Today, I am excited to have a new post in the Origins series where we hear from Admin Heroes on how they got their start with Salesforce. Today’s story comes from Johan Yu. Enjoy!
September 2004, I found myself walking down to Balmoral Beach in Sydney, not because that day is weekend, but I was attending an interview and I reach the “office” too early. It is a start-up consulting company specialize in Salesforce.
When having the discussion with the CEO on that interview, this young and friendly CEO kindly explain that he is looking for a developer to work on Salesforce platform, but since I was just looking for a job, I am not really care what Salesforce is, maybe it just another database or platform.
I got the offer and start working from the “office” which is the CEO guess bedroom in a rental apartment and I will be the second employee in the company. I tried to learn what Salesforce is actually? I used VB.NET and MSSQL server in my previous job, so I still wondering where is the server, what the database is, how to do query and how to backup and etc…
On those days, Salesforce user interface still very basic, no Salesforce Developer Forum yet, no Salesforce Stack Exchange yet, even APEX and Visualforce have not come alive. So, the only thing I worked as developer is using API web service, which is version 4.0 at that time, and “sforce Web Services Developer’s Guide” is my only bible.
The company growing fast and within next few years, and we have more than 50 employees in Asia Pacific region, from Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta as our offshore development center.
I have been promoted as Technical Manager and Consultant based in Singapore. I was managing a group of offshore developers to deliver Salesforce development from anywhere within the company. Over 7+ years, we delivered more than 100 Salesforce projects, including big and small projects in Asia Pacific.
At this moment, Salesforce has been known and getting popular in the region, but our Singapore business is not doing well and I finally made decision to quit and join a MNC company, so my role will be Salesforce admin in an end user company, no more consultants life.
Since this is global company with offices around the world, we split it into 3 region: AMER, EMEA and APAC. I am supporting offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Australia for around 200 users.
Since I worked in an end user company, my skill will be limited to just whatever we use only, no Library and Files, no Chatter Messenger, no Asset, no Order, no Quote and etc… So, for me to keep up to date with latest Salesforce technologies, I am always following release notes, it is also because I hold Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Developer and Sales Cloud certifications, so have to take maintenance exam to keep my certifications active in every release.
That time, we are just using Basic support, which is pretty slow and the response is not really great. I turn into Answers in Success Community, after get many helpful response and fast, I became very active in that community and start answering other users’ questions. I learn a lot from answering questions, then I start my blog http://simplysfdc.blogspot.com where I blog all tips I need to remember, because I become aware that I forget so many things I learned in the past related to Salesforce.
Today, I works as Salesforce solo admin in another global company. I have the opportunity to implement Sales Cloud from scratch for more than 370 users in 35 countries
User Group Therapy
Salesforce user group in Singapore was not really active. After being revived after sometimes off, I join the user group and later found myself as Co-Leader since early 2003. In this group, I become to know more and more admin, consultant, and developer work with Salesforce platform.
We have quarterly meeting and thanks to Salesforce Singapore which always support us and growth the members to over 100 attendees nowadays.
I start as Developer, continue to Technical Manager to Consultant and now as Salesforce Solo Admin, this journey has been awesome and I am fully grateful to God and everyone that I has worked with directly or not directly and support my careers. I can’t see what the next is, but I believe I’ll continue my journey with Salesforce technologies.
In case you want to follow my journey, feel free to follow my Twitter.