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Episode Info:

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’ve got Marciana Davis, a Project Analyst at Yurgosky. She came to Salesforce through PepUp Tech and has done a lot of work to give back to the community and help others get into the ecosystem.

Join us as we talk about Marciana’s job breaking things as a QA analyst, how giving back can help you grow, and the key qualities of an Awesome Admin.

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

How PepUp Tech got Marciana hooked on Salesforce.

Marciana started out studying development at school. When she got to Monroe College, she was still set on that path, but it didn’t quite seem right. She approached her professor and said, “Listen, I love computers but I’ve really found a niche for databases,” which led the professor to recommend an upcoming Salesforce bootcamp put on by PepUp Tech.

What attracted Marciana to databases in the first place was “the way that you can easily manipulate them to get information that you need.” As Marciana says, “I’ve been a scatterbrain since birth,” so the ability to organize and sort information in so many different ways while still working on one thing was amazing to her.

The amazing community that made Marciana feel welcome.

At the boot camp, there’s a lot of information to take in over the four days, “but as you gain more experience on the platform and go into user group meetings—that definitely solidified my career path into Salesforce,” Marciana says. When she finally got a chance to free up her calendar and go to one, the people that she met and the passion they had for the platform was life-changing.

“The meeting I went to was about inclusion,” Marciana says, “and I felt that for a long time in my past I haven’t been included as much as everyone else.” It struck a chord with her that the Salesforce Ohana makes it a priority and holds it as a core value.

Breaking things, professionally.

In Marciana’s job as a Project Analyst in the QA department at Yurgosky Consulting, “I basically break things and make sure that the engineers are fixing it.” That involves a lot of creativity, trying to do the same thing as many ways as she can think of to make sure that everything’s working. “All of this is clicking, folks, there’s no coding involved,” she says.

For Marciana, the key to being an Awesome Admin is attention to detail: “You have to make sure you know what the client wants and how they want it.” At the same time, you need to cultivate patience, “because clients tend to change their minds,” she says. Finally, being a problem solver is key because of all the troubleshooting and learning you need to do as part of the job.

How giving back can help you grow.

Looking forward, Marciana is focused on giving back to the community by volunteering for PepUp Tech. She’s worked for the virtual boot camp course and is looking to volunteer in person. “Like my mom said, you didn’t get here alone and giving back is a way of saying thank you,” she says. She’s been helping students for the past couple weeks, and when they tell her what a blessing she’s been in their lives she says, “No, you’re a blessing because you’re helping me study for the certification.”

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Gillian Bruce:               Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you become a more awesome Salesforce Admin. I'm Gillian Bruce. This week, we've got another great pep up tech story coming for you. We're talking to Marciana Davis. She's a project analyst at Yugorski, and she also learned about Salesforce through the Pep Up Tech Program. She's since completely embraced the platform and the technology, connected with the community, and really has completely changed her career path. Not only that, but she's also giving back to the Pep Up Tech Community, helping educate others, and learning herself along the way to help others get access to this incredible ecosystem. I wanted to have Marciana on the podcast because not only is her story great, but she talks about some of the qualities that make a truly awesome admin. So without further ado, let's get Marciana on the podcast. Marciana, welcome to the podcast.

Marciana Davis:            Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Gillian Bruce:               I'm so happy that you trekked up here to hang out with me. We are here in New York City, which is super exciting. It's cold outside.

Marciana Davis:            Yes it is.

Gillian Bruce:               Oh my goodness, this Winter is no joke.

Marciana Davis:            No.

Gillian Bruce:               We don't have this in San Francisco. Well Marciana, I wanted to get you on the podcast because I wanted to share your story a little bit with our listeners. And one of the first questions I usually ask our new guests is, tell me what did you want to be when you grew up?

Marciana Davis:            I wanted to be various things. I was the girl that wanted to be a ballerina, then next week wanted to be a hairdresser, then next week wanted to be architect, next week I wanted to be something else. So, it varied over a series of time, and I had a lot of influential family members in my life.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah. That's a lot of different interests. I like that. I want a architect, hairdresser ballerina. That'd be a lot of work. There you go. That's great. Okay. So you had a lot of varied interests as a kid. And now you are working in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               Tell me a little bit about that journey. How did you find Salesforce?

Marciana Davis:            So I went to school at a previous college before I went to Monroe College. Things were getting out of hand. And I felt that, I just thought that developing wasn't into career at all.

Gillian Bruce:               So you were studying development

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay. So you were studying computer programming, and computer science.

