Knowing When to Ask for Help

One of the skills everyone needs to have is asking for help. Whether that’s in our work, our education, or our personal lives, we all need help from time to time. We are focused on work here, but this same basic rules apply in all aspects of our lives.

The right time to ask for help is, like so many things, a balancing act. Struggling through a complex issue can be a great way to learn something new. But often we can short cut that learning by simply asking the right questions at the right time.

On the flip side, if we ask too early not only do we risk missing a chance to build deep understanding, we also risk frustrating colleagues by asking them to do our job.

One short cut for when you need to ask for help is if another team member asks if you have already asked. Generally, I want to have called for support before my PM suggests it. By then they are frustrated that I haven’t already solved whatever the issue is solo.

Signs You Might Need Help

Given my current role and skill set, I’m often the person who gets called when a project goes sideways. That means I see a lot of places where someone didn’t call for help until they were in crisis. While that’s going to happen to us all from time to time, it’s better to call for help when the problem is small. If you want until the project starts burning down around you, it’s way too late.

You might need help if:

  • You have absolutely no idea what to do next.
  • You are about to re-design a large portion of your project to get around a challenge.
  • You have spent more than a day pounding on a problem without success.
  • You are avoiding working on a task, because you don’t know how to get started.
  • You are about to use a mode/tool/technique that everyone says is a bad idea.
    • In Salesforce that can mean things like:
      • loading data in serial mode
      • setting batch size to 1
      • using view all data in your tests.
    • In Drupal that can mean things like:
      • hacking a module
      • loading data in the theme layer
      • writing raw SQL queries

What to do Before Asking for Help

As I said before, asking for help is a balance: you can wait too long, or you can ask too soon. The real trick is hitting the sweet spot.

There are several things you should always do before taking another person’s time.

  • Google It! I kinda can’t believe I have to say that, but not everyone bothers.
  • Make sure you can explain the question clearly. If you don’t know where you got stuck, how can I help you get unstuck? And thinking it through might make the answer obvious.
  • Develop a theory. When asking for help, it can be useful to pose a theory about an approach. Even if you’re wrong it may help me understand your thinking.
  • Try a few things. Experimenting with what’s going wrong can help you formulate your question, and may help me short cut my research if you have eliminated obvious issues.
  • Explain the problem to your dog, cat, rabbit, stuff animal, etc. As someone who spends time being a human rubber duck, I can often tell when someone tried to explain it once already.

Where/Who to Ask for Help

For me, the hardest part is knowing who to ask.

As a consultant I try to avoid asking questions in places clients may see it. Our clients pay for us to be experts, they do not want to see us asking questions in public – particularly if the question has a simple answer.

As a Salesforce MVP, one of my favorite perks is the MVP Slack channel, where we ask each other questions that run the full range of complexity. While access to a community that hard to access, and that advanced, is a privilege there are other ways to find similar groups like your local user group.

I love having a good internal network of people to ask for help. Most of the places I have worked at as a consultant have had some kind of information place to ask questions and help each other out. If you work in a consultancy find or create such a back channel.

If concerns about being seen by clients isn’t relevant to you, check out this list of 7 Salesforce Communities to Join recommended by Salesforce Ben.

Help Build a Helpful Community

The final thing to know about asking for help, is that it’s important to offer help as well. A good question can be valuable to someone else who has the same issue in the future. A good answer is helpful to both the person who asked the question and the person who looks again in the future.

But offering answers, even if not perfect answers, is a great way to learn and encourage others to seek help. Any time I post a question on Stack Exchange, I try to hunt around for one or two to answer as well. That both allows me to pay it forward, it also helps encourage the tone that people can be experts in one thing while still needing help in another.

Smart people need help, and should be comfortable asking for it.

Writing for Developers and Consultants: Know your Documents Types

When I started this series on writing for developers and consultants, I thought of this piece first, but I couldn’t get the ideas to come together. Sometimes it takes a few tries.

Anytime you write something, you should be aware of what kind of document you’re writing and who is it for. The definition of “document” in this context is very broad it could be: an email, letter, solution design, chat messages, blog post, test script, work of fiction, book, poem, presentation, marketing slide deck, scope of work, and so on: anything that involves writing words.

