all of our AdminActions.  Be as silly here as your grown-up self will allow.  Mine is called “THE BIG GAME”.  This new record will give us our Admin Level.  When you level up here, a real Celebration is justified.  If you think leveling up an attribute gets tough, it is immeasurably more difficult to bump up the Admin Level.  Actually, it is not immeasurable.  It is very measurable.  It is exactly 6 times harder.  Looks like I got busted speaking in hyperbole again.

So we have the guts to the app pieced together.  Let’s polish up this Tin Man into a shiny UX.  We want to be able to quickly log an AdminAction, preferably from our Salesforce1 app.  Here are some steps I took to get the best bang for our buck.

  • Set up a List View for the Level Up Object. Unless you are getting creative, you will only need one Level Up Record, so the list view filter can be as simple as you like.  The important thing is to include all the Level Fields as columns on this list view.
  • Create an Action on the Level Up Object. This Action will create an AdminAction.  Keep it simple by only including the required fields for the AdminAction: Outcome, Attribute, Time Expended and the Description.  I got fancy by including an Icon (a D20, of course) and an encouraging message to myself every time I log a new AdminAction. 
  • For a bit of extra knowledge, we need a report, or more specifically, a chart to show us our progress. I built one showing my total time expended throughout the week.  I LOVE how we can set a reference line, by the way.  It gives me a goal to aim for each day.
  • Now we need to piece it altogether on a Lightning Page. Add a Filter List component for the Level Up list view.  Also add Report Chart using the pretty report you set up showing your progress.  Set the Page up as your default when you log into your org.

So how does it look?  Anything like mine?  I assume not.  I’ve used this Dev Org for a while and there has been some additional branding that I’ve applied.  One of the aspects that I didn’t know about immediately was a quick action slide.  If you slide your Level Up record to the left, you have access to your Actions, including the Create AdminAction you made earlier. 

I truly hope this was a fun exploration for you.  I have loved building it and I’m eager to see it evolve into something larger.  I want to know what you would do different.  I want to know what you would add to make yourself a better #AwesomeAdmin.  Do you have questions about what constitutes a Career Action over a Work or even Ohana Action?  Let’s talk.  Let’s create something.  Let’s all Level Up!

 

Nerdforce Green Light

Well, I don’t know about all of you, but I’m really excited to get this year rolling.  It should be public knowledge by now (to the regular Nerdforce Listeners, that is) that Nana and I had an amazing time with the Nerdforce Podcast through 2016.  We were dumbfounded at how much of a positive impact we had on so many.  The turnout and involvement for Image result for retro sci fi artNerdforceCon was astounding and the Guest Accomplices brought a wide range of engaging conversation.  It may be possible we set the bar too high for the coming year.

Now, don’t think that we’ll just settle back on our heels, though.  I believe it was Vala Afshar who said at Midwest Dreamin’, “Do something BECAUSE it scares you.”  That’s one of the reasons I started the Nerdforce Podcast.  The responsibility of consistently providing content, and semi-entertaining content at that, has not proven to be the petrifying challenge my mind had made it out to be.  I have begun to look forward to our recordings as stimulating and enlightening conversations.  On more than one occasion they have been my Ray-of-Hope during some frustrating and angst-ridden doldrums.  Due to this joy I get out of the Nerdforce Podcast and the impact that Nana and I have had on this community of Salesforce Nerds we want to do more.  It was a couple years ago when I read in Chris Image result for retro sci fi artHardwick’s book to face my fear rather than run from it.  It was this summer on my 38th birthday when I was live streaming Midwest Dreamin’ that Vala said we should do something because it scares us.  For all of these reasons, I want Nerdforce to grow.

“But John, what do you mean by grow?”

Excellent question, Inner Monologue.  Let me tell you.  Some of you may have heard Nana and I spout on about creative collaboration.  You may have heard us ask you to bring your ideas to us so that we can help you make them a reality.  It is not an easy feat to work as a Solo Admin.  Of all your resources, time is always the one that you lose first.  Now work in some time to spend with your family, time to take care of yourself and time to read up on Release Notes, Trailhead and a ton of Salesforce Blogs.  What if you want to participate in the Salesforce Community like you see all these amazing MVPs doing on a regular basis? Image result for retro sci fi art Well, all you need to do is simply learn how to set up and run your own blog site, create new and fun content on a regular basis and promote all of your work so you don’t feel like you’re simply building a matchstick model of the Lincoln Memorial and tossing it into a giant chasm.

