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Thought Leader Talks: Salesforce CTA Journey, Advanced Administrator Certification, Ohana Italia With Enrico Murru

Salesforce CTA Journey

SaleDo you live, love, breathe Salesforce? A Salesforce admin looking for proven certification pointers? Battling your way to CTA? You’ve come to the right place. Let me introduce you to Enrico Murru, our Thought Leader of the month. Salesforce MVP, 20x Salesforce certified solution, and technical architect at WebResults. He is passionate about contributing to the Salesforce community – he founded the Ohana Community Italia and has mentored local Salesforce groups in Milano and Cagliari. Enrico is also the founder of Nerd@Work, a blog hugely popular with Salesforce Ohana. Enrico is also the creator of the Salesforce browser extension ORGanizer – which has been heralded as the Salesforce admin’s must-have “Swiss Army knife”. We talk with Enrico about finding your Salesforce niche in your career path, the Salesforce CTA Journey, pointers for the Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification, Salesforce Einstein + Marketing Cloud, weathering the remote economy with Salesforce, Salesforce data protection, and more

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Finding Your Niche in Your Salesforce Career Path

Q: Hi Enrico, Ciao a tutti! Wonderful to have you on board. You’ve been passionate about Salesforce since you started working on the Force.com platform in 2009. Your Salesforce career evolution has covered the entire gamut – Salesforce administrator, developer, designer, architect, and Lightning consultant. What advice would you give budding Salesforce enthusiasts to find their chosen career path? How do they make their way to honing in on their Salesforce “sweet spot”?

This is a good question and the answer lies in each person’s skills and career history. Many people approaching the IT world usually come from a computer science background, like I did. However, in the last few years, Salesforce is empowering its inclusion policies, getting almost anyone with enough patience, curiosity, and willingness to achieve new goals, to join the Salesforce Ohana and become a professional.

We can read tons of success stories of people, coming from non-tech careers, that decided, sometimes randomly and sometimes guided by other Trailblazers, to get new skills and kill Trailhead badge after badge. And rapidly grow to become a Salesforce administrator or even a developer.

Besides decent English proficiency (most of the study material is in English), which in the IT world is an important part of our background (although luckily a lot of non-English blogs have arisen recently), I would say that the only limit to become a Salesforce professional is the limit you set for yourself. Anyone can become a Trailblazer!

Salesforce CTA JourneySalesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) Journey

Q: Wow! You gained 20 Salesforce certifications in three years spanning admin, developer, architect, and designer. What were the motivations that kept you going through your certification journey?

I love learning new stuff and playing with new technologies – my “nerd” attitude is strong. Curiosity is my greatest driver. Some Trailblazer friends have many more certifications than me, so I have a long path ahead. The main goal I’d like to achieve within the next one or two years is to reach the Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) certification, with my company’s support. The journey to CTA is a long and hard journey that needs time and resources to be completed. With WebResults and Engineering Italia, we are paving a path that will lead us to have many certified technical architects.

Q: Even the most adept Salesforce gurus struggle with their Salesforce CTA journey. Having completed both your Salesforce Application Architect and Solutions Architect certifications, how are you forging your way to the CTA?

I’m planning, along with my CTO and COO, an internal CTA program to get at least 2 people a year to be certified CTA. This requires resources and time that selected “champions” have to dedicate to the cause. I’ll probably be one of the first 2 test subjects, so I plan to create a study trail that can be followed in the future by other colleagues.

Favorite Salesforce Role – Administrator, Developer, Designer, or Architect

Q: You’ve worn a wide variety of Salesforce “hats” – administrator, developer, designer, and architect. What would be your favorite Salesforce role thus far?

One of the things I love the most about my work is finding solutions to coding or architectural issues, trying to put together all that I know to find a smart, simple, or even strange way to solve the problem. No surprise that my first post was about trying to make Salesforce Apex behave in a way it wasn’t meant to. I also love brainstorming with my colleagues to share knowledge and find the coolest solutions. So what’s my favorite role in my Salesforce career? Solution Architect for sure.

