Episode 1: Gemma Emmett Salesforce Career Conversation with ROD. Her journey to a Salesforce Solution & Technical Architect over the last ten years, and the inspiration behind “Ladies be Architects”.
[Below is a transcript for your benefit. Please excuse any typos.]
Interviewer: So joining me today is Gemma Emmett who is a bit of a Salesforce legend and, correct me Gemma, if I’m wrong, but an MVP now as well?
Gemma Emmett: Yes. Yeah. Recently minted.
Interviewer: Minted? Nice.
Gemma Emmett: That’s the term people use.
Lee D: Oh, right. I didn’t realise. Okay. Thanks for joining me on the first one of these. So let’s be kind, go gentle on me. Well, I want to just have a chat about the 10 or 11 years I think now, that you’ve been working Salesforce and the journey you’ve been on, which I think is pretty crazy having had a look at your background in terms of the kind of companies you’ve worked for and how you started and where you are now. So that we can share that with people and people that are out there that are thinking of maybe getting into Salesforce, how to do it and follow someone like yourself, really. So remind me, is it 11 years?
Gemma Emmett: It is 11 years, and I think actually I remember you guys were one of the first firms of recruiters that I actually got in touch with just as I was finishing off being an administrator and moving into consultancy. So we’ve been speaking constantly over that 10 year period, and it’s just incredible to see how that market has grown for the recruiter firms as well. It’s just been incredible.
Lee D: Your story is unique, yet not. There are other people on similar trajectories. If you think 11 years ago, correct me if I’m wrong, but your first exposure to Salesforce, was that at Dun & Bradstreet or did you do it before that?
Gemma Emmett: It was a Dun & Bradstreet. Yeah. It’s quite funny actually because my background was always data analysis, so I was working on spreadsheets and pulling reports, and I made a mutual decision with a previous employer to leave and look for a job, and they said, “You’re going to be in sales ops, and we’re early adopters of this thing called Salesforce.” So I’m like, oh great another place I can pull reports from. Great. And then I started to understand fairly quickly that I wouldn’t have to be pulling reports and putting them all into spreadsheets, that it was all online and that my job was so much more than pulling data and analysing results now, it was more supporting people with the tool and the role evolved because I was pulling data and helping to keep people, helping to keep the sales pipeline as accurate as it could be by supporting people. Then for me, I realised I really enjoyed doing that, and I really enjoyed looking after Salesforce, and I really liked the idea that it was online and that you didn’t have to install it on any computers or anything like that. That’s how it started. And as I started to learn it, Dun & Bradstreet were prepared to invest in me going on courses and doing the certifications, which were quite new back then, I think this is 2008.
Lee D: They were called something completely different then, weren’t they? I mean I think the administrator has always been the administrator, but the way that that’s evolved has been crazy over the 11 years.
Gemma Emmett: Yeah. And now we’re looking at 25 plus certifications, back then we were probably looking at about five, just the strengths of this platform has actually enabled people like myself and my colleagues who’ve been doing this 10 years to grow our careers in the same way, not just for experience and videos, because back then we didn’t have Trailhead. We learnt through bitter experience, and we learnt through delivering training ourselves to people. Back then we’d have to train people yourselves. We learnt from documentation and videos, and now you can actually get hands-on with it on Trailhead. So a very different way of building your career on Salesforce now that you have Trailhead.
Lee D: Again, I think a lot of people might be in the same boat here and although you did go to uni and do a degree, didn’t you?
Gemma Emmett: Yeah.
Lee D: Was it your plan to, obviously the data analysis stuff you were doing, was that always the plan to get to do that? Something in IT?
Gemma Emmett: While I was at university, I had friends who had full-time jobs. Being a student was fun, but I think I’d got to the point where I wanted to break out of academia and come into the big wide world and make my own money and look after myself a bit. I’m quite an independent person, so that was the decision, not to continue with things like masters or anything like that. But I did do a technology degree. I was one of about five or six women who graduated from my class in 2005, which frighteningly enough is nearly 20 years ago.
