This is the start of a new series in which you get to meet and learn more about the Cloud Galacticos team. We thought we start off with our COO, Paul Battisson, who is fast approaching his third year with us. I caught up with Paul via email to find out more about him and his experiences.
Paul Battisson, COO
Paul, thanks for volunteering to be the first participant in this series. Can you give us a bit of background about you and your history with Salesforce® ?
Sure, my name is Paul and I have been working with Salesforce now for the past 11 years. I started off in Salesforce® as a developer at FinancialForce where I got to learn about the platform from some of the best developers around. Andy Fawcett (now VP Platform Product Management at Salesforce) was my manager and showed me a lot. I also had the pleasure to work with other superstars like Carolina Ruiz, Stephen Willcock and Agustina Garcia which helped me pick a lot up fast. I then moved on to a consulting role as a senior developer focused on financial services. Since then I have held a number of different roles for different partners across product management, architecture, innovation and delivery management. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a variety of roles and get to see most of the platform.
You’re also a Salesforce® MVP and lead the Leeds Developer Group in the UK?
That’s correct. I am fortunate enough to have been awarded as an MVP for the past 7 years. I have been running the Leeds Developer Group for about 8 years now. It was through the group that I first met our the Cloud Galacticos CEO Phil Walton. I also run a site called CloudBites.tv where I share videos about Salesforce topics and am midway through writing some books on Apex.
So with all that going on I’m not sure you have time for anything else, but in the time you do have outside of work what do you enjoy doing?
Haha, yes it is a bit full on. At the moment a lot of time is spent on writing, blogging etc. but I do really enjoy that. I also love reading although I am a bit of a nerd and it is a variety of non-fiction topics. My PS4 is my go-to relaxation device, as well as cooking. I try to exercise a bit as well but I can’t say I am consistent in that as I am with playing the PlayStation!
A nice mix of things there. Can you share a little more about your role as COO and what you enjoy most about it?
I describe myself as “everything other than delivery – most of the time”. We are still a growing organisation so I do spend my time moving across a few things. Primarily my role is a combination of sales, marketing, strategy and back office stuff. I also help clients on a number of projects as an architect as well. I like a good mixture of things and my role definitely gives me that. In one day I can be discussing a new marketing campaign, talking to potential clients, discussing an integration between systems and then reviewing our HR policies. It can be a bit manic but I love it.
A nice variety there. To me you are the ‘travelling Galactico’, and I know your role and work involves a bit of travel. Where has been your favourite place to visit with work?
I am definitely on the road more than the rest of the team, but that’s because I get to meet new customers and telling them how wonderful we all are! I visit Leeds, Manchester and London a lot. Manchester has a special place for me, it is a big city but a nice community feel to it. To me it also feels open and spacious more than many others. I have also been lucky enough to head to Malaga, San Francisco and New Delhi with the Galacticos team and would recommend them all. I have been to San Francisco many times and can always find something new and interesting to enjoy. It is such a crazy place so definitely worth going if you can.
I know you have visited San Francisco for Dreamforce, what has been your favourite Salesforce event?
Yes I have been lucky enough to attend and speak at Dreamforce a number of times. It probably is my favourite event overall because of how long it is. You have enough time to attend a number of sessions, meet people from all over and generally have fun. I do have a soft spot for the community events that have sprung up as well – in particular London’s Calling and DreamOle. They are smaller in scale but have always have great talks and are much easier to get to!
Obviously at the moment everyone is working remotely but you have been working remotely for a while. Have you got any tips for everyone?
My biggest tip would be to have a dedicated space. I’ve got an office where I can work away and focus without disruption. It can be tough to switch off if you always have the laptop around and also hard to resist looking at another email. Having a dedicated space means you can focus when needed and close the work away at the end of the day.
And finally, what tips would you have for someone starting in the Salesforce eco-system?
Join your local Trailblazer Community groups! They are full of knowledgeable and friendly people who want to be your friends. You will also get to hear a much broader set of talks, topics and ideas than you would otherwise and really ramp up your knowledge. Plus most provide some free food and drink!