A new Foundation in my career

Two weeks ago, I joined the Salesforce Foundation in a new role as Open Source Manager.

What exactly does that mean? Well, I could tell you about how I’m on the Foundation’s Tech & Products team (specifically on the product engineering side) and how it’s all about working with the broader community and the Foundation to evangelize and grow investment in open source projects. But I think this about sums it up as far as most community folks are concerned, at least for right now:

Best so far:

  • I’m being paid to engage with the Salesforce nonprofit community (seriously, how cool is that?!?).
  • This is an amazing time of change and growth for the Foundation and I’m excited to be a part of it.
  • My teammates are brilliant, funny and have made me feel at home immediately.
  • After 3.5 years where my work computer was a Windows PC with Exchange/Outlook, I’m back to being productive on Mac OS X and Google Apps. This MacBook Air is sweet.

Will take getting used to:

  • It’s a very big company. I have to learn how to swim in the ocean and have a little more patience with myself as I do.
  • Leaving KELL Partners was tough. I truly enjoyed working there and I learned so much.
  • Joining the Foundation means saying goodbye to Salesforce MVP. I was fortunate and honored to be selected as an MVP for 5 years and that community will always be dear to me.

As I was loading up WordPress to write this blog, I was curious so I searched through my 1,982 posts to find I mentioned Salesforce in 133 of them (that’s it? I did think it would be more). There was a time before Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce Chatter where this blog was my primary channel to communicate with the world. I found the first post where I talked about Salesforce.

From April 6, 2006:

After looking at more software products aimed at the nonprofit world than I can count, including hosted platforms and even a custom-designed solution, what did we decide on? Salesforce.com.

Salesforce.com is an incredible CRM. Extremely powerful, extremely configurable … Out of the box, we couldn’t possibly consider or afford the package, running at $1,500 per year per user. However, Salesforce.com has a foundation where they give away licenses to qualified nonprofits! Completely free. No strings attached except that you have to use it to keep it. So I opened a trial account and started reading and learning and the more I read and learn, the more I like what I see. … I completed the paperwork to apply for their grant, which was awarded earlier this week, so now we’re all set with 10 licenses of the Enterprise edition.

I had no idea when I posted that 9 years and 1 month ago that I was beginning the most meaningful and exciting phase of my career. I’ve enjoyed the reaction as folks have learned that I joined the Foundation. That it was meant to be. I love that.


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