Monday, 21 January 2019

Two WIT, Eh?: The Lady is a Vamp

Throughout my Salesforce journey so far, I have met so many amazing Women in Technology pretty much every where I've been. When I first started dipping my toe in the water of the Ohana, I discovered the Two WIT podcast, and worked my way through their back catalogue over a few weeks. It was during this time that I added something to the long term goal section of my Salesforce notebook - "guest on the Two WIT podcast".

It also happens that the next entry on my long term goals list was for "Ontario Dreamin", and this was a few months before I found out there were others with the same goal. Wonderful WIT, Misty Jones had told me I should get in contact with local Toronto MVP Geoff Flynn, and coincidentally we ended up with the same Trailblazer Community booth shift at Toronto World Tour last year. A few weeks later, I received an email from Sarah Deutsch Thornton saying that Geoff suggested she get in touch with me to talk about a Canadian Dreamin event.

We scheduled a call, and it was love at first chat! We shared each other's journeys and talked about our love of the community and about a Dreamin event for the Canadian community. Since then, we've worked very closely together and have made great progress with the core and greater teams. We even had a chat with Melinda about her lessons learned from being on the planning team of WITness Success, as we were pretty much making it up as we were going.

Cut to July 2018, and I attended my first Dreamin events, after all it would be helpful to have attended the type of event I was supposed to be organising... But this also meant after months of listening to Kristi and Melinda, I finally got to meet them both in person at WITness Success!

And alas, Sarah and I talk to each other constatly, for both official and unofficial reasons, we have not actually had the chance to meet in person yet. She's less than a four hour drive away, which by Canadian standards is really no far at all, but our schedules just haven't been able to align yet... Mainly due to the fact that I keep taking on more commitments!

So it's at this point in our story where these two stories collide. Two WIT put the call out for guests, be it Dreamin related or other, and of course being that I've been campaigning to be on the podcast since I met Kristi and Melinda, I jumped at the chance. 

Those of you who know me know I can talk... for daysss, but of course I was still nevous as all hell, especially when that funky bass "guest" intro started playing. So without any more spoilers, aside from the fact that I didn't realise how Australian I still sound, please enjoy Episode #51 of the Two WIT podcast - #SolidChocolateBunnies.

Two WIT - @TwoWITpodcast

True North Dreamin - @TNDConf ~

WITness Success - @WITnessSuccess ~

Soundtrack: The Lady is a Vamp - The Spice Girls... because GIRL POWER!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Lightning Champions: Thunderstruck

Lightning is coming. That's right - with the Winter 20 release, Lightning will be turned on by default We all knew this day would come... so with that in mind, there's no better time to become a Lightning Champion! I joined the program in July of 2018 and have had some amazing opportunities and experiences since then. It has been such a success that applications had to be closed, but they are back open until January 31!

With the re-opening of applications, I thought I'd check in with program coordinators Chelsea Kaufman and Kelly Walker to find out how the program came time life. Starting only last year, the Lightning Champion program began with several Salesforce team members wanting to help give us Trailblazers a way to share  passion and experience for rolling out the Lightning Experience, or building apps on the Lightning Platform, with the community.

So why become a Lightning Champion? I joined as I was looking for more ways to contribute to the community, not to mention I love building apps on the Lightning Platform. "If you are blazing a trail with Lightning, and want to help others do the same, the Lightning Champions program is for you! The ideal candidate is someone who is excited about sharing their experience publicly and is already proactively engaging with their community to help others find success." explained Chelsea.

The great thing is, you don't need to have a tonne of experience either. There are opportunities for all sorts of skill levels from (relatively) newbie Administrators all the way up to CTAs. At the Breakfast with the Lightning Champions session held at recently at New York World tour, there was quite a mix of champions there, and while I don't have the same experience level that Ladies Be Architects group co-leaders Charly Prinsloo and Susannah St. Germain do, I was definitely able to chat with a group of users and admins about the benefits of the Lightning Platform, and brainstorm some ideas with them.