Gemma Emmett: So the first roles that I had were in statistics. I worked for an exam board, and I worked for a fire service, and I was pulling data, and that helped me to get to understand in context a lot of the concepts about databases that I’ve learned at university. But I never expected to fall into something like this. Now I feel like I’m kind of set for life. It’s not something I ever want to get out of doing. I’m very happy doing Salesforce.
Lee D: It’s funny because a lot of people I know like yourself I’ve known for as long as I’ve known you. I’ve known you 11 years now. They never, back then, people didn’t necessarily deliberately get into Salesforce much like in my industry, no one really wants to get into recruitment, but you end up doing it. But now people are deliberately trying to get into Salesforce. Maybe there will be some people from that period that knew what they were doing, but there seems to be a lot of stories of people that fell into it and are now in that legendary status that you’re in, which is great.
Gemma Emmett: Yeah
Gemma Emmett: The accidental admin.
Lee D: Yeah, accidental architect now, isn’t it? Surely that’s the title.
Gemma Emmett: Yeah, it’s now changed.
Lee D: So the journey then from you to, Dun & Bradstreet was first and then I believe you moved to Access Point, didn’t you? Which if I remember right, it was a… still are perhaps a small consulting company?
Gemma Emmett: Yes. I actually accepted a role with an end-user. It was an insurance company, and I was all ready to go. I’d sign the paperwork and everything, and then I was encouraged to have a chat with somebody about a customer-facing role instead. Up until that point I’d never been customer-facing other than part-time jobs while I was at uni and things like that. So I was a bit nervous, and I had my job interview in the Holiday Inn at Handy Cross in High Wycombe and thought, why am I having a job interview in a hotel.
Gemma Emmett: But the guy was really friendly and explained what the role would be, and he said you’d actually be going in and out of different companies and helping them to implement Salesforce so you get quite a variety and it was really appealing. So I decided to go for it. I decided to take that job instead and I was there for a good year or so, just getting my feet on the ground in the consultancy world before starting to enjoy that, realised that was what I wanted to do and then moved into another role where I was able to work on bigger implementations or corporate implementations and my first foray into enterprise-level implementations as well. So that happened over the course of a few years afterwards.
Lee D: When you look at your profile now and tell me if I’m being a bit harsh here, but it looks like you planned this perfectly and there was always your plan to go from an end-user to a small consultancy to a slightly bigger consultancy, and the plan all the way through to where you are now. Was it deliberate, or did it just happen that way?
Gemma Emmett: Yeah, it happened that way because actually I would say… I wouldn’t say that my career growth was necessarily aligned to Salesforce growth in its entirety, but there is an element of that. Because Salesforce has been growing in popularity, I would say it’s really in the last five years it started to go postal in the UK where you’ve got a lot of enterprise deals being sold by Salesforce and therefore a lot more outcry for experienced talent to go and implement those enterprise-level projects because Salesforce is selling them faster than we can produce resources to actually deliver them.
Gemma Emmett: I would say in terms of that, I think I tended to think about what I wanted from each job. In the beginning, it was, I want some experience. I want to do some projects. Then it became, oh I want to do Service Cloud now, so I’ll do Service Cloud. Then it became, I’d like to do Service Cloud where it affects 250 plus people because knowing that you’ve been part of designing something that makes them more productive and helps them enjoy their day better, is really quite a motivator.
Gemma Emmett: So I started chasing the dopamine in some ways because I worked out what motivated me and eventually I even gravitated towards Financial Force and went there for three and a half years to do ISV work because I knew the application and I was really gaining a good understanding of the consultancy sector. So I really wanted to gain more experience in that, and with each successful project, that was something else that motivated me.
Lee D: It was interesting, because when I was looking at… if you tick the boxes of what someone would want to do in Salesforce from the beginning through to where you are now, and it’s obviously nowhere near the end. You’ve done the end-user, you’ve done the small consultancy and a slightly bigger consultancy, you’ve done contracting, and then you’ve gone to a huge consultancy, and then you’ve gone to an ISV. So you’ve tried everything at the moment, haven’t you? I noticed, no names mentioned necessarily, but the big, big one, you didn’t really stay there hugely long. Did you find… was there a reason for that?
