Episode 6: Salesforce Career Conversation with Jackie Heath and ROD. Jackie started her career as a trainer in Siebel and switched to Salesforce when she thought her career was over. Thirteen years later she is the Director of the Trailhead Academy at Salesforce.
Lee: Hi, everybody, and welcome to the latest edition of RODcast. In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Jackie Heath, who has worked in the Salesforce ecosystem in the UK for 13 years now, as of recording in October, 2019. She’s risen through the ranks to her latest role, which she’s got a very long title, at the mothership itself, and has got a fantastic career where she can help guide you with what she’s done from training to being a contractor, to working with an end-user, to working at partner, to now working for Salesforce. Hopefully, you’ll really enjoy this episode. Thanks a lot guys, and hope you enjoy it.
Lee: Joining me today is the … Let me get this right, the delivery director for the Trailhead Academy at Salesforce, Jackie Heath. Hello.
Jackie: Hello. Hi, Lee.
Lee: Thanks for joining us, I really appreciate you doing this. Did I get the title right, because it is a mouthful, isn’t it?
Jackie: You did. It is a mouthful. It’s a bit longer, so you’ve used the abbreviated version.
Lee: Wow. Yeah, because it was the EMEA bit that I didn’t add onto that. So as you know, and you may have heard in some of the other ones, this is a chat about your career to date, really, as you’ve been in Salesforce for, I’m blushingly groping for … It’s over 10 years, isn’t it?
Jackie: It is over 10 years. It’s coming up for my 13th year, in fact, in the ecosystem, not necessarily working directly for Salesforce. But yeah, 13 years.
Lee: That is fantastic. As you well know, my prior question will be, or my first question will be, what were you doing leading up to getting into Salesforce?
Jackie: So I’m going to show my age here a little bit, which is embarrassing. But when I graduated, the world was really moving from DOS to Windows. So that does really date me. Before I got into the world of Salesforce, really, I was kind of in IT training and IT support roles, primarily for law firms, before I started my journey with Salesforce.
Lee: So even … Because you went to university, I believe.
Jackie: I did. I went to … Well, I’d say I went to Oxford Poly. It is a now a university, but when I was there it was a Polytechnic. My degree is completely and utterly unrelated to what I do now, really. My degree was in hotel and catering management. I’m often asked how did I make that transition? One of the things I would say about my degree, whilst it was based on the hotel and catering industry, it was very much a kind of business studies degree, applying it to hotel and catering industry business type things. So I had a friend who did do a business studies degree as well, and we did almost identical topics. Except when she had some coursework to hand in, or a project to do, she could pick any industry she liked, our industry always had to be something related to hotel and catering management in some way.
Lee: I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but did you sort of all into the training side of things then?
Jackie: I did. I did, completely and utterly. So whilst the world was moving from DOS to Windows, it was also, when I graduated, a recession. For graduates, it was really quite challenging to get jobs as graduates back then. I know many graduates might say that sometimes it’s quite challenging today, as well. But I applied for a job to be a graduate trainee trainer, and I got the job, because what this particular company had set themselves up was to basically help people, again, law firms, typically, moving their legal secretaries across from typewriters and Word Perfect for DOS over to the Windows world, and using a mouse, and using a GUI user interface.
Jackie: So I got that job that way. I have to say, I put my degree down to that, because one of the things we did often, we were often videoed giving presentations to our tutors, who were, at the time, pretend bank managers, and things like that, because we had to put a business case together around why they were going to fund our next catering venture. So kind of standing up, and talking to people didn’t phase me, because I’d had plenty of practice during my degree. Apparently that won me my graduate place in this company, and really started my career in teaching and enabling people. It’s always kind of stood me in good stead, even though I kind of moved away from that. I’ve kind of always come back to that, which I think you might see as we go through.
Lee: Absolutely. Well, I was wondering, then, how you go from that to becoming, to getting involved in some way with Salesforce, then? I’m looking at your LinkedIn, so forgive me if it’s not completely correct. But, it looks like around about 2002, maybe, is that right?