For example, this is a blog post, about writing, meant for people who are developers or technology consultants who may have been told good writing isn’t important.

Common Work Documents

I’m going to put aside poems, novels, and other personal writing forms to focus here on work related writing. Developers need to be able to describe their work to other people. We also need to communicate about what is happening on a project, support one another, and ask for help. We do all these things with words, and often in writing.

In my career I’ve written a wide variety of documents as part of my work. A partial list (because I doubt I can think of everything to create a complete list) includes:

  • Emails
    • to my boss
    • to colleagues or friends
    • to direct reports
    • to clients
    • to large mailing lists
  • Solution Design Documents
  • Scopes of Work
  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Test Scripts
  • Conference Talks
  • Research Reports
  • Chat Messages

Some require more detail and longer prose than others. Some are expected to be polished where others can tolerate typos and mistakes. But each has its own style, structure, audience, and expectations that the writer must meet.

A Document’s Purpose

When you start to wring something, know your purpose in writing.

Not all documents are created equal and so understanding your purpose is critical. Are you writing an Solution Design that needs to outline how you plan to solve all the hard problems in a project? Or are you writing an email to your boss asking for a few days off? Is this a research report meant to support an advocacy project or a cover letter for a resume? All of those are important things, but none should be written in the same tone or with the same style.

A Scope of Work (SOW) is a lasting artifact during a projects that sets the bounds of the work you’re going to complete. A sloppy SOW can cost you, or your employer, vast sums of money. A SOW writing purely to defended against those concerns may not express the client’s needs and interests, and result in them refusing to sign.

An email to a client might be a friendly reminder about pending deadlines, or a carefully crafted notes from a contentious meeting. Written well, both could leave you in a better place with your client. Written poorly, both may cause your client to become frustrated with your sloppiness.

If you don’t know why you’re writing something, you are likely to write the wrong thing. At work, if you aren’t sure, ask for guidance.

A Document’s Audience

There is no such thing as a “general audience” you should always have a mental image of who you are writing to, and why.

We all know that it’s important to think about your audience, but we don’t always do this well. In part because determining the audience is sometimes a little complicated.

When your audience is the person or people you are writing to, you need to leverage your understanding of their knowledge, skill set, and project engagement. You want your text to meet them where they are.

Sometimes the audience you care about most isn’t the direct subject of the message, but a 3rd party you know, or suspect, will read the document later. I find this is true particularly in contentious situations.

FOIA Warning

If you work in, for, or with government agencies in the US (and for similar reasons elsewhere as well) – including as a subcontractor – you should understand if your content is subject to a Freedom of Information Act requests. Sometimes your audience isn’t the person you are writing to at all, but the reporter who could read the message 2 years from now after they get copies of everything related to your project. In those settings, don’t put anything in writing you don’t want on the front page of a major newspaper.

But FOIA can also be a blessing for a developer who knows a bad decision is being made. Carefully worded expressions of concern, and requests for written confirmation of next steps, can trigger FIOA-cautious readers to recognize they need to follow your advice.

Finding the Right Level of Technical Detail

One of the hardest things for developers, and other people with lots of technical knowledge, to do well is communicate clearly about technical minutia. There is a balance to be struck between providing transparency and overwhelming readers with details. Developers have to think about details in our work. We also use field specific jargon that can be confusing to people whose work is in other areas.

Too often we confuse that specialized knowledge of our field, with intelligence. I have watched developers lose their audience in the nuances of small details, and come away announcing their audience was a bunch of idiots. Early in my career I was guilty of this as well. Assume you’re audience is as smart as you; they just know different stuff.

When you make that assumption you can avoid talking down to people, and start to work on finding their level.

The right level of technical detail will also vary by document type. When I’m exchanging emails with a client’s in-house developer we go deep into the weeds often. When I’m writing a SOW, the technical detail is nearly absent as we are defining functionality and purpose, not the exacting detail of how that functionality will be delivered.

The more you can be in conversation with the people you’re working with about their background, the easier it will be to find the right level of detail to explain yourself clearly.