Gemma Emmett: A lot of it was to do with the way that the market was at the time because the market at the time for a big, big consultancy, the kinds of projects that you’re going to want to work on need to be massive. Salesforce needs to be one small part of a much wider programme in order for those projects to be profitable, especially when you’ve got hundreds of people working on those projects. At the time, it could be argued that Salesforce wasn’t really there yet in the UK in terms of those projects. We did have those projects. We had huge projects going on, but at the time it was during that key growth period where you’ve got a few really good enterprise customers, and you’re focusing on building the middle market up nicely so that you can then get enough stories behind you to then take it to the… really come up with a huge enterprise strategy, but you need that growth and that establishment in the UK first.
Gemma Emmett: So I think that’s where we were the time. So a lot of us… the Salesforce’s market is very fast growing and projects, and a key USP of Salesforce is you can be up and running quite quickly. So your project won’t last years necessarily. They might last months, or they might last weeks. Back then if we didn’t have strategic projects, sorry back then, if we didn’t have huge, multi-year programmes of work coming through the door than the larger firms, if you look at those pieces of work in comparison to other huge implementations and things like SAP and Oracle, those projects do take years. Salesforce doesn’t take years. So from that perspective, it became fairly difficult to get work at that level.
Gemma Emmett: A lot of us wanted to keep working and keep implementing so that our skills were being increased all the time, and we were gaining a lot of the practical experience that we need. So I didn’t stay there long because frankly I just wanted to get out there and keep using my skills.
Lee D: It’s interesting. You’re obviously somebody who likes to be at the cutting edge of stuff as well, which is great in Salesforce, isn’t it? I’m no technical person myself, but they’re bringing new stuff out virtually every six months, aren’t they? There’s always something new and exciting coming up that you want to be at the bleeding edge of. Have I got that right or is it every year?
Gemma Emmett: Well, it can be hard to keep up sometimes. Salesforce makes a lot of acquisitions so their base has grown from being sales service and a bit platform and some integrations and some coding to now most of the stuff that you want to achieve in Salesforce, you don’t need code to do. We’ve now got Commerce Cloud, we’ve now got Industry Set, industry-specific focus packages.
Gemma Emmett: We’ve got CPQ, there’s so so much to learn now, and I think it… Now I am actually finding that I don’t want to learn absolutely everything that Salesforce has to offer. What I want to achieve is mastery of the platform, but not to the extent where I know absolutely everything because I don’t think it is possible to know everything there is to know about Salesforce.
Lee D: That’s not something 10 years ago you probably could have said, I know everything there is to know. I imagine, at least.
Gemma Emmett: That was a goal of mine was to know pretty everything about the platform, but the platform grows all the time. So you need to be kind of strategic now about what you want to learn and what you want to specialise in.
Lee D: That’s probably a decent tip for anybody thinking or anyone wanting to get into the world of Salesforce or perhaps is in the world of Salesforce, but is feeling like looking around. Is it a tip to say what part of it is your passion? What part of it gets you excited? Is that okay?
Gemma Emmett: I actually get my enjoyment from speaking with clients at a strategic level about what they want to achieve in Salesforce and then transforming that into something that someone’s using on a day to day basis. If you have built the rule that is automatically producing an email or an invoice just because of something that someone else has put in at the other end. When that works, I have been known to dance around the room before now. I enjoy that.
Lee D: I understand that. I’m not a tech like I said, I’m no techie, but in recruitment, you get the buzz of finding someone the right job. Don’t get me wrong at the beginning of recruitment, when you’re starting out in your career, it’s all about trying to get the deal over the line. As you get older and more experienced, you see it’s about knowing you’ve made a really good match. I can’t imagine having that feeling for something to do with technology, but I can appreciate it if that’s your thing, then brilliant.
Lee D: Actually, you know Teresa, she’s my wife and business partner. She builds our little Salesforce instance, and she gets that weird kick when something she’s worked on works basically. So I can imagine that it must be quite nice.
Lee D: What’s it like at Financial Force? That’s the biggest chunk of the 11 years you’ve been doing it, that was the longest you stayed in one place, well apart from where you are now, I think. What’s it like to work at an ISV where you can, from the outside looking in and you’re going quite narrow aren’t you with what you’re doing?
