Welcome Laura Baalman– Girly Geek of the Week!

Laura Baalman2

Meet Laura, she is a #DeveloperVet – 13 years!  I love featuring women who code! Its such an inspiration for me to kick up my game and learn – baby steps 😉  Not only has Laura built Apps for the AppExchange, she is giving back her developer knowledge to women and girls learning to code with aspirations of attaining the Salesforce Technical Architect Cert AND becoming an MVP!  Keep your eyes on this #DevRockStar

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

Laura:  In 2013, I met the CEO of a company so awesome, I decided I wanted to start working with a new technology just to work there.  Mike Witherspoon, founder of CodeScience, gave me a chance to become a force.com developer at his company, which is a PDO (Product Development Outsourcer) partner of Salesforce.  I worked on apps for the app Exchange and CRM customization for our clients.

With 13 years of experience as a full stack developer, coming to the Salesforce platform was a change. I have administered actual physical servers. And virtual servers. And now I hardly ever have to think about servers and I can focus on just solving business problems, instead of infrastructure problems. Don’t get me wrong, they are all interesting problems. I really enjoyed optimizing the performance of the San Francisco Marathon servers to help them stay up during race weekend in 2013.  But I’m really enjoying having a chance to be more focused on programming now.   Love at first Trigger! ❤

Me:  What is your current role working with Salesforce?

Laura: I am taking a spin in the startup lottery. I am working with an amazing architect and incredibly enthusiastic founders at a startup where we are building enterprise software on the salesforce platform. It’s great. I’m excited to come to work every day.  That is such an awesome feeling! 🙂 

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

Laura: I love to see my unit tests pass! I feel ya on that!!  #HappyDance! 😀

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

Laura: I have held the Developer certification since December 2013. I am also a Certified Scrum Master and an ICAgile Certified Professional.  Congrats on your certs!  These are great accomplishments!

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

Laura: I’d like to get my advanced developer, and eventually Technical Architect. The number of women with this cert is depressingly small! I’d love to become an MVP and help continue the amazing feeling of community in the Salesforce universe. YES! please get the Tech Architect Cert!  We need more representation with that cert!! Not to mention that you obviously have the talent 🙂  and of course I am biased on the MVP goal 😉

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

Laura: The Salesforce community is incredibly welcoming; use it to your advantage. Go to your local user  or developer group, or start one if there isn’t one in your area. Use the Success Community, the Answer community, and try to give back too, by posting answers if you are able. If you’re in the non-profit space, join Girlforce and take part in Office Hours, events, and conversations via Chatter. If you give support, you will also get support. And you will make friends! #Truth!  I am witness to this and concur 100%!  I love my Salesforce Community and the new friends I have made ❤

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

Laura: I participate in organizations working to improve the number of women in technology like Women Who Code and Girl Develop It. When not basking in the glow of a computer screen, I like to practice my french with various meet up groups and I love snowboarding and wake surfing.  Love this!  and THANK YOU for giving back! Snowboarding is on my list of things to learn! 😀

Me:  Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?

Laura: I try to attend events when possible for the San Francisco Girly Geeks.  🙂

It was a pleasure getting to know you Laura and thank you very much for sharing!

You are definitely an inspiration!

For those of you that want to follow Laura, here are her links:
Linkedin:  www.linkedin.com/in/laurabaalman/
Twitter handle:  Lurlab