Jackie: Yep, pretty much. 2006 was Salesforce. So I was kind of one of those people, I fell into CRM. So I didn’t fall into Salesforce, but I did sort of fall into Salesforce by falling into CRM, to be honest. I started working for a software company, and they, actually, were using Siebel at the time. So Siebel CRM at the time. Literally, within one month of taking on a job for this software company, to manage a kind of quality assurance team, actually, at the time, I took ownership of Siebel, knowing nothing about Siebel, knowing nothing about CRM. But what I did know was we needed to track what we were doing within this CRM to give visibility to our engineers and our sales teams around how we were tracking and fixing problems with our software.
Jackie: So I took ownership of Siebel, and shortly thereafter, I had two Siebel developers kind of work with me and we kind of improved their Siebel implementation in house. One of the big projects we did was actually a migration of Siebel six to Siebel seven. It’s actually Siebel 7.5, but I won’t get into those number details. Literally, we had just done that transition, and probably about one month after doing that migration project, we had a new leadership team in the company that I was working at. They said, “Right, we’re going to rip out Siebel, and we’re going to replace it with something called Salesforce.” I’m going to be really honest with you, at the time, I thought it was the end of my career. I really did, because I googled Salesforce, and I googled jobs that you could get if you knew Salesforce. I think in Europe, this isn’t in the US, but in Europe, I think one job role came up.
Jackie: How have things moved on since then?
Lee: Absolutely. You say 2006, that doesn’t seem like that long ago, does it?
Lee: Crikey. How wrong, obviously … Well, at the time you were right. But to look where it’s taken you. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?
Jackie: Yeah. Absolutely.
Lee: So your first project, then, was to be the person that ripped it out, and put in Salesforce?
Jackie: Yeah, absolutely. So it was a part of kind of ripping out Siebel and replacing with Salesforce, I sadly lost my two Siebel developers, so it was just me. I did work with a professional services team, and they happened to be a Salesforce team. Yeah, we took our Siebel implementation and migrated over to Salesforce. Once we did that, I was the kind of lead administrator programme manager for our Salesforce implementation within that company.
Jackie: Did a couple of projects after that as well, migrating our finance team from an old finance system to Sage, that then integrated with Salesforce. So yeah, that was really my baby. That was my first project, and my real baby. I absolutely loved our Siebel implementation. I was the Salesforce go-to person from configuration, setting it up, to doing projects, to training salespeople, sales team, you know. It was just a … If you got a question about Salesforce, go ask Jackie.
Lee: Yeah. No. I’m assuming, then, that you … Did you get the job … Because you made a move, then, to a partner, didn’t you? Or maybe a lesser-known partner to a lot of people now.
Lee: But yeah, is that how that worked out then?
Jackie: Yeah, pretty much, absolutely. That’s how it worked out. I mean, I stayed working for that company for a long time. But felt that I needed to progress my Salesforce career. At the time, I thought the way to achieve that was to become a Salesforce consultant, which I did, and joined that partner, which lesser-known now. Don’t actually exist now, but were definitely purchased by a rather bigger partner of today.
Lee: Well, it’s like the Russian doll, though, isn’t it? Even that one has been bought as well-
Jackie: Well, absolutely, subsequently, over the time, absolutely, yeah.
Lee: So it’s interesting looking at that as a timeline. So from 2006, when you googled Salesforce jobs, and there was only one in Europe, to joining that company we’re referring to, because I was around then, in the Salesforce space, and even then, there were more jobs than people. So how quickly it went from nothing to, I’m guessing, hundreds, thousands of jobs on Google. Not that you were probably googling it then. But the growth has been crazy.
Lee: So if we go back a little bit then, that moment, if you can remember a moment when you realised, Salesforce, this is my career now, I’m here for the rest of my career, perhaps, did you remember that moment?
Jackie: Yeah, no, I do, honestly. It was probably six months of working with Salesforce as a product. I’ve always worked in some way with technology companies. But I’ve never truly considered myself a techie. What I realised back then was how Salesforce had really kind of democratised how businesses could work with technology.