Gemma Emmett: It’s interesting because ISV is a product-based company and the services that you deliver alongside that product are a separate revenue stream and an accompanying revenue stream. So for me, I wanted to try something different. I wanted to actually be in a position where I could try and influence the roadmap in some way. Specifically, while I was at Financial Force, I was focusing on their PSA product, which is for professional services businesses and having worked as a consultant, putting in time sheets, putting in expenses, planning projects, planning my resources and looking at utilisation. For me, that was something that I could relate to from my real life, and therefore I wanted to bring some of that real-life experience and share some of those experiences with the product teams and with my colleagues and with my customers as well.
Gemma Emmett: So I really enjoyed working there from that perspective. I think it’s a very different model because you are selling a product and we see it all the time with Salesforce as well. There are excellent features that you want to share, and you want to use those as hooks to get your customer and as a Sales led organisation. And for me, I actually focus on the value. I really like to understand in-depth, when I’m on a project I get quite immersed in it. I will use language like, “Okay, so how are we going to deal with our claims process?” I don’t work for that company, but immersed into it enough that I can, and I get genuinely interested in how they work and how they operate and therefore how to make the Salesforce work as well as it can do for that organisation.
Gemma Emmett: And Financial Force was a great mix of the product that you had to take out from the shelf and give to the customer and train the customer on it. But then on the other side of it was actually showing them how to bend it and how to make it work for them. That’s a lot of the reason I stayed there so long is to have that triangulated experience where you’re feeding back from the customer’s back to the product team to say, “The customers think it’d be really good if you could do X, Y, Z.” Then I go back into the customers and say, “Well, it’s a great piece of feedback, I’ll feed that back to the product team. In the meantime, let’s look at how else we can make this happen for you.” So it was a really fascinating insight.
Lee D: Good. One the questions I wanted to ask you actually, and I think you possibly already touched on some of these, but if you could pick one project that you’re most proud of if there is such a project with regards to Salesforce, what would it be and why are you so proud of it?
Gemma Emmett: So I can say this because there’s a press release out from a few years ago, but it’s the UK’s National Audit Office. We put in Financial Force, PSA and accounting, HCM and purchasing and it was a suite of about four or five packages that went into Salesforce. My role on that was to be the PSA specialist, but also that was the project where I realised that my role was changing and that I was acting as a solution architect because my responsibility was in yes, looking after my little area, which was the project and resource management side, but also integrating that with the accounting side for expenses and for revenue, for cost recognition, reducing the number of spreadsheets that HR teams had to work with by having a user create one worker record and then having that trickle effect going into PSA to create the resource going into accounting to sell it, the expenses account. All stuff that would previously take about a week and about five manual processes, which just happen as someone clicks save on a worker record, all that stuff would just happen. I’ve really got quite a kick out of delivering that experience where it was just so much quicker.
Gemma Emmett: It was a successful project I think as well because it was a real partnership with the customer. The guys at the NAO are so smart, and they spent a lot of time really immersing themselves in what their users needed to do and understanding the challenges and what the benefits needed to be and how they were going to measure against those benefits. So when we got there, they were a hundred percent ready. They knew exactly what they wanted us to do, and they made working with them a really collaborative and valuable experience. So for me, I’ve loved that project because of the collaboration that happened. It was some fantastic minds, all spinning ideas off each other. But also it was that transition to an architect role where I was considering everything, network security, the volumes of data, the integrations and how we were going to govern the system after the after it went live and all of those things. So it was a real great project.
Lee D: Brilliant. As you say, that was your first moment then when you realise you’re now a solution architect, which must’ve been pretty, pretty cool. That seems to overlap them with you becoming… are you the founder or one of the founders of Ladies Be Architects?
Gemma Emmett: I am the founder.
Lee D: What made you think of that?
Gemma Emmett: I was working through my design’s certifications, and I hadn’t done any certs for about three years. I’ve been struggling with health challenges, so I decided not to add any extra stress to my life at that time and just recover. When I started at Bluewolf, I had a great opportunity to do some certifications and a great mentor as well. So we had a few conversations about possibly doing the CTA certification, at which point I just laughed and went, no, that’s something [inaudible] I do. And I said, but what I’ll probably like to get is Application Architect. It became let’s go and do… so I decided to start with some certifications that I knew would be easy pickings for me. So data architecture, sharing and visibility were the two main ones I wanted to do because I’d use them in my time as an admin. Skills that I needed to pass those exams were developed over those roles.
