Focused and Certified: Swamy C. — An Army Veteran’s New Beginnings

Focused and Certified Swamy C

Swamy C. served in the Indian Army for 26 years and retired as a colonel. He then held a corporate job for 11 years, and during the lockdown, began researching online about how companies were transitioning to a cloud-based computing environment. It was during this time when he found Salesforce's  ‘click not code’ concept to be a very attractive option and started his certification training right away.  In August of 2021, he got his first Salesforce certification at the age of 60 — and this is just the beginning for this freelance Salesforce Consultant!

My name is Swamy C. and I’m a Salesforce Consultant. I work with various companies in a freelance capacity.

How did you get started with Salesforce?

I am an army veteran. I served in the army for 26 years and thereafter I held a corporate job for 11 years. The transition was smooth as I was prepared for the transition. I had done a lot of courses during my army tenure. I had a Statistics background in my Masters so I was used to data. Of course, when I worked with the corporate companies here in India, I was using the SAP-based ERP for my management roles.

During the lockdown, I had a lot of opportunities to go through the internet and see how companies are transitioning from ERP to a cloud-based computing environment. So there I found Salesforce to be a very attractive option where the concept was ‘click not code.’ This is a very attractive thing and what made me start learning Salesforce.

I found Salesforce to be a very attractive option where the concept was ‘click not code.’ This is a very attractive thing and what made me start learning Salesforce.

What were your goals when you were starting?

I was 60 years old when I thought about coming to Salesforce. I always wanted to be a successful Salesforce Administrator. That was my goal. So when I embarked on my certification training journey, I had decided in my mind that I should become an expert in Salesforce administration. So that has been my goal.

Did obtaining your certification make a positive impact in your career?

The certification is a very important aspect for any Salesforce practitioner. It showcases your skills and shows what you are capable of. It represents a standard of knowledge that you have achieved. From a career point of view, it showcases that you have achieved this standard while training with Salesforce.

What difficulties did you face while studying for your certification exams?

There was not much of a difficulty. The only thing is that it takes time and one has to devote a lot of time to learn all the aspects of the certification, and to practice a lot on Salesforce. If you are going through all the steps which are recommended by Trailhead, it gives you all that you need.

However, when it comes to the examination, there is a need to know how it is going to take place. For that, I took the help of Focus on Force to know what exactly will be coming in the examination — what kind of questions, and how I need to prepare.

What is a day in the life of a freelance Salesforce Consultant like?

I took the examination at 60 years old and I've only been doing Salesforce now for six months — I just passed the exam in August. A typical working day right now depends on what the client requirement is. Our communication is typically virtual and online like how I’m talking with you now. So you need to be very clear in communicating what you want to say to clients.

Would you say that Focus on Force was helpful towards your certification?

I'll tell you the advantage of Focus on Force. For me, understanding the questions, answers, and the why’s of the answers is very important.

The good aspect of Focus and Force is that after you do the questions, there is a footnote where they explain why an answer is given in this way. So if you click that, go to the site, and then you check the options available, all your doubts are cleared. 

And it was very helpful for me. Thanks to Focus on Force I passed the exam.

Would you say that having good communication skills is helpful towards the professional life of a Salesforce Consultant?

Communication skills are very important. Your ability to convey your ideas and thoughts in an effective manner is very important. See, if you need to deal with a client or a customer, you need to communicate. A skill of how to say, what to say, and being an effective communicator is important. 

I think every Administrator or Salesforce person has to be good in communication, and that I think is a key aspect as far as a Salesforce professional goes.

Your ability to convey your ideas and thoughts in an effective manner is very important. A skill of how to say, what to say, and being an effective communicator is important. 

What advice would you give someone who is preparing for a Salesforce certification exam?

Like I mentioned, I took this examination when I was 60 years old. Young people are smarter when learning new technologies and especially when it comes to the certification, I think it will be an easier aspect for them. The only thing they need is the right guidance and they should be shown the correct path on how to do it.

If I were to give them some kind of advice, of course I’d let them know I went to Trailhead where I started with all earnestness. I also took the help of Focus on Force. Focus on Force has the questions structured in such a way that at the end of the questions, when you have the answers correct you have a footnote which says why this answer is right. So when I click on those footnotes and go to the corresponding pages on the site, I get the complete answer and then I get to read more. So that is really good for me.

With this, they should be able to clear their exams with flying colors. That’s how I learned Salesforce.

What Certification are you studying for now?

Focus on Force currently provides practice exams and study guides for ten certifications