Episode 81: Get Salesforce Certified with Francis Pindar | Salesforce Developers Podcast

Francis Pindar is a Cloud Architect and platform owner for NetStronghold. On top of managing those roles, he is the author of his own site over at Admin to Architect.

In this episode, Francis is sharing some of his best tips and tricks for learning Salesforce. We discuss a variety of other topics, as well, such as Francis’ work in the movie industry, his co-founding of the London’s Calling conference, and the Salesforce certification process. Tune in to hear it all!

Show Highlights:

  • How Harry Potter brought Francis into the Salesforce ecosystem.
  • Why he went into the training segment of Salesforce.
  • What led to the creation of London’s Calling.
  • The challenges COVID brought for London’s Calling in 2020.
  • Why a hybrid conference model is harder to put on than an all-live event.
  • Why admins and developers should look into getting the architect certification.
  • How much time you need to get your architect cert.
  • The kind of content Francis has online to help people study for their certifications.
  • What the Salesforce capability map is.

Links:

Episode Transcript:

Francis Pindar:
… picked IT because there was more money in it, basically. But I kept the theater and that side of things going as more of a hobby, I suppose, throughout everything I do. And actually, even the two worlds will join together every now and again.

Josh Birk:
That is Francis Pindar, cloud architect and platform owner from NetStronghold, as well as the author of his own site over at AdminToArchitect. I’m Josh Birk, your host for the Salesforce Developer podcast. And here on the podcast, you’ll hear stories and insights from developers for developers. Today, we sit down and talk with Francis about a wide variety of topics, including his work with London’s calling, as well as his tips and tricks when it comes to learning Salesforce and getting certified. But as usual, we start with those early years, back when he had a BBS.

Francis Pindar:
I’d set up a BBS, and it was actually on my parents’ landline. It was advertised as, you must ring it after hours, otherwise, during the day, my parents would pick it up and have a modem trying to do a handshake to them. And they’re like, “What the …?” Yeah, eventually they got to the point where it’s like, this is ridiculous. We’ll get you your own line. And after a lot of begging from me as well. So I got my own telephone line to hook up my BBS to it, which was cool.

Josh Birk:
Nice. Nice.

Francis Pindar:
[crosstalk 00:01:36] BBS.

Josh Birk:
Yes. It’s almost getting into a theme of the show, of dating ourselves, because I’m sure there are some listeners that are like, “Phone? What the heck are we talking about?” Right?

Francis Pindar:
Yeah, handshaking?

Josh Birk:
Go Google it, young listeners. We’re not going to explain it all to you right now.

Francis Pindar:
No, no, it’s good. It’s from my early experience of programming. My dad had an Amstrad PCW that he did word processing on. And before the BBS came about, I played around on that a little bit.

Josh Birk:
Got you.

Francis Pindar:
And then, yeah, started working on the BBS, and having fun and games on that.

Josh Birk:
Nice.

Francis Pindar:
I do remember, I did make a slight mistake on the BBS at one point. I was hooking up FidoNet, which is the messaging in the network. And I’d programmed it slightly incorrectly. It’s supposed to, overnight, ring your local hub to upload the messages that people had written on your BBS, and then download the latest ones. So basically people could chat with each other all over the world, through this slow connection or whatever. I’d basically configured it such that it would ring Brazil every five minutes, overnight. The Brazilian BBS would go, “Who the hell are you?” Would hang up. My BBS would go, “Wait a minute. I haven’t sent the messages yet,” and [crosstalk 00:03:09]. This went on, unbeknownst to me, for a couple of weeks.

Josh Birk:
Oh, no.

Francis Pindar:
Until my parents got the bill through the post.

Josh Birk:
Oh, gosh.

Francis Pindar:
A fully itemized bill.

Josh Birk:
Oh< geez.

Francis Pindar:
It was quite large. But luckily, my dad, being the scientist he is, said essentially, “Well, you need to fix this first. Make sure it doesn’t happen again, and find out how you’re going to pay for this bill.” So that my first foray into testing, or not, as the case may be.

