Welcome Kristi Guzman – Girly Geek of the Week!
Kristi is awesome and I have had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the recent “Lightning Week” meeting that was held in Greensboro, NC by the RTP Salesforce Developer Group. Kristi is triple certified, has a great sense of humor and knows Service Cloud – yes I said Service Cloud. We all know that is a sought after skill set that I personally do not have, well maybe just a little but not enough to call it an official skill set! Kristi is also super smart and likes to geek out on Salesforce – a woman after my own heart!
Me: How & when did you start working with Salesforce?
Kristi: My first experience was in the Service Cloud, working on cases as a Customer Support Rep for a hospitality software company in Boston. I started there in 2007 and at that time their Salesforce instance had not had a dedicated Admin for a while – they were doing a lot of good things, but there was so much potential for better utilization and growth. After a year I was promoted to Supervisor and granted a System Administrator seat to start working with my Director on enhancements to the system. I started searching for resources and reading release notes, went to Dreamforce, and began implementing things I learned about to make our processes better. Being self-taught with no sandbox had its moments – I still remember the minutes of panic when I first turned on email-to-case and tested against our support email, which then got the New Case Notification email, which created another case, which triggered another email (!) – but I also remember how awesome it was when we finally implemented Case Record Types and used Dashboard charts in our quarterly company meeting to show how many calls were one-off solutions vs. issues which took longer to resolve or had to be escalated. How many of you are part of the “Self Taught” crew? I know I am! 🙂 Congrats on taking it to the next level Kristi!
Me: What is your current role working with Salesforce?
Kristi: I started as a Salesforce Administrator for 3D Systems about 6 months ago, during an amazing time of growth. 3D Systems has acquired numerous companies in the past few years and our effort now is to break down the silos between business units and incorporate them into one Salesforce instance. We balance our time between assessing the processes already in place, training users & answering questions, and planning our next development efforts from an ever-growing to-do list. We already have multiple other business units who want to join us, so it’s only going to continue to grow! Land and Expand!
Me: What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?
Kristi: In general, I really enjoy using the system to alleviate someone’s struggle. That sounds super dramatic, but some people do really ugly manual processes all day long, and it just sucks. Sometimes it’s a little thing – I made a custom link from the campaign object to a matrix report the Marketing team case use, and my boss called me a hero. Sometimes it’s a bit more involved – When I relocated to Charlotte 5 years ago with my now-husband, I moved from the Customer Support role (where I first met Salesforce) to a Sales Support role. As I learned from my predecessor about some of the things she did, I immediately thought about how I could track them in Salesforce. I created a Demo Requests custom object that allowed Sales to tell me what custom screenshots they needed, when they wanted them by, and any special requirements for that customer or presentation. Not only did it allow me to prioritize the requests, but we could easily link them to Opportunities to see how it impacted final results. Still relatively simple, but it made my day-to-day that much better. Not dramatic at ALL! its called REALISTIC in the Admin world and something I think all of us love about working with Salesforce – it gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment helping users work smarter not harder. When you have a user call you a ‘hero’ or ‘rock star’ it totally makes your day!
Me: Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?
Kristi: I was fortunate that my company not only sent me to Dreamforce in 2009 and 2010, they also paid for a week long ADM201 Training session in 2010 and I got my first Admin Certification. It’s strange now to think Chatter didn’t even exist then! In 2013, I was working for a company called Newmarket implementing Delphi.fdc, a hospitality software re-built on the Force.com platform. Through that partnership I had access to Premiere training resources, and we were encouraged to use them! I got my Force.com Developer Cert that year and Advanced Admin about a year later. I think Certification is a great tool to get you exploring things outside your regular processes – the Admin Cert helped me learn about a lot of standard objects we weren’t using at that time. Agreed that just studying for Certifications helps you learn SO much more about Salesforce than you are currently using.
Me: What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?
Kristi: I am definitely a declarative admin, but I always try to push myself when APEX sessions are offered at User Group sessions or Cloudforce events. I may not be able to write code (yet), but I enjoy getting more and more familiar with the key concepts. Usually there is a point during the trainings that my eyes glaze over a bit, but I think as long as that point is shifting every time I learn then eventually I will get there. I got my first Trailhead badge this month – it was Catter on April Fools, but it still got me to log in and get it set up! Now I can start new trails to hone my skills more proactively – that’s a balance I’m working to achieve, developing skills in advance of having to utilize them to solve a specific problem. Along those same lines, I’m working on shifting my mentality from that 2008 newbie Admin soaking up knowledge from others to the 2015 Certified experienced Admin, who has knowledge to share with others. I’m launching a new blog (http://www.kristiforce.com/) to track those kinds of scenarios, and hopefully my experiences can help others along the road from clicks to code! So happy you took the blog leap! Can’t wait to see what you blog about! Also key word in this answer is “yet” – not able to write code “yet”
Me: What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?
Kristi: I recently got a shirt that totally describes my life – I like big mutts and I cannot lie. (LOVE this! LOL) We adopted our first mutt from Animal Control a few months after we moved in together in 2010, which my mom says is when she knew we would get married (#spoileralert: we did) because we both love him so much. We foster dogs through the Humane Society of Charlotte, and last year added a second mutt to our pack.
We also love cruising! It’s a perfect way to get away and disconnect for a little while – we have a wonderful group of friends going on a cruise together in November and I couldn’t be more excited!
I think I need to consider a vacation!
Me: Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?
Kristi: I have heard Girly Geeks mentioned at various events, and now I am starting a Charlotte chapter! We have so many strong Salesforce women in the Carolinas, I’m excited to interact with more in RTP (Raleigh,Durham,Chapel Hill), Charlotte, and anywhere else someone wants to invite me! It will be great to have an outlet for nerding out about Salesforce – my husband and friends are great listeners, but they don’t always fully appreciate the beauty of a workflow, formula or validation rule for solving business problems. 🙂 Can’t wait to join forces!
It was a pleasure getting to know you Kristi and thank you very much for sharing! You are definitely an inspiration!
For those of you that want to follow Kristi, here are her links:
Sfdc Community link: https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/userprofile/UserProfilePage?u=00530000009PYVLAA4&tab=sfdc.ProfilePlatformFeed