Jackie: For me, that was a really niche world, for me, because I sat really well between understanding how Salesforce as a product, how Salesforce CRM worked, and I sat between being that kind of product owner, if you like, I didn’t really have that official title, and being that bridge between IT and the business. For me, that was a real moment around how important it was for … The technology is really an enabler of people. If you’re giving people technology, you’ve got to enable them to use it. If you do that properly, then you’re much more likely to be successful with your business. That, for me, was the whole thing. Salesforce made that so easy, it really did.
Lee: Yeah. Obviously, working with that partner, then, really sort of defined you, then, as a Salesforce expert, even … I’m looking at the different things you did. You still managed to keep the training in there, by the looks of it.
Jackie: I have never lost the training piece. Sometimes I say it’s always come back to haunt me. But obviously, sometimes, I think you have to appreciate where you have a skill. Teaching others is obviously something that I enjoy. That skill is always called upon, and has always been called upon in different jobs that I have done. One little fun fact about me, I always laugh when I kind of always come back into that kind of teacher role. In my family, my father’s father was a headmaster, and my mother’s mother was a headmistress.
Jackie: So I think teaching, somewhere along the line, was just in my bones. But I knew I didn’t want to do it with children. I love doing it with technology, because I kind of love getting under the hood of products, and really exploring what they can do, and how far you can push them to make them do what you need them to do, to achieve an end goal. The two things together, technology and teaching, really seem to be, to fit me and my bag.
Lee: Yeah, you can see that was meant to be. Do you mean, as well, when it comes to training because I know some people may be listening to this, and some people that you speak to, I speak to, out there, there are two sides to training, I believe? You’ve got the classroom, in front of people, holding a whole room. Then at desk, showing them on a one to one basis. Have you done both of those things over the years?
Jackie: Absolutely. So, I mean, I’ve done a lot of classroom training. I would probably say classroom training isn’t on-trend in the world of learning, right now. But I truly believe that training and learning, is that blend of self-study, and also dedicating some time with an expert so that you can absorb their knowledge in the classroom. That blended approach is the one that tends to be the most successful.
Lee: Different ways to learn, the different rep systems is what they call them.
Lee: Yeah, okay. You know, your career path … I know we’re going all over the place here today. But you’ve done quite a lot in Salesforce, in terms of the types of companies you’ve worked for. You’ve worked for a customer, a user, you’ve worked for consultancy, we’ve touched on that, you went contracting, I seem to remember. Now you’re at the mothership as well. So in your experience, how do they differ? What’s good about some of them, what’s not so good about some of them? Just how it feels to be…
Jackie: I do joke, I’ve been a Salesforce customer, I’ve been a Salesforce partner, and I’ve been a Salesforce employee. There is nowhere to go. So for me, a lot of it, working for the Salesforce customer is really an end-user, for a period of time, is really where I learned Salesforce. I was there for a long time, I had lots of different requirements. We had to assess those requirements, understand them, and figure out how it worked. Being at the customer site, I was specialised in their process, and their products. So that, for me, is really where I honed and learnt my skills, and laid an amazing foundation for when I then moved on and worked as a consultant with the partner. That broadens your knowledge of different industries.
Jackie: A lot of the time with that partner, I worked with a lot of portal implementations. They’re called communities these days. But a lot of the time I was focused on the partner portal and the customer portal technology that we had back then. That opened up different industries for me. But as a consultant, you tended to be, particularly at the functional level, it’s not that you were in and out really quickly, but you were … The engagement was shorter. You implemented the portal, and then you moved on. One of the things I found challenging, a little bit, as a partner, is you kind of never got there to really see it flourish, I suppose. That’s probably the best way, and evolve and extend. I didn’t have the opportunity to kind of come back.
Jackie: So whilst I got lots of different experiences in lots of different industries, which was really valuable, I kind of felt it was kind of plug and go, plugin and leave. So that was probably one of the more challenges with the partners, working with a partner, for me, at that time, as a consultant. Also, I think as the products evolved, it is … That functional role, which is very much what I play, it’s not that I don’t see the need for it. That role has evolved into more of a business analyst type of a role, I guess. Increasingly, we are getting more technical with all of the different products that we have.