Josh Birk:
Or not. I feel like, actually, maybe this is why you lean to trying to get something that was going to pay you a lot of money.

Francis Pindar:
Yeah, exactly. Pay off that phone bill from the 90s.

Josh Birk:
Yeah. So then how did you get into the Salesforce ecosystem?

Francis Pindar:
Salesforce, it was a bit of a bizarre … Actually, I tracked it back. I did a talk at India Dreaming, a couple of years ago. And they basically said, “Talk about anything you like.” I basically did a, compare what it was back in ’97 with what it is now, and what I see the future to be, and future is looking. A part of that was looking back and saying, “Well, how did I get into Salesforce?” And I actually worked out, it was directly because of Harry Potter, which I know sounds a bit odd.

Josh Birk:
Okay. It’s a little odd.

Francis Pindar:
It is a little odd.

Josh Birk:
I think this is a first.

Francis Pindar:
But essentially, it all started with me waking up one morning, deciding that I wanted to be on a Harry Potter film, and all my friends thinking I was absolutely insane and bonkers. My parents going, “Really?” And me going, “Well, no. Actually, I’m going to do this and see how I can do it.” I looked at my strengths to see what I could be in Harry Potter, realized I had absolutely none whatsoever, no skills to come to the table whatsoever. So I started digging into it, and found the extras agency they used. Basically joined them and started going through all kinds … I was in Love Actually, I was in all kinds of different things until, eventually I got a phone call saying, “Do you want to be Fred Weasley’s stunt double in Harry Potter, for a couple of weeks?” I was like, “Yeah,” and off I went.

Josh Birk:
Really?

Francis Pindar:
That was working on a load of visual effects shots, which got me interested in visual effects, which then got me interested in learning more about that, which got me working for a company that taught visual effects, that then employed me to set up a CRM and a film post-production tool.

Josh Birk:
Really?

Francis Pindar:
Because they knew that I’d done development before, and e-learning, and things like this. That’s when I started researching CRMs, had no idea what they did or what they were for. There was a number of competitors plus Salesforce on the list. And the moment I saw Salesforce, I saw, this is the future of computing. Got it implemented, and then I literally quit that job, just crammed for a month, everything I could possibly find on the Internet, which wasn’t a lot-

Josh Birk:
Right.

Francis Pindar:
… about Salesforce. And got a job at a consultancy in London.

Josh Birk:
Wow.

Francis Pindar:
That was 13 years ago. So yeah, I can directly link it to Harry Potter in a indirect kind of way.

Josh Birk:
Okay. A couple follow-up questions. What’s it like being a stunt double on a Harry Potter set?

Francis Pindar:
It was less stunts, more …

Josh Birk:
I was going to say, don’t take this the wrong way, but when I think of Francis, I don’t instantly go, “Stunt man.”

Francis Pindar:
Neither did I. It basically was, I was filling in. So they had kids being these stunt … Well, essentially if there was a stunt where one of the kids in Harry Potter’s was … Like one of them that I remember quite vividly was running between tents that were on fire, in a field.

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
I can’t remember which film it was. It was in November, freezing cold, but the wind would pick up and the flames would go across the path you were about to run through. Essentially, it’s like if they thought that the actors could get slightly singed, then they’d call us in and we’d do that instead, basically.

Josh Birk:
Wow.

Francis Pindar:
So if there’s any chance that they could get slightly injured. And then they did actually have proper stunt men for [crosstalk 00:08:19].

Josh Birk:
So this actor gets paid way too much to do this part of the scene, we pay you very little. So please get over here.

Francis Pindar:
Exactly, [inaudible 00:08:30]. We can get another one of you quite easily. Here’s the ginger wig. Off you go.

Josh Birk:
Which films?

Francis Pindar:
I think it was Chamber of Secrets.

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
Prisoner of Azkaban, I think.

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
I think-

Josh Birk:
I might have to go find some stills.