Hopefully by now it’s clear, this is an overview of approach, not detailed guidance. In a future post I plan to write about some of these specific documents types, and how to write them. Hopefully this overview gives you ideas and things to think about as you work on your next document.

As I said in my first post on this topic, communications skills for developers and consultants is an enormous topic. The plan for this series is evolving as I go. If you have suggestions or requests feel free to leave me a message.

Tool Building Mindset

Earlier this month, at Mid Atlantic Dreamin’ in Philadelphia, I gave a talk titled Software Super Heroes: Building the tools you wish you had. My goal with the talk was to convince people that should, can, and in fact do, built tools for themselves. If you work with technology, and your job involves repetitive tasks the same applies to you too.

What do I mean by “Tool” and “Tool builder’s mindset”?

I like to use a very expansive definition of tool: “A tool is anything that makes a task easier which would be repetitive, hard, or impossible without it.” In that sense just about anything you make that simplifies you work can be considered a tool: a project estimation spread sheet, a good set of directions for a complex task, a flow for a Salesforce admin, a piece of code to normalize a large collection of files, and more.

My intention with that expansive view is to help encourage people to take on a tool builder’s mindset.

To be a digital tool builder does not require knowing how to write complex software, it just requires you to do what you already do now, but with intention. When we use a broad definition of tools, it’s easier to see ourselves as tool builders, even if we’re just talking about a spreadsheet or a Salesforce flow meant to handle an administrator’s daily tasks. When we see ourselves as tool builders we are more likely to make something worth using more than once.

Why does this matter?

When we approach problems with a tool building mind set, instead of insurmountable challenges caused by gaps in our tooling, we see opportunity to create something new to make the impossible possible. Instead of facing hours of boring repetitive tasks, we have chance to build a more interesting special purpose solution.

Fight the Tool Building Excuses

There are several excuses I commonly hear from people when I encourage them to build their own tools. They range from concerns about not having the right skills, to assuming someone else already built that tool or that the time required isn’t worth the effort.

My general response to these concerns is that while people should indeed look around for tools that already solve their problem, and that some problems are very hard to solve completely, if you start to chip away at a complex problem you often will find that you can create tools that are good enough to save you time and effort.

Don’t try to build the perfect tool that solves all possible edge cases on your first go. Create a tool that takes out some annoying and repetitive task. Then create a tool that solves for another task, or builds on your first time. Chip away.

I often tell developers who are early in their career that I should never see them doing rote repetitive tasks for hours on end. Instead once they understand how a repetitive task is done, they should start thinking about how to build a tool to take over. But that’s not just advice for developers: we invented computers to do repetitive asks (calculating artillery firing tables and cracking codes), let them do that.

Pick Your Tool Building Path

When you set out to create a tool you have two main options: use something you already know, or use tool building as a chance to learn something new. I’ve used tool building as was to teach myself new features of Excel, Google Sheets, Salesforce Flows, Git, and several programming languages. This can be a great way to learn how to use the tool that’s just right for the job. But learning a new tool or technique takes time, and if you have a deadline you may need to move faster.

Personally I try to take both paths from time to time. I use things I know when: they are exactly the right tool, I am under time pressure, or I want to keep my skills sharp. I will take the time to learn something new when: it’s something I need to learn anyway, I am building on my own time, or it’s exactly the right tool for what I need to do.

Neither path is correct 100% of the time. By using them both I am able to create the tools I need, and broaden my skills over time.

Just Start Building

The next time you’re faced with a task that is repetitive or hard with the tools you have: create yourself something new. Don’t get hung up on being perfect, just create something that’s better than what you have at the start.

Then save your tool to use again later. Share it with colleagues, friends, or as an open source project.

When in doubt, just start building.

Mid-Career Resumes

As we exit the Great Resignation, and move back to more traditional hiring patterns, application materials are increasingly important again. Over the course of my career I’ve been involved in a lot of hires, and read a large number of resumes. I know what I like to see, what I don’t like, and I have a bunch of friends in a similar position (although their likes and dislikes are sometimes different).