Marciana Davis:            Yeah. I was the geek. I was the geek of the group. And I realized that I need to make a switch in my life. So, I decided to leave the school. And I went to Monroe College. And there I learned everything about computers. So I still stayed in developing. I said, let me give this one more shot. I met my professor, Valegras, I was telling her, I was like, listen, I love computers, but I really found a niche for databases, I'm a database guru kind of girl. And she said, well, we're having this bootcamp, this Salesforce bootcamp coming up. You should definitely try. I see potential in you, and you should definitely go for it. And I said, well why not? And then after that I met Selena for the first time, and I loved it. And here I am.

Gillian Bruce:               That's awesome. Okay, so let's talk for a second. So we're talking about a Selena Suarez, right? Who is now part of salesforce.org. But she was actually on this podcast a few years ago when she was, actually, I think she had just launched an app on the App Exchange.

Marciana Davis:            Oh.

Gillian Bruce:               And so the rest ... So she has been an influential person and kind of pulling together a lot of ... I mean, she was one of the co-creators of Pep Up Tech.

Marciana Davis:            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gillian Bruce:               And so, Pep Up Tech ran this bootcamp that you were exposed to. But before we get into that, I want to backup. So what was it about databases that kind of captured your interest?

Marciana Davis:            It was the way you can just easily manipulate it into anything, to just get what you need, information that you need and just keep going. I think it was just the fact that there was so many things I can do with it, and the fact that I've been a scatterbrain since birth. That's what I like about the Salesforce platform as well. You could do multiple things within it and still focus on a certain path.

Gillian Bruce:               So database ... Yeah, I mean I think ... I didn't really understand the concept of database I think until I actually got to working at Salesforce. I was like, oh, okay, I got it. But yeah, I think your idea of being able to organize pieces of information, and sort through them and all of that. I get that. That would be a good reason to be excited about databases. So now you went to this Pep Up Tech bootcamp. Tell me about that experience.

Marciana Davis:            At first ... I went to it twice. The first time around it was interesting to see how supportive the people were, how many people were involved, and they were just everyday people, but on Twitter they're superstars. So it's like, oh great, I can be famous and still go to the store without hiring anybody. That's terrific. I could take that kind of fame any day.

Gillian Bruce:               The Salesforce famous, the Salesforce crew. Yes, the Ohana. The Ohana has ... We have our own kind of Twitter stars, I guess. You're right.

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               Yes.

Marciana Davis:            And I was like, okay, I can deal with that. Just not the whole other fame.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay. So you're in this bootcamp. And tell me about learning about Salesforce, what was that like for you?

Marciana Davis:            At first it was a lot of information so it was a lot to take in over four days. But as you gain more experience on the platform and actually going to user group meetings, that definitely solidified my current path into Salesforce.

Gillian Bruce:               So talk to me a little bit more about that. So tell me about what ... First of all, how did you learn about user groups? And tell me about your first user group meeting.

Marciana Davis:            Okay. I learned about user group meetings through the Pep Up Tech teachers. I remember Carrie talking about it. Because she's the co-leader of WIT in New York City. So she's telling me, oh, just go to a user group meeting. And then I finally got a chance to free my calendar and go. And I met Sandy and then I met Omar, and it was so great meeting all these new people and seeing the passion in them about Salesforce. So, I think that's what made it more comforting. And then I got to meet Tony Prophet. That was my first Salesforce group meeting. And I was like, oh my God, it's Tony Prophet.

Gillian Bruce:               He's personally welcoming you into the Salesforce Ohana. He's good at that. So you go to this user group meeting, and you are getting welcomed with open arms. I mean, I can imagine that that would be a very encouraging moment to help you dive deeper into Salesforce. Did that help play out in terms of you learning more about the platform, and kind of sinking your teeth in a little bit?

Marciana Davis:            Well, the user group meeting I went to was more about inclusion. And including LGBTQ community, including senior citizens as well as people of different shapes, sizes, colors, stuff of that nature. So, I felt that for a long time in my past, I haven't been included as much as everyone else. So, that kind of touched me when they were saying, okay, it doesn't matter. You can be who you want to be, and you could still have a place to work and having value in the area.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah. Ohana definitely welcomes everybody, right?

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               You belong here. You belong with us.

Marciana Davis:            Yes. One of us. One of us.

Gillian Bruce:               Exactly. Exactly. All right. So now you're getting connected to the community. You're learning about the platform. Tell me about some specific things that you've been learning about the platform, what are some of your favorite things that you've learned so far about Salesforce? Are there specific features, or parts of the product that you think are really great, or you're excited to learn more about?

Marciana Davis:            Definitely the process builder. I think I definitely got a handle on that. Because it's very UI friendly, well, user interface friendly for those who are-

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah. We like to spell out acronyms. Thank you.