Francis Pindar:
It’s really interesting because it’s all the way through, while I was being this extra, I was trying to figure out what makes the perfect extra, I suppose, to get those kinds of supporting artists roles and stunt double roles. And I found there was a bit of a pecking order in, you have to be reliable. When you get given a job, you have to turn up to it and things like this. Slowly figured it out, and then … Oh, yeah, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. That was it.

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
And Goblet of Fire. There we go.

Josh Birk:
Got you. All right.

Francis Pindar:
Among many other films on the way to get there.

Josh Birk:
To get to your-

Francis Pindar:
My goal.

Josh Birk:
… original goal of a Harry Potter film. That’s awesome. Going off that point where you’ve discovered Salesforce, you see it as the new future. But a lot of the history I see with you and Salesforce, is centered around training and enabling other people. Has that always been an intentional part of your career?

Francis Pindar:
Yeah. I think it’s almost accidental really.

Josh Birk:
Really? Okay.

Francis Pindar:
I think I’ve got a bit of a learner talent anyway. I’m always wanting to learn more. Actually, when I learned Salesforce, one of the things I did … Because there was so little at the time. There was Salesforce workbooks and that was essentially it. And the online [crosstalk 00:10:14].

Josh Birk:
Because we need to frame this as pre trail head.

Francis Pindar:
Pre, pre, pre trail head. Yes.

Josh Birk:
Pre, pre, pre trail head. There’re some PDFs you can download off of developer.salesforce.com. And maybe you get a world tour once a year.

Francis Pindar:
Yeah, and that was it. There was very little. So what I did was, there was developer forums at the time and I basically … People would post a question, and I’ll go and answer. I’ll go research it, try and figure out in my development work, how to do it. And then I’d answer the question because I thought, well, actually, if they’re having that problem, then potentially I will get it as well. And it was a good way to learn. That started this whole answering people’s questions, and then started going, “Well, actually, this is quite a good feeling, knowing you’re helping people,” which carried on, I suppose, into doing e-learning and supporting people, getting an MVP for the community groups and things that helped over the years as well. But yeah, now I think I’ve got just over 60,000 students-

Josh Birk:
Wow.

Francis Pindar:
… from about 154 countries around the world.

Josh Birk:
Nice.

Francis Pindar:
Getting certified and-

Josh Birk:
Yeah, nice.

Francis Pindar:
… asking interesting questions. So yeah, it’s good.

Josh Birk:
Nice. Well, I want to pick your brain more about certification and learning, but first I want to give a shout out to London’s Calling, of which you are a co-founder of. What led to the creation of Linda’s Calling?

Francis Pindar:
I think it was on the mind of a couple of people in the community, over in London, that we wanted put on an event, a one day event for the UK community, I suppose. Coming all together and learning from each other. It really culminated one dream force over some bubbly in San Francisco, where we said, “Let’s do it.”

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
Literally, it was a napkin with what the structure of the day was going to be. And at that time, it was a two day event. And then it was literally, let’s jump into the unknown and let’s do this. I always try to do one impossible thing a year, I think, because … Okay, it may not be impossible for other people that done a lot, but for me, it’s impossible. Let’s try and do it, and see if we can make the impossible, possible, or maybe improbable before it gets to possible. And then eventually it becomes inevitable, it’s going to happen. I’ve tried to do that every year, tried to do something that I think is impossible, and try and achieve.

Josh Birk:
What’s the learning curve like, from going from a napkin to putting people [inaudible 00:13:03]?

Francis Pindar:
Well, to be honest, because I grew up in theater.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Francis Pindar:
It was like putting on a theater show, but the big difference is you’ve got lots of sponsors.

Josh Birk:
Yes.

Francis Pindar:
And also, right at the beginning, you have this circular dependency of, to get a venue, you needed to deposit. To get a deposit, you needed sponsors.

Josh Birk:
Sponsors.

Francis Pindar:
To get a sponsors, you needed a date. And to get a date, you needed the venue.

Josh Birk:
Venue.