Gemma Emmett: So I tackled those first and then I [inaudible] some free vouchers, and so I was like, okay, I have to do platform developer one. Then maybe a couple of others and I started to think, you know what? I’m actually really quite enjoying doing this. I’m really enjoying all the things that I’m learning, and I could feel that when I go in and see a new prospect or a new customer, and they’re wanting to sense check the solution, all my colleagues are asking me for help. Through doing these certifications, it’s given me things to think about while I’m having those conversations and things I can pass on to my colleagues. Like, “You think you want a workflow rule, going to happen? How’s the data that is feeding that workflow role? Where’s it coming from? How’s it kept secure?” All of those things.
Gemma Emmett: I could feel myself becoming a better Salesforce practitioner. So I decided to go and see if I could find any other architects, I went and joined the community online and was scrolling through a lot of comments and at the time all I could see was lots of comments from men and I was like, “Where are all the girls? I can’t be the only one.”
Lee D: Can I ask, who was that mentor that you just referenced?
Gemma Emmett: It was Andrew Hearts.
Lee D: Oh, okay. I was wondering if it was a lady? I know Andrew, yeah, cool. Okay. For people that don’t know and perhaps they probably won’t know, Ladies Be Architects then, which is archladies.com? I’m just hovering on it now. What is that? Is it just a community basically to help people or to help other ladies like yourself from five or six years ago to get these certifications? I’m saying it for you, but what exactly-
Gemma Emmett: It’s actually for everybody.
Lee D: Oh cool.
Gemma Emmett: The reason that we have this now and it’s great, I mean it started off as a where all the girls, let’s study together and help each other and let’s get together every month and tackle a topic and ask questions and raise challenges and things like that. Then it became, actually we shouldn’t restrict this to ladies because a lot of men liked what we were doing. We were producing some content, and it was helping lots of people.
Gemma Emmett: So we said, well actually this is a bit more than that. This is helping everybody. It just happens to be led by women. And on that side, the purpose of having it led by women, that’s our number one role really is that if we’re going to run sessions, they have to be led by women. Because as women we’re quite good at talking ourselves out of doing things, but if we do see other women doing something and we see them taking a lead and getting up and doing things and having courage in them and belief in themselves, then actually that encourages other women to do it too.
Lee D: You say you talk yourself out of things, certainly, in this space, a lot of really good people I know including yourself have this thing that you can refer to as impostor syndrome. Do you mean that it’s almost like you said earlier on with the CTA thing, and that’s something other people do? Do you still have that little bit of niggling doubt about yourself, if you know what I mean? May be not a bad thing; it drives you on possibly. Is that fair or have you overcome that now?
Gemma Emmett: I think that’s a great question actually because if you’d asked me that four weeks ago, then I would’ve said there had been lots of times when I feel like I shouldn’t be… I’ll give you an example. I was doing a mock CTA exam, and when I got in there I saw three men who I know very well and are good friends and one man who I didn’t know very well, but we’re on the same level professionally. When I walked in there, all I saw was these three men who were a little bit older than me, and I thought I shouldn’t be in this room. Who the hell is this girl? She worries about all these systems; she’s been on the planet five minutes, she’s been working in IT for 10 minutes, that doesn’t make sense.
Gemma Emmett: I kind of freak out a little bit because I was like, I shouldn’t be here. Why am I here? This is ridiculous. How do I get here? And all three of these gentlemen encouraged me and said, “Gemma you are supposed to be here. This is your place at the table. You have every right to be here.” Back then I was like, yeah, you’re just being nice. Then last week when I got into my CTA exam-
Lee D: Last week, wow. Okay. Go on.
