I started in the Salesforce Ecosystem 10 years ago as a Salesforce Administrator for a Digital Marketing firm, knowing nothing about the platform. Trailhead wasn’t a thing yet, so all knowledge was self-taught or learned on the job. Parent/child relationships? Sure…we’ll figure it out. Permission sets? — I grant thee some permissions or not. And yet, I declared my declarative knowledge would get better. Flash Forward 10 years, and I have had the pleasure of working on various projects in various verticals ranging from a solo administrator (still working those permission sets) to very complex orgs in an entirely Agile environment.

Even after 10 years, I still have grey areas in my knowledge of Salesforce. I mean, it is hard not to, right? It is a massive ecosystem with many moving parts and pieces from the different coding aspects like Aura, Lightning Web Components, and APEX triggers to SFDX and the Salesforce CLI to Einstein Analytics. Compound that with the fact that, as a Salesforce Developer, that knowledge is limited to what the business uses and needs.  

Salesforce Trailhead is an excellent tool for learning about the many different aspects of Salesforce, and when something new is released, trailblazing is the answer. For instance, Trailhead taught me about Lightning Web Components. That said, the best teacher I’ve ever had is real-world experience. So how does one go from Trailhead to a real-world application?

I was told early on that the best way to learn on the job and fill in those grey areas was to go the contractor route. I could work in many different environments and get experience in many aspects of Salesforce that I might not be able to do otherwise. However, as a contractor, the risk was that I would not have things that normally come with the security of a full-time job, benefits, and PTO.

One of the best decisions of my career I have made was to take a position with CloudQnect. It is the best mix of the two: the security of having a full-time job and the experience of working in many different environments for different clients to help fill those grey areas. 

Thanks to CloudQnect, I partnered with the Department of Veteran Affairs to help lead a team of developers to create a Quick Flow Wizard for entering COVID immunizations during the pandemic. I learned how to create and add APEX Actions to Flows and create complex Lightning Web Components with dynamic settings in a real-world application and all the trial and error that goes along with it. 

I also partnered with CarMax, where I learned how to create unmanaged packages, use SFDX CLI commands, and use custom metadata to enable and disable package features.

I have grown by leaps and bounds in what feels like a short time since I started with CloudQnect, and I hope to continue to fill in those knowledge gaps with each new opportunity. From new Trailblazers to tenured, full-time developers looking for new challenges to anyone in the ecosystem that wants to have it all, you should “Qnect” with us.