This is how Trailhead helped a young Kochi-based engineer find her passion
It was Albert Einstein who famously said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Kochi-based engineer and Salesforce Trailblazer, Shruti Sridharan, 26, has used this adage as a life lesson.
Now a senior Salesforce Developer, Shruti had it tough during college. She wasn’t fond of theory papers, and her scores reflected that. But, when it came to practical exams, she would excel. Soon after she graduated, Shruti, much like most freshers, was hunting for a job. As luck would have it, she landed a job in her hometown. However, there was a catch – the company was working exclusively on the Salesforce platform – a concept alien to Shruti.
“I had never even heard of Salesforce till my first day at work. I was nervous, but also excited to learn something new. The job in itself was not something I liked, and I had to face a lot of hardships. But, I would reiterate what Einstein said, fueling in me a hunger to learn more.”
A new perspective
Shruti had made up her mind to try the new platform for a few weeks; and if things didn’t work out, she would quit. She soon realised that Salesforce was her calling all along, thanks to Trailhead – a free, gamified, online platform that empowers everyone to learn in-demand skills and earn résumé -worthy credentials.
“The day I started learning Salesforce on Trailhead, I was hooked. Trailhead redefined my perspective towards learning. I have always failed to grasp a subject through endless reading. However, Trailhead showed me that you are inclined to learn more by doing rather than reading, thereby establishing sound fundamentals.”
Shruti began using Trailhead as her go-to resource for every single certification that she has today. With the help of Trailhead Trailmixes, specially-curated to pass the Certification exams, she was able to distinguish several features and functionalities of the Salesforce Platform. Moreover, the certifications propelled her confidence and paved the way for many career opportunities. Doors of several MNCs opened up for her, which were otherwise shut, soon after she secured certifications. “Trailhead has all the answers you are looking for, explained in a way that even newbies can understand. Procuring Trailhead Badges and Super Badges was like gold plating my resume! My life changed dramatically.”
While she has a cool 650 Trailhead Badges under her belt, Shruti warns that one shouldn’t fall for the rat race to earn badges, but instead, use it as a tool to ask questions and learn. “One of the greatest advantages of the Salesforce ecosystem is its Ohana (the Hawaiian concept of family) where people both care and share.” Participating in local meetups and community groups also goes a long way, she adds, as you get to mingle with different people who share the common goal of helping one another succeed. In her quest to learn more, Shruti also read tons of blogs and even started one of her own my own to help others with the tricks of the trade.
The Salesforce platform is constantly evolving – adding new features thrice a year. In fact, it is the users who get a first-hand opportunity to suggest ideas, thereby contributing to the roadmap of the platform as a whole. Since Salesforce is evolving swiftly, it emphasises the very basic idea of – never stop learning. Shruti used to struggle building apps with C#/.NET in college. Now, she builds the same apps with less than half the effort in half the time.
Shruti also had the opportunity to be mentored and guided by Deepak Anand, Salesforce MVP (members of the Salesforce community recognised for their outstanding leadership, knowledge, and ongoing contributions). Working with him also helped boost her confidence and honed her oratorical skills. “He (Deepak) taught me that it’s not always quantity that matters, and we should never sacrifice anything for the sake of quality. He helped me understand the true ideals of leading by giving back and helping others, and how important it is to our own success and as well as the success of others.”
The art of giving back
Taking his words to heart, Shruti took it upon herself to help others find their way forward with Salesforce. She revamped the dormant Women in Tech (WIT) User Group in her area and also spun up a Student User Group, which is now 40+ members strong. She is also mentoring three Student Groups in three different institutions. “Teaching others is the best way to continue learning yourself, says Shruti. Running these groups has helped her be on top of things. Shruti has also contributed towards multiple webinars on various platforms like Apex Hour, Automation Hour, official Salesforce Webinars and blogs. “I have even started educating my parents about this great platform through Trailhead and it so fulfilling to see them learn,” she says.
Shruti’s advice to other youngsters is, “You do not have to be a geek, a programmer, or a techie to learn Salesforce. All you need is passion and determination and of course, Trailhead.”
Connect, click and code
The Trailhead Community is like a family and they are coming together for the Trailheadx Salesforce Developer Conference on December 19 and 20 in Bengaluru. The conference is a one-of-a-kind developer event where technology meets creativity, builders meet roadmaps, and attendees meet experts — all designed for like-minded people looking to build their Salesforce skill set. Register now for two incredible days of learning, connecting, giving back, and having the time of your lives with fellow Trailblazers.