I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Gaurav Kheterpal

This is the thirty-eighth post in my blog series in which I feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the Salesforce Mobile Architect and Salesforce MVP, Gaurav Kheterpal.

gaurav-kheterpal-salesforce-mvp

 

What’s your job title? Head – Mobility at Metacube. (EFD – I had to Google that one: Metacube is a Software Engineering Services company with experience in developing enterprise applications for a wide spectrum of domains including global trade management, supply chain analytics, manufacturing analytics, business continuity planning, CRM, content management and eCommerce.)

What does that mean you do? I head the mobile practice at Metacube – leading several native and hybrid app development projects, a majority of which involve Salesforce and/or Heroku. I’m involved in day to day account management, technical architecture, design and overall well being of multiple projects. Apart from that, I work as a community evangelist – I love to be involved in organizing and speaking at community-driven tech events and meetups all the time. I play a key role in mentoring new hires for Force.com development. (EFD – It sounds like you wear many hats. That seems to be a growing trend in the Salesforce ecosystem.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started off with Salesforce in 2007 so it’s been 9+ years on this amazing journey and still counting. We’re a Salesforce partner (Product Development Outsourcing). It’s been a very rewarding journey for me as well as the company – I was recognized by Salesforce as a Developer Success Story in June 2015 and I’ve spoken at leading events such as Dreamforce (every year since 2012) and Salesforce World Tour (2015). I lead the Jaipur DUG in the pink city of India!  (EFD – Wow!  You’ve made quite the career for yourself. Congratulations!)

Bacon or sausage? Eww…a pork product?  No thank you!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? It’s a bit tricky but I’d go with who you know and what you and they collectively know. After all, it’s a community and the essence is collaborative learning. (EFD – I used to think it was all about who you know, because chances are someone you know, or someone they know can answer all the questions, but the longer I write this blog series, the more I’m thinking the two are equal and intertwined.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we’ve known each other virtually for quite some time now. I’ve obviously followed you as an inspirational figure in the community – a Salesforce MVP and I’m hoping you’ve noticed me do a few things for the community as well. It’s also helped that we both are User Group leaders. (EFD – We connected on LinkedIn in September, 2012, which was even before I was first named an MVP, so our original connection must have been either the user group leader connection or simply Salesforce community interaction.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? As a child, I’ve acted in several TV plays and I’m still a part of a hobbyist theatre group focused on social awareness on several grass roots problems in India and globally. (EFD – You’re quite the person…doing good things all over the place!)

You can find Gaurav on Twitter.

The 2016 Dreamforce Newbie Survival Kit

Dreamforce. It is very appropriately named.

Thousands of people dream about attending, and once they get there, they feel this inexplicable force that draws them back year after year. 2016 will be my sixth year attending Dreamforce, and if I have my way, I will continue return every year, just like the Monarch Butterfly’s annual migration to Mexico, Florida and southern California, except that I use an airplane and BART for my mode of transportation, since I don’t have wings!

Here are a few tips that I think all first-time Dreamforce attendees should know:

1. Leave the laptop at home, or if you must bring it to San Francisco, leave it secured in the safe at your hotel room. You will quickly find that it becomes very heavy to carry around with you all day, even if it’s one of the ultralight laptops. Opt for a tablet if you have one or even just your smartphone if you are comfortable taking notes on a small device.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. You will walk more than you think. Many of the sessions are held in Moscone Center, which is actually three different buildings each with at least two floors of convention space. There are also sessions scattered about the city in various other locations including a theater and many hotels. If you are not used to walking a lot, get on a treadmill or get outside and start walking now!

3. Wear comfortable clothing in layers or bring a light jacket. San Francisco has beautiful weather nearly all year. It never really gets terribly hot or very cold, but with the proximity to the ocean, the chances for a breeze are pretty good, and once the sun goes down, the air could get a little chilly.

4. Network, a.k.a., talk to people. Don’t be scared. Talk to everyone you can. Talk to the person on your right when waiting in line to go into a session. Talk to the person sitting to your left once you get inside a session. When you take a break to eat lunch (included in your conference registration) be brave and sit near people you don’t know…and start a conversation! Out of the 45,000 + people at Dreamforce 2011, I managed to sit down for lunch at a table with one of my brother-in-law’s co-workers. (Cue the Walt Disney music: It’s a small world after all!) If you are shy, take the high-tech approach to networking. Bring a surge strip with you and hang out at a charging station between sessions – one surge strip could mean five instant connections.

5. Dreamforce isn’t just an 8am to 5pm event. Sure that’s when most of the keynotes and breakout sessions occur, but there are also many opportunities for networking before and after those hours thanks to many partners sponsoring parties. Your one stop shop for all things Dreamforce is the Apttus Dreamforce All Access site. And don’t forget about the Success Community, with its many Dreamforce related groups like “Dreamforce Newbie Reunion Breakfast” (Shameless plug…that’s a group that I am organize, and it’s purpose is to help Dreamforce first-timers make a connection or two, while helping to raise money for Project Night Night.)

