From Scrappy Developer to Salesforce Certified Admin - - AppExchange
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From Scrappy Developer to Salesforce Certified Admin

Bill Martinez wakes up each morning with the goal of broadening his Salesforce knowledge. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t connect with the Salesforce community to stay on top of the latest updates and releases. But Bill doesn’t just do this for himself. He learns for the sake of helping others. He wants to learn so that he can teach. Bill coaches to help other Salesforce admins succeed.


Bill is a Salesforce expert with over a decade of CRM business process re-engineering and technical expertise. But as you might guess, there’s more to Bill’s story. I sat down with him to learn about his Salesforce journey. I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me.


Tell us about your Salesforce journey.


I started my Salesforce journey when I was working at an insurance statistical data company in Jersey City called Verisk Analytics.  At the time, our company was growing by acquisition. Giving us the structure to grow with acquisition, we signed an agreement with Salesforce that kicked off a six month project.  This started my journey to pursue the Salesforce Admin certification. I knew that I wanted to be the go-to person internally for Salesforce.


How did you know that you wanted to be that person?


I was in love with Salesforce and how we easily configured it by point and click to our business needs; yet it still had the automation of workflows and process builder. A year after getting certified, I pursued the Advance Administrator certification.  After that, I achieved the 401 Developer certification. When needed, Apex was there to help us run the business and crush difficult requirements. For bigger processes like commission and analytics, we quickly learned there was a partner app for that on the AppExchange.


The experience I gained made me understand the technology from the ground up.  Understanding the business process, and building the core Salesforce application from a brand new instance was better experience than I could ever ask for. This included Sales Cloud to start, then we migrated Marketing Cloud to help drive sales. Finally, we added six different support teams with custom business processes, using the Service Console. This kick-started my career upward again.


How do you continue to learn and help others learn?


I read articles from the great SteveMo on the Trailblazer Community and various websites. I then took on a personal initiative to mentor junior admins. I donate three hours per week (even today) doing one-on-ones, teaching Salesforce and helping junior admins address challenges. Years later, I took on roles where team building, mentoring and leadership skills were needed to do my job as a manager.


So that brings us to today. Do you combine your love of training with your development background?


Yes. Today, I lead a team of five admins and junior developers. The admin tasks I learned and taught (picklists additions, workflows, process builder, organization-wide defaults, etc.) are used daily. I was also fortunate enough to meet (whom I call) the NYC Salesforce superheroes: Luke Cushanick, Ohad Idan, Cheryl Feldman, David Giller, Umair Ilyas and Sandi Zellner.  They are NYC user group leaders and MVPs, and they took me in like family. Today, I lead the NYC Developer User Group, and bring together a community with a never-ending appetite for Salesforce knowledge.  


You spoke on a Salesforce Admin webinar called How to Build an AppExchange Strategy. Tell us about that experience.


OMG is all I have to say about this experience.  I met so many great Salesforce superstars. Connie Dea, Senior Product Marketing Manager at AppExchange, made me feel welcome.  I had never done a webinar in my life. She took the time to talk with me, and made sure we highlighted the accomplishments that I had done in the past.  The really interesting part was her active listening skill set. As I explained my story to her, she pointed out highlights that I took for granted. It was an amazing and enlightening experience.  


Meeting with Mike Gerholdt and Rebecca Saar (the webinar leads at Salesforce) was fun.  During the webinar, I felt everything flowed naturally.  They were the best team, and they let me be the best me, with no added pressure.  However, the real side effect of this webinar was the reach. People working in financial institutions across the globe were reaching out to me to connect after the webinar.  Even today, people say, “You’re Bill Martinez? I heard your webinar!” That’s an amazing accomplishment.


It seems like the webinar taught you a lot about yourself.


Many people are facing the same challenges I face everyday. Some may be further in their journey, and some are new to the technology. I have been a technologist for many years. Never was there a technology that brought people together, to help each other, like Salesforce. Ohana!


Where would you like to go next in your Salesforce journey?


I find certifications a very important part of my personal career and growth.  I want to achieve the Sales Cloud consultant and the Developer I credentials. Today, I lead a small group on Salesforce Saturdays, where we continue to learn the tech stack to accomplish both business goals and level up our technical experience on the platform. In addition, I am donating my time to help to teach Salesforce in a larger classroom environment.  I am very interested in Trailhead for Students, run by Kevin Zittle at Salesforce.

Thank you for taking the time to share your inspiring story.


Thank you! Salesforce rocks. The employees, the community, and even those that are new to the technology. There is no other technology on the market today that I would rather be associated with as a subject matter expert. I thank you for everything you do day in and day out.

To learn more about Bill, connect with him on the Trailblazer Community, and listen to his famous webinar. His favorite apps are TaskRay, Distribution Engine and Field Trip.

Amanda Nelson is Director of Community Marketing at the Salesforce AppExchange.
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