About Me

A Look Back at My Salesforce 2016


On New Year’s eve, while 2016 may not have been a great year in various events that happened, as I reflect back on the year, it has been a good year for me as it relates to Salesforce.

I am so grateful for the following…

I Became 3X Salesforce Certified

In January, I took two exams on the same day and added the Advanced Administrator and Platform App Builder certifications to my existing Administrator certification. #CertificationGoals

I shared my study/exam taking strategy with links to study resources on my blog. They are my most popular blog posts.

I Was Recognized as an #AwesomeAdmin

At the Boston World Tour in April, I was recognized by Salesforce with the #AwesomeAdmin award.


I Learned to Code

I was extremely lucky to have been selected via lottery to participate in the RADWomen program. This was huge since I never win things. So, for 10 weeks, I learned the concepts of Apex classes, triggers, test classes and coding best practices. Now, I’m a RAD Women/Beginner Trek graduate! I’ve already been able to apply what I’ve learned to design and code reviews at work!


Thank you to my instructors, Samantha Powell and Gus Gunn.

I continued increase my code knowledge with the Apex workshop series led by Luke Cushanick and Ohad Idan via the NYC Salesforce Developer Group. I highly recommend this virtual class for anyone learning apex. These guys are awesome.

If you want to join the webinars, join their Meetup group where they advertise new sessions:

All previous sessions are posted in their brand YouTube channel:

I Met Marc Benioff

I had on my Dreamforce selfie bucket list to get a selfie with Marc. I even mentioned it on my ButtonClick Admin podcast for my Dreamforce sessions. I was beyond excited when I received an invitation to attend a private dinner with Marc to see a preview of his Dreamforce Keynote speech. Got butterflies before the event. It was great to be in such an intimate setting with Marc. On cloud 9 when he applauded me for obtaining all Trailhead badges. He really listened to the our feedback and took copious notes. It was great to see the actual end product at DF16.


I Presented For the First Time at Dreamforce in 3 Sessions!

I had on my list of 2016 goals to present at Dreamforce. After speaking to Mike Gerholdt about the competitiveness of session ideas, I really put a lot of thought into my individual session ideas. I want to give a huge shout out to Mary Scotton for our chat. She really encouraged me to move forward with my two ideas and provided feedback on both, which were ultimately accepted. I also want to thank Lizz Hellinga and Toni V. Martin for your feedback.

When my MVP mentor, Mike Gill, reached out to me about a group presenter opportunity for DF16 for an automation showdown with community greats, Mike Gill, Chris Edwards and Rakesh Gupta, I was truly honored. I looked up to these guys and to be considered as a peer and non MVP for this friendly competition was really cool.

Out of the 5 sessions, I submitted or was a part of, 2 were accepted into the Admin Track out of 900 submissions. I was among one of 5 multiple session presenters. Wow!

My other individual session was accepted in the Developer Track.

I spent the summer working on my three presentations and was really honored and excited to present them all at Dreamforce. It was a great experience and now I know how much work is put into these.

Thank you to my session coaches, Kevin Richardson and Pete Chittum, for your support.

Thank you, Benjamin Bolopue, Justice Sikakane, Liz Gladstone, James GoerkeAndy Schmiechen for your support.

I Received the Honor of Salesforce MVP

In July, I was recognized for my contributions to the community and was named Salesforce MVP, class of Summer 16, along with several from the community whom I admire and inspire me. This is truly a great honor to be called Salesforce MVP and not anything I take lightly. Thank you to all whom nominated me! Thank you, Mike Gill, for being my MVP mentor!


With MVP-ship, comes some nice benefits including reserved seating at Salesforce events – Keynotes at Dreamforce, World Tours, access to Product Managers, etc. Looking forward to the MVP Summit in 2017 and meeting other Salesforce MVPs.

I Continued to Blaze Trailhead

Thank you to the Trailhead team for continue to deliver on great Trailhead content, including the introduction of the superbadges this year! Thank you, Chris Duarte, Sandeep Bhanot, Sam Ready, Jeff Douglas, Adam Torman, Adam Purkiss, Kieren Jameson, Dana Hall, Lauren Grau, Amanda Cheung and countless of other individuals!

I continue to get those new Trailhead badges and have them all except (Gasp! I know, I’m slacking…) two projects. I’ll earn the Build an IoT Integration with Electric Imp badge in January at Tahoe Dreamin’, when I borrow the electric imp from my friend, Stuart Edeal. And now that I have my spankin’ new laptop and VR cardbox viewer, I can work on the Build a 3D Virtual Reality App project too.

So cool to see my name on the unofficial Trailhead leaderboard with Trailhead greats like Mohith ShrivastavaJohn Lay, Michael White and Keir Bowden. Mohith and John are my developer buddies.



I Received Shout-Outs from Salesforce

I love sharing process automation solutions with the community. It’s my way of paying it forward for those who in the community who have helped me learned Process Builder and Flow. It was super cool to be recognized by Salesforce as a reference for process automation in product manager Shelly Ecreg‘s presentation at TrailheadDX and in the Trailhead project Build an Automated Workshop Management System. WOW!



I Became More Active In the Community

While I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I wanted to out on the success community, I continued blogging, did my first podcast, got involved in WiT Diversity, am co-hosting a process automation Webinar series and held an internal training series on process builder/flow.

I continue to blog about Salesforce, offering declarative process automation solutions, highlighting release features, providing reviews of Trailhead content. I started my blog in response to a success community post in August 2015 and in 2016, published 75 posts and about 1,433 shy of 100,000 page views. Wow!


Did my first podcast on ButtonClick Admins promoting my Dreamforce session. buttonclickadmins

I volunteered at the Ask the Experts booth and presented at the Boston and NYC World Tours.

I’m the social media manager for WIT Diversity (@WiT_Diversity). I post daily inspirational tweets, pass along other diversity-related posts and live tweet during our monthly meetings.

I developed a training curriculum for our internal team and taught them process builder and flow through a series of 2 hour sessions. It is very rewarding to see the concepts start to click (as we introduced advanced concepts like variables and componentizing flow) and to see them build their own automated solutions.

In September, the Automation Champion, Rakesh Gupta invited me and David Litton to co-host a new Webinar series called Automation Hour. We delivered 8 Webinar sessions this year. Catch up on the 2016 session on our YouTube channel. Each session takes one or more use cases and presents a process automation solution. We meet every other Friday, 3-4pm ET. You can find out more about our upcoming sessions by visiting the Automation Hour web site. We give  community members a forum to establish street cred and present their cool automation solutions. Join us!

Thank you, Elna Miller, for having me on a Release Readiness session “Keeping it ‘DRY’ with Invocable Processes.” It was my first time doing a live virtual Salesforce-sponsored presentation. I had a blast doing it!


I Know What #Ohana Means


This hit me more this year than last…I truly know what Ohana means.

The Salesforce community is not just a group of Salesforce geeks but it’s an actual community comprised of those in the Salesforce ecosystem – clients, partners and Salesforce employees who genuinely care for one another as a family. And at this year’s Dreamforce 16, I really felt it was a family reunion. It was great seeing so many familiar faces at every turn, people whom you chat with on Twitter, success community, etc. in real life and sometimes for the first time. You know Ohana when you meet the person for the first time IRL and you exchange big hugs with them.

Here are just a few of my Ohana.

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This video sums it all up…I’m at the 0:19 mark. I Melinda Smith!


Looking forward to what 2017 brings!