Recently, I realized that much of the advice online about resume writing is for people early in their career. That’s fair; they are the people with the least experience and need the most help. But as someone who is now mid-career, and reading resumes for other people who are also mid-career, I am noticing resumes from people who seem to still follow the early career advice.

So a few weeks ago I reached out to my friends who, like me, sometimes review mid-career resumes. While none of us are a full-time recruiter, we are the people who you need to impress if you want a job on our team. This post is a combination of my take, and the input I got from those people.

There are NO Hard Rules About Resumes

Resumes are not a regulated industry. There are no hard and fast rules. Any advice you see is just a set of suggestions. In the end, you have to decide what makes you look good and guess at what is effective.

Studies are rare, and even the best are poorly done. That is not the researchers’ fault. You cannot double blind a job hire. You cannot have 1,000 managers at different companies all hire for the same job from the same pool of applicants. Any one who knows a researcher is watching them work, likely changes their behaviors. Any study that finds bias creates legal risk for companies that participate which in turn limits participation and openness to data publication. List of problems with studying the process goes on and on.

  • Anyone who tells you there is one best way to create your resume, is wrong. 
  • Anyone who is entirely focused on the hiring manager, risks failing to give advice to beat automated filters.
  • Anyone who is entirely focused on beating the automated filter, ignores that nearly ½ of the jobs in America are at small companies and unlikely to use such filters. 

Write the best resume you can. Ask friends, particularly those who do hiring, for feedback. Consider paying a resume writer for help. But don’t expect even paid experts to be correct all the time.

Mid-Career Resumes Should Highlight Your Experience

The biggest mistake I see in resumes of people in mid-career, or even late career, is failing to highlight their experience. People who were at one employer for a long time struggle with this the most, but I’ve seen resumes for people with 15 years of experience that read like a recent graduate.

Your experience should be front and center. Everything about your resume should say “this is an experienced person.”

I like some form of summary at the top. Tell me what kind of employee and colleague you are. Not an objective section, but a summary of who you are. It can come in many forms: 

a short paragraph:

Salesforce MVP, developer, administrator, and consultant with 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and higher education sectors. Seven Salesforce certifications, experience in more then 20 programming languages. Proven experience leading teams and working closely with non-technical clients.

list of titles, or key phrases

Salesforce MVP, Technical Architect, Nonprofit Fundraising Expert

After that, your job experience and skills are next. How exactly you do this can vary. Some people like skills in a sidebar. Some people put a list at the top. Some people put that list after their job experience. Frankly, as a reader, I don’t care. But I want to be able to find your list of skills and your relevant job history fast.

Your currently valid certifications should be included near your skills. But only those the reviewer will find relevant. 

Think About Your Audience

Likely the person reading the resume of an experienced person is an experienced person. We have habits, routines, and work styles that are built on experience. We also have things like aging eyes, old printers, out of date external monitors, and other things that it are tempting to ignore.

Text should be high contrast, print well in black and white (there is a huge exception here for graphic designers, who benefit from showing off graphic design skills), and be generally easy to read. I don’t want your pretty three color graph, head shot, or blue text that prints light gray.

If I am reading a handful or resumes, I’ll do that on a screen and I can zoom in if I need. But if I’m digging through a big pile, I’ll print them. I will print them on my 20+ year old laser jet, blank and white, printer. When I last worked in an office and reviewed resumes, I used the office’s even older laser jet black and white printer. Your shaded background might make the whole thing unreadable on those devices. Besides, you should have too much experience to waste space on a picture (and that’s before we talk about companies trying to avoid identity based biasing who might not want reviewers to know what you look like too early in the process).

I strongly recommend going for simple, clean, classic, design approaches. 

Mid-Career Resumes Should be More Than One Page.

I haven’t used a one page resume in more than 20 years. I don’t know who is still saying one page is the magic number. A new graduate might benefit from the one-pager, but if you have 10-30 years work experience, and you only need one page to tell me, it better be the most amazing page of text you’ve ever created. When I see a one-page resume, before I see the words I see a person with limited experience.

Personally, I like the two pager. Two very full pages. I want to see that you were forced to edit and format aggressively to make it fit on two pages. You want me to think you have 5 pages of content, but you compressed it effectively.

