While I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the label of 'developer champion,' I'll do anything to encourage the Salesforce community to become more diverse, so I hope you'll find in these steps one or two things that you can do to become more engaged and further your technical and people skills and come to feel more at home in the Salesforce ecosystem while you're at it. Here are 10 easy steps I personally have used to further my Salesforce career, including becoming a developer champion, Trailhead enthusiast, and more:
1. Sign Up - start by getting your own developer org here and getting on the Salesforce developer newsletter list. Follow Salesforce Developers on social media. This will keep you up to date and expose you to ideas and concepts as well as give you opportunities to dive in.
2. Start small - check out a workshop online, like the Intro to Apex workshop live or pre-recorded - it's awesome!
3. Make friends - follow people on social media, read blogs, ***ask questions***, and be appreciative! And don't forget, when someone is kind enough to take the time to reply to your question in the community, make sure and mark a reply as a best answer - it really helps everyone!
4. Challenge yourself - attend a hackathon or take a certification exam - you can do this!
5. Get hands on - with Trailhead, a sandbox, or your developer org, there's no excuse to not try out what you're learning!
6. Learn! Girl Develop It, RAD Women, #AdminHour, Girlforce Study Groups, and more are all excellent resources and free or very low cost ways to boost your skills.
7. Ask questions - I cannot emphasize this enough! You may notice if you follow me in the Power of Us Hub (and I hope you do!), that I ask at least as many questions as I answer. Of course, I always search for the answer before I ask, since that's a best practice I learned from the community, but not being afraid to ask is one of the best tools in my Salesforce toolbox!
8. Attend events and push yourself - Dreamforce, TrailheaDX, local developer user groups, #AdminHour, Girlforce gatherings, and more are a great way to meet others who are at your level that you can rely on as you build your skills together. FWIW, I pushed myself to attend a Salesforce Developer hackathon and WON with a team I met that day before I even knew a single line of Apex!
9. Try it in your real Salesforce org! Did you know that using Process Builder, writing formulas, and even advanced reports are all great ways to flex your developer muscle? It's true! You ARE a developer!
10. Share your success and pass it on! The Salesforce developer community is growing by leaps and bounds but it's not complete without YOUR voice. People need to know that anyone from any background can be a Salesforce developer. Take it from me, someone who never managed an IT project before I was asked to at my nonprofit in 2009. The community is here to help; we can do this!
Want more support and want to get tapped in to the Salesforce community but aren't sure where to get started? Join Longshore Consulting for #AdminHour - the fun, free, interactive way to learn Salesforce the first and third Thursday of every month at 10am PT/1pm ET - register here!
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!