Francis Pindar:
So the first event was like, is anybody going to turn up? So I think I made the very conscious decision right at the beginning, was that the sponsors would pay you for the venue. And then all the attendees essentially pay for the food, all those kinds of costs, which rise in relation to how many people we got. So even if nobody turned up, hopefully, you’ve got the money from the sponsors to pay for the venue, and you just run away. Turn fast. But no, in the end it was brilliant. I think we’ve been full every year ever since, so it’s been great.

Josh Birk:
Nice. How many years running so far?

Francis Pindar:
This was our sixth year, this year.

Josh Birk:
Six? Okay. Wow.

Francis Pindar:
I think Mid West Dreaming was the first one that started. And then I think we were straight after them.

Josh Birk:
Wow. Nice. You got hit pretty hard with the pandemic last year, from a timing point of view, if I recall correctly.

Francis Pindar:
Yes.

Josh Birk:
What happened there?

Francis Pindar:
That was a challenge. Our event was on the Friday, and on the Saturday, the UK government basically locked down the entire country. They’d already stopped massive events the week or two before. So we knew the venue was a no-go for anybody under over 500 people. We couldn’t use the venue.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Francis Pindar:
But literally it all happened really quickly in those two weeks leading up to the event. And nobody really knew what was going to happen, if everything was going to quiet down or not. We literally had to turn the event from an in-person event to a virtual event, in basically a week and a half. We were prerecording as many sessions, if we could. In the end, we had a couple of speakers that came to the venue, to do live, but there was only about 10 of us at the venue in all.

Francis Pindar:
Then we realized, because of the schedule, we had lots of gaps in between all the sessions. So how do you fill that? We basically had a live camera at the venue where Amanda and others were doing their best to ad-lib and content in between … I do remember grabbing [Ker Bowden 00:16:12] at one point, to say, “You’re doing an interview with Amanda. Go.” It was amazing.

Josh Birk:
Oh, wow.

Francis Pindar:
But it was great fun. It was constant queuing up talks, and it was just crazy.

Josh Birk:
I mean, if you’re going to have to do an impossible thing, it would be nice to have more than two weeks notice.

Francis Pindar:
Yeah, absolutely. It’s also like, how do you get that? For me, it was more as well, it’s the experience of everybody going to the event, making sure that it was all right. It wasn’t just the attendees. It’s the sponsors, it’s everybody else. So spinning up virtual rooms and having virtual stamps to drive people into the virtual rooms so that people can get the traffic, and all kinds of stuff. So it was good fun. And also, because it was the beginning of the pandemic, it seemed like everybody wanted to watch London’s Calling.

Josh Birk:
Sure, yeah.

Francis Pindar:
It literally took out our website with-

Josh Birk:
Oh, wow.

Francis Pindar:
… 8,000 people trying to watch the streams. It was just crazy, but great experience. But it was knackering. I can say that now.

Josh Birk:
Wow. How did this year go?

Francis Pindar:
This year, it was a lot more prerecorded, a lot more organized. It was really good, actually. I think in-person events are hard. Virtual events, I think are harder, but then the hybrid events are even harder still. So you’ve got a mixture of live streaming plus pre-recorded videos, and things like this. So the pandemic event was this hybrid model, which was just crazy. Whereas this year, we did go a lot more pre-cammed. Well, majority. 99% of it was all prerecorded. It made things a lot easier.

Josh Birk:
Well, let me dig into that for a second, because I think that’s an interesting, behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t get to see. And, I’m experiencing the same over on this side of the fence. What are some of the challenges that make that hybrid model more difficult than, say, just doing one long live event?

Francis Pindar:
I think with the long live event, I could edit up, essentially the entire stream with all the, these are the sessions. But then also in between, we had little sponsor shout-outs, and things like that we could all pre-record. So essentially, we could make it this one massive video that we just basically hit play at the beginning of the day. And then we jump in to live segments a little bit throughout the day as well. Whereas the hybrid events, you’ve got that, plus you’ve got the speakers speaking, but may not be to time. So then what do you do with the gaps straight afterwards? But you want to keep everybody’s attention. It’s juggling a lot more things, and having to switch to live and then switch to pre-cammed, having people in each of the rooms. Things get more challenging.

Josh Birk:
It’s a lot of very careful stitch work, we have found.

