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If you are a Salesforce enthusiast, you must be familiar with the “Kevin Bacon of the Salesforce Community.”
Yes! We are talking about none other than the inspiring and talented Salesforce MVP - Eric Dreshfield.
Our team got a chance to interview Eric, Who had been working with Salesforce since 2009, a Salesforce MVP since 2013, and was honored with being added to the Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame in 2020. He has taken the word “community” to a whole new level and is deeply involved in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Read on to stay motivated with the words of wisdom from the most prominent Salesforce Influencer- Eric Dreshfield!
Q1. Hi Eric, let’s start with a conventional question – Who is Eric? What’s his story?
Ans:- I’m just a regular person, living in Indiana & trying my best to support my family and causes that touch my heart.
Q2. Tell us about those initial days when you started learning things about the world of Salesforce. Which part of your entire journey in salesforce gave you the most important lessons?
Ans:- I got my start in Salesforce back in 2009. I was working as a call center agent for a software company at the time. When I got hired into the job, they told me it was an 8 week, temporary job, to help the company roll-out one new software product. Back then “rolling out” new software meant, sending CDs to customers and waiting for them to call tech support when they got stuck. –
Q3. What are your favorite Salesforce lessons which helped you the most in all these years?
Ans:- As soon as you realize you can’t possibly know everything, and that there’s a massive Community of users out there who are eager to share knowledge, challenges and successes, the better off you’ll be. Get active in the Community - join your local user group, attend meetings…and if you are able to attend community-led conferences, do that!
Q4. Give our audience a little glimpse of your future plans in this industry.
Ans:- I’m only a few months into my role as Product Evangelist at Mogli. My future plans include helping Mogli expand its brand, grow its customer base and expand into new verticals. And, of course, helping to keep driving Midwest Dreamin’ forward as one of the leading Salesforce Community Conferences.–
Q5. If you could give one piece of advice to another Salesforce admin and three pieces of advice to individuals considering a career related to the Salesforce environment, what would those be?
Ans:- For Salesforce Admins - Listen to your stakeholders, but don’t simply build things because they ask for it. Dive in deep - understand the “why” behind it, and the ramifications it might have on other processes, reporting, decision-making…and then determine if it makes sense to do so, or if there’s a better solution. (Hint - always suggest the better solution!)
For those considering a Salesforce ecosystem career - The opportunities are vast. There are many entry points to a career in this ecosystem. Stay true to your passions, seek out opportunities that let the real you shine. You’ll be happier that way, and you’ll perform better and really help the organizations you’ll be working for to grow more.–
Q6. If you could ask just one change from the ecosystem of salesforce, what would it be?
Ans:- Wow - that’s a tough question. I think I’d have to ask them not to change - rather to keep innovating; keep striving for equality for all; and keep pushing others to realize we only have one planet, one environment, and it needs everyone’s help protecting it so future generations can thrive.
Q7. What are the three resources you used the most to build upon your current knowledge and experience in Salesforce and what do you like about them?
Q8. Consider a situation where you are a total fresher in the salesforce industry and are looking forward to learning A to Z about it online, link some best online courses you’ll start your journey with.
Ans:-I would hit up Certified on Demand’s Salesforce Administrator course, the library of content at Focus on Force and for inspiration / motivation to keep learning, check out SFDC99 from long-time Salesforce MVP David Liu.
Q9. If you had to describe your current job role to a friend who knew nothing about salesforce, how would you do that?
Ans:- I’ve had to explain my job to family and friends plenty of times! I get paid to hang out in the Salesforce Community (both online and in person) with the goal of meeting people, learning their stories, what motivates them, and helping them to realize the possibilities and value that Mogli SMS can bring to their organization and its clients. I also have the extreme honor of helping people new to Salesforce to discover the possibilities their future holds, and how they can accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams.
Q10. Describe your initial and current impression of Salesforce?
Ans:- Initially, Salesforce was just a tool I was using to track call center agent performance & support management’s reporting needs so they could understand everything about how the call center operated, who called and why, and how quickly the agents resolved their issues.