Two pages gives you plenty of room to show off, without wasting my time. It shows me you can edit and filter content. Ideally, it’ll leave me wanting more information, that gives me questions I can ask in your interview.

Some people like longer. When I spoke with friends who hire, most people liked two pages. But some were open to 3-4. Beyond four you are into academic CV land, which is a different thing entirely.

Connect the Dots

You have experience, you are showing it off well, good. But are you showing off the right experience? One of the most consistent pieces of feedback I got from friends who do hiring is that we want to know you know who we are as an employer.

No every detail, but tell us what your public persona is. Is there a values statement in the job ad? Reflect some of that language back in a cover letter. Do we work in a specific market? Make sure to include some experience that connects you to that market. 

When I worked at a nonprofit, we wanted people excited by the work we did. Which means they needed to find ways to tell us in their resume, cover letter, application, and interview they knew something about that work. Since becoming a consultant, I’ve been consistently amazed that people will send resumes and come to interviews that don’t know what kind of customers we have.

Write a Cover Letter whenever Invited

This applies not just to mid-career applicants, but everyone else too. Not all jobs accept a cover letter, but when given the chance to say more: say more.  The numbers I can find on resume review suggest an average of 6-7 seconds. I think that’s low in practice (see comments on studies), I know when I dig through a large stack I find ways to filter out some very fast, and others get more careful review. So an average will likely be far from my median or modal times.  Even so, a resume that isn’t tossed out because it’s an applicant who is wildly unqualified, will get 15-30 seconds in my first pass.  You add a cover letter, now I’m spending more time reading. You could double, or even triple, the time you get in the first review 45-90 seconds – that’s huge.

It also means you can connect some additional dots for me. If your resume includes experience that you consider related, but that might not be obvious, you have a couple sentences now to tell me that story. Are you career pivoting? Tell me what about your old career makes you better than your experience suggests. Do you volunteer in your community? Tell me what about that helps you understand our work, or support our company values.

In Mid-Career Resumes the Basics Still Matter

Details matter: fix your typos, use consistent formatting, etc. I saw a resume recently with a red-line through their summary line. That’s a bad first impression.

Write resumes you want to read: If you have read resumes as part of your job, think about the ones that impressed you and mimic those.

Get feedback from a friend: You probably have friends and professional contacts who will give you blunt feedback. Ask for it. I did as part of writing this post.

Consider hiring an expert: There are people who do this for a living. Some of them are really good. When you ask your friends for feedback, ask them for references to services they used.

Not everything is needed: Edit down your experience. Keep the stuff that says you’re awesome, cut stuff that’s not relevant to the hiring manager.

References for More Thoughts on Mid-Career Resumes:

The internet is full of advice on resume writing. Most for beginners, but some for people with more experience.  Here are a few things I found useful:

We Wish We Could Consult Like Sidney Freedman

Major Sidney Freedman was often the perfect psychiatrist at the perfect moment – all consultants wish we were as effective as Sidney. Major Freedman, most often referred to as Sidney, was a recurring character on M*A*S*H who comes to the 4077th a few times a season. Sidney always seems to know what his patients need; he has the perfect thing to say, while being compassionate to whoever he’s there to help (including himself).

Near Perfect Treatments

The breadth of Sidney’s skills are staggering. Sometimes simple talk therapy is all that’s needed. So when Hawkeye’s nightmares become too much Sidney pops in visit for a few sessions. And when Potter fears his surgical technique is fading a conversation with Sidney is all he needs. When everyone at M*A*S*H is stressed by their work load, a few minutes with Sidney and a prescribed bonfire steadies everyone’s nerves.

But when a really tough case comes up, Sidney is still your man. During one episode a wounded bombardier becomes convinced he’s Jesus. Sidney not only provides an emergency diagnosis but puts his career on the line to defend the man. Faced with a highly decorated soldier who is suicidal, Sidney’s quick hypnotherapy session stabilizes him. The show credits Sidney with advancing treatment of “combat fatigue” (we’ll ignore his treatment was standard 30 years before the Korean Conflict and the work of combat medics); we see him around several related patients (eventually including Hawkeye). He even remembers enough of his medical school training to pinch hit as a surgeon and offer up advice on his way out the door.

“Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice: pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”

Sindey Freedman’s best known piece of advice. Oddly fitting in the moments offered.

He even cares for himself with compassion. When patients are mad at him for his care, he knows it is part of them getting better. When he losses a patient, he knows to take a break at the 4077th and write a long letter to Sigmund Freud.

We all want to be Sidney

Everyone who works in consulting wants to be our own version if Sidney. We all want to be the person who knows exactly what’s needed at exactly the right moment. We want say all the right things. Ask the questions to get to the important truths about a project. Laugh when people are funny, then serious when we need to be. We hope to create or find the latest cutting edge solution that will provide exactly support for our client’s problem. And we want to leave them smiling and wanting more of our help.

Of course, unlike Sidney, we do not have a team of writers providing the lines. Our work doesn’t fit into tidy 22 minute episodes. New cutting edge solutions we find often don’t always work as advertised. When we are tired or frustrated, we make mistakes. When we are fresh and well rested, we still make mistakes.

The best we can do is try to follow Sidney’s example. He stays calm under stress. He stays current with his field’s research. Most importantly, he cares about his patients and provides them the best care he knows how. He even remembers to care for himself when suffering from burnout.

M*A*S*H Consulting

If you didn’t know, or can’t guess from context, my wife and I are M*A*S*H fans. We grew up with it. We bought the DVDs as they Fox released them. It’s our go-to for something comforting to watch. It’s entertaining, and full of great lines and moments to borrow for life examples. As part of marking the show’s 50th anniversary this is part of a short series of posts using consulting lessons from characters in M*A*S*H.

What I Brought from Drupal to Salesforce

If you look over this blog, or know me, you will see that I’ve now have reasonably significant experience as both a Salesforce and Drupal developer. The last couple weeks I have been thinking about what from my Drupal experience supports my work as a Salesforce developer.

I think there are three parallels that are encouraged in Drupal developers that helped me learn to be a good Salesforce developer quickly.

  1. Embrace, don’t fight, Platform Constraints
  2. Extend the Platform’s Strengths
  3. Leverage Events

Embrace Salesforce Platform Constraints

Both Drupal and Salesforce run in constrained environments. Web applications, regardless of their purpose, have to protect themselves against bad actors and bad neighbors. There are execution timeouts and memory limits, for both platforms. Salesforce adds a variety of additional limits and governors, but they are all logical extensions about memory and time. Lots of other platforms allow developers to ignore resource use until they reach a crisis point. Don’t believe me, just check the memory used by Chrome, Electron Apps, or any other Chromium-based application.

Working in resource constrained environments forces you to think through how to use the resources you do have efficiently. While these platforms aren’t like working on hardware with highly limited resources, they still can test your resourcefulness.

Drupal and Salesforce both provide ways to run large jobs across many processing contexts. New developers on both platforms often only resort to using batch and queueable operations as a last resort, but learning to use those solutions is critical to success on most interesting projects. When you try to avoid them you create solutions that appear to work and fail at scale.

Coming to Salesforce from Drupal, I already knew and understood the importance of asynchronous batch processing. So when solutions needed batch processing it was second nature to learn that part of the platform.

Extend the Platform’s Strengths

For all Salesforce’s push and marketing to avoid code, Salesforce developers are often taught that once you write code you just do everything in your code. The interfaces you can use to extend the platform’s existing solutions are treated as advanced topics. But when you work with Drupal, you are encouraged from the start to create modules that build on and extend the platform’s existing strength. Drupal developers are encouraged to leverage the features and utilities all around them.

This has always been true, but even more after Drupal’s move to leverage Symphony plugins and services. As a developer used to extending the platform, I came to Salesforce looking for ways to extend the platform’s declarative tools.

Often Salesforce developers create powerful solutions built purely in code triggered by record changes or simple buttons. They look passed Apex Actions that extend the Flow declarative automatons, platform events, and other tools that extend the system. But when you embrace a platform’s basic structures you often create more flexible solutions than your could with pure code.

