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Salesforce Sharing and Visibility Designer Cert

Everyday is a school day at Cloud Galacticos. We like to encourage our team to keep on learning and developing their Salesforce skills, especially as we operate in a fast moving and dynamic environment. One of our most recent team members to gain a new certification is Val, who passed her Sharing and Visibility Designer Cert. We caught up with her to find out more…

 

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THE EXAM?

As a fan of Trailhead, I’m a big believer in constantly challenging myself to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of Salesforce. I have enjoyed completing some Superbadges to cement knowledge gained from working with Salesforce.

A few months back, I decided to embark on a journey to become a Certified Application Architect. Subsequently passed the Certified Salesforce Platform Developer I as my first step on that road.

 

HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE PREP FOR THE EXAM?

I conducted some research into other people who had taken and passed the exam. The consensus seemed to be that the first approach is to review the exam guide. Then to conduct a self-diagnosis of the areas I knew well, and those I know fairly well (and may need to refresh). Finally, those which I was aware of but had never touched before.

From there I focussed on the items in my list which needed the most attention. Then I embarked on a combined mission of completing Trailhead badges (and one Superbadge) which covered the subjects and/or reading up from help.salesforce.com. I also created online flashcards for the areas I would need to revise later, which helped a lot.

 

WAS IT A TOUGH EXAM AND ANY TIPS FOR PEOPLE THINKING OF DOING THIS EXAM?

It was harder than I expected. I was glad I’d gone into some detailed study on Apex sharing and sharing within communities. Additionally, there were more questions than expected about scalability issues. So I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing all areas inside out!

And as a member of the Ladies Be Architects group, I found some great posts and links there, which helped me to focus on study areas.

 

WHAT DOES PASSING THE CERT MEAN TO YOU IN TERMS OF YOUR DAILY WORK?

As a Senior Consultant at Cloud Galacticos, my role includes designing and implementing solutions on the Salesforce platform. So it is important to make sure the knowledge that goes into providing our customers with advice and solutions is correct and up to date. It includes studying areas of functionality that I haven’t personally touched on, but which could come up as important in my next project.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CERTS YOU PLAN TO TAKE IN THE FUTURE?

The last step towards Certified Application Architect for me is to take the Data Architecture and Management exam. So that is going to be my next focus. Wish me luck!

 

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, York, 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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Val Southern, Senior Consultant – Meet The Galacticos

Next in our series of Meet The Galacticos, say ‘hello’ to Val Southern, one of our Senior Consultants. I caught up with Val via email to find out more about her and her experiences.

Val Southern, Senior Consultant

Hi Val, 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 history with Salesforce?

Wow – big question! I’ll jump into how I came to work with Salesforce, I think. I’ve always been passionate about process improvement. My background in IT was data analysis and reporting. I worked on reporting from IBM systems in a variety of business sectors. 

Back in 2007, I was working for a manufacturing company on data analysis and process improvement.  I was told my next project would be to implement a new CRM system to compliment the current SQL-based ERP system. I’d never heard of Salesforce at the time, but quickly came to love it after facing the steep learning curve and immersing myself in declarative development. I never looked back and I thank my boss from that company for allowing me the opportunity.

Val at Salesforce World Tour London 2019

That is a long time working with Salesforce. So, how did you find Phil and Cloud Galacticos?

I’d been working in Manchester for some years with a Salesforce customer. I felt the need to get back to consulting. After following Phil for some time as a member of the Northern User Group, we got talking over a couple of beers after a group session. I knew there and then that I wanted to be a Galactico! Being a Galactico allows me to do the work I’m passionate about whilst being able to work flexibly at home.

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

My three children keep me pretty busy! I enjoy walking and hiking in the Lancashire countryside, foraging for local fruits and occasionally making wine from it. I love cooking and gardening too.

Rhi, Emma, and Val at World Tour London

We recently featured a success story with Cloud Nine Hair that I know you were key in helping be successful. Can you tell us a bit more about your role as a Senior Consultant and what that involves?

My role involves me taking all my Salesforce experience and learning over the years and applying it to helping customers start out with Salesforce or solve problems. I often refer to myself as a Salesforce all-rounder, which means I am able to interpret and visualise customer requirements into solutions and bring them to life through a combination of declarative and programmatic development to best suit their needs. My experience over many projects in many different customers in a multitude of industries. This means I can occupy most ‘hats’ required such as Project Manager, Business Analyst, Developer and Tester. Sometimes I wear all the ‘hats’ and sometimes I manage others to fulfil the needs of a project. In summary, the Senior Consultant role requires versatility!

For Cloud Nine – we used a combination of my filling all roles and my managing others. This helped them a lot because they have one Galactico who knows their implementation inside-out, as well as quickly responding to new or changing requirements.

What tips do you have on working with clients remotely, or working remotely in general?

It might sounds odd but being a human being is important! Effective and regular communication is key in this environment. Being able to meet regularly with video-calling is a huge help. It also keeps travel costs to a minimum for the customer, whilst allowing valuable time to be spent on working instead of commuting.

For my own sanity, having a dedicated working space is important and helps me switch from work to home life, just like going to and from an office. Additionally, I have a standing desk which allows me to switch between standing or sitting so I don’t become too sedentary. A regular routine of exercising works well too. A good walk at lunchtime helps to refocus halfway through my day.

 

Thanks Val for your time and insight into your life. We have a few other team members to interview in due course. Watch this space!