Jackie: So for me, possibly me moving on, in the partner world, wasn’t just for me at that time. My time of life, what was going on in my personal life, probably wasn’t going to work for me. Working as an employee was a dream, for me. I have always, since the very first day, when I saw Salesforce, and saw how the way they did things, and saw this community that they were building, even before they were called it, the Trailblazer community. They just seemed so much more on board with the fact that you had to work with your customer to be successful. By getting behind your customer, and showcasing their success you become successful. For me, I’d looked at Salesforce as a company that I’d always wanted to work for, for you. Or work for them, and I wanted to get the ‘in’. I was very lucky to join.
Jackie: It’s really my training skills that got me into Salesforce as a company. At the time of life, I had two young children, I wanted to keep working. As you said, I had a time when I was contracting, and I was actually contracting for Salesforce in their training and certification team, which is now, obviously, the Trailhead Academy team. It just fit in very nicely for me. I was able to work two weeks a month, and I joke about this, but I used to work for two weeks a month, and then I used to play at being mummy for two weeks a month. It just really worked. I clearly loved teaching, so it was a joy to go and teach people admin, people love to hear the best practises, and the real-world experiences that I had. So that just provided me the perfect opportunity, and it was working as a contractor for them that I got offered the role as a master instructor, and became an employee. The rest is history, really, in terms of the last seven years.
Lee: Yeah. I was just looking at that. But I didn’t realise, when you were doing your contract, I didn’t realise that was with them. I was going to ask you a bit more about them. Did you do any other contracting?
Jackie: So I did have a few contracts, absolutely, from previous customers. I actually did, I’d kind of gotten into … I went through one big project, which was big data cleansing project. Whilst I was contracting, I picked up a kind of data cleansing projects, really helping customers to clean their data before it got into Salesforce. I’m forgetting, my memory is I can’t remember the tool that I used. Ah, but it was a fantastic tool for de duping your data.
Lee: Is it Salesforce related?
Jackie: I can’t remember the name. It was an app exchange partner, absolutely. I have totally forgotten its name.
Lee: Don’t worry.
Jackie: I became a bit of an expert in region on that tool. So I picked up a few contracts there to help people clean up data.
Lee: So ahead of your time though, aren’t you? I mean, you’re talking about big data, and I’m looking, we’re talking 2009 there, roughly, aren’t we?
Jackie: Yeah, yeah.
Lee: Didn’t become a big term really for a few years after that.
Lee: With all that aside, yeah, it’s crazy. What’s it like being a contractor, as well, with everything that comes with that, learning to do invoices, learning to maybe have to go and look for your next project every three months. Did any of that seem stressful or did it just come naturally to you?
Jackie: Oh, that’s a really good question.
Lee: Sorry, I didn’t prep you on-
Jackie: No, I don’t think I was … Initially, I don’t think I was a natural contractor. I’m possibly a little bit risk-averse, I would say if you kind of thing contracting is a risk. But it can be when you’re kind of self-employed, and you’re not getting work. You don’t have the perks of a full-time role. So I would say I wasn’t … I didn’t think of myself as a natural contractor. But once you start doing it, and you’re in a field where you are known, and can promote yourself, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would have been, if that makes sense.
Jackie: I mean, doing … I’m quite an organised person, and so kind of doing invoices and things like that wasn’t too much of an issue for me. I didn’t find that too much of a challenge. But I was very lucky because I had a niche, my niche skill was training, and I did have a big customer who was Salesforce. So that really did help. I got other work, but I did have regular training work, which was, at the time, my bread and butter in terms of bringing in an income.