As a champion, I was asked to participate in a panel session at New York World Tour - "The Code: Trailblazing Women in Tech". As well there were other volunteering opportunities at Dreamforce, and even for Lightning Now tour that came to Toronto earlier in the year. We've also had some other exclusive learning opportunties focused around Lightning - not to mention some literal blingin' swag!

Cloudy borrowed my Lightning Champion Trailblazer Hoodie at Dreamforce
So now I bet you're thinking, this sounds great! What do I have to do, and how do I do it? Well, even though the program is open to everyone, there are some pre-requisites in the form of the Lightning Experience Rollout Superbadge for Activation Champions, or the App Customization Specialist Superbadge for App Builder Champions.

With Lightning coming at the end of the year, there will be plenty of opportunties for Lightning Champions to volunteer throughout the year - the Lightning team will be at all sorts of events, from TrailheaDX, Dreamforce and World tours, to as many Community events as they can!

Lightning Champion applications are open until January 31, and are open for Trailblazers all over the world! Head to if you have more questions, and to apply.

Special thanks to Kelly and Chelsea for contributing to this post, and for running the program!

Soundtrack: Thunderstruck - AC/DC

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Self Care Series: New Day Come

So I'm going to be completely honest... I didn't do a whole lot over the holidays... but it was just what I needed! Even though I feel like I say this every, 2018 was a crazy year... and I was grateful for the week and a half to recharge. 

I spent some time studying, and was considering sitting the Platform App Builder exam before the end of the year, but after chatting it through with my perpetually supportive husband, I decided to push it back to 2019. I'm not quite where I'd like to be for some of the topics, and why rush? I've been in the eco system for a but over a year, and I already have one cert. 

Sometimes we have to make decide whether to push ourselves, or whether to recharge... and I chose to recharge... and I have absolutely no regrets. 

I had my birthday and participated in a range of self care from getting a massage, to getting my nails done, as well as two Superhero movies and Thai food!

So now it's officially 2019, a new day has come, I've got to find my momentum and I feel like something big is coming. The year ends in 9, and that's my lucky number, so while I'm not entirely sure what is waiting for me just past the horizon, here is what I have planned so far:

Never. Stop. Learning.

Platform App Builder Certification
I love building Apps, particularly on the Lightning Platform. This is why I'm an App Builder Lightning Champion after all!

Advanced Administrator Certification
I love being an Awesome Admin, so this is just the natural progression.

Non-Profit Sector
I've always been involved in charities and non-profit organisations, and with the new Non-Profit Cloud Consultant Certification, I figured I would start looking into the industry with the hopes to one day feel up to the challenge of the certification.

Community Conferences
Career Self Care - professional

Part of why I moved to Toronto over Vancouver was so I'd be closer to Europe, and I could hop "over the pond" whenever I felt like it. So after seven years here, I'm still yet to make the trip... until this coming March! 

Shocker, I know. Canada's first Community Event, of which I have the honour of being part of the Planning Committee! I'm so excited to help bring a Dreamin event to Canada - there's a lot of work to be done, but it will be worth it. Give'r.

This is pretty much a staple in my conference rotation now. I learned so much about myself last year, and I can't wait for another amazing empowering experience this year. 

Journey of Self Discovery
Career Self Care - personal

I'm not only working on professional development this year, I'm going to put more of an emphasis on personal development as well.

A program I heard about when listening to Emma B-F on the Salesforce Admins podcast, Bossed Up bootcamp is aimed at woman who are a pivot point, and looking at what's next. 

Powerful Purpose was one of the sponsors of WITness Success 2018, and since then I've been on Pam's mailing list. A surprising number of times, her emails with nuggets of wisdom have been just what I needed to see at that time, so her book #NUGGET 28 Days of Self Discovery seemed like a no brainer!

So to all of you out there, Appy New Year! I hope you have a plan to work on yourself for 2019. 

Soundtrack: New Day Come - Shapeshifter. This one goes out to my Kiwi friends, and dub step fans!

Appy New Year!

Mind Over Matter: Low Code Love

It's no secret that I'm a fan of low code solutions. While I love dabbling in some html as much as the next person, and I'm look...