If you’ve never spent time on Trailhead, you might not know what the Salesforce Ranger rank stands for. Ranger is a badge of honor in the community that shows you’ve kept up to date on your Salesforce knowledge, and have spent many hours learning and completing online education on Trailhead. The requirement for becoming a Trailhead Ranger is completing a total of 100 badges and getting at least 50,000 points. This is currently the highest rank available, despite my repeated badgering to generate more ranks!
Related: Key Takeaways from Salesforce Connections 2018
When you become a Trailhead Ranger, you’ve made it clear that you’re dedicated to self-improvement and have invested a lot of time in yourself to become the best. A Ranger is a respected guide in the community, especially when you give back and help others achieve their own personal successes. It’s a big step toward becoming a community MVP.
But I wasn’t always firmly planted in the Salesforce Ohana. My story begins a little before.
Once upon a time, in a Best Buy, far, far away, there was a Deputy of Counter Intelligence who believed he could do something greater. I’ve always been fascinated by helping people through mentorship, education, or simply with skills I possess. That’s why I enjoyed my job managing the Geek Squad team and working with my clients. I was busy working through my degree and in the early stages of a relationship with my future wife. I went to work for the Rotary Club of Indianapolis as a web projects manager and membership coordinator.
A Ranger is a respected guide in the community, especially when you give back and help others achieve their own personal successes.
Everything was feeling amazing, but sometimes life has a way of sneaking up on you.
I got married, finished my degree, started a job as a Drupal web developer at a great entry-level position, but within a week had to quit. The first weekend after my job started, I discovered that I was suffering from Burkitt’s Lymphoma—an aggressive form of cancer—and would need to be hospitalized for nearly six months to receive even more aggressive chemotherapy. Engines full stop! Red alert!
Nine difficult months later (three extra months for long-term rehabilitation), I emerged back into the world. It took another four or five months to regain some semblance of normality. I wasn’t sure how or where to look for a job and I didn’t know who would hire me after a year-long employment gap. Fortunately, I had the power of networking on my side (this is my plug for the value of networking, do it!). My role at the Rotary Club had improved my network of contacts in the Indianapolis area. Between my wife’s contacts and my own I quickly learned about a small ExactTarget partner in the Indianapolis area and applied.
This was way back when ExactTarget was more than just a small orange line in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. I started as a Quality Assurance/Email Marketing Specialist and learned the ins and outs of coding for email. Shortly afterward, the Salesforce acquisition happened. I couldn’t get enough knowledge about ExactTarget and then Marketing Cloud. I learned AMPscript and devoured ExactTarget architectural knowledge.
It was only natural that, once the Salesforce ecosystem found me, I would inevitably set out on an insatiable quest for knowledge.
I know that finding Salesforce has changed my life trajectory and brought me back from one of the roughest times imaginable.
My clients required more and more integration consultation and my curiosity took over. I began acquiring Trailhead badges and sneaking further down the rabbit hole of Salesforce. Originally, I started off blazing through the required elements of the old Salesforce CRM integration to ExactTarget/SFMC. I worked through every badge I could on Contacts, Accounts, Leads, and Person Accounts that were available. Not content to stop there, I kept on going through Salesforce reports and administration.
I was given a new challenge in the form of a Sales Cloud integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud upgrade from version 2 to version 5. Any veteran of Salesforce integration will tell you that this is no easy task and required much assistance from Salesforce Support to execute. This drove me to understand more of the fundamentals of how Salesforce.com worked. I kept pushing myself harder and harder to get further into the trail and further make myself available for new challenges.
Fast forward, I’ve now completed 103 badges. I know that finding Salesforce has changed my life trajectory and brought me back from one of the roughest times imaginable. I’m thankful to be a part of the Ohana–come join me at the top of the trail!