3 Things I Learned at the Girl Develop It Chicago Salesforce Event

This past weekend I had the opportunity to help be a teaching assistant at the Girl Develop It event at the CareerBuilder office in Chicago. This event focused on learning Salesforce! Girls Develop It is a nationwide non-profit that focusing on providing affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment.

Salesforce Chicago community leader, Rebe de Le Paz, taught the course which was focused on building your own battle station application. The course materials can be  found on Trailhead for anyone interested. I really enjoyed helping at the event and being a teaching assistant. I often find that I learn as much of the students! A few takeaways I had from the event were:

1. Anyone Can Learn Salesforce!

Salesforce is a really accessible technology. There are so many great resources to learn it. You don’t even have to know how to write lines of code, because much of it is point-and-click. You can build really powerful applications without writing a single line of code. One exercise we completed leveraged a Salesforce feature called Process Builder. Process Builder makes it easy to complete automation and object-oriented programming tasks without having a crack open and write a ton of code. It is also very intuitive to learn and the class picked up on how to use it very quickly.

In addition, we had a class with great diversity. Women attended coming from all different careers and backgrounds. Some were still in school, while others were currently project managers, graphic designers, PHP and Ruby developers–the list goes on. I observed that no matter what your background that anyone can learn Salesforce!

2. Application Development Can be Fun!

The topic of the course was pretty fun: battle stations. It was really important to keep the course content fun and engaging, especially on a Saturday morning. The Trailhead writers did not disappoint on the module! Neither did our teacher Rebe with her great sense of humor and entertaining Salesforce anecdotes! I was blown away by just how many attendees were in the class on a Saturday morning. And this was a class that they paid for! For me it is so inspiring to see individuals taking that kind of initiative, many looking to further their careers and branch into a new technology, and some into technology for the first time!

Of course, no Salesforce event is complete without Salesforce Jeopardy! We had a Jeopardy! style event where students could win gift cards, backpacks, and many other prizes. The competition was fierce, but everyone walked away with a prize.

3. Self-Confidence is half the battle!

I also learned that self-confidence is half the battle when learning Salesforce. It was really exciting to watch students progress their knowledge of Salesforce so quickly. Once the students established confidence their knowledge and learning began to snowball. Many were even asking questions about things not in the course materials as they navigated through different features and trails.

Overall a wonderful Salesforce event in Chicago! Thanks to everyone for making it a fun class!

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