Pointers for The Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification

Q: Enrico, you’ve written extensively about the Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification, including a very well-received book. What key pointers would you give Salesforce Administrators seeking to attempt the certification?

The Salesforce Administrator certification is in my opinion the hardest among the entry-level certifications because it covers a lot of subjects that, as a junior Salesforce professional, you hardly master in your first projects. The first suggestion is to extensively read everything you can from the Salesforce official documentation and do any Trailhead you find. Moreover, there are plenty of blogs that help people to pass this certification and hundreds of simulations.

Once you believe you are close to your exam, take a deep breath and book the D-day. With the right attitude and an actual date, you’ll certainly be committed to the goal.

What if you don’t pass? Don’t worry at all, the IT world (and life in general) is a trial and error process. Check what you missed and which subjects you were not ready as expected, then schedule another run.

Salesforce Data Protection

Q: What are your thoughts on Salesforce data protection as far as backup and recovery go?

I had a chance last year to do some research and discovery of backup/recovery tools for one of our customers. I saw a lot of good products out there, like CloudAlly, AutoRABIT, or OwnBackup solutions to pick a few. I’m really impressed by the quality of such products that seem to work magically! You need backup? Define a point and click. You need to retrieve data? Get APIs or components or web apps to quickly access what you need. Salesforce is also joining in with its own backup/restore product that we’ll shortly hear about.

Salesforce Einstein + Marketing Cloud

Q: Salesforce has always been at the forefront of innovation. What are some hidden gems that Salesforce Einstein brings that can be utilized to smarten apps, particularly in Marketing Cloud?

I would say Einstein and Marketing Cloud are a perfect match! The best use you can make is to select “next best products” or “next best content” when you design smart and engaging journeys with your customers. Also, a great feature is that you can determine the best time to send a message to the customer, based on their behavior. The goal is to customize the marketing experience in the best way possible for the customer to increase engagement and deliver the best user experience. Ever.

Weathering COVID Remote Economies With Salesforce

Q: What advice would you give Salesforce organizations struggling to weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Three simple words – “Trust Your Employees”. People are the most important resource for any company. Especially in Italy, companies were not 100% sure that an employee could easily and productively work remotely before the pandemic. Nowadays, remote working is considered a valued asset and employee trust is something taken for granted. No matter where you work, you can be a Trailblazer anywhere!

Wishlist for Salesforce Summer ‘21 Release

Q: Admins and devs have been raving about the enhanced productivity that your Salesforce Browser Extension, ORGanizer for Salesforce offers. If you had Salesforce’s ear, what would be the top three on your wishlist of enhancements in the Salesforce Summer ‘21 Release?

First thing, a new, revised, and fully integrated release management and version control system right within the lightning platform. As far as I know, we’ll be seeing something new regarding Change Set management in the next releases.

Second, a brand-new “in cloud” Developer Console with all the tools required for a modern developer with release management features included.

Third, a better debug/log management system that will make debugging through Apex/Aura/LWC automation features easier to read, browser and master.

Salesforce Ohana Community Italia

Q: Enrico, you are the first Italian Salesforce MVP and have been passionately active about giving back to Ohana at the local level. You co-founded the Ohana Community Italia and have mentored local Salesforce groups in Milano and Cagliari. What are the practical principles of Salesforce Ohana that have helped you foster the Salesforce community?

The Ohana community itself is a huge source of “trailblazer power”. Having a chance to interact with people with different skill levels and career paths is an incredible source of inspiration. I really love what Salesforce Ohana is evolving into day by day. I’m particularly impressed with the efforts the company is taking to increase inclusion and make the world a better place. If you don’t know where to place your career, I warmly suggest you give it a try. It’s easier than you think – jump to trailhead.com and start learning how to become a trailblazer today!

We hope you enjoyed Enrico Murru’s practical insights on his Salesforce CTA journey, Marketing Cloud Einstein, Salesforce Ohana, and cracking the Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification.

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