Francis Pindar:
Yes, absolutely.

Josh Birk:
A question that I’m asking all of the organizers is, let’s go to a theoretical future. Hopefully not theoretical, inevitable, the future though, where we’re post pandemic, conference rooms are open up again. You can get your venue back. What’s your opinion on keeping a virtual layer in that future?

Francis Pindar:
I think the precedent has been set, virtual is going to be there. And to be honest, we’ve always, at London’s Calling, I think by the first event, we’ve always streamed something-

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
… on the Internet. But I think now it’s not thinking of them as two separate things, as an online experience and an in-person experience. It’s now thinking about, well, actually, there’s these two different experiences, but it’s still the same group of people. How do you connect those people that are in person and online? And I think it’s that where I’m having the most thinking at the moment, for London’s Calling 3.0 next year.

Josh Birk:
Got you. Nice. Nice. Okay, let’s talk a little bit about certification. For instance, or starting at least, how many certs do you have? I

Francis Pindar:
I think I’ve got 17, although I think I’ve taken about 21 certifications in all. But Salesforce keeps retiring them.

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
It’s [inaudible 00:21:00].

Josh Birk:
I feel like there’s an inflection point for people who go into the double digits on certs, where it starts to get harder to remember how many you have. It’s like 12. After 12, it gets a little fuzzy.

Francis Pindar:
And it’s always that extra one that you go, “Oh, yeah. I really should do that one. Don’t know enough about this.”

Josh Birk:
Now your site focuses a lot on admins moving into architecture. What’s the appeal, and I think we can include developers here, but appeal for people who don’t necessarily identify as architects for looking into and studying for those certs?

Francis Pindar:
I think, even for me, actually, I was a little bit not wanting to do the architect certs because I got it in my head that the CTA was impossible, basically, and that obviously all the other applications certs and other certs to get to that, are going to be impossible as well. Therefore, I left it for ages. And then there was a point where I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to try.” I did it, and I realized, “Well, actually, no, I know a lot of this stuff,” and I actually blasted through all of them within about, I think a month, all the certs.

Josh Birk:
Real?

Francis Pindar:
But I think it was, thinking it was harder than it actually was, but also that thing of, I think we’ve all got an architect in us, if you’re an admin, if you’re a developer. Even if it’s like, you want to update a field on a record when a user updates another field on it, you’ve got a number of tools. You could use Workflow, you could use Process Builder, you can use flow, you use code, you can use an external tool to update it. There’re different possibilities, but you’ve chosen one, and there’s a reason for why you’ve chosen it. And that is essentially an architectural decision. You’ve decided that based on certain reasons for it, rather than jumping at the first one. So if you’ve gone through that thought process, then essentially, you’ve got a bit of architecture in you.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Francis Pindar:
And even like the sharing visibility cert, if you look at it, a lot of it is declarative. Because security is declarative within the platform, so I guarantee you, even if you’re an admin or even developer, you know a lot of it already. Go dive onto the website, look at the syllabus for it, that study guide, and see the elements within it. You’ll go, “Well, actually, yeah, I know a lot of this.” And also, the percentages of each of the different syllabus areas here. You’ll see, actually, yeah, this is doable, basically.

Josh Birk:
How much do you think you knew, going into one of these architect certs, versus studying up to, and learning in the process of taking it? How much was relying on your previous experience versus how much you had to level up to it?

Francis Pindar:
I think it depends on which one. Actually it’s not there anymore, but there was an option, the mobile certification, which has been retired. But let’s say for example, that one, I did have to do a lot of studying. Actually, one of my impossible things, one year, was to create an iOS and Android app for-

Josh Birk:
Oh, okay.

Francis Pindar:
… actually a theater show where the deadlines are not moveable. You’ve got an audience coming, so you have to get these apps ready. That’s all my experience I had, but I didn’t have experience of the Salesforce frameworks or anything that we used within the platform, as well as the more detail around the mobile app. So I had to really study for that. But then things like the sharing visibility, I literally just would print out. Or even the platform, I can’t even remember half now, the development life cycle and deployment, and designer. I’ve done a lot of dev ops. I’ve done a lot of work with that. So it was really looking at the study guide and ticking off the things I was pretty confident with, things that I was unsure with. And also just Googling and finding other courses that people had done, or mock exams and things like that, that I could glean from, ideas and things that might have gaps in my knowledge.