The entire endeavor begins to feel like another chore.  The good news is that no Admin (even the Solo Admins) are alone in the Salesforce Ohana.  If you want to write and post a Blog series or even a single paper that you are proud of, let Nerdforce help you with that.  If you have a video series that you want to get up and running, we can help with that to.  OOH OOH!  What if you have your own idea for #Adminfiction and want to get it published or even given the Dramatic Reading Treatment?  I bet we could find someone to lend a hand.  What about you developers out there?  Do you have a great app that you want to test out or promote?  We can help with that too.

“That’s great John, but what about those nerds that aren’t very creative?”

First off Inner Monologue, I believe that everyone has a creative spark within them.  They just need to find a way to leverage that skill into our world.  Secondly, those that are more technical in their skills are just as valuable to the Great Creative Collaboration.  With all these new Blogs, Image result for jetsons artVideos and Podcasts rolling into the Nerdforce realm, we need people to help with the infrastructure.  Here’s one glaring example, I would love for someone to join our Nerdforce family as our Webmaster.  My ignorance and neglect caused the Nerdforce website to collapse for the last few days of the year.  If we have someone who wants to start their own Podcast, they will need a Producer to get the perfect download into the cloud.

The greater Salesforce Community already has many of these attributes.  If you’re ever in trouble in your Org or in your Life, there is always someone there for you.  That’s why so many of us thrive in this community.  What I am trying to do with Nerdforce is condense this magic, this Ohana life-force into an organism by #AwesomeAdmins for #AwesomeAdmins.  Through our creative collaboration, we will be able to generate more than if we all tried to do it alone.  That may be common sense to some, but I have proof of concept.  Image result for futurama artI have been able to have a larger impact on our Ohana because of my Creative Collaboration with the likes of Nick Lindberg, Brian Kwong & Lauren Jordan.  I have built amazing things because of Jeremiah Down, Dale Ziegler, Eric Dreshfield, Jennifer Wobser and Zachary Jeans.  I wouldn’t have been able to live my life long dream of performing a Fantfiction Dramatic Reading at the largest Tech conference in the world; were not for the Nerdforce players Samantha Safin, Benjamin Bolopue and Stuart Edeal.  I wouldn’t have been able to livestream Dungeons & Dreamforce if it weren’t for the greatest DM I have ever tried to hit with a Bo Staff, Mark Ross.  I would not have made a single episode of Nerdforce if it weren’t for the Ford Prefect to my Arthur Dent, Nana Gregg.

“One last question.  What’s the deal with the funky space art?”

Well, those are just the product of a Google search that drug me down a rabbit hole yesterday.  Brings a bit of color to the whole post, doesn’t it?

Come to us with your idea.  Come to us with NO idea but a willingness to be involved.  Come to us and we will all make something FANTASTIC together.

Talk to me here: @ADM_Nerdforce

or here:  John Graf Success Community

Dreamforce 16 – The Incredible Journey

WOW!! What a great time at Dreamforce this year, right?!  If the lot of you had half as much fun as I did, then you should be flying pretty high still.  Let me get down to the brass tacks here.  I arrived a day early and made my annual trip to Japantown where I picked up some Sushi, Mochi, and Feudal Japanes Lit, as you do…  I spent the next day working with the Apttus Folks on X-Author.  What an amazing tool! I really need to run a demo on the podcast sometime, somehow.  I accompanied Nana and her partner in crime, A.D., to her annual trip to Nanking.  I was excited about the whole of Dreamforce, but many of you may have imagined I was also getting nervous about the NerdforceCon Event.  There were a few sessions that I spoke at, I learned some amazing things and became inspired to be a better Admin.  Look, there is a ton of stuff that was great about Dreamforce this year and you will likely read about them from a dozen other blogs that will do so much better than mine at explaining it.  What I hope to talk you about is the experience of NerdforceCon and the elation that grew out of it.

