Wed, 5 July 2017
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Kiran Manyala, a Senior Developer Advocate with Salesforce India and Gillian’s co-host for the Trailhead DX Preshow.
Join us to hear about how Kiran’s three-point strategy of running Salesforce workshops with students while they’re still in school, bringing new people into the community to learn more, and working with businesses has helped India face an engineering crisis.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Kiran Manyala.
Kiran works for the India Developer Relations Team, a small team of four that supports Trailhead customers all over the world. He joined Salesforce as a support engineer in the CSG block, then moved to Admin, and then Feature Activation. As he put it, “I always had this goal in my mind to do some coding in my career.”
The massive Salesforce Community in India is Kiran’s main responsibility: 40 Developer Groups and around 25,000 Salesforce Engineers. Three of the five largest Dev Groups in the world are in India including Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai; with Pune and Jaipur not far behind. Kiran’s job is to create awareness among them on how powerful the platform is and show them the path to both build their careers and create applications on it. This was one of the major draws that initially drew Kiran to Salesforce: “If you really perform well and if you know what you’re doing, you’re really rewarded and appreciated in this organization.”
India’s Changing Market
“There is a crisis in India,” Kiran says, “customers have changed: they want solutions faster and in a better way.” Once upon a time, when a customer had a use-case, System Integrators would propose solutions based on the resources and technologies they had available, mainly in Java and .NET, which would often take a long time to build.
The problem is that “customers aren’t anything like that right now,” Kiran says, “they want it faster.” They no longer want to wait around for the year it would take to build an implementation in Java. This is where Salesforce comes in because it can shrink that time down to two months. The crisis comes from some folks who are struggling to adopt new technologies and losing jobs because of it: 100,000 engineers have already lost their jobs, and another 600,000 will follow in the next three years. However, as Kiran puts it, “there is opportunity in crisis.” Kiran sees it as his mission to seek out these engineers and give them new skills by helping them learn a new platform.
To tackle his job, Kiran tries to connect three dots: outreach that begins with workshops at colleges and university, meetups and other tactics to strengthen the community, and target job placement to get people with skills in positions where they can make a difference.
Working with Schools
Kiran runs Salesforce workshops at colleges, demonstrating what a CRM is and how you can build these types of applications on Force.com. In the last one and a half years Kiran has taken his workshop to over 8,000 students in India.
The students go on to collect Badges, Super Badges, and Certifications, so they know their stuff but don’t necessarily have the experience of a seasoned Dev. “That’s why we created a platform for them to showcase their skills,” says Kiran, which has led to around 100 students getting placed (and counting). Tightening up that ramp time is “a win situation for the Organizations, it’s a win situation for us (because they’re coming into our community), and it’s a win situation for them because they’re coming into a job.”
The Power of Communities
Kiran has done a lot to make sure that the Salesforce Communities throughout India are active and vibrant. For example, if you’re new to the Community in Hyderabad, you can just go to go to MeetUp.com and you’ll be able to find at least one event happening every month nearby. Getting people involved quickly allows for people to share experiences and makes the community stronger.
A cool idea came up when Mike, Gillian, and Kiran started discussing ways for Communities to connect across the globe— could we pair “sister” Groups together? As Kiran put it, “there’s nothing we cannot do virtually these days.” If they could find a sweet spot that works for both time zones, it could be an amazing way to share knowledge and grow even more connections.
Bringing More Skills into the Workforce
The third dot for Kiran is about connecting with the people who are already working in Salesforce right now. In India, there are around 35,000 System Integrators on the platform right now, and that’s not even taking into account the mid-segment and small-segment companies.
Between working with engineers who have coding ability but might not know the Salesforce platform, and new graduates who have a lot of training but not a lot of experience, there are a lot of ways that Kiran can bring even more talent into his Communities. The future is promising, and this work is a big reason why.
For more insights, make sure to follow Kiran on Twitter (@sfdckiran).
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