What’s Hot in Salesforce? With Ben McCarthy

Salesforce MVP Ben McCarthy, who runs the SalesforceBen blog and is a regular guest writer for the Run Consultants blog, was awarded the Salesforce MVP title in July for his Salesforce tutorials, ideas, hacks, features and wealth of knowledge that he contributed to the Salesforce community.

And that’s only in his spare time. By day, he’s a business analyst at Conga, an AppExchange app that specializes in document generation and reporting. As a “Conganeer,” he ensures that the Conga trial process goes smoothly for customers and helps them with customizing and purchasing the app for their businesses.

As part of our series where we chat with Salesforce MVPs and employees about what’s hot in the Salesforce world, we sat down with Ben to see how he became a Salesforce MVP, what on his desk (figuratively and literally) with Salesforce and what he can’t wait to do next for the cloud company.

Q: Briefly describe your history with Salesforce.
A: I initially heard about Salesforce while studying Information Systems at Cardiff University. I was told by a friend who had already graduated to “check out this miracle bit of software.” I then found my way into a graduate position as a Salesforce consultant in London. Since then, I have worked as a CRM manager, freelance consultant and business analyst.

I was awarded the Salesforce MVP title in July this year for my contributions to the community via my blog, SalesforceBen. I started blogging as a way to note down my ideas, thoughts and hacks, this quickly turned into more of a hub of knowledge with posts about various features, tutorials, apps and with guest posters from around the world.

Q: What are you currently working on or learning about with Salesforce?
A: I am always looking to further my knowledge with the Salesforce platform and beyond. Currently I am working towards a couple of certifications. The first is the Service Cloud Consultant certification. I’ve worked with Service Cloud a lot in the past, but according to the study guide, I have only scraped the surface. Service Cloud is a great product, and I want to make sure I know as much about it as possible. The second certification is the upgrade from Developer (Discontinued) to Platform App Builder certification, which brings in a lot of new elements.

Q: What do you hope is next for your Salesforce journey?
A: I am continually thinking of new ways to expand the SalesforceBen blog into new areas to help out as many people as possible across their journey. This year I have brought in quizzes and exams to help people study for their certification exams, more than 15 guest posters from an array of backgrounds and have just surpassed my 100th post. I hope to continue building on my blog to make SalesforceBen a one-stop shop for all things Salesforce.

In my day job at Conga, I am working towards becoming a Solution Architect and continuing to work on my Salesforce and project skills.

Q: Briefly describe your “day job” work environment.
A: I split my time between the Conga office and working from home. My home office contains a bit of a “mega desk,” which includes an iMac with an extra screen and my Windows laptop with docking station plus two extra screens. I have two whiteboards next to my desk that I use to sketch down ideas that I think about, which are usually about blog post ideas and ways to extend SalesforceBen as a site.

behind the cloudQ: Name one thing on your actual desk that’s interesting, inspiring or meaningful to you, and why. 
A: Currently on my desk I have a copy of “Behind the Cloud,” a part-story, part-autobiography told by Marc Benioff about how Salesforce started and succeeded. It’s interesting to understand how things started from the man behind the machine and why Salesforce has grown into the powerhouse that it is. I was only 9  years old when Salesforce was founded, and a concept such as cloud computing was just so ahead of its time that it’s hard to believe it came from a single man. It’s inspiring and definitely should go on your must-read list.

What’s Hot in Salesforce? is an occasional blog series that asks Salesforce MVPs and employees to tell us about their role with Salesforce and what they hope to achieve next.

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