It was a little idea that we had after recording an episode late one night.  “Lets celebrate our one year anniversary with something fun and a little crazy.”  For the next few weeks, that silly idea kept growing every time one of us would say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”.  For those of you didn’t get a chance to experience NerdforceCon or even the planning phase as documented on our podcast, let me paint the picture for you.

NerdforceCon is the ComicCon of Dreamforce.  We will have a party that starts with a flash mob in the Dreampark of #AwesomeAdmins dressed in Salesforce Themed Cosplay.  Then we would parade to a location for the the masses to hangout and play all sorts of board games in the name of Extra Life and all the sick kids in the Children’s Miracle Network.  During this wild NerdforceCon, we would announce the winner of the highly sought #Dreamcrate.  This collection of goodies will be the most amazing Nerd Swag for the biggest Salesforce fan out there.  Among the games played would be the final round of the greatest game of Dungeons and Dreamforce ever played.  The heroes would slay the dragon for the great Lord Benioff and all would celebrate with a clink of their glasses.  I would say we didn’t get everything we aimed for, but we had an amazing time and it will only get better next year. adventure time happy dance dance party party reactions Dungeons and Dreamforce went rather well.  Mark Ross led our jaunty band of heroes through buggy lairs and we battled hags and pizza flavored dragons.  We had unbeknownst guest stars in the likes of Dresh, the Patron of the West End Dream; Captain Wolverton; EriKuhl, the long lost sister of one of our heroes; Ranger Duarte and of course, Mighty Lord Benioff with his Boots of Magic.  It was amazing building a story with my fellow heroes, Brian Kwong, Amber Boaz & Samantha Safin, but the greatest feeling came from the collective $1400 we raised in this portion of our fund raiser.  On that note, I need to take a moment and recognize someone for making the largest impact on the entire fundraising drive.  Patrick Connelly has a huge heart and made a donation large enough to completely tip the scales of the game.  How he chose to use this power was curious but it was fun regardless.  You should listen to the story in whole.  You can catch the audio here: Episode01, Episode02, Episode03 or you can watch the fun Here.

The Dreamcrate was equally fun,Media preview
because it was more of a scavenger hunt for Nana and myself.  We wanted the best collection of Salesforce nerd
items and “By George! I think we did it!”  Seriously, as the word went out to the community we were flooded with gifts for the crate and it swelled to an enormous size.  Some would say it was too large.  There were a ton of people who gave to the Dreamcrate.  For brevity, I won’t list them all out here but you can see all of them HERE.  Once it was all said and done, the highest bid came in at $717 and our Dreamcrate Champion, Adam Olshansky rounded up his donation to make an even larger impact.  I can’t wait to do this again next year!!!

The NerdforceCon Event was equally fun.  Apttus was our gracious host and gave us a physical space to celebrate our efforts to give an Extra Life and our general Nerdiness.  I was very busy and disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to personally thank each and every one of our guests.   Nana Image result for extralifeon the other hand, played host and and did it splendidly.  It was an early morning event, so many of us had a chance to sit down, drink some coffee and relax our feet.  Gaming is at the core of the Extra Life drive.  I love games and when I saw a few people playing, I knew that NerdforceCon had elicited that childlike mentality that so many of us have forgotten.  We raised $900 on the event alone!!!!