Josh Birk:
Got it. When it comes to that process, how much time should people dedicate to … On a weekly basis, what should be they thinking to set aside in order to level up to some of these certs?

Francis Pindar:
I think it depends on your existing experience. And also if you’re a developer versus admin. For example, the sharing visibility in my experience, I see a lot more admins doing really well at that, than developers, because it is a lot more declarative. But I do remember, once I did the advanced developer, booked the advanced developer for Dreamforce, was crazy busy working on projects, so actually revised the night before. Strangely enough, failed the following day, because I had done zero prep at all. But I think a lot of these, it’s being dedicated, putting a plan together, and actually just going and booking the exam three months ahead so you’ve got that goal that you can aim for. And then break down or look at the study guide, break down all the pieces within it and what you need to learn, and plan that out from the three months coming back. And be focused and dedicated, revising those topics as you go.

Josh Birk:
Got you. Nice. Tell me a little bit more about the content that you do have online, that helps people study.

Francis Pindar:
I’ve really started off people coming into Salesforce. So introduction to Salesforce, your admin certification course, really focusing on getting admin certified. I’m about to actually do a, launching a sharing and visibility cert, and start going through the architecture track for people. But also the more fuzzier skills, I suppose, around architecture, that may not necessarily come up in the Salesforce certs. So more around how Salesforce architecture relates to business architecture.

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
And some of the models and the one pages that I’ve used day in, day out, which are really useful for me when I describe Salesforce, or describe my architectures or designs to where I work at the moment, as well as to other companies in the past.

Josh Birk:
Nice. Nice. Out of all of these certs, are there some that you feel like are must haves?

Francis Pindar:
You know what? I think that’s changed.

Josh Birk:
Really? Okay.

Francis Pindar:
Yeah. I always thought the must haves were admin, sales, service. You’ve now got that baseline and away you go. But actually, I really do think that, again, I think it depends on what your goals are. But I personally think there’s a lot of people that have sales, service and admin, and not as many that have got those architecture certs, like sharing visibility and things like that, which go into that much more depth into the platform. And I think are a lot more useful, basically-

Josh Birk:
Got you.

Francis Pindar:
… to a company that you’re working for, and makes your resume really stand out if you’ve got something other than somebody else. So I think the must haves, I think for me, have changed a bit towards, the architecture one, especially the developer one. So the lightning, web components, and stuff like that, because there’s such a demand in the industry at the moment. And it’s standards based.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Francis Pindar:
Even if you don’t want to develop in Salesforce, you’ve that standard for developing anywhere else, outside of Salesforce. So it’s just a no brainer, really.

Josh Birk:
It’s ridiculous how the whole standards-based thing is just, it’s not marketing. It’s a real, huge benefit to the framework.

Francis Pindar:
Absolutely. And like the multiple choice test for it, it doesn’t even mention Salesforce. It’s pretty [inaudible 00:30:08]. It’s all literally Emacs, you have JavaScript, you work. I think, definitely, it’s the way Salesforce should go. Literally the moment it was announced, I had developer friends contacting me, going, “I can develop now on Salesforce. How do I learn Salesforce?” So it was a big change.

Josh Birk:
Nice. Okay. Let me give a shout out to something else you’ve written around architecture. What is the elevator pitch for the Salesforce capability map?

Francis Pindar:
Yes. This is what I use a lot in companies, but it’s basically a one pager that describes the entirety of Salesforce at a level of abstraction. So with one page, you can see all the features and functionality that Salesforce has to offer. And then I basically use that in a number of different ways. It could be highlight all the functional areas or features that the company’s bought, that my company’s bought, then highlight all the ones they’ve bought and are not using. Or it might be, highlight things where there’s an opportunity to improve sales or service, or whatever it may be, by utilizing some of the platform features. So it’s a brilliant one pager to really show what Salesforce is, as well as demonstrate how you can maximize the investment that a company has made in Salesforce.

