Wed, 31 July 2019
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got another developer story for those of you thinking about careers and what to do next. This episode, we’re talking with Miranda Ragland, founder and CEO of M7 Unlimited. We caught up with her at WITness Success 2018 to talk about how she became a Salesforce developer and the work she does to help enable others to become proficient on the platform.
Join us as we talk about how Miranda built her career in programming and how trying to automate her timesheets eventually lead her to a career as a Salesforce developer.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Miranda Ragland.
Coding from the age of seven.
Miranda’s been a Salesforce developer since 2006. “I really really love taking advantage of the platform to make it easier for end-users to get their work done,” she says, “I tend to focus more on admins and consultants because I love building tools for their and it’s a fantastic platform to build on.”
“I’ve always been a curious person by nature,” Miranda says, “and I was really lucky to have access to computers when I was really young—early 80s. And just by being curious by nature I wanted to know how they worked, so I took apart our family computer.” She started coded when she was seven years old, creating a game in BASIC and even debugging it. “There’s this feeling of accomplishment when you figure out what’s going wrong,” she says, “when you have that aha moment and it works it’s an amazing adrenaline rush.”
How getting rid of extra clicks lead to a career.
As Miranda picked up more programming languages, she was constantly on the search for what would come next. As an early internet user (like 1991 early), she was curious about how things worked at a lower level, so she taught herself C and Visual Basic, and then moved on to assembly, C++, C#, and Enterprise Java. “I had to log into Salesforce log my time slips, and it wasn’t a particularly well-automated system back then in 2006,” she says, “so I decided I wanted to learn how to make this more efficient because I was tired of all the clicks so I learned how to write an S control.”
At this point, Miranda was working with a consulting company that just so happened to have a client that needed help with a Salesforce integration, which at the time meant using Java to push data into the platform. Just as she was getting to know and love Salesforce, Apex came out. “I absolutely fell in love, and I haven’t looked back,” she says.
Why you already have what you need to learn to code.
When we caught up with Miranda at WITness Success 2018, she was working with registered consulting partner ITequality, which she co-founded. “One of our goals is to change the face of consulting,” she says, “and bring awareness to mental health and LGBTQ issues.” Their first client was looking for a developer to update a Visualforce page with some static text in it. Instead, Miranda was able to show them how to make that content live in Salesforce in a way that they could update it themselves.
If you’re thinking about jumping into coding, Miranda wants you to know that you already have everything you need to succeed. “It’s just structured problem solving,” she says, “people look at code and they get intimidated by it, but really coding boils down to breaking things into smaller, more digestible chunks and then you tackle those smaller problems.” The more comfortable you get with the concepts, the easier it’ll be to pick up new languages.
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Full Show Transcript