Lee: Yeah, no, that’s … It’s interesting, some people do take to it like a duck to water, don’t they? Once you’re a contractor, they’re never going to look back. Then other people you speak to are so the other side of that. It’s always interesting to get people’s point of view that have done what you’ve done. So you’ve been, like you say, you’ve been through the different types of companies, and the different ways of basically being paid. Do you have a thought of… I appreciate since you’ve joined Salesforce this question possibly isn’t that relevant, well it might be I don’t know. The project that you’re most proud of, or replace a project with something else to do with what you’re most proud of, perhaps in the Salesforce world that you have evolved in?
Jackie: I think, this is going to sound really sad, and a bit lame, if I’m honest. But I have to go back to that first project, because it really was my baby.
Lee: The Siebel rip out thing?
Jackie: Yeah, my Siebel rip-out and my Siebel replacement. Salesforce was my baby in that company. Everything that was there, that was built within it, I had done. Yes, with a great service team. I think the biggest thing for me, and why I go back to this project is the services team that I worked with, they didn’t just implement for me. They taught me the tool. They taught me the best practice. They showed me how to gather the requirements, and they helped me gather the requirements from my organisation.
Jackie: But then they sat me down, and said, “Right, this is how you go build.” They really taught me the tool. Those best practises, I brought through when I became a master instructor, into the classroom. The customers absolutely love this, I think I said it at the beginning, in the classroom. You’re not just teaching how to do something, you’re teaching the why, and the what. It’s the what and the why. You’re also teaching, if you do it this way, you got to think about this, or if you do it that way, you’ve got to think about something slightly different. There was always compromises to be made.
Jackie: I really got a really solid understanding of that with that first implementation. I joke today, occasionally now, it has been a while since I’ve been in the classroom. But I occasionally joke with developers and architects that are out there, in the ecosystem today, and I say to them when I bump into them that I taught them everything they know when it comes to Salesforce administration.
Lee: Yeah. I’ll bet. You must have a sort of legacy of people that have learnt how to do it thanks to you.
Jackie: They’re all my children. They’re all my children. But I still use, there is a couple of kind of got yous that I’m aware of. I have consultants who often come into our instructor programme that we have here, at the Trailhead Academy, to deliver and authorise classes. When I’m interviewing them on certain topics, I still have a got you about there is a certain piece of functionality, and I test their knowledge. I ask a specific question to test whether or not they truly know the product. That came from, that knowledge came from that very first implementation.
Lee: I can’t remember what you said, you mentioned it was a partner that helped you out, didn’t you?
Jackie: Yeah, it wasn’t a partner. We used the Salesforce Services Professional. Yeah.
Jackie: So we did have the experts in place. I’ll give the shout out to the particular consultant who really kind of held my hand throughout the whole process, it was a guy called John Joseph, who was a very senior architect in our space, still today, and still with Salesforce as well. I think the project we did together was, I think, his second one for the company. He still talks about how detailed and organised I was in that project.
Jackie: We’ve our own personal little fan base going on there.
Lee: I’m sure he’d be delighted to hear that. I’ll try and make sure I send him a copy of this when it’s finished. Make his head swell for you. As you well know, I have a question that I ask everybody, that we do this with. I’m particularly interested to see your point of view on this, bearing in mind what your role is at the moment. Is that the whole certification versus experience debate. Certainly from our point of view as a recruitment company, you know, companies want this cert, and that cert, and all that sort of stuff. You get some people that maybe have been around for 10 years, and haven’t done any certifications. Some people are very anti, some people are very for it. So, in your experience, what do you look for? Not that you necessarily recruit.
Jackie: So I think when you’re looking at individuals and what skills they have, for me … Let me take a step back, first of all. At Trailhead, certification and super badges, we don’t see them as one versus the other. They are two types of credential. As a credential, they are demonstrating a level of knowledge and a level of skill to show that you can perform a certain role or job. So neither, I wouldn’t say either one is more important or less important. They’re both really key components at demonstrating you have a level of knowledge, and you have a level of skill to perform a role or do a job.
Jackie: But, I will also say that you cannot discount experience. Experience is also another really key component to anything, any individual that you are looking at. So for me, I’m going to kind of flip it on it’s head. So often, it’s the experienced people who possibly might not see the value of that certification or those super badges, because they’ve potentially been doing it for years. I’d probably say I put myself in this camp, three or four years ago, and said, “Well, I’ve kind of been doing it. So why doesn’t my experience just demonstrate how good I am?”
Jackie: But one of the things that you see with Salesforce it’s very much about this broader ecosystem. It’s really actually, as people, as the knowledge of Salesforce and the skills required in Salesforce, as people grow, when you get more numbers, how do you stand out? Experience on its own can’t be found. So if you have a certification or some super badges, you’re going to be found. Once you’re found, you can then demonstrate your experience.
Lee: Brilliant answer. Of course, since you started all those years ago, as we discussed, Salesforce has become such a big ecosystem, which is being sort of compartmentalised, isn’t it? So you can see people that want to get every certification under the sun, but would you say it’s not a bad idea when you get to a certain point in your career in Salesforce to decide to specialise? Whether that be CBQ or some other part of it, Sales club, Service club, whatever it may be, rather than trying to do everything?
Jackie: I think it depends, again, what role you fall into. But I think you need to … We have become so big, from CNRM, Sales, Service Cloud, CPQ, Marketing Cloud, Einstein Analytics. If you try and do them all, you’re … I’ve got to make sure I use the expression correctly. But you’re a Jack of all … What is it? A Jack of all Trades, Master of none. That’s really a kind of important decision in terms of you as a person. In my current role, part of my role is still a pre-sales, helping customers understand what are the right learning …
Jackie: What are the right Trailhead Academy courses for them? What content is on Trailhead that they can blend with those classes? I kind of do have to be a Jack of all trades, master of none, because I have to know about Marketing Cloud, and I have to know enough about CPQ to talk knowledgeably to our customers who are then going to be implementing those. So it depends on what you’re doing, but increasingly as we grow as an organisation, having a specialism in an area is a good thing, and don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to get all of the certifications, without actually getting some real, solid experience as well with it.
Lee: That’s the key, isn’t it? I’ve heard that one before as well. People getting certs, but then never actually applying that somewhere.
Jackie: Yeah. It kind of goes back to that question, for you, customer, partner. Sometimes you’re going to get a lot of experience by staying in one place, with one customer. The other way of getting a lot of experience is by working with a partner, because you work with lots of different customers. But how deep do you go? You know? It’s a real balance.
Lee: Yes it is. I’m writing that down. Very good. Going off-script for a second, so your role at the moment then, I’ve gotten tired already. The delivery-
Jackie: Delivery director.
Lee: EMEA, let’s not forget that bit. So Salesforce customers come to you and say, “What should we be learning?” Is that what you do?
Jackie: So I’m part of the Trailhead Academy team, which is a team within the overall Trailhead team. The Trailhead Academy team are the ones who provide all of our instructor-led training that are aligned to our different certifications. SO we provide all of the instructor-led training for our admin classes, our advance admin, our developer, our lightning web components, CPQ, Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud. That’s all classroom-based training. Trailhead Academy does also have other services. So we have an end-user adoption services team who go and do training, and change management, at customer sites, when they’ve implemented Salesforce. So they’re training is more tailored to the customer-specific business processes, and managing the change that’s needed to drive adoption.
Jackie: So those are probably the two kind of key components of the Trailhead Academy team. I sit very much in the ILT side of our business. To grow in scale, obviously the need for Salesforce skills is constantly growing, and having certified individuals in the marketplace is a key priority for us. So I work with, or we work in Europe, so with a number of what we call, and this is a mouthful, Trailhead Academy Authorised Training Providers, who offer our authorised classes in country. So we have a number of authorised training providers across Germany, Spain, Italy, France, who are delivering that same quality Salesforce admin/developer/marketing cloud classes to help people work towards certification.
Jackie: My role is actually working with those providers to make sure that the instructors doing the delivery meet our delivery standards. We have an instructor programme, so people who deliver our classes for those providers have to go through an instructor certification programme. I manage that programme, manage that certification process. It’s not as well known a certification as many of our other certifications are, because it’s a closed programme in terms of you’re working for, on behalf of Salesforce, and/or one of our training providers to deliver those authorised classes.