So, it can be said that a great portion of this event happened just as we planned.  It went really well actually.  We raised well over $3000 for those Courageous Kids fighting Evil Monsters through Extra Life and the Children’s Miracle Network.  There is one more chance to help out though.  I have one more item to auction off for our Extra Life efforts this year.  I have now attended 5 Dreamforces and the friends I have made over those years have become a collection of the best friends I have had my entire life.  That is why I choked up a bit explaining how I acquired this treasure.  The feature image of NerdforceCon was commissioned through a talented Comic artist here in Oklahoma City.  I printed the drawing as an 18X24 poster.  It was a sizable work of art.  When I had the chance to meet Erica Kuhl on Dreamforce Day 1, she encouraged me to try and get it signed by key Salesforce Personalities.  The list was short but it seemed impossible to complete, considering some of the people are very big names in the Salesforce Universe.  Here’s a small secret though, if Erica Kuhl says she NerdforceCon16believes in you, you can climb any mountain she points at.  SteveMo was pretty easy.  Steve is a humble and gracious man.  Say hi if you ever get the chance.  Chris Duarte was equally open and welcome.  Astro was tough to hunt down, but I eventually found her hiding at the Lightning Lookout.  She’s smaller than you would think by the way.  Eric Dreshfield was fun because I bumped into him perhaps a dozen times over those few days.  I didn’t ask for Erica’s until I had all of them.  So it was the penultimate signature that made this hunt the greatest adventure of anyone else at Dreamforce this year.  I needed Parker Harris to complete the collection.  It was immediately after the main Keynote address and I knew Parker would be booking it to his True to the Core talk.  I rushed over to where all my MVP friends were soaking in the post-Key Note excitement.  Most of them knew what I was after.  Led by the fabulous Lauren Jordan, they blocked Parker from leaving and insisted he come talk to me.  I was nervous and fumbling for the poster and pen.  I barely squeaked out what I was doing and he gladly signed the myparkersignatureposter.  I was in such a daze, it took me a couple hours to realize how they all came together for me.  To feel that much care and love from that many people is something I can only wish upon every human being at some point in their lives.  Perhaps the world would be a happier place.

So I have droned on enough.  The auction is ON.  Our first bid comes from the one and only Charlie Isaacs.  Go HERE to bid on the poster and bring home not only a beautiful work of art or even an amazing story of enthusiastic friendship, but a chance to help a 7 year old little boy with a brain tumor or a 5th grade girl with acute leukemia. The bidding ends at 9PM CST Friday 10/21/16.  I look forward to another year of Nerdforcing around with all of you.  Thank You!

#NerdforceCon – the Planning Phase

We at Nerdforce would like to hold a special event this year at Dreamforce and would like to get your input.  ExtraLife is a foundation that supports Children’s Miracle Network through gaming.  As this is the first time I personally have ever tackled something this large, I am sinking my toe in the water to get feedback and ideas from a community that I have come to trust.   Here are a few ideas I have to make this an amazing event.  I hope to hear back from many of you with input.  Of course, I would be totally open to talking to potential sponsors and co-organizers.  I truly believe that #NerdforceCon can become something that is not only best party in town, but also a great way to help some courageous kids.

D&D&DF

Our one and only Mark Ross will don his Dungeon Master Cloak and lead a troupe through a Salesforce Themed adventure.  For those of you who are brave enough to roll a 20 sided die, you can join an elite team to defeat the vile Dragon Usery Adoptionous.  Of course, you are also welcome to observe the adventure from the safer realm of San Francisco.

Cosplay Contest

So many of you daydream of being an #AwesomeAdmin Super Hero or Trailhead Ranger or even the System Administrator for Temporal Ministry of Gallifrey.  Now is your chance to dress the part and win fun prizes.

Silent Auction

There are so many fun toys that we can compile that would be better than any Schwag we lug home from the Cloud Expo.  If I can find it, I wouldn’t mind putting on the block my vinyl copy of the soundtrack to “Plan 9 from Outer Space”.  I would love to see one of you DoodleBugs draw up a Comic book called #WhyAdminsDrink.  I’m betting with the help of some of you, we could have a nice collection up for bid.

Dramatic Reading of #AdminFiction

Again, we would need some people daring enough to participate, but this time of year tends to bring out the best of us.  I may have a few scripts to read and those of you skilled with the written word are welcome to submit as well.

So this could just be the tip of the iceberg.  If #NerdforceCon goes well, imagine how awesome it will be for DF17!  Help me out by letting me know your thoughts.  Is there an amazing idea that I completely missed?  I hope to find out the volume of folks interested in coming.  This tends to be important when booking a room in San Francisco.  I would be ecstatic to talk to anyone willing to help me organize the event or even have you act as an adviser.  Do any of you know potential Sponsors?  A good sponsor could really make or break the whole shebang.

I’ll be honest with you, tackling a project like this can seem like a young farm boy attempting to blow up a giant battle station by shooting at a hole not much bigger than a Womp-Rat.  I have determined though, to not be intimidated by my grand ambitions.  Through the greater power of the Salesforce Community and the Nerdforce Nation, I believe we can come together and make magic.

I look forward to hearing from you.

