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Ali Najefi, Salesforce CTA – Meet the Galacticos

Welcome to the latest in our series of Meet the Galacticos blogs to learn more about our growing Cloud Galacticos team. Say ‘hello’ to Ali, one of our Salesforce Certified Technical Architects at our Salesforce consultancy. I caught up with Ali via email to ask him a few questions.

 

Ali Najefi, Salesforce CTA

 

Ali Najefi, Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

Hi Ali, thanks for finding a few minutes to help people learn a bit more about you. Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and your work history?

I started working in Salesforce back in 2008. There were not many Salesforce consultants around back then. The community was not as big, so sometimes it was difficult to get help. However, it has been a great journey for all of us to see how Salesforce has grown so much!  I started as a developer and progressed to an architect. The greatest accomplishment in my Salesforce journey has to be becoming a Salesforce CTA in early 2019. That’s something I am really proud of.

 

What’s your story behind joining the Cloud Galacticos team?

I knew Phil for a while and we wanted to work together for sometime. Luckily, the opportunity came and I am very happy to be part of the team.

 

How is your role as Salesforce CTA at Cloud Galacticos. What do you enjoy about it?

I work as an architect on multiple projects where I advise the clients on Salesforce best practices from design, architecture and development perspectives. That is what I love doing.

 

Aside from Salesforce and working as a CTA at Cloud Galacticos, what else do you enjoy doing?

I am a football fan and support Liverpool, so that is what I follow when I am not working!

 

What tips would you have on working remotely during the current Covid-19 situation?

It had been different at the start, but I guess we have also learned how to manage it. I think as long as we can create a work-life balance at home so we don’t end up sitting at home-office working longer hours, working remotely is a good thing. I found working remotely great because I do less travelling and spending more time with my family!

 

ABOUT CLOUD GALACTICOS

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

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Cloud Galacticos and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. It provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.

Salesforce incorporated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the framework for how their partners are leading change across their communities.”

 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

 

At Cloud Galacticos we are aware that we do not live in a bubble. What we do and how we do it has an effect on others. It’s an aim for any business to do well and grow. It is also important for us that we do good. With this in mind, we have committed to specifically target the following Sustainable Development Goals:

 

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing 

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

 

Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

 

Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land 

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

 

Like the goals themselves, our work will develop and increase over time.  Our current initiatives include the following:

Pro Bono Charity Work

Pro bono work with charities such as Jigsaw, the children’s mental health charity (Goal 3). As a Pledge 1% member we work hard to donate time and resources to nonprofit organisations. We actively try to do this through both discounted rates for Salesforce.org customers and where possible, donation of time.

 

Clean Energy

We are currently working with a number of startups and organisations who are focussed on clean energy, such as electric charging stations. By helping organisations like these scale and grow, we can assist in ensuring that the infrastructure needed to tackle climate change (Goal 13).

 

Donations

Donations to causes we feel passionate about including Woodland Trust, the charity that targets planting, restoring, and protecting the UK’s woodlands and trees (Goal 15). And DEC (The Disasters Emergency Committee), to show our support to our friends and families in India. Our donation will help them by providing medical supplies, treatment facilities and logistics support to overwhelmed health services (Goal 3).

 

Nonprofit Organisations

We work with nonprofit organisations such as Church of England, Human Appeal, NCS, and others. We have a lot of experience in helping organisations set up the Salesforce NonProfit Success Pack. It helps them better manage their engagement with members and donors, This can be through the use of NPSP out of the box as a CRM, or integrated with Salesforce Community Cloud / Experience Cloud, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

 

There is still a lot more that we can do. For example, we are working on a set of updates to our website that will enable us to include donation buttons for those nonprofits we feature in our success stories. We know that this is a journey and not a destination. We are committed to continual improvement.  Watch this space!

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Pippa Cox, Project Manager – Meet the Galacticos

Continuing in our series in which you get to meet and learn more about the Cloud Galacticos team, say ‘hello’ to Pippa, one of our project managers at our growing Salesforce consultancy. I caught up with Pippa via email to ask her a few questions.

 

Pippa Cox, Project Manager

Hi Pippa, thanks for finding a few minutes to help people learn a bit more about you. Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and your work history?

I studied Fine art at degree level which is quite a leap to my day job as a Salesforce project manager. I started working in the IT industry about 19 years ago and have always been involved in the consultancy service side of business. My roles have incorporated the full lifecycle from sales, delivery to finance. While my career has involved vendor relationship management within managed services and progressed from Project office manager to managing external projects.

 

What’s your story behind joining the Cloud Galacticos team?

I joined Cloud Galacticos in November 2020, but first met Phil in March of that year prior to everything going into lockdown. After learning more about Cloud Galacticos and its close-knit team, I was excited to become a part of it. There’s real talent within the team and they have a respectful way of working together. Considering I joined in lockdown and not met most of the team in person they have made me feel extremely welcome.

 

Tell us about your Project Management role at Cloud Galacticos, and what do you enjoy about it?

I like the interaction and the diversity of working with so many different organisations. Mainly I see the Project Manager function as someone to help, be that for the client or within the Cloud Galacticos team. The satisfaction I get is in establishing a good working relationship in order to help and ultimately complete a smooth and successful project.

 

Aside from Salesforce and working at Cloud Galacticos, what else do you enjoy doing?

