In our most recent #SalesforceQA, we caught up with Bhavana Singh, Founder of Salesforce Consultancy – Three Moons Consulting, Salesforce Certified Application Architect, Coach at RAD Women as well as Golden Hoodie winner and MVP.
Bhavana talks about her interesting career moving from the NASA Control Centre to the Salesforce ecosystem. She also discusses what she believes has contributed to her success in Salesforce and offers her top tips to others navigating a career in the ecosystem.
Third Republic (TR): To kick oﬀ, could you tell us a bit about your career, how you got into Salesforce and your journey so far?
Bhavana Singh (BS): In 2012, I managed another on-premise CRM system, and version upgrades were a nightmare. I couldn’t believe that Salesforce does three upgrades per year that happen while you sleep. It sounded fictional and magical! I fell in love with the Salesforce platform and decided to make a career change to be doing something, anything, on the platform. That was in 2012 and I am so happy with my decision as this platform has now enabled me to work for myself doing what I absolutely love.
TR: So, before getting into Salesforce you worked in the NASA control centre. What made you decide to go for a career change and leave NASA for a career in the Salesforce ecosystem?
BS: I really enjoyed working on NASA projects. But unfortunately around that time, NASA was facing budget cuts and projects were being cancelled. So, I shifted focus and my next job was working for a ﬁnancial company. This is where I eventually came across Salesforce and became truly fascinated by the platform. When I left that job, I started my own consulting ﬁrm. I am a registered partner now and am very fortunate to be doing what I love for a living.
TR: Not only are you a Salesforce MVP but you were also awarded the Developer Golden Hoodie in 2018. What do you think has helped you when it comes to achieving these accolades?
BS: If you ask any MVP or a golden hoodie recipient, they will all the same thing – they never set out to win any of these awards. Both of these awards are a recognition and a celebration of individuals who have a passion for learning, the love for community and are always paying it forward.
I am honored to be chosen for both awards. When I was awarded the golden hoodie, so many young women reached out to me as I had inspired them to also further their technical career. I am really happy that I can be that role model and am truly grateful for Salesforce for recognizing and celebrating Women in tech.
TR: What are your top tips for others navigating a career in the ecosystem?
BS: Learning: Always be learning. I am personally addicted to learning and trailhead. I joined the 100 days of trailhead last year. I would start my day with one hour of trailhead. That really instilled in me the habit of daily learning. I still follow it, even on weekends. It is addictive and fun.
Networking: If you are not part of your local user groups, you are missing out on a huge resource. Join local user groups as well as the virtual ones. There is a big Ohana presence on twitter. Take an active part in that. There is so much to learn out there and there are so many Ohana members who are generous with their time and willing to share their expertise. Network and promote yourself.
Invest in yourself: I make the best eﬀort to go to a few conferences (Dreamforce and Trailheadx) and as many community events as I can every year. I see the cost as an investment in myself. And it hasn’t disappointed me. I always return from these things with new insights and new energy. I have made many lifelong friends that I have made at these events.
Certifications: Certifications are a way of proving to yourself that you have mastered the concepts related to that part of the platform. Employers and clients are also looking for candidates with certifications.
However, don’t just cram learning to take the test. Only take the test when you have spent suﬃcient time mastering the concepts by doing them. We are so lucky that we are able to get free developer orgs and are able to test anything we want hands-on. Put this resource to use for yourself. I have a developer org that I have maintained since 2014. Every time I learn a new concept, I try to create a working example there so that I can refer back to it in the future.
Have Fun: If you are not having fun at your job, then you won’t be able to give it the energy and passion it deserves. If you don’t like what you do, change it when you can. If you are not able to change it right away, spend time oﬀ hours developing skills that will allow you to change it in the future. Having fun is really key to advancing in your career.
If you do these things, your career can’t help but be elevated
TR: As a woman in tech, what are some of the challenges when it comes to starting a career in the Salesforce ecosystem?
BS: I believe the challenges are similar to women starting a career in any technical ecosystem. Our numbers are small and we sometimes don’t see role models that we can look up to. But I believe things are so much better in the Salesforce ecosystem compared to other places I have worked before. I have so much support provided by other women in tech and allies.
Two years ago at Dreamforce, I found out that there are less than 5% of women CTAs in the world. I feel a movement started around that time. There are so many of us now studying to become CTAs. I believe we will see the number go up in the near future. Salesforce does an excellent job of providing support to women in technology and by being an equality and diversity role model.
If you’re a Salesforce professional and would like to join Bhavana Singh, in our Q&A series, please get in touch with us today!