If you work in I.T. or anything remotely to do with “technology to solve business needs” then you’ve no doubt been asked by your mother, grandmother, grandfather, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and random people at various social events “What is it that you do.” Explaining what you do to a non-technical person can get very complicated, very quickly. You can literally watch the glaze begin to form over people’s eyes as they realize that they don’t understand a word you are saying. Now, to quote Chris Duarte, “There’s a badge for that!”
Recently Trailhead release a new trail called “Navigating the Salesforce Advantage.” It seems to do what nobody has really been able to do very well and that is explain what the cloud is and how businesses benefit from it. What Salesforce is and how it leverages cloud technology, and it does so with the same fun attitude that Trailhead has become known for. (I mean one of the answers in the quiz sections reads: “Its complicated and makes you look smart” — ya gotta love this stuff.
Its been suggested that when asked the question, many people default to “I work with computers” — that’s enough for those that would just glaze over anyway. But for those that lean in just a little more, it might not be a bad idea to send them over to Trailhead for a much better answer than “I do computers.” :)
It starts out talking very basically about Salesforce the company and its four core differences: Customer Success, Innovation, Leadership, Giving Back (my favorite).
Now, for those that didn’t “checkout” after your “I do computers” answer, a group of them will have checked out after above two modules feeling satisfied that they have a better understanding of what you do with your 8 to 5 time. However that won’t satisfy the more tech savvy and from there they will move on to the module that discusses the technology basics behind Salesforce. Brief overviews of security and multi-tenancy are given. Things start getting a little heavier here and you may lose some more folks, particular when talking about metadata, there’s something about saying things like “data about data” that scares people off. (It used to drive me nuts back in the 90s — yes, I’m old). However this module clears things up a bit and then goes on to talk about why the metadata architecture is a huge advantages for customers using the platform.
Finally, if they’re still here — they’re interested in finding out more and the trail closes with my favorite topic of all time: The Community. It’s no secret that I’ve raved and raved about this community. The plethora of talented and engaged individuals means that you’re not alone, ever and help is always right around the corner.
So there you have it — there may not be any hope for those that completely glaze over the minute that anything that sounds remotely like 1’s and 0’s starts to come out of your mouth, but for those with some interest, and perhaps some drive to learn more, and do more — there’s a self-serve answer for them out there. So next time someone asks you what you do, give them a sly smile and say: “There’s a badge for that!” and point them to Trailhead.