My fine art background has stuck with me. Lockdown has actually given me the time to get creative a bit more again. My most recent hobby is in making lampshades – I have no more lamps needing shades in my house, so I think the paintbrushes need to come back out! Like most people I miss travelling. I’m excited for the time I can start exploring the world again with my family.

 

What tips would you have on working remotely during the current Covid-19 situation?

If you are on a break from work, then make it count and do something you enjoy. Get outside as much as possible and try to appreciate the small things.

 

About Cloud Galacticos

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

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We are Cloud Galacticos, a Leading UK Salesforce Consultancy

“Hello, we are Cloud Galacticos, a leading UK Salesforce Consultancy. We have been in business for over 15 years, making us one of the longest established Salesforce consultancies in the UK.

 

Phil Walton, CEO

Led by CEO Phil Walton, our Salesforce consultancy is an all-star team of user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs, and all round Salesforce nerds. The Cloud Galacticos team are based all over the UK. Our team is located in cities including Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, and London.

 

Salesforce Consultancy Partner

We are proud to be officially recognised as a Salesforce Consulting Partner. We offer a wide range of services from clicks to code, administration to architecture, data imports to integrations, and much more.

 

Salesforce Industry Experience

At Cloud Galacticos we work with organisations in all industries and verticals, including the non-profit sector. From start up universities, to multinational chemical suppliers, hair straighteners to hair replacement clinics, our team have experience in helping businesses using the Salesforce platform succeed.

 

Salesforce Experts

At Cloud Galacticos, we live and breathe Salesforce. Our experienced team are here to help, whatever stage of your Salesforce journey you are at. We will provide you with honest and informed guidance on the best way to help your company grow.

 

Contact Us

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you succeed with Salesforce”

 

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GACK Attack! Dealing With a Salesforce Internal Server Error

We’ve all been there, working away in Salesforce, when suddenly we get a plain white screen with some simple black text that stops us in our tracks – an error message. Something has gone wrong. Just like our LEGO® man above, panic can set in. Why are we getting this error? What did I do wrong? How do I fix this? Is it simply an access problem, or have I got a GACK (a Salesforce Internal Server Error). Fear not, in this post we will go through how you can defend yourself against these errors properly.

These errors can broadly speaking be placed into 3 groups:

Access Errors

When you see the words “insufficient privileges” then you should think about permissions and visibility. How has the user got to here and should they be able to get here? It could be an issue with sharing settings or profile permissions, but hopefully it is fairly easy to fix. The same applies for if you are told a record no longer exists – where did the link to it come from?

Code Errors

The phrase “attempt to de-reference a null object” fills many developer’s hearts with dread but these errors are pretty simple to handle. Other code errors may just need re-saving and compiling. The most difficult often involve a governor limit being exceeded such as “too many SOQL queries 101”. Whilst at first these errors are often mysterious, experience and some careful analysis normally makes them resolvable, and following best practices can often help you avoid them.

Salesforce Internal Server Error

As soon as you see the phrase “An internal server error has occurred” then you know you need to start thinking. What sets this type of error aside from all others is that it doesn’t really give you any clue as to what you have done to cause the issue. They can also occur from almost every part of the system. This type of error is also known as a GACK and is the focus of this post today.

What is a GACK?

Put simply, seeing a GACK (Salesforce Internal Server Error) is recognition from the Salesforce team that something has gone wrong that shouldn’t have and as the Salesforce team have stated

“What this means is that it’s not your fault. It’s ours. That’s why we apologize in that message. Sorry!”

The old blog post that quote comes from gives a bit of an overview of why GACKs occur and what the numbers mean (essentially identifiers for the error for the R&D team). The first thing you should do if you receive one of these errors is make sure it is repeat, raise a case with Salesforce support, and ask them to give you some information on what was causing the error. They should come back to you with some information, but depending on your level of support and the urgency of the issue, this may take some time. So what can you do in the meantime?

1. Roll Back and Inspect

If you get this error after making a change in your code, roll back the change to the previous version (either a good old undo but hopefully a git revert or something similar) and look at what you did. Check the documentation, are you doing something strange? Maybe looping through a not supported type in a standard component? Can you try and achieve the outcome in a different way? Can you do a smaller half-step and see if that works?

2. Reproduce the Issue in Isolation

So you think you know exactly what line of code is causing the issue, can you take just this line of code, or the concept for it, and create a pared down example using only that piece of code. See if the error still occurs in this pared down example – if so, great! Send it over to the Salesforce support team as a way of reviewing the issue. If not, great! You know it wasn’t that line of code causing the issue. Keep digging and see if you can determine what causes it to error.

3. Check for Missing Dependencies

Sometimes you can receive these errors through the standard UI, particularly in the setup menu. An example that I’ve seen before is when pressing the “View/Add Dependencies” button when working with change sets. The change set included some old reports that had been moved to an “Archived” folder but were still referencing fields and field values that no longer existed. The change set was not deploying so when the “View/Add Dependencies” button was pressed to help check everything required was included, the internal server error occurred.

In Summary

Hopefully you avoid getting any of these errors, but if you do stumble across an internal server error, or have found this page after receiving one, don’t panic. Follow some of the steps above, raise a case with Salesforce, and hopefully you’ll be back up and running in no time. If you find yourself experiencing these regularly, it’s likely your org needs some love. If you would like to discuss how we can help you with this, please contact us.