Salesforce Career Success: Justin Barss

Welcome to the second of my Salesforce Career Success Journey series. This series is focused on learning about sharing our career journey and hopefully encourage others to pursue or continue their career on the platform. Justin found me by looking for other Girlforce Fans/Supporters on via Twitter while at a 2015 Salesforce World Tour in DC! I remember how much positivity radiated from him! Thanks for sharing your career journey.

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If you would like to share your Salesforce Career Success journey, submit here.


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Name: Justin Barss

Company: Now IT Matters 

Job Title: Sr. Support Manager

Which Salesforce certifications do you have?
Administrator, App Builder, Advanced Administrator

How many Trailhead badges do you currently have?
5 :/

Describe what you do at your company.
I help Nonprofits that are struggling with Salesforce to review, reconfigure, or re-implement portions of it to help them to be successful. I manage Ongoing Support and Assisted Administration as well as help with whatever else needs to be done across the team.  I love the chance to design solutions for clients and help them resolve issues with whatever they might be in Salesforce.  I am currently moving into an active role with our Sales Team and am looking forward at growing there!

And I chop wood. But not for my company – for me.  My dream is to provide a perfect lumberjacking analogy with some sort of metadata metaphor.
[Annie: Congratulations on moving to the Sales Team. You’re going to be great at it. I know it!]

Give us a snapshot of how you got your salesforce career started and/or how your career has developed.

I was re-hired at a small urban ministry after the economic bottoming out of Jan 2010 and was laid off. Part of my job description at this very relational nonprofit was to implement Salesforce for Donors and Volunteers (as well as run WorkDays, Summer Volunteer Groups, Asset Management (vehicles and buildings) and whatever else came up that needed working on. Starting to use Salesforce was my way to manage those disparate issