Ever since my parents bought me a Commodore Vic 20 as a kindergartener, my passion has been figuring out how to use technology to make life better. I wrote Apple IIe games to help my second grade classmates learn math. I wrote Word Perfect macros to help the junior high school secretary run mail merges. My professional career began before I was old enough to drive when I wrote programs to help tellers at my local bank balance their cash drawers.
Then came the World Wide Web. Life got interesting after that.
Once I figured out how to explore the Internet, I taught myself HTML and started building websites. My first “real” IT job was as a webmaster, and from there my career focused on building and integrating systems using Internet technologies.
During the Dot Com Boom I dropped everything and moved from Chicago to Silicon Valley to work for CRM pioneer Siebel Systems. Siebel was one of the fastest growing technology companies in history, and looking back I realize that we accomplished things as an IT organization that companies are still trying to figure out to this day.
A funny thing happened during the Siebel years, though. Salesforce.com happened.
At first, Siebel didn’t take Salesforce seriously. While Salesforce was signing up mom and pop shops, Siebel was selling multi-million dollar enterprise CRM deals to the Fortune 100. Eventually we took notice and built Siebel CRM OnDemand in an attempt to put Salesforce out of business. I think we might have failed at that.
After Siebel, I found myself reenvisioning the role of technology in business. It was clear that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) was going to radically change the way technology services were delivered, but it took a chance encounter with authors Nicholas Carr and Dr. Michael Hammer at a seminar in Boston for me to find religion in business process innovation. Since then, holistic technology and process design has been the core of my system architecture philosophy.
After moving home to Chicago, I started a services company focused on driving business transformation using cloud technology. Working with early cloud-based platform providers, I was finding that the technology had not reached the point where it could keep up with business demands. That was until Salesforce introduced the Force.com platform.
I have found that with Salesforce, anything is possible. Technology is no longer the roadblock for business growth and transformation. The challenge is being able to define your business vision and execute it.
Fast-forward to today, and I find myself with nearly a decade of Salesforce development experience, having helped hundreds of companies do business in new ways. I focus on helping innovative organizations envision, design, and deliver game-changing solutions with Salesforce. I am also a part time instructor for Salesforce University, teaching advanced Apex and Visualforce programming to developers across North America.
It has been a fun ride so far.