The mind set of extending a platform, which I brought with me from my Drupal work helps me create tools and solutions that are designed to adapt over time.

Leverage Events

Event driven architectures are not new, but their popularity continues to grow. Where platforms used to follow informal patterns that equated to event systems, now we see formal event structures being build to replace old habits.

Drupal and Salesforce both have had event frameworks for a long time: Drupal had hooks (events by naming convention), Salesforce had triggers.

Both have seen major upgrades to their event patterns in recent versions. Platform events in Salesforce, still making their full power clear to a lot of developers. Symphony brought proper events to Drupal in version 8 and continue to help push the platform forward.

I have learned to leverage the events systems on both platforms. Understanding them as tightly constrained state machines, and learning to push them to their limits, helps me get the most from both platforms.

My experience with Drupal hooks and events has made it obvious to me when to leverage Salesforce’s Platform events. As Salesforce increases the number of places you can use them in their declarative tools, it increases the value of this approach.

So What?

As a developer, what you learn in one part of your career can make you stronger in the next. As a field we’re not actually that creative. Even if the details are different, the concepts will often carry forward because they are built on the same fundamentals. Whatever platform you are using today, learn how to make it sing – it’ll help you learn the next faster and better.

Salesforce Developer Podcast Episode 119

This week’s Salesforce Developer Podcast featured an interview I did with the host, Josh Birk, the end of last year. As much as I still don’t like the sound of my voice on recordings it was a fun interview and I am really excited to see it come out.

We talk about Snowfakery, Salesforce Open Source Commons, the evolution of PHP, Drupal, my career in general, and even a bit about spinning. I’d love to hear what you think.

SC DUG July 2021 – Queries on Queries

For the July 2021 SC DUG, I gave my new talk titled “Queries on Queries” which poses questions to ask yourself when migrating data between systems. Data migrations are often critical to project success, but all too often that are treating as a throw-away process. This talk is intentionally platform agnostic building from my experience with both Drupal and Salesforce.

If you would like to join us please check out our up coming events on MeetUp. You’ll find our meeting times and, once you RSVP, remote connection information.

We frequently use these presentations to practice new presentations, heavily revised versions, and test out new ideas with a friendly audience. So if some of the content of these videos seems a bit rough please understand that is some of the point. If you want to see a polished version checkout our group members’ talks at camps and cons.

If you are interested in giving a practice talk, leave me a comment here, contact me through, or find me on Drupal Slack. We’re excited to hear new voices and ideas. We want to support the community, and that means you.

SC DUG June 2021 – MQTT and Drupal

In June for the SC DUG meeting Will Jackson from Kanopi Studios gave a talk about using MQTT with Drupal to connect to local IoT devices. A fan of home automation, Will has created a Drupal 8/9 version of the MQTT module. He is hoping to encourage more people in the Drupal community to join the fun.

If you would like to join us please check out our up coming events on MeetUp. You’ll find our meeting times and, once you RSVP, remote connection information.

We frequently use these presentations to practice new presentations, heavily revised versions, and test out new ideas with a friendly audience. So if some of the content of these videos seems a bit rough please understand that is some of the point. If you want to see a polished version checkout our group members’ talks at camps and cons.

If you are interested in giving a practice talk, leave me a comment here, contact me through, or find me on Drupal Slack. We’re excited to hear new voices and ideas. We want to support the community, and that means you.

SC DUG April 2021 – Getting Started with Electron

This month I gave a talk at South Carolina Drupal User Group on Getting Started with Electron. Electron allows you to use your web developer skills to create desktop applications. I based this talk on some of my recent side projects and the Electron Project Starter I posted the end of last year.

If you would like to join us please check out our up coming events on MeetUp for meeting times, locations, and remote connection information.

We frequently use these presentations to practice new presentations, try out heavily revised versions, and test out new ideas with a friendly audience. So if some of the content of these videos seems a bit rough please understand we are all learning all the time and we are open to constructive feedback. If you want to see a polished version checkout our group members’ talks at camps and cons.

If you are interested in giving a practice talk, leave me a comment here, contact me through, or find me on Drupal Slack. We’re excited to hear new voices and ideas. We want to support the community, and that means you.