Welcome Randi Thompson – Girly Geek of the Week!

Profile pic 2

Randi is a fantastic example of an #AwesomeAdmin!  She is self taught, a super active Success Community Champion and aspiring Salesforce Developer! (no pressure Randi lol) In her spare time she is starting to learn code and growing gorgeous plants from scratch! 🙂

Me:  How & when did you start working with Salesforce?

Randi:  In 2004, the Fortune 500 Company I worked for moved to Salesforce. I had some background in databases (I had built an Access database for my department from scratch (with no Wizards!) and had been an MIS major for a brief moment in time) and I was in love with CRM systems, so I ended up being a Super User and eventually, an SME for my peers. I participated in a number of test pilots and committees and helped with new hire training on Salesforce. Years later, when I moved into the Data Analytics department, while I was no longer a user, I still utilized Salesforce to pull activity data and integrate it into other data sets for data mining and modeling purposes.  One of the early adopters! I wasn’t introduced until 2008 🙂

Me:  What is your current role working with Salesforce?

Randi:  In April of 2014 I was hired as a Salesforce Administrator. I have a secondary role, as well, which is to build out the Data Analytics function – but to do that, I need some data first!!  When I started, we were on Professional with about 26 users, 3 departments, and had only the Sales Cloud. Now we’re on Enterprise (yay!) with about 60 users on both the Sales and Service Clouds, and I have 8 departments using SF.  I ❤ Analytics! and how fun to grow a Salesforce Org! 

Me:  What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?

Randi:  Automation!  The way I see it, automation comes in two flavors: 1) cutting down on data entry time via Validation Rules and/or pre-population (via a Flow of some type, a Custom Button, or Publisher Actions); and 2) moving all those Excel spreadsheets, To-Do lists, and post-it notes into Salesforce via customization of a current object or building a new object. It drives me nuts when a user tells me they just created a new Excel doc to track something!  Me Too! 😀

Me:  Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?

Randi:  I am not currently certified. We are a very small company and I get a very small budget, most of which gets spent on Dreamforce. Any residual monies are set aside for potential apps or add-ons. I would also like to hire a junior member for my team in the next year or so, so I’m trying to be really strategic about my expenses. 🙂  Totally understandable and I can attest to Randi’s Salesforce knowledge from our interactions on the Success Community!  

Me:  What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?

Randi:  I really want to learn Apex code and Visual Workflow. There’s so much I want to do in Salesforce and it inevitably comes down to those two pieces. I am also being very aggressive, this year, in on-boarding other business units (HR, Project Management) and integrating other data systems. As much as possible, I want Salesforce to be the first stop for data.  Those are great goals! 🙂

Me:  Do you have any advice for women working with Salesforce?

Randi:  Ask questions, ask for help, and ask, ask, ask. One of the hardest things, I’ve found, about being female, is overcoming that insidious socialization of being nice, and quiet (fine, fine: quiet is not an adjective normally associated with me. Ever.), and not rocking the boat. It’s been a real struggle to unwrap that twisty training and I have other women to thank for what progress I’ve made. The Salesforce community, of both genders, is amazingly welcoming and helpful and sharing; and I’ve heard lots of stories about how that’s not true in other IT companies and/or business units – so take advantage of all the great, usually free, arenas in which to meet people and pick their brains! It’s an effort for sure, but, for me, it has already paid off in so many ways, and that’s just in the first year!  To add, Randi has recently been named a Premier Central Champion for the awesome help she gives to Community members!  So be sure to follow her on the Success Community!

Me:  What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?

Randi:  In the last couple of years, I’ve become besotted with container pot gardening (because I don’t have a real garden. Yet!). Up here in the frozen tundra, we get about 8 weeks of nice weather, so I go hog wild with flowers on my back desk where I usually work a day or two during the week when it’s warm out. I’ve experimented with ice cube trays and egg shells as seed starters (egg shells work great; it’s very difficult to get a seedling out of an ice cube tray in one piece!), and I’m obsessed with non-GMO seeds, so I spend a bit more money to buy the heirloom and organic seeds. Other than that, I’m afraid I spend quite a bit of my downtime on Salesforce-related activities. For instance, right now, I’m trying to learn Java/Apex code.  I just started gardening again and love it 🙂  and YAY for starting to learn code!

back desk gardenBeautiful!

Me:  Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?

Randi:  I’m a member of the MN Girly Geeks and have recently been “promoted” as a back up co-leader. Right now, that means I approve the occasional member request; but I have some ideas I hope the other co-leaders will let me run with! Congrats!

It was a pleasure getting to know you Randi and thank you very much for sharing!  You are definitely an inspiration!

For those of you that want to follow Randi, here are her links:
Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/randi-thompson/1/b8b/9
Twitter handle:  @randostrophy
Sfdc Community link:  https://success.salesforce.com/profile?u=0053000000A8Nn0AAF