Marciana Davis:            No problem. Yeah, the process builder is definitely user friendly as opposed to the workflow rules. I always got those two confused.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah.

Marciana Davis:            Because I always thought that workflow was the same. It looks the same as process builder, but when I actually started working at workflow I was like, oh my goodness, these are pretty different.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah. Well the process builder, you can really see what you're automating, right-

Marciana Davis:            Yeah.

Gillian Bruce:               Down the page. Whereas workflow sometimes you're like, all right, so it's going to go off and do a thing, and maybe come back.

Marciana Davis:            Hopefully it does it right.

Gillian Bruce:               Right? Yeah. But I think process builder is one of the most popular tools that has come out, especially for the admin audience, the point and click developers. It's been a huge game changer. I mean, everybody likes to automate things. Right? All right. So tell me a little about what you're doing now. So you learned about Salesforce, you kind of pivoted in your career, you learned about Salesforce. And now you have a job working on Salesforce.

Marciana Davis:            Yes. I sure do.

Gillian Bruce:               So tell me about that.

Marciana Davis:            So I work at Ugorski Consulting right here in New York City on 34th and Madison. I am a cute project analyst in the QA department. So I basically break things and makes sure that the engineers are fixing and making our product as spiffy as possible.

Gillian Bruce:               That's cool. I love that, you get to break things.

Marciana Davis:            Yes. Yes. When I first heard about the position, I was like, oh, I do that for free, so why not? Why not?

Gillian Bruce:               So tell me a little bit more about that. What is it? I mean, when you talk about break things, do you get the opportunity to kind of try new ways to do the same thing?

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               Different ways?

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay.

Marciana Davis:            Different ways. Sometimes I get to try and reach a certain result, a whole different process as well. Yeah, just different options, different clicks. All of this is clicking, folks. There's no coding involved.

Gillian Bruce:               You're not going through lines of code and saying if you break something.

Marciana Davis:            No.

Gillian Bruce:               You're doing ... That's great. So tell me, can you give me an example of something that you've QA'd lately?

Marciana Davis:            So I QA'd ... I'm getting ready to a QA a trigger tomorrow.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay.

Marciana Davis:            I think I'm going to be able to ... I think it's a page, and you can just click different buttons, and then click a button and it's supposed to display a message, but let's see. Let's see if it actually does that.

Gillian Bruce:               Click all kinds of different buttons-

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               And see if you get a different result.

Marciana Davis:            Exactly.

Gillian Bruce:               All right. Okay. I love that. I think inside maybe most of us, maybe I'm speaking for everyone, but I feel like there's a little QA inside of everybody, right?

Marciana Davis:            Yes. Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               Because you want to test things out. You want to see what the limitations are. And if it doesn't work then you're like, I found it, right?

Marciana Davis:            Yeah. Some of my coworkers do QA on their own as well.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah. That's great. So, in this role you're at a consultancy, you are doing QA, which is great. What's next for you with the Salesforce ecosystem and the platform?

Marciana Davis:            What's next for me is basically I'm going to continue volunteering and working within Pep Up Tech. I started volunteering during the virtual bootcamp course in October. So I just finished that this weekend.

Gillian Bruce:               Congratulations.

Marciana Davis:            So next is to volunteer for the next cohort, and also start volunteering in person.

Gillian Bruce:               Nice.

Marciana Davis:            So kind of get out there. Still in my still my youth, my 20s, so might as well just go out there and meet new people and see what's what.

Gillian Bruce:               And it's a great way to give back too.

Marciana Davis:            Yeah.

Gillian Bruce:               And help others become part of this amazing Ohana. Right?

Marciana Davis:            Like my mom said, you didn't get here alone. So give back. Well, giving back is a way of saying thank you, so I'm doing the best that I can.

Gillian Bruce:               Absolutely. I love that. Well, and another thing we've talked about on the podcast a couple times is the idea of, when you are teaching others, you learn more yourself too.

Marciana Davis:            Yes, that is true.

Gillian Bruce:               That's happened for me. So I'm sure you're experiencing some of that.

Marciana Davis:            Yes. Yes. I was just helping students the past couple of weeks, and they're like, oh my God, thank you. You're such a blessing. And I'm like, no, you're a blessing. Because you're helping me study for this sort of case.

Gillian Bruce:               Exactly, exactly. So, I'd love to kind of get your feedback. So we talk about this idea of an awesome admin, right? And admin magic, and how amazing it admins can be. Both for your organizations and kind of just in general. What are some qualities that you think makes an awesome admin?

Marciana Davis:            Attention to detail. You have to make sure you know what the client wants, how the client wants it. Another thing, patience, because clients tend to change their mind.

Gillian Bruce:               What? That's weird.