John w Graf

Nerdforce #20 – Natural 20

Hello Nerdforce Nation!  This week Nana and I spoke with her fellow Apex and the Limiter, the infamous Mr. Mark Ross (@markross__c).  Mark and I make a ton of references to a web series that just confounded Nana.  We also spent a good amount of time hammering out details to an amazing Dreamforce event.  NerdforceCon is a Nerd Themed party meant to raise money for a good cause.  Listen to our plan and let us know you thoughts!  We talk about a game plan to approaching your first and next Dreamforce & we discuss some hardships that Admins can face on a regular basis and a healthy philosophy of perseverance.

GrabBag01, GrabBag02, GrabBag03, GrabBag04, GrabBag05, GrabBag06, GrabBag07, GrabBag08, GrabBag09, GrabBag10, GrabBag11, GrabBag12, GrabBag13, GrabBag14, GrabBag15

Nerdforce #18 – Mister Jeans and his Amazing #SFIndiaTour

This week we talk to returning Guest Accomplice Zachary Jeans @ZacharyJeans about his endeavor to circumnavigate the world making friends and loving life.  He recants how he put together a 14 city tour in India that sandwiched between a few stops in Europe.  We get a bit name-droppy as a slew of colleagues are brought up in conversation including Michael Farrington, Chris Duarte, Abhilasha Singh, Vinay Chaturvedi, Jocelyn Fennewald, Bhavana Singh, Alex Sutherland, Melinda Smith, Amy Oplinger, Eric Dreshfield, Weird Al and Billy Joel.  Special “May the Fourth Be with You” bonus, you get to hear our critical review of the Force Awakens.

Quick apology to Bhavana for confusing you with Abhilasha.  Looking forward to meeting you at DF16.

GrabBag01, GrabBag02, GrabBag03, GrabBag04, GrabBag05, GrabBag06, GrabBag07, GrabBag08, GrabBag09, GrabBag10, GrabBag11, GrabBag12NTK FooFighter

Nerdforce #17.0 – Blazin the Nerd Trail: Getting Started with Apex Triggers

This week we have something unique from Productions.  We invited the Architect himself, Mr. Adam Olshansky.  We had a fantastic conversation about all the Nerdtasticly Amazing things on this globe.  We also Blazed another Nerd Trail as Adam walked us through Getting Started with Apex Triggers. This is where it gets odd.  Some gremlin stole away into my recording software and neatly removed any evidence that I was actually there.  It sounded like Adam and Nana were having a good chat but intermittently stopping in thoughtful reflection throughout the discussion.  I’m afraid the nerd talk had to go, but I was able to rescue the Blazed Nerd Trail.  We are now all lucky enough to walk through a fantastic Trail that is an excellent first step into the Salesforce Dev World.  O…one last thing, Nana and Adam turn into androids half way through the recording.  Anyway, Enjoy the show.

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#SalesforceNOW & the Amazing Potential

The Salesforce World is full of certified, qualified Admins & Developers.  It turns out, the Salesforce World is also full of Orgs with no real Administrator at the helm.  Sure, every Org has at least one System Administrator, but it takes more than a profile to make an #AwesomeAdmin.  Trust me, I have talked to a number of CEO/Salesforce Administrators.  They always remind me of an inspirational bumper sticker I made up.

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Don’t forget all the Freshman Admins who are just now struggling through the first couple of years trying to figure out how to create records based on some obscure requirements given to them by their users.  What if… What if there was a website or better yet, an app that allows someone to enter their requirements and get a number of options on how to resolve them.  There has been a push to train huge swathes of society on these beneficial Salesforce skills, but where do they go for gainful employment?  What if there was a place they could list out their skills, certifications and Trailhead Badges to demonstrate their value?

