What to know about transitioning to Salesforce DevOps (Trails Podcast episode #14 with Manuel Moya)

Join us in this episode as we delve into Manuel Moya's perspective as a Salesforce DevOps Consultant. We will talk about DevOps and the Salesforce ecosystem. Explore his journey, gain insights, and discover valuable tips.

  • Published 05 Jun 2024
  • 6 mins read
What to know about transitioning to Salesforce DevOps (Trails Podcast episode #14 with Manuel Moya)
Table of contents

Episode 14: Manuel Moya, Salesforce DevOps Consultant

Article Highlights
  • Manuel first got in touch with Salesforce when he applied for a junior developer position at FinancialForce in his hometown. Despite not knowing anything about Salesforce at the time, he knew FinancialForce was a reputable company, so he pursued the opportunity.
  • At FinancialForce, Manuel learned Salesforce's best practices and received mentorship that greatly enhanced his skills. Later, he moved to Copado to delve into the DevOps side of Salesforce.
  • In his current role, Manuel enjoys working with various customers and choosing his projects, which allows him to maintain his technical skills. He remains excited about technical work and hands-on coding.

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How did you get in touch with Salesforce? When was it? How did your career evolve from there within the Salesforce ecosystem?

I started working with networking at Cisco and Juniper. I was configuring all these systems but was not finding happiness in this. I knew that what I wanted to do was code and work as a developer. But I needed to find out specifically which technology. I was looking for a company where I could learn how to be a good developer.

I saw an offer at that time in FinancialForce, here in the city where I have always lived. It was a junior developer offer. I didn't know anything about Salesforce, but I knew that FinancialForce was a good company to work with, so I interviewed there. One of the interviewers was Alba Rivas.

I liked the people and decided to start there. I learned a lot about Salesforce's best practices, and the people working there were great mentors.

You started with a big ISV but have also done work outside the ISV space, right?

I learned a lot about the enterprise ISV side because FinancialForce was a very mature company. I also learned about:

  • Development
  • Coding practices
  • Delivery processes
  • The complete development lifecycle.

I was very interested in the DevOps side of Salesforce.

At that time, I decided to switch to Copado. I worked for a few years there as a technical lead. I went to Copado not only for DevOps but also to understand how work was done in a startup ISV. At that point in time, Copado was ending the startup phase because it was already quite a big company. It was going more into the mature company phase. I learned much about this migration and how you develop when you need more features. It's a different way of thinking.

After that, I also wanted to learn outside the ISV ecosystem, so I entered a kind of Salesforce consultancy. The primary mission was to create AppExchange packages for customers. I worked as a developer and in similar roles for some time. I learned a lot about customer interactions, but I wanted to keep learning about DevOps because I knew there was much more to learn.

I decided to switch from a contractor to a freelancer, and I started working and contributing to Hutte and other companies as a technical architect and DevOps consultant.

If you are considering becoming a consultant, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Master Salesforce basics: Gain a solid understanding of Salesforce administration, development, and DevOps.
  2. Learn DevOps tools: Familiarize yourself with tools like Hutte, Jenkins, Copado, and SFDX.
  3. Get certified: Obtain relevant Salesforce and DevOps certifications.
  4. Hands-on experience: Work on real-world projects to apply your knowledge and improve your skills.
  5. Stay updated: Keep up with the latest trends and updates in Salesforce and DevOps.
  6. Network: Connect with other professionals in the Salesforce and DevOps communities.
  7. Develop soft skills: Improve your communication, problem-solving, and project management skills.
  8. Build a portfolio: Showcase your expertise through a portfolio of your work and contributions.
  9. Seek mentorship: Find a mentor who can guide you and provide valuable insights.
  10. Join communities: Participate in Salesforce webinars, user groups, forums, and DevOps meetups.

What excites you in your current role, working with different customers and choosing your projects and assignments?