Jackie: That’s one part of my role, and any other part is that kind of pre-sales role, making sure that when customers are implementing, that we are setting out a training programme for them, make sure that once they’ve implemented whatever it is that they’re implementing, that they’ve got resources at customer site, or even if their resources might well be outsourced resources, they have the skills to support that implementation. So we come up with those learning programmes, blending, and that’s the really important element here, blending that Trailhead learning and our classroom-based learning as well, depending on the customer’s objectives, how quickly people want them to become certified, or achieve what they need to achieve, really.
Lee: I mean, it really sounds like, based on what you told us from where you started to where you are now, you are in the dream job, aren’t you? It sounds like this must be your dream role.
Jackie: Yes. It’s certainly my dream job, in terms of it goes back to that core thing that I love, and that’s teaching others. Whilst I don’t do that myself, I am just a real firm believer that whilst I really get technology, for me, I think I said it earlier, technology, for me, first and foremostly, is an enabler of people. You need to enable people to make the technology successful. If you don’t do that, then you won’t be successful with the technology.
Lee: Yes. I think I’ll be using that on the programme notes. So I appreciate I’ve kept you … I always say, it’s always longer than I anticipated. But a couple more questions for you, what would you … I mean, it probably overlaps a bit. But what would you say is your favourite thing about the Salesforce ecosystem and/or product? Just generally, what is it you love about it?
Jackie: I think I’m going to have to, in my current role and position, I think you’ve got to know the answer to this one. But I think Trailhead has really been a game-changer for Salesforce as an organisation, and certainly for learning. It really does help people get into our ecosystem. There are no barriers. There are no limitations. The Trailhead platform is a free learning platform that you can get started with. If you’ve got some time, anybody can get started, wherever they are, whatever walk of life that they come from.
Jackie: I think couple that with the way we have developed our Trailblazer community, and how we have created a community of people who just want to evangelise and love our product, are two kind of really important pieces, because if you’re trying to get into the ecosystem, you need to get into that network. There are so many community events, you are spoiled for choice in terms of what you can participate. If anybody just needs inspiration, they just need to go to Twitter and just search for the Blaze your Trail, because you really will see everybody represented there, and how they got into that ecosystem. That is so powerful in terms of driving the success of our organisation, in my opinion.
Lee: So Twitter, #Blazeyourtrail-
Jackie: #Blazeyourtrail. Just find all of our Trailblazers from vets who’ve transitioned over to Salesforce, to the super moms who transitioned, everything in between. It’s really empowering to see how we can … We’ve been able to kind of change people’s lives, really, in terms of their role and their career.
Lee: Brilliant. I’ll make sure to share that. Obviously, the Trailblazer. Some people may be out there that didn’t know about Trailhead and all of that. So I’ll make sure we get that shared as well at the end of this. I’ve got one, maybe two more questions if that’s okay. It might link to what we just talked about. But, I’ll ask you anyway. What are you most excited about moving forward with the ecosystem? If you’ve already answered it, then just tell me to move on.
Jackie: I don’t think I have, really. For me, it’s what’s around the corner. That’s the beauty-
Lee: What’s that?
Jackie: Well, that’s the beauty of Salesforce, is there is always something around the corner that you just don’t know. I’ve been in the ecosystem for 13 years, and it has always evolved. You just kind of never know what’s coming next. Right back to, probably, my first real, the first kind of thing that I saw with Salesforce where we changed, and not changed the direction in any way. But just added to our product that just made sense, and you didn’t realise it at the time. But that was Chatter. That’s ancient history in relation to the capabilities that we have added since then.
Jackie: So it’s always what’s next with Salesforce, because we don’t seem to stop, we’re always evolving and moving forward to keep with that connected customer message, and how we can do that connected customer message better. At the moment, if I have to pick something, I’m going to say I’m really quite intrigued by Blockchain, and in Trailhead, I have a little trail bookmarked to help me understand what on Earth is Blockchain all about? Because that’s clearly something that seems to be bubbling up, and Trailhead is the place where I’m going to go and be able to … Not necessarily be an expert in Blockchain, but at least have an understanding of what it is, and how it might be applied in the business world.