STORY TIME

I needed a plumber.  I wasn’t sure where to begin looking for a plumber.  Obviously, I could go through a number of traditional routes. I could have looked one up on Yelp, or google searched “OKC Plumber”.  I could have asked some friends for recommendations.  Heck, someone left a Yellow Pages on my porch a few days ago and I hadn’t thrown it out yet.  The problem with any of these options was that I had too many options.  I needed this list to be pared down based on the scale of the problem, my expected budget, my confidence in any reviews available and the time table on which I needed this problem to be fixed.  In my search for a proper plumber I came across HomeAdvisor.com.  Now these folks may seem like another Yelp or AngiesList, and from some perspectives that may be true; but this is what was different about my experience.  The online form asked me to describe my problem and my location.  From there, I was given 4-5 possible candidates with accompanying reviews from past customers.  I had the option to pick a day and a narrow window of time for them to come to my house and properly quote out the problem.  To wrap up this part of the story, I can tell you that the Morgan Plumbing Team was prompt, professional and courteous, but that’s not the point.  The point was I needed a plumber.  It’s safe to say that Morgan Plumbing needed a customer.  This website matched us up perfectly to suit our needs.

The entire experience got me thinking about the fleet of trained and certified Salesforce Administrators and Developers out there.  I was also thinking of the Salesforce Orgs adrift without an #AwesomeAdmin out in the same Salesforce Universe.  How do we match up these poor hapless souls?  Why can’t we have a website or app that allows companies with Admin/Dev needs to post their requirements and get a list of people who could provide them with potential solutions?  I was curious to see what my ‘Forcian Colleagues thought, so I threw something out to the Twittersphere.

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I got a pretty quick response form the Salesforce Gem herself, Jennifer Wobser.  Apparently, I was not the first to imagine this possibility.  Not only had she considered what impact this would have on the Salesforce Community, she had written up and presented a demo to some of the powers that be at Salesforce.  I am disappointed to hear that her idea got little traction, but there a whole myriad of variables that could be behind the slow start.  Again, not the point!  I had to hear more about her idea.  Nana and I invited her on to the Nerdforce Podcast so we could really ferret out some details.

On that note, it is important to mention that this blog post is a Complement to Nerdforce #16 Meet in the Middle.  Jennifer joined us to talk about Data Therapy, Geology, Gemstones, Sibling Rivalry, Admin Bootcamp, and about a big idea that needs big love from the incredible Success Community.  To learn more about this wonderful idea, click over and listen.

What You Can Do to Help

Before I lay out some of the finer points of this idea, let me inform you of your role.  There is no greater feeling in the world than bringing something to fruition.  Whether that is creating the perfect Hotdog Macaroni Burrito or raising the two year old that covets said burrito.  Making something great happen in this world is truly something to cherish.  For us to make this idea a reality, we need to have a grand conversation about it.  We need be talking about #SalesforeNOW on the Success Community, Twitter, UserGroup Meetings, Podcasts, WaterCoolers, waiting in line for the Weird Al concert and anywhere else that encourages creative input.  We need to be talk about the impact it could have on the Community, your User Group, your friends who can use a good job and on Salesforce as a whole.  Your job is to talk about this idea, provide your input, feedback and even your criticisms.  I want to see people talking about #SalesforceNOW on Twitter, Salesforce Community, other Podcasts and other Blogs.  I would even accept hearing about it on Slack and Cereal Boxes.  So read over the idea and talk to someone about how it could help and be sure to add your ideas that would make it even better. #SalesforceNOW

To give you a clear view of Jennifer’s vision, let me show you some of the work and even some Mock ups of the site.  Before I do, I want to thank you Ms. Wobser for seeing my little thought bubble on twitter and breathing life and confidence into it.  My plan is to make this world a better place and even if this is the last that I hear of #SalesforceNOW, I now believe that I can change the world; and that is because of your conviction.  Thank you!  Now read through this plan and tell the world about it.

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Purpose

Develop an application for Salesforce Administrators and customers to engage directly for projects and or full time employment.

The application will allow Administrators to prioritize and tally up their experience including all achievements and certifications.  The end results will be determined by measurable analytics on Administrative market value and employer placement.

Salesforce Customer/Administrator Challenge:

  • Salesforce Administrators cannot document their Salesforce specific credentials or experience on a traditional resume or LinkedIn.
  • There is no scaling system to identify Administrators that are superior or entry level for Salesforce customers.
  • There is no Salesforce approved location or application for Administrators or customers to connect and improve their use of Salesforce.

Solution

We can deliver an application for Salesforce Administrators and customers to directly engage.

Administrators will be able to share their achievements, certifications and accolades on the public market for Salesforce customers to hire the right people at the right time.

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