Gemma Emmett: Last week, I went through that whole procedure, and it wasn’t a mock, it was the real thing. I realised that I did deserve to be there and that I am capable of doing this and that all that other stuff that was haunting my thoughts just needed to go away. I had to go through that process to really understand it because the mocks are meant to be really hard. How else are you going to be prepared? So sometimes I feel I deserve it-
Lee D: Absolutely. There will be people listening to this that we’ll look at your profile on Linkedin and listen to what you’re saying and thinking that what you’re saying is crazy. Your clearly amazing what you do. But again, it’s a popular, sorry; it’s a common trait that I see with really good people. You even feel it yourself, don’t you sometimes, you get to a certain age and all these years of experience, but you still sometimes just feel like you’re just winging it or maybe that’s just me. Do you know yet what the result is and how long does it take if it’s been a week?
Gemma Emmett: It takes a couple of weeks, so I don’t know yet.
Lee D: Oh, fingers crossed.
Gemma Emmett: I’m at the period where I don’t know at the moment.
Lee D: That’s horrible, isn’t it?
Gemma Emmett: Yeah. But I have friends who’ve done it with me, so we’re texting each other most days, like have you heard yet? The worst thing is leaving that room as your brain starts worrying and thinking about all the things that you-
Lee D: You should have said and done, yeah, oh God. Well look, I don’t know how it works. Worst case scenario, how quickly can you do it again or is it-
Gemma Emmett: You have to wait for the board to come back, so looking at the time table I think it’s in the later part of this year so if I have to stop for a month or so and get back on the horse a bit later on in the year then so be it, it takes as long as it takes.
Lee D: Well when this goes out, hopefully by the time it goes out you’ll know, and I can put little follow up message in there for everyone to let them know that it went well. Yes. Fingers crossed. I’m wary of taking up far too much of your time. So I’ve got, actually a little thing to wrap up on, I reckon for people listening, they might be keen to know if you had one piece of advice you could give somebody that perhaps is that person like you at Dun and Bradstreet, they just fall into a Salesforce role or something or they are looking to get into it either way.
Lee D: What would the advice if you had any advice, what would it be for somebody looking to start their career in Salesforce? I appreciate I’ve sprung that on you so you’re not prepared for that. But do you have any tips or anything like that?
Gemma Emmett: Actually it’s different now to what it was when I first began, but there are quite a few different roles out there for you to get into and it’s perfectly okay and in fact I think it’s a great thing if you want to continue in that role of looking after your Salesforce org for your company because you are effectively going to be in charge of it and therefore you get to know so much more about your own business. As each department wants to come and play in Salesforce, you’ll get to learn more about the different business processes that take place.
Gemma Emmett: If you want to go consulting, the trade-off is that you’ll have to travel many, many roles which involves taking time out away from your family potentially. But there the other side of that is you’ll get to work across a myriad of different industries and if you like one particular industry, why not specialise in that industry? If you like banking, there are plenty of banks who have longterm engagements with Salesforce now that you can get involved in.
Gemma Emmett: Similarly if you, if you’re an entrepreneur, you want to develop something that no one’s ever developed before and take to market, this such an amazing opportunity with organisations like… there are supportive organisations like, RAD Women Code who can help you learn to code.
Lee D: Really? Okay, so RAD I might get you to send me some examples, and I’m going to post them. RAD Women Code.
Gemma Emmett: RAD Women Code, Women in Tech Developers Group, also are entrepreneurs themselves. So they encourage any women who want to perhaps take on something different, build their own app exchange package. You can apply for funding through Salesforce Ventures, which runs every year at Dream Force. They have a Dragon’s Den style pitch; I think it’s called Green Pitch, where you can take your idea to a panel of investors and then you might get some money towards your venture. So there are so many different things that you can do, and then there’s other things that you can grow into over the years as well. I would think about what you value as a person. I personally value learning. So I like being in consulting because, from every single engagement that I have, I learn from. I also like being an architect because I’m now in an advisory role.
Gemma Emmett: So I’m learning different skillset to what I had 10 years ago where I was literally working pure technology. Now I’m actually trying to help other people grow. And I discovered I had skills I didn’t know that I had. I discovered that I enjoyed those things more than I thought I would. I think the advice I can give is that you can’t guarantee that what you want right now is going to be the same as what you want in five years time.
Gemma Emmett: So if I’m in an interview and someone says, where do you see yourself in five years? I actually have been known to turn it on its head and go, where do you see yourself in five years, because personally I think that’s not really a fair question to ask.
