Connecting with Students at IUPUI

Connecting with Students at IUPUI

I had the great opportunity on October 25th to join other Salesforce Community Members on a Speaker Panel at IUPUI. The purpose of this event was to expose students in Technology Learning Programs what a career working the Salesforce Ecosystem is all about. This was all put in place by our very own Quinn McPhail (CleanSlate Salesforce Intern and IUPUI Salesforce User Group Leader). I was joined by these other members of the Salesforce Community local to Indiana:
  • Eric Dreshfield (Salesforce MVP / Advocacy Manager @ Apttus / S. Indiana Salesforce User Group Leader / Midwest Dreamin’ Founder
  • Mike Martin (Salesforce MVP / Director, Indianapolis Delivery Center @ Appirio / Indianapolis Salesforce User Group Leader)
  • Melissa Davis (CMO @ nimblejack)
  • Susan Punnoose (Senior Software Engineer @ Salesforce)
  • Scott Sondermann (Solutions Engineer Scout @ Salesforce)
During this speaker panel we were asked series of questions including what lead us to a career working in the Salesforce Ecosystem, how we developed the necessary skills, and advice we could provide to future Trailblazers. As a former teacher it was very exciting to get in front of a group of students and potentially have an impact on their future career path. My biggest personal take away from this was how involved and connected the Salesforce Community is. You heard a consistent message; the Salesforce Ecosystem is one of a kind and truly a family. There are a ton of resources out there to skill up and get support from other members that have gone through similar or the same struggles you have; all you have to do is ask! If you are not currently on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, it is time to join! Overall, the biggest piece of advice I could share to these students and really anyone that is working or planning on working in the Salesforce Ecosystem is take advantage of the resources that are put out in the Trailblazer Community and on Trailhead. These resources will guarantee your success in your career with your effort. Salesforce is ever changing and keeping up to date with the new product offerings and features will set you apart from others in the community as you are looking for a job. Secondly, it was important to me to share that soft skills are just important as technical knowledge. No matter your role in Salesforce, whether it is a consultant, developer, or admin, you need to be able to communicate with business users on your solution ideas. You can have the greatest technical solution, but if you cannot communicate that solution to the business and explain how the solution will work in their terms, they will not buy into your solution and adopt. It was best said by one of the IUPUI instructors. “You must be able to convert the nerd to business, and the business to nerd.” If you are new to the ecosystem or a veteran, take advantage of the resources that are out there. Get on Trailhead. Post questions and answers on the Trailblazer Community. Join your local Salesforce User Groups! I look forward to seeing you at a future Salesforce Event!

What Do Beer and Robotics Have in Common?

What 20th-century invention goes best with beer and pizza? If you answered “robotics,” you’re right! (We also would have accepted “Buffalo wings.”)

Kidding aside, the CleanSlate team recently joined other technology firms around the Indianapolis area for a program called BeerBots. This event is a joint effort hosted by TechPoint Foundation for Youth and Sun King Brewery. The two companies want to ensure “Indiana’s underserved K-12 students have access to experiential learning opportunities that inspire the pursuit of STEM careers.” BeerBots is a fun way to show the promise of their efforts and share its relevance with the technology community.

On another level, it’s a chance to relax with coworkers while nerding out and working with robotics. Over the course of the event, our CleanSlate crew created robots, drank beer, ate pizza, and teamed-up to win prizes in battle. The game is simple: Robots battle for 1 minute, with a mandatory driver change at the 30-second mark. As the rules state, “Both offense and defense are permitted during the battle, and strategy is key.” The first-place team wins a trophy. Three other teams get the Badass Award, the Nerd Award, and the Terminator Award.

If you or your company are looking for a fun teambuilding activity, contact TechPoint Foundation for Youth for more information.