Marciana Davis:            Also, I would say be a problem solver. That is key. Because that's all you ever do as an admin is solve problems, and go through the process, and training and stuff like that. So, troubleshooting is definitely a major one.

Gillian Bruce:               I love that. Those are some good qualities. I've heard that come through a few other people. But I love, especially you, the QA person says attention to detail is the number one.

Marciana Davis:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               It makes sense. That makes sense. All right, so before I let you go, Marciana, I'm going to give you a lightening round question. All right. So there's no right or wrong answers. The first thing that comes to mind. It has nothing to do with lighting or Salesforce.

Marciana Davis:            Okay.

Gillian Bruce:               Are you ready?

Marciana Davis:            Okay.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay. What is one non touristy thing you recommend people do in New York City?

Marciana Davis:            Movies at the AMC Theater.

Gillian Bruce:               There we go. Is there a particular AMC Theater? Or is there only one?

Marciana Davis:            I don't really know. Because I mean, I'm pretty sure there's AMC Theaters all over. If there's not, welcome to New York.

Gillian Bruce:               There you go. I guess everything could be considered touristy in New York, right?

Marciana Davis:            Yeah.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah.

Marciana Davis:            Yeah. Because I was thinking, one of the second things that came up in my mind was going to the park, and walking through the park. But that's such a touristy thing. Because as soon as you get there, all you see is cameras flashing around.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah. But if you keep walking, there's not as many. Right?

Marciana Davis:            Yeah.

Gillian Bruce:               If you keep going.

Marciana Davis:            That's true. That's true. You got to walk a bit.

Gillian Bruce:               There you go. Well, awesome. Marciana, thank you so much for sharing your story on the podcast.

Marciana Davis:            Oh, thank you for having me. It was a blast.

Gillian Bruce:               And thank you for giving back to the community, and doing all that you do. And I'm so excited to see where what's next for you, where your career goes.

Marciana Davis:            I'm excited too. That makes two of us.

Gillian Bruce:               It was a pure joy having Marciana on the podcast and getting to know her and her story, and really understanding the passion she has for the platform, and for giving back, and for technology. I absolutely love that she said, hey, I'm a database guru kind of girl, and I think that's fantastic. She's got a real strong awesome techy vibe inside of her, and it's fantastic that she's been able to find Salesforce platform to help let that techy vibe fly. I really think some of the things that popped out for me in our conversation were the idea of quality assurance. That's a part of every single awesome admin, is we need to test and make sure that our product and our platform, our app, that it's working the way we want it to work. And so, if you're thinking about the elements of being an admin, or elements or even in the ecosystem, that you might be able to flex some different skills. If you enjoy breaking things and testing things, think about doing some QA work, some quality assurance work.

Gillian Bruce:               It's a really kind of fun trajectory. And Marciana would be happy to talk to you more about it if you want to talk to someone in the field who's doing it. I also really liked how she talked about how she's giving back now as a Pep Up Tech volunteer. And by helping others learn, she's learning herself. And the idea that she did not get to where she's at going it alone. She had a lot of help from other people from the Pep Up Tech community, and now she has a way of giving back and contributing towards others success as well. I also really thought she pointed out some great, awesome admin qualities, like attention to detail, patience, problem solver. These are elements that describe every single awesome admin that I have met. So tap into those qualities. I'm sure you have them. And whether you are an admin focusing on quality insurance, or implementations, or adoption, or building apps declaratively, there are all elements of that that you can pull into your work. So, thanks again for listening to this episode. I've really enjoyed talking to Marciana.

Gillian Bruce:               We have a few more Pep Up Tech stories coming your way, so make sure you stay tuned. As a reminder, hit that subscribe button so that you make sure you get the episodes when they are released every Thursday, delivered directly to your platform or device of choice. If you want to learn a little bit more about quality assurance, I have a fun trail mix for you on Trailhead. So, I don't know if you all are aware, but you can actually create trail mixes yourself on Trailhead and share them with the broader community. And when I was exploring some different QA resources on Trailhead, I came across an amazing trail mix created by Alex Slack, so a member of our community who has created this trail mix called BA and QA training. There's some really great content in there. And I think every admin can benefit from going through that trail. So make sure you check it out. And if you've got an idea for a trail mix, go create your own trail mix as well.

Gillian Bruce:               As always, you can find more great content on how to be an awesome admin at admin.salesforce.com. Blogs, webinars, events, and yes, even more podcasts. You can find us on Twitter @Salesforceadmns. Our guest today Marciana is on Twitter. @traveling_dev. I love it. Super techy even in her Twitter handle. And of course you can find myself @GillianKBruce. Thank you so much for listening to this episode, and we'll catch you next time in the cloud.

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