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Thought Leader Talks: Salesforce World Tour, Slack, Women in Tech With Meighan Brodkey

Let’s just say that as far as Salesforce goes, it was love at first object for Meighan Brodkey – our Thought Leader of the month. Meighan is a 12x certified Tech Architect and a Trailhead ranger with 494 badges. She’s a Salesforce Technical Architect at Accenture.

What makes her a Salesforce rockstar though, is her robust Ohanian spirit. Meighan is a Group Leader at the Seattle Women In Tech, the founder of OhanaSlack, a coach with the Mervis foundation enabling veterans to transition to Salesforce careers and a Salesforce presenter at PepUPTech.org that offers technology programs to underrepresented people. She actively contributes to the SF community with podcasts on
System dot Debug and is a Road to CTA SalesforceSaturday Leader.

Meighan has also traveled the world with Salesforce – having presented at Surf Force (Ireland), North Africa Dreamin (Morocco), YeurDreamin (Amsterdam), Banff Dreamin (Canada), Dreamforce 17, Dreamforce 18, the Chicago World Tour, and more.

We chat with Meighan about her ongoing Salesforce World Tour, the Salesforce Slack acquisition, Salesforce Ohana, Women In Tech, and more…

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Salesforce World Tour: In-person to Virtual

Q: Welcome, Meighan! Looking forward to an exciting chat with you! Meighan, you’ve been a World Traveler with Salesforce. However, with the lockdowns, as with everything else, conferences have moved to the virtual realm. For the first time in its 17 year history, Dreamforce 2020 was held virtually. How has the experience been interacting with the Ohana virtually? 

You know, I would say there are pros and cons to interacting virtually. One of the disadvantages would be the fact that you don’t get to see it in person. You know give those, “I’m so excited to see you!” hugs. Hear your Ohana and your friends when you’re at an event. But one of the great advantages is being able to participate in so many more groups and events that you may not have the opportunity to participate in person. When it comes to myself, I’ve been able to speak at user groups in India, Africa, the Middle East, Europe. It has been so much fun over the past year. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so much if I would have had to physically travel to so many places.

Salesforce Slack Acquisition: “Slack-first”

Q: The tectonic shift to the remote workforce has seen a huge explosion in products and mechanisms for people to collaborate online. Salesforce has recognized this need and acquired Slack for a whopping $27bn. What are some of the ways you could see Salesforce and Slack taking collaboration to the next level?

I personally am a huge fan of Slack. So when I read that Marc Benioff had announced that Salesforce was going to be “Slack-first”, I was so excited! I mean Chatter is great, but so much more of what you’re doing is in real-time. It’s in Slack or in Teams and happening with your co-workers as you’re working. And not all of that gets back to your records, to your project, opportunity, lead or account. With Slack integration, there’s a way to connect those two aspects. So that all of those real-time conversations will be able to be referenced in some way. I think that would be phenomenal!

Salesforce Ohana: Pay It Forward

Q: Meighan, you are passionate about sharing your Salesforce knowledge; embodying the Ohana spirit. Tell us more about your experience with the Mervis foundation and PepUPTech.org.

Yes! With Mervis, I’ve been a coach now for over four years. And I absolutely love it. Mervis helps veterans and their spouses learn Salesforce and get certified. You have one-on-one coaching and group coaching. There are admin, developer, community cloud, service cloud, and sales cloud groups. It’s just a lot of fun, and of course, we all communicate in Slack. There’s also “Office Hours” where you can present on whatever your favorite topics are. With PepUPTech, I’m gonna be helping out with the current session this summer and I have a class coming up. It’s all just a great way to give back. Back in the day when we didn’t have as much help and training, there were people that helped me out to get me over some of the hard stuff. The least I can do is to pay it back and pay it forward. And you can meet so many new friends too. I love it!

Salesforce and Women In Tech

Q: What pointers would you give women in tech struggling with achieving gender parity? How does the Salesforce Ohanian community address the issues of gender parity, STEM education for girls, representation of women in tech?

When it comes to Women in Tech, we are there to lift each other up. And that is exactly what we should be doing. You know, give somebody a hand, answer some questions, and be a shoulder to lean on. There’s no reason to be defensive; we’ve got as many seats as we need now. Let’s help each other, you know, have each other’s back, and just be there. Recognize the awesomeness that somebody else has that you may not be able to have on your team, or you may not have honed in on yet. Lift them up, let them shine. And if we keep doing that, we can be rock stars all around without having to have separate Women in Tech groups; which don’t get me wrong, I love my women in tech groups. You know, we just gotta make sure we’re helping each other out.

Salesforce CTA Journey: Road to Certification

Q: How has your Salesforce CTA journey been thus far? Any learnings that you would like to share with those pursuing the Salesforce CTA certification?

Tons of learnings. Be active in the community, you can’t do it on your own. I’ve got a great network that I’ve come to rely on. Thanks to people answering questions online, direct messages, at work having a group to study with, and a program to follow. It is gonna be hard and it’s okay to fail. Failure is only a “failure” if you’re unable to pick yourself back up and learn something from it.  Just keep picking yourself up, just move forward. That’s the only way you’re gonna succeed. I’m well aware that there is so much I don’t know, but when you start on the Salesforce CTA journey you realize that what you don’t know is actually 20 bazillion times more than you thought. And that’s okay, and that’s why we have a team, that’s why we have a community, and that’s why Salesforce is so much fun. You get to learn something new every day. 

Salesforce Data Protection: Is Backup a Necessity?

Q: Salesforce recently did a flip and reintroduced the Salesforce Data Recovery Service. However, Salesforce itself advises users to explore the AppExchange for third-party solutions. What are your thoughts on Salesforce backup and recovery – How essential is it? And do native options suffice?

As somebody who has had to restore it from CSV files in the past, I can say that it is so difficult! You’ve got to have the order right, you’ve got to have everything put together. And it is such a pain, it is a mess, it is hard. All they give you is a bunch of files and it’s going to take a while to even get them to begin with. Well, at least that was how the service used to be unless it’s changed since they’ve brought it back. Get a backup solution and start your backup. At the very least you should be doing your weekly export service, at the very very least. But I suggest, go get a solution – it’s going to make your life so much easier when it comes to your org when you have a daily backup. I even wrote a blog post a few years back about how backing up is hard to do, but it’s something you gotta do you know because otherwise, the restore is so painful. And you don’t wanna have to hire somebody to do a restore when you’re already struggling with data loss.

Q Meighan, as we close our chat, I’ve just got to ask you this. As you’ve traveled the world with Salesforce, what has been your most memorable experience thus far? And now that things are opening up, which conference are you looking forward to attending in person?

First off about the conference I’m looking forward to attending. In 2020 I had scheduled a wonderful Salesforce event/birthday trip for myself. I was going to go to New Zealand for Kiwi Dreaming (and also see some Lord of the Rings sites and meet some penguins). I was so excited. So I’m very much looking forward to that because the New Zealand user groups that I’ve been able to connect with have been so awesome and fantastic, I can’t wait to meet them. And I keep talking about my penguins! Of course, I would like to see the whole world thanks to Salesforce – that’s my goal. 

When it comes to other events I’ve gone to and some of the most memorable items, you know I had so much fun in Casa after North Africa Dreaming. Hanging out with the Salesforce group, the MVPs, the speakers, the Morocco user groups – it was so much fun. It was amazing and everyone was so hospitable. And the food! I can’t wait to go back!

It was lovely chatting with you, Meighan! All the best for your Round the World Tour with Salesforce!

We hope you enjoyed our chat with Meighan about the Salesforce Slack acquisition, Women In Tech, and Salesforce Ohana.

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