Josh Birk:
Break down a couple of those layers for me. What are some examples?

Francis Pindar:
I break it down into three different levels, actually-

Josh Birk:
Okay.

Francis Pindar:
… of functional capability maps. The first level, which is I call level zero, essentially is the highest level of abstraction. It’s modeled, I suppose, on the customer 360 wheel. It’s essentially that. It’s that very high level of sales, service, marketing, here’s the core platform. But then what I do then for the next layer down, is flatten that out and say, “Well, okay, within marketing, what are the key functional features within marketing?” Across marketing cloud and Pardot, but not calling out that it is marketing or Pardot.

Josh Birk:
Got you.

Francis Pindar:
And then after that, going down to level two, which is even more detail. Say for example, sales pipeline. Okay, what are the tools and features within that? Well, Kanban, whatever it may be.

Josh Birk:
Got it. Got it. So if I can find myself on the map, I can see the feature set around, where my interest level is with Salesforce.

Francis Pindar:
Exactly, yeah.

Josh Birk:
Got you.

Francis Pindar:
And how you can even see what features, hey, we’re using sales cloud, but we’ve never used forecasting.

Josh Birk:
Got you.

Francis Pindar:
Oh, I didn’t even know it was there.

Josh Birk:
They didn’t even it exists.

Francis Pindar:
Or even on the development platform side, screening events.

Josh Birk:
Yes.

Francis Pindar:
How fun is that? Is that useful? Is it not?

Josh Birk:
Which actually, in my role, back in my evangelist advocacy days, it’s like allowing developers to realize that this thing exists was actually a big challenge. The number of times I would go to an audience and their mobile application, for instance, was entirely surrounded around vanilla REST APIs. And I’m like, “You could do this in one REST call, if you just put it into an Apex class.” They were like, “What?” I’m like, “It’s [crosstalk 00:33:44].”

Francis Pindar:
Exactly. I think that’s one of the things about the platform where I’ve been doing it for 13 years, and I’m almost a little envious of those people coming into it now because I’ve got all that 13 years of baggage, of what you can’t do.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Francis Pindar:
And missing the things that you actually can now.

Josh Birk:
Right. Right. No, I always used to tell my developers, “Whatever you’re writing last year, just throw it out because it’s probably not correct after three releases.”

Francis Pindar:
Exactly, yeah. So everything I’m doing, I’m always … I do an architectural design or a design, I’m going, “Okay, I need to check that [inaudible 00:34:24]. Is that all still current?” Say maybe something’s replaced it. Is there a better way of doing it? This is, again, why I love learning. You’ve got to keep learning. You’ve got to stay on it so you can do the best, design and build the best solution.

Josh Birk:
Nice.

Francis Pindar:
That is easier for yourself as possible.

Josh Birk:
And that’s our show. Now aside from trying to get onto the set of a Harry Potter movie, it turns out that Francis’ non-technical hobby is also something that he considers to be one of his impossible things.

Francis Pindar:
I’m a trustee of a charity, which again, was another one of my impossible things. They do street operas and theater things within schools that don’t have arts or music provisions. One of those is just going out to really poor areas of London, and them doing these pop-up, street operas. Just seeing people’s mouth just drop to the floor and go, “My word, what is this person singing so loudly?”

Josh Birk:
That’s awesome.

Francis Pindar:
“I’ve never seen [inaudible 00:35:35] before.” So it’s great. It’s just that they also work with children’s charities that have had really difficult upbringings. Just seeing those kids come out and start talking, or start engaging with people because of the art or music that’s happening around them.

Josh Birk:
I want to thank Francis for the great conversation and information. And as always, I want to thank you for listening. Now if you want to learn more about this show, head on over to developer.salesforce.com/podcast, where you can hear old episodes, see the show notes, and have links to your favorite podcast service. Thanks again, everybody. I’ll talk to you next week. (silence).