Lee D: Well, if you’d have asked you 10 years ago, where do you see yourself? I’m guessing; I’m putting words in your mouth that you probably would never have thought that you’d be where you are now. Would you? When you were back in the Access Point days or Dun and Bradstreet days.
Gemma Emmett: No, I just wanted to work with Salesforce. That’s been the constant for me. I’ve stayed with Salesforce. I plan to stay with Salesforce. My role might change while I’m working with Salesforce Technologies. Right now I’ve got other priorities, I’ve got a child to grow and develop and keep-
Lee D: How old’s your little one now?
Gemma Emmett: She’s seven.
Lee D: Last time I spoke to you, I think you’d only just had her.
Gemma Emmett: Yeah, it goes a bit fast doesn’t it, so now I’ve managed to keep it alive. I’ve got to keep it out of jail.
Lee D: Yeah. Oh my God. Yeah, that’s always an interesting thing is though with careers and like you said about consulting and travelling. So you obviously are still working a consultancy, but how do you manage to juggle that?
Gemma Emmett: Well, I have a really good support network around me, and we all help each other. So when they need me to cover I’ll cover and then when I need them to cover they’ll cover me. So that’s how I work it out. Actually this time I’m taking my daughter to Trailhead DX.
Lee D: Really?
Gemma Emmett: Yeah. And she’s gonna be handing out stickers and raffle tickets and just trying to understand a bit more of mommy’s world a little bit. And that helps me because I’m trying to show her that if she’s got something she enjoys and wants to do in her future, that it’s okay to… there’s a reason why she has to go to school every day. She needs to be educated so that she can make a more informed decision. I’m trying to lead by example in that regard. So she knows that also because I’ve historically been the breadwinner as well in my family, she knows that if mommy has to go away and work, it’s so that we can afford to live in the house and eat food and have toys and presents at Christmas. She’s starting to understand that much better now.
Lee D: Unbelievable. Will she be encouraged to do some coding? I’m already seeing a spinoff of maybe Babies be Architects or something like that?
Gemma Emmett: Babies Be Architects, that would be funny. She’s actually on about… she wants to learn to code, so I’m going to get her Scratch Book and see how she gets on. She loves IT. She loves Minecraft.
Lee D: See I’m too old, I’ve heard of it. I don’t know what it is.
Gemma Emmett: The good thing is my cousin, he’s 11 he likes setting things on fire in Minecraft. Thankfully she’s not reached that yet.
Lee D: Brilliant. Well, good, so fantastic. So she sees you on the stage doing your awesomeness and probably is really impressed or just thinks that’s the norm I suppose.
Gemma Emmett: Well she has said before, I want to do you what you do, mommy. I’m like, well, get you in [inaudible] certs next week.
Lee D: Absolutely. Why not?
Gemma Emmett: It’s a joke.
Lee D: That’s amazing isn’t it? Well, brilliant. What a great answer to the first time I’ve asked that question, I can’t imagine I’m going to get many better answers than that. Is there anything right now you’re really excited about? It sounds like you’re excited about everything to do with Salesforce, but is there anything else that you think people need to hear about before we say goodbye?
Gemma Emmett: I’m at the moment. I’m just all systems go for World Tour London next week.
Lee D: Oh God, next week. Yeah, of course.
Gemma Emmett: I’ve been doing my slides today, getting ready for my talk about customer readiness, about whether you’re really, truly ready for your project and how you’re thinking about your scope and your implementation success. So we do talk about that, and then I’m incredibly excited that this year at TDX, Trailhead DX, in San Francisco-
Lee D: Gemma, sorry, can you say that last bit again because you broke up, what you said, incredibly excited about it, sorry what?
Gemma Emmett: I’m incredibly excited about Trailhead DX, because for the first year ever, there’s an architect track.
Lee D: Oh, okay.
Gemma Emmett: So architects are being recognised as a completely different role that cuts across admin and dev.
Lee D: Right, okay.
Gemma Emmett: It’s so exciting to have been part of influencing that and working actively with Salesforce in the architect zones and helping them out this year. So I’m really, really excited about that.
Lee D: Fantastic. Well, hopefully, I’ll see you next week.
Gemma Emmett: Yeah.
Lee D: Thank you very much for chatting with us.