The Power of Persistence with Barry Roberts

June 8, 2017 mikegerholdt

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Barry Roberts, the co-leader of the North England User Group. Barry has an amazing story about how he began his learning journey with Salesforce, and how the Salesforce Admins Podcast helped him find his community.

Join us to hear about how Barry approaches learning, explains what an Admin actually does, and what he’s working on for the future.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Barry Roberts.

What to Do with a Two Hour Commute

Barry walked up to Mike at the 2015 Salesforce World Tour to tell him about how he listened to the Salesforce Admins Podcast every day on his 2-hour (!) commute, and now he’s a guest on the show. Barry comes from a construction background, “Where if you want to learn something, you get told, ‘Go and learn it yourself.’”

Barry started out by learning from the videos that came with the initial package they bought from Salesforce, but when those ran out, he couldn’t figure out how to find out more since this was before Trailhead existed. Instead, he lucked out when he discovered the Salesforce Admins Podcast, which lead him to more podcasts and eventually to an entire community: “All of the sudden I wasn’t this single person trying to learn a system.” Now he spends his time as a co-leader of the North England User Group to try and give back to that community. He is dedicated to helping other Admins get started with Trailhead at Salesforce World Tour 2017.

Giving Back Through The Salesforce Community

The Community Answer Board is a great place to get started trying to give back, but it can be tough to contribute if you can’t set the speed record for getting the perfect screenshots. Instead, Barry suggests trying to get involved with your local User Group. “I find that when you answer a question, it normally generates more questions,” which makes the experience more social. The real magic happens when you’re helping someone, and another person with even more experience steps in to take your own knowledge even further.

This social approach also helps with the Answers Community. For Barry, “It started off as the Google of Salesforce— if I had any question I would ask it there,” but it has become more than that. “As an English person, it’s quite hard to say the word ‘awesome,’ but I’ll throw it out there.” It’s now a great way to make friends and connect over common interests with people across the globe, whether it’s about finding someone to answer a question or finding someone to chat about baseball.

Explaining What an Admin Does

Barry has a bit of a reputation for getting his friends and family started with Trailhead. “One of the hardest things to explain is what a Salesforce Admin does,” so his solution is to get the people in his life to do the “What is the CRM” badge. When we pressed him about it, he defined the job of an Admin pretty succinctly: “To define business knowledge and implement that into a software solution.”

At Salesforce World 2017 we found that almost half of the attendees were first-year Admins. If you’re looking for a secret sauce for how to get more badges and certifications, it comes down to curiosity and persistence. Barry does most of his learning at night and on weekends. “It’s a little embarrassing, but it’s become my hobby.”

If you’re looking to become more involved and work towards being an MVP or a User Group Leader, you just need to jump in and get started. People undervalue what they know, but you’d be surprised how much you can help. As Barry says, “The Admins I meet tend not to have IT backgrounds,” and those varied viewpoints are incredibly valuable to the industry.

For more insights, make sure to follow Barry on Twitter (@sfdc_beard).

We want to get your suggestions for guests on the podcast, and we need your help! So tweet your guest suggestions, support, etc. to @SalesforceAdmns to help us get more Awesome Admins on the podcast.

We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.


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