Meet Edith Valencia-Martinez
A few years ago, Salesforce Developer Edith Valencia-Martinez never expected that she’d become a technology coach. But as a senior software engineer specializing in Java and Apex, she has a tremendous amount of experience and advice to offer recent computer science graduates and junior developers.
Edith attending a virtual Trailblazer meetup.
When her Salesforce journey began, Edith worked for Desynit, a UK-based Salesforce consulting firm. Edith joined as a Java developer, and because Java is so similar to Apex, the company assigned her to Salesforce projects. She recalls, “My company had many Salesforce MVPs at the time and I was lucky to get to know the Salesforce community through their engagement.”
Nominated by the Trailblazer community, Salesforce MVPs are exceptional leaders and product experts who go above and beyond to help others succeed in the Salesforce ecosystem. With over 18 million Trailblazers, the community supports and encourages each other to gain in-demand and relevant skills for free, earning resume-worthy credentials.
Recently, Edith has started a new path as an independent software consultant.
Sharing experience through speaking and coaching
To supplement her on-the-job learning, Edith started attending her local Salesforce Developer community meetups in Bristol and London, England. She found them welcoming and friendly with interesting topics, and she regularly met new people while gaining skills and having fun.
Soon, Edith began speaking at these meetups and at different community-organized events around Europe. Her passion for inclusion in the technology space eventually led her to become a coach with Radical Apex Developers (RAD) Women, a nonprofit organization that teaches people who identify as female to code in Apex.
Edith coaching some of her RAD Women mentees.
“I am very proud of being a RAD Women coach,” says Edith. “It’s very fulfilling to coach Salesforce admins to become developers. I admire their courage, hard work, and enthusiasm as they overcome the challenges related to learning to code.”
What makes developer life so enjoyable
Over the years, Edith has found software engineering to be a very rewarding career. She finds excitement and job satisfaction in a wide range of activities, from getting her code to compile without errors to seeing an idea finally become a product that’s used by end users. Edith gets to experience that, and much more, when working on Salesforce projects.
“Being a Salesforce Developer is fulfilling,” she says, “as there are many technologies, areas, products, and company types where we could engage. The Salesforce Platform also allows us to quickly release working software and deliver business value faster.”
For Edith, the key to success as a Salesforce Developer is to always be open to learning new things and engage with like-minded people through the Salesforce Developers Trailblazer Community. She says, “The most fulfilling activity for me, though, is to engage with the community by speaking or attending events and helping others in their journey.”
Edith presenting at a London Salesforce Developer group meetup.
But community engagement is a two-way street. Edith also appreciates that Salesforce asks for feedback to help improve its products. She follows the Salesforce Developer Advocate team as they share their knowledge through Twitter, talks at events, blog posts, and sample apps in the GitHub repo. Edith likes to keep a close eye on the latest developments, such as how Salesforce is incorporating AI into its products like Einstein for Developers.
A coach’s advice to new developers
In her life as a developer, Edith is guided by her overall philosophy on life. “Everything is impermanent,” she says, “Difficult situations and challenges will pass, just keep going and ask for help or take breaks when necessary.” From this place of groundedness, she nurtures other non-technical skills like teamwork, communication, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving. She says, “I learned them at work, through examples of people I admire and feedback from management and peers, and also in formal training at university and private courses. I am still learning.”
In addition to interpersonal skills, Edith has plenty of practical tips for her mentees. Her go-to educational resource is the Trailhead learning platform, and she’s accomplished a number of badges and superbadges, her favorite being the Lightning Web Components Specialist. She says, “Trailhead is a great tool to learn. I find the superbadges the most helpful as they guide you from zero to a working app.”
Edith also recommends growing one’s resume by earning Salesforce Certifications: “The certifications help me to improve my knowledge and understanding of different areas, and they also improve my opportunities in the job market.”
Edith loves learning on Trailhead.
But it’s the community that draws her again and again, and she advises others to explore everything it has to offer. Edith herself is inspired by thought leaders like Emily Patra, Nadina D. Lisbon, Alba Rivas, and Fabien Taillon, and she actively grows her skills through her community involvement. “By attending events, I increase my knowledge, communication skills, and presentation skills, and I also grow my network. By coaching with RAD Women, I improve my skills, which in turn, prove useful when coaching junior developers at work.”
By coaching with RAD Women, I improve my skills, which in turn, prove useful when coaching junior developers at work.
To meet developers like Edith and expand your technical skills, join the Salesforce Developers Community and be a part of the conversation on all things Salesforce development.
About the author
Christie Fidura is the Director of Global Trailblazer Engagement. In this role, she seeks to engage and elevate the community and work directly with them to understand their challenges, concerns, wins, and inspirations. You can find Christie in the Trailblazer Community at https://trailblazer.me/id/christiefidura. A certified community manager and multiple-award winning marketer, Christie believes in technology, community, and equality.