Lee: That’s it. That’s a good tip, because I might do the same. I don’t need to know the depths of it, but certainly enough to be able to explain it to, perhaps, my dad, who that would be … That’s always the challenge, if you understand technology from a high level point of view. I don’t know, [inaudible 00:40:23] and hopefully understand it.
Jackie: Yeah, that’s it. It’s a 50 minute module, and you kind of start …
Lee: 50. Wow.
Jackie: Yeah, 50 minute module. You’re not going to be an expert by it-
Lee: My attention span isn’t that long. But I’ll give it a go. No, that’s brilliant. One last question… Wait, probably won’t be the last one. If you had one tip, so let’s say someone is listening to this who is thinking of getting into Salesforce ecosystem, or perhaps they are … You, 13 years ago, just thinking your career is over because you’re ripping out Siebel. Do you have a tip for those people in terms of what they can do to kickstart their career in Salesforce?
Jackie: Get a Trailhead account.
Jackie: Go to a Trailblazer community event. I think I’ve probably answered that in your previous question, really.
Lee: Yes, you did. I need to sort these questions out. Yes, thank you. No, that’s brilliant.
Jackie: But it is really, if you’re thinking about the ecosystem, and you know nothing about it, my first port of call is go to Trailhead and find out about everything. There are trails on there about building your Salesforce career, there are trails there about building your Salesforce consulting practice. There are trails, modules on Blockchain. If you are more of a developer, and you don’t know anything about JAVA, and JAVA script, which you kind of need for our lightning web component framework, you can start learning that.
Jackie: So if you just kind of don’t know where to start, go to Trailhead. There is lots of information there around the different roles. Often people, when you’re a technology company, they just say, “Oh, you need to be a techie.” I think I said right at the start, I’ve never thought of myself as a techie. I understand technology, I can approximately tell my dad what different technologies do. But I’ve worked in technology my whole career, and Trailhead will show you the different kind of careers that you have in a technology arena, and it’s not all about coding and developing and being a programmer. It really isn’t.
Jackie: So Trailhead, for me, would be a really good starting point. But then go to these events, because you’re going to meet people who are in the ecosystem, and they’re going to tell you about what they do, and what their roles are. Don’t be shy when you’re at these events. You know, that’s the whole point, is kind of finding your tribe, and seeing if that tribe is something that you’re interested in, and want to participate in.
Lee: That’s what I find in this ecosystem, and I’ve recruited in other areas as well, just with Salesforce, you say don’t be shy. You can walk up to people that you’ve never spoken to before in the Salesforce ecosystem, and by and large, in my experience, everybody is so friendly and so willing to help, it’s unbelievable. So I think that’s a good tip as well. If you go to these events, just bowl up to somebody and say, hello, and get talking to them. Chances are they’ll want to help.
Lee: Jackie, I really appreciate your time. It’s been brilliant. Do you think there is anything I should have asked you? Anything you want to put at the end of this?
Lee: You’ve been amazing. Obviously, congratulations on effectively being in your dream job, by the sounds of it. Thank you for all of your insights. I can probably talk to you longer, but I appreciate, we’re knocking on 50 minutes. So as we discussed, I sort of ran out of ideas at 50 minutes. We probably need to wind out now.
Jackie: That means you can do that Blockchain module, though.
Lee: Just about. Yeah. I’ll give it a go. Thank you, Jackie. You’ve been amazing. Thank you very much for joining us.
Lee: So a massive thank you to Jackie Heath there for a fantastic episode of RODcast. Hopefully you all enjoyed it, and got lots to take away from that. Of course, if you have any notes, or anything that you want to share with us, then please do post them on wherever you get your podcasting. We’ll hopefully have another one out for you soon. So if you need to subscribe to that, then hopefully that’s available for you. So look out for it, and look forward to seeing you guys soon.