Now, Salesforce is all-encompassing, between the platform, the various clouds and the AppExchange, there really isn’t a business challenge that can’t be solved. Additionally, the vast nature of the online community, combined with the wide reaching off-line community, its thousands of local user groups & dozens of community conferences, it’s easy to understand why people all over are making Salesforce a lifestyle, not just a career.
Q11. What do you love the most about your career?
Ans:- Over the 12+ years of my Salesforce career I’ve worked in a few different industries, started both a local user group and a regional community conference, as well as discovered my passion for bringing people together around a common theme. It’s hard to pinpoint what I love most, but the one thing I keep coming back to, time and time again, is the community. So I think it’s safe to say I’ve loved the people in my career most.
Q12. Tell us about a time when you faced an unexpected Salesforce issue and how you addressed it.
Ans:- Pretty early in my Salesforce career, just after helping to roll out the Sales Cloud, I was responsible for building reports and dashboards to support an international sales team. As many of you know, sometimes reporting needs mean you have to create custom objects to perform calculations so that you can report out results. And as I’m sure you are all aware, this should be done in the Sandbox and be thoroughly tested and validated before moving to production. At the company I was working at, anytime anything needed moved to production, that was the responsibility of the Salesforce Administrator. So once I had built and tested in the Sandbox, I would inform the Admin of everything that needed moved, and they would take care of it. After about 6 months of this, the Admin said to me, “You know how to do change sets, don’t you?” To which I replied, “No, but I’m happy to learn them!” So I studied change sets, built one out as a test, to move some configuration changes from one sandbox to another. It was a success…so I then used a similar change set to move those configuration updates to production - and nothing broke! From that point forward, our Admin would simply say to me: “Have you tested everything in the Sandbox, and asked an end user to validate it?” And if I replied with “Yes”, they would tell me to do the change set.–
Q13. What is the story behind starting Midwest Dreamin?
Ans:- I first got into the Salesforce ecosystem in late 2009, and launched a local user group in 2010. I heard about Dreamforce during 2010, and really wanted to attend. However, the company I was working for at that time didn’t have the budget to send me to Dreamforce. They would let me use company time to attend if I wanted to cover the cost of the event on my own. Even back then, a week in San Francisco was expensive, and not something I could have afforded. After watching everything Dreamforce-related that I could find online that year, which was probably nothing more than the main keynote, a thought occurred to me: If I can’t go to Dreamforce, let’s bring Dreamforce to me. And from that single, somewhat selfish thought, the concept that became Midwest Dreamin’ was born.
Q14. Where do you see Midwest Dreamin in next 10 years?
Ans:- It’s a little hard for me to believe that Midwest Dreamin’ has already been around for over 10 years, even though the event itself hasn’t happened 10 times yet. It was born in 2011, in Louisville, KY with 100 attendees, spent its formative years (2014 to 2019) growing up in Chicago, IL with anywhere from 500 to 900 attendees each year. As with most events, Midwest Dreamin’ didn’t happen during 2020 or 2021. I’m really looking forward to bringing the Midwest Dreamin’ community to Minneapolis, July 20-22, 2022, for what will be the 8th time this event has happened. I think there’s only one community conference that’s been around as long, or possibly even longer than Midwest Dreamin’, and that’s Snowforce.
It was a pleasure to talk to and experience the words of wisdom from Salesforce MVP Eric Dreshfield. His words reflect persistence and determination to grow together in the Salesforce Ecosystem.
Our JanBask Training team was fortunate enough to have a candid chat with Eric Dreshfiedl to understand his journey and piece of solicited advice he would like to give to young entrants in this ecosystem. We are sure by reading this insightful session with Eric; you must be inspired to pursue Salesforce as a career option. Explore our industry-recognized Salesforce Training classes to build a path to high-paying careers as Salesforce Consultant, Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce BA, and many more roles that will outshine you and, more importantly, make you part of an ecosystem that will take your career to the next level.
Let’s inspire others by sharing this insightful interview on your Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn accounts. And in case you have any questions for Eric that we missed asking during the interview, please mention them in the comments section.
Divya Agarwal is a voracious reader who loves reading any kind of write ups, traveling and photography. She has been writing for IT professionals for many years now making sure they get the desired information in the most lucid form.
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