6. If you can, take advantage of the preconference training opportunities, and if you are considering getting a Salesforce certification, Dreamforce is the perfect opportunity for that too, and at a discounted price too! Once you get your certification, tweet it out with #ThisOneIsForYouTamiEsling, use the same hashtag in the Success Community and on Facebook too! Doing so will make your celebration of certification a tribute to the late Tami Esling, a Salesforce MVP who passed away on March 5th, 2016, who made it her mission to help people get certified.

7. Dreamforce doesn’t just happen in San Francisco. Dreamforce happens all over the globe! Attend a Salesforce World Tour or Essentials event in your area. Look here for an event near you. Join a user group in your area and attend the meetings regularly. Look for awesome regional, Community led Salesforce events, and attend those too! The Salesforce Community is an awesome way to expand your knowledge and increase not only your network of people, but also the resources you can count on to help you solve problems.

8. Dreamforce isn’t just a week during the year. Thanks to the Success Community it’s a perpetual event. Get active on the Community and share your struggles and your successes. Get connected with the people you will meet BEFORE you get to Dreamforce and make friends that last a lifetime!

So why do so many people attend Dreamforce year after year? In a word, because it is AWESOME!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Toya Gatewood

This is the thirty-seventh post in my blog series in which I feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the Salesforce Certified Administrator and Salesforce MVP, Toya Gatewood.

toya gatewood

What’s your job title? Salesforce Administrator, Consumer Technology Association. (EFD – Consumer Technology Association? I had to google that one! Many people probably know them by their former name, Consumer Electronics Association. Regardless of what you call them, they are the producers of the Consumer Electronic Show, also know as the CES, which takes place in Las Vegas annually, and showcases over 3,500 companies who manufacture, develop and supply computer technology hardware, content, delivery systems and more. It’s a REALLY BIG SHOW with over 160,000 attendees from 150 countries worldwide!)

What does that mean you do? I’m the solo admin of my org; my company produces the Consumer Electronics Show and we manage all contracts and amendments associated with the show using Salesforce, not to mention the other events that we manage. I’m also working with other CTA departments to maximize efficiency. (EFD – I know what show management is like. I lead a group of awesome Salesforce MVPs and user group leaders to put on Midwest Dreamin’ each year.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the Salesforce platform for 7 years.  (EFD – Wow!  That means you and I started using Salesforce the same year…2009!)

Bacon or sausage? It’s Bacon or Nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? I’d have to say it’s a combination of both. You have to take what you know and leverage it with and for who you know. All the nuggets of wisdom and tips & tricks I pick up from the Success Community add to what I know – which I can then utilize either in my own org. It all comes full circle eventually. (EFD – So it’s kind of like this. Oh wait, you said “full circle” not “circle of life” Hey Apex and the Limits – here’s a song idea for you: “The Circle of Admins”.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I started following you on Twitter either right before or right after you became an MVP for the first time, that was in the spring of 2013….and met you in person for the first time at Midwest Dreamin’ 2014! (EFD – I remember meeting you at Midwest Dreamin ‘2014. We had a great, but short, conversation as I was helping out at the registration desk and the line was getting long! It’s been great fun watching your community involvement grow over the years, and congrats on joining the ranks of the MVPs!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I’m an avid & voracious reader. I read from one book or another every single day without fail no matter how busy I am; sometimes I’m reading several books at a time. Right now I’m reading 3 different books. This year I finished all 5 Game of Thrones books in less than 2 weeks. (EFD – Me and books seem to have a different kind of relationship. They don’t bother me, and I leave them alone. Kind of like me and insects.)

You can find Toya on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Pritam Shekhawat

This is the thirty-sixth post in my blog series in which I feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the three-time Salesforce Certified and amazing Answers guru, Pritam Shekhawat.

pritam

 

What’s your job title? Salesforce Consultant/Developer, Hytech Professional (EFD – Ahhh…the multiple hats. I think most of us in the Salesforce Ecosystem wear many hats. )

What does that mean you do? I am involved in analysis and review of business related process and requirements gathering, and finally to develop the application logic (Coding and Development) according to the business need, specifications and standards. On a daily basis I participate in project team meetings, sharing ideas and views with peers. Apart from my daily work, I am an active and a consistent contributor to the Salesforce Community. I am a big fan of Answers Community where I have been answering for almost 2 years, I recently achieved a very exciting landmark when I touched a total count of 5000 answers in the answer community. My count is over 5300 answers now and I am inspired to never stop contributing. I also write blogs, mainly focused on Lightning(EFD – Congrats on the 5,300+ answers!  That’s about 1,000 times the number of answers I have provided.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started working on Salesforce platform in the year 2014 after completing my graduation and the very same day my career in Salesforce got kicked off. The more I got into Salesforce the more I fell in love with it, though I am a B-tech(Electronics) Background graduate, and for the same reason I always felt scared of the software industry in the starting phase of my career, But I took the right guidance from great Salesforce guys who literally inspired me that much, that I finally decided to make a mark into the heart of Salesforce guys with my contributions for the community. So for me, the definition of Salesforce rather than Just a Technology, Will be : “Technology run by the community, for the community & of the community!!!” (EFD – Started on the platform in 2014..that’s a decent amount of time, in Salesforce years!)

