Jessika says she is definitely an accidental admin. Born and raised in western Nebraska, Jessika went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied bio-sciences. She was fortunate enough to work for a biotechnology as her first job after graduation. In 2007, they purchased Salesforce and it was the first system Jessika used to learn to build Sales reports. After listening to a talk given by Geraldine Gray at Jessika’s first Dreamforce in 2009, she knew Salesforce was her future. She currently works at FinancialForce.
Try, fail, learn from failure, repeat.
This is what progress looks like.
Why is it worth it to go for certification?
Why is it still worth it, even if you feel there’s a big chance you will fail the exam?
Don’t be afraid to fail. The thing is, you’re going to learn a lot on the way, no matter of the exam result. You’re going to learn while preparing for the exam, and you’re going to learn while doing the exam. Yes, that’s right! Exam isn’t only for checking your knowledge. It will also teach you real-life scenarios, possible solutions, and help you to understand your white spots.
Zarna Naik has 8+ years of experience on the Salesforce platform. She was a user of Salesforce portals for about 2 years before going on to work for a leading Salesforce partner in the US. Zarna moved back to her hometown, Mumbai, India, in 2012 where she incorporated YES CRM Consultants. She is a big fan of the Harry Potter series 😊 and she loves to make useful products out of scrap. Zarna discovered Ladies Be Architects from Google!
Ashley Allen was born and raised in Southern California, USA. They’re an entrepreneur, mother of 3, a non-binary lesbian and Salesforce consultant.
Shortly out of college, having just relocated to Buffalo, NY with their now ex-husband, Ashley found out they were pregnant with their second daughter. Broke and desperate for a job, they wanted to find work at home so that they could keep working after the baby was born. Ashley couldn’t afford to take time off due to being on partial government assistance at the time, and skipping work meant there wouldn’t be any food on the table.
Niki is one of our study group leaders; she’s been facilitating a weekly integration study group with Nadina, Susannah and Edith and it’s been a great resource. We are very pleased to feature her story.
Niki started out on Salesforce with an Admin bootcamp way back in 2002, then began her own consulting business in 2004 – working exclusively on Salesforce. She’s never looked back. When she’s not working, Niki loves to play board games and be on the water in any type of vessel.
Let’s spend a few moments with the lovely Priscila Renwick, Business Analyst and adrenaline junkie at Wandera! She lives in Highgate, North London with her husband, calls herself quite the geek and is always reading something, except now some of her reading includes Salesforce! Priscila has a pretty unusual hobby – flying trapeze – like that one you see in the circus where someone throws some somersaults and someone else catches you on the other side (!).
You can see some videos on Priscila’s Instagram if you’re curious.
We are very pleased to introduce you to Anchal Sharma!
Anchal works as a developer on the core product team at ServiceMax. A passionate innovator and developer with 7+ years experience working for an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), Anchal is part of ServiceMax’s core product team in Bangalore, India, where she evaluates Salesforce features, using them to innovate enhancements to ServiceMax’s product offerings.
I am so proud that I built my career on Salesforce with ServiceMax.
Staying safe and in shape is at the core of Anchal’s hobbies. She is a big fan of martial arts, so kickboxing helps her conquer both concerns at the same time. And when it comes to lightness of everyday life; she enjoys sitting on a rocking chair, listening to soft music, watching the sunset and sipping chai in silence.
How did you hear about us?
“At Dreamforce ’17, I attended almost all of the Meetups and sessions that happened for Certified Technical Architect (CTA). In all that buzz around CTA, I heard Suzanne Ford mentioning #LadiesBeArchitects and I just followed it. Good thing I did!”
What feelings did Ladies Be Architects inspire within you?
“Never Give up” is my mantra and the “Ladies Be Architects” community is a perfect example of it. The commitment, vision and the passion of giving back to the community is just amazing. Ladies Be Architects encourages me to keep up the momentum and focus on my #JourneyToCTA.”
Tell us why the CTA journey is important to you
“During this time last year, I was trying to figure out “What is next for me, in terms of a technical challenge? What’s the area unexplored by me? How can I grow?”
“After all those hit-and-miss trials, I found that the CTA is exactly what I am looking forward for. It helps me enhance my domain knowledge, understand product requirements from a technical perspective, design solutions that follow the best security/integration practices and contribute to the Product roadmap.
“Since the day I took my first certification on the #JourneyToCTA, everything has changed. I am showered with opportunities to grow myself professionally and there is no looking back!! To me, success is trekking the CTA mountain; reaching the top of it and then basking in the glory of having done that! Alright, Alright, Alright!! Go get it girl!”
What’s the next step for you on your Journey to CTA?
“I am currently working on the Data Architecture and Management Designer Certification; with that I will complete my Certified Application Architect (CAA). After this I have 2 more certifications to go to achieve Certified System Architect (CSA). I am targeting to complete my CSA and CAA by July 2018 and planning to take my CTA by end of this year.”
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing on your Journey to CTA?
“Currently, the challenge I am facing is with hands on experience and exposure in solving the business requirements. As an ISV core product team, we have limited areas where we can wear multiple hats in a project. It will be really helpful if we can get guidance on getting these hands-on experiences, like participating in non- profit projects.”
Meet Susannah Kate, one of our newest members. She lives just outside of Boston, MA and has been Salesforcing for about 7 years. Susannah started out as an “accidental admin”, working for a non-profit and now works as an architect at Boston Scientific – a large international medical device company. She is one of the 3 Salesforce architects in the company… and the only woman! As a Colombian-American, she’s also an advocate for getting more Latinos involved in technology.
I have a dog named Parker. I’m a super fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Joss Whedon version) and Veronica Mars. In my spare time I try to travel as much as possible (my most recent trip was to Kenya for a safari) and love that my job gives me the flexibility and financial security to see the world!
How did you hear about us?
“I heard about you when someone reposted in the WWDUG (Women Who Dev User Group community about one of your webinars.”
What feelings did Ladies Be Architects inspire within you?
“Up until recently I wanted to be more active in the salesforce community but didn’t quite know how/hadn’t found the right tribe. But since at the time I found the group I was interviewing for SFDC architect roles, I instantly connected with LBA.”
Tell us why the Journey to CTA is important to you
“Journey to CTA is important to me because I’m a full time Salesforce Architect, and I know that CTA will help me be better at my current job and more marketable in the future. But, more importantly, Journey to CTA is important to me because (as of last Dreamforce) there are only 10 female CTAs in the world. IN THE WORLD.
“When I heard that statistic I knew I was sold on becoming a CTA. I want to be a trailblazer for other women and people of color, and also, personally, I want to join the ranks of those elite women.”
What’s your favourite thing about Ladies Be Architects?
“My favorite part about LBA is the content. Not only does the group provide great content, but it also has really lit a fire for Salesforce to provide more resources for CTA learning.”
What are you planning to do next?
“At TrailheaDX last month, I received my Application Architect credential. I plan to summit the System Architect side of the pyramid by studying for the Integration Designer and Deployment and Lifecycle Designer exams. I plan to pass those certifications in the next 3 months!
“Also my longer term goal is to achieve System Architect by the end of 2018 and prepare for the board in 2019.”