I always try to maintain my technical side. When you evolve from a lead developer position to a higher step in the ecosystem, such as a technical lead or architect, switching to more management or solution architecture tasks is very easy. I have also realized that it does not motivate me to wake up and work many hours. I like the technical side of Salesforce. Ultimately, it's also where I am valuable because I feel much more helpful in doing something I know I am quick at, more efficient, and enjoy.

Could you point out any of the recent announcements or feature releases on the Salesforce platform that specifically excited you or something that has been announced that you're looking forward to?

Years ago, the one that amazed me was the release of custom data types. I think custom data types, especially to ISVs, made a massive contribution in extending the behavior of a package with extension packages, with second-generation packaging.

On the other hand, one of the things that I have recently worked with is Flow Orchestrator. I thought it was useful until I discovered it is a freemium product. You can use it for free, but after a certain number of requests, you must pay.

With AI and all those kinds of features that Salesforce is releasing, you don't need a skilled developer. It's also an interesting step that Salesforce is taking. On the one hand, it is very positive because it has enormous potential.

However, it is also concerning as the technical depth that can be created for the future uses these AI systems and gives you a solution, but it is not the best solution. You still need an intelligent person behind the scenes who understands how to implement the solution the AI gives you. This will create a lot of technical depth and maybe bad decisions that we will need to fight in the future.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts about Git-based development in Salesforce

I wish I could say by next year, every company in the market will use Git-based development. But I think the reality is a bit different. On one side, I think companies are incrementally switching to Git. They are not all doing it simultaneously and will probably not all be doing it this year. But I think it's slowly evolving. However, many companies may need more resources, such as having skilled developers or a DevOps engineer on board, to cover this transition.

However, some companies only realize the challenges of the old way of developing or releasing when they have a deployment issue that has a real business impact. As this thinking is late in the game, they will try to switch the complete development lifecycle quickly.

We also need to talk about all the community contributions, like DX@Scale and CumulusCI. Flxbl is not from Salesforce, nor is DX@Scale. We have made a significant community contribution, which in the DevOps world has been immense and has made the transition to it much easier. If we talk about five or eight years ago, there was little for DevOps. Either you paid a product for it, or you used change sets. There is now an extensive landscape of options to make this transition easier. The community in this aspect of Salesforce has been incredible.

👉
Read more: Do you want to grasp Git better? Download our starter guide!

How does your upcoming travel schedule look? Do you still visit many events? Did you apply for any talking slots?

I have been a speaker on four or five occasions, but I do it occasionally, only when I have a topic I am really enthusiastic about. This year has been a busy year. I wish I could have made it to dreamOlé in Granada, but it wasn't possible because of a personal commitment. But talking about the future, I want to go to TDX, which is the one that I have always been looking at. It's quite difficult to go to TDX, but if we need to create a wishlist, that will be on it.

Apart from that, another thing I have learned about events is that I have more fun at small community events, like dreamOlé, CzechDreamin, or London's Calling, than at huge events like Dreamforce or the World Tour. These are huge events, and meeting with the people you are familiar with in the ecosystem is difficult.

Here are some networking tips for your next Salesforce event:

  1. Prepare ahead: Research attendees, speakers, and sessions to identify key people and topics of interest.
  2. Set goals: Decide what you want to achieve, whether making new connections, finding potential collaborators, or learning about new tools.
  3. Engage on social media: Use event hashtags and join online discussions before and during the event to connect with others.
  4. Arrive early: Start meeting people in a less crowded environment.
  5. Ask questions: Show genuine interest in others by asking about their work and experiences.
  6. Exchange business cards: Always have business cards handy and be ready to share them.
  7. Follow-up: Send personalized follow-up messages to new contacts to maintain the connection after the event.
  8. Attend social activities: Join lunches, dinners, and after-parties to network more relaxed.
  9. Volunteer: Offer to help at the event, which can provide additional opportunities to meet and interact with people.

Until next time

Thank you for tuning into this episode of Hutte's Trails Podcast.

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Last updated: 10 Jul 2024