Bacon or sausage? Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? For me both are important because in the early phase of my career I didn’t know anyone who could groom me, so for me it was a “What I know” kind of a situation. Then I realized that making connections and interacting with the community is equally important and will surely help me not only grow technically but will keep me updated about what’s happening in the Salesforce world. Within a few months I realized, my knowledge and skills tremendously got so rich that I decided to share my learning with the community and this has been the reason for large count of answers which I have on the answer community. I believe networking play very useful and powerful role towards your personal and professional career. I have learned a lot from people both inside and outside the community who have always motivated and appreciated me. (EFD – As much as I tout the “It’s WHO you know”, I do realize there is some component of “what you know” that’s important too.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I remember that in one of our user group events organized by Noida Salesforce User Group under the direction of Vinay Chaturvedi, when you were a surprise presenter in the Meetup and joined us online via Skype. You shared a lot of information on the Salesforce Community that motivated me to offer my best to the Community. Then I discovered your blog and our relationship clicked. I began to read all your tweets and everything you shared to try to figure out the mystery of how you are so active! Believe me your community activity and devotion is worthy of an OSCAR! (EFD – The mystery of how I’m so active…I can solve that!  I don’t sleep. Ok, that’s a lie. I do sleep, but not much. I recall running some stats on my Twitter activity a few months back and discovered there wasn’t an hour during the day or night that I haven’t been tweeting, and just for the record, all the tweets I do that are not related to my role at Apttus are live tweeted. For the work tweets, I do use Buffer, though.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I am a self-taught Salesforce Admin and Salesforce Developer. From the start of my career, I was working without any management or mentor support. Whatever I learned in Salesforce, so far, is from our AWESOME Salesforce community. To be honest, I am from non-programming background so before graduation, I always thought that it would be nearly impossible for me to work in a Software industry as I was short of skills, but the community (EFD – Self-taught…my personal opinion is that the people who are self-taught tend to more engaged in the community .)

You can find Pritam on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Nana Gregg

This is the thirty-fifth post in my blog series in which I feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the Salesforce Certified Administrator and Certified Force.com Developer, one half of the Nerdforce Podcast, and one of the “Limits” of Apex and the Limits, Salesforce MVP Nana Gregg.

nana

What’s your job title? Senior Salesforce Administrator, BRG – now part of JLL (EFD – BRG – now part of JLL. Why do I feel like singing “With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo…E I E I O!)

What does that mean you do? A little bit of this, a little bit of that! Seriously though, Our company runs the entire business (from lead to project to finance) on the platform. We have just over 500 users, with 5 companies in our org which means 5 currencies and 5 sets of corporate ‘books’. I never was a Finance gal, but had to get up to speed quickly. It’s impossible to implement an accounting solution without that knowledge. We have a lot of custom objects built to eliminate manual (excel) processes and I *try* to do most everything declaratively! Reporting, formula fields and building custom objects are my FAVE! I have another Admin on my team and my boss has started Trailhead so he can lend a hand as well! It’s definitely a team effort. (EFD – I love how you are sharing the Trailhead love!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started as a Salesforce Admin in 2004 – I must have been about 12 at the time!  (EFD – That sounds about right!  I bet singing in the band helps keep you young.)

Bacon or sausage? It’s Bacon or Nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Ooh this is a good one. I really think it is a combination of the two. I would not be where I am today without the support of my family and the Salesforce Community. What do I know? I know I need to go ask one of my Community buddies if I can’t solve a problem!  See? They go hand in hand! (EFD – Groovy! I say it in every blog post I write for this series, and I’ll repeat it once again: For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared. And I will admit that they really do go hand in hand, and regardless of where you start, one leads to the other!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I saw your posts in the community and on twitter, and at Dreamforce 14, I signed up for the Meet the MVPs event in the Admin Zone. I remember standing there like a pre-teen fangirl SO incredibly excited to meet all of these people who had helped guide me! I didn’t get a selfie with you then, but am hoping for one this year! (EFD – I’m blushing now. This is the first time anyone said they were “fangirling” to meet me. Or did I misunderstand, and that was for MVPs in general? Selfie with Nana – hasn’t that happened already?  If not…lets DO IT at #DF16!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Hmm, surprise yall? A few years ago I won a Genuine 14 karat Gold plated Plastic Ship on a Stick during a Cruise for my karaoke rendition of Baby Got Back! (EFD – Hey!  Maybe you should start a band! Oh, wait….)

You can find Nana on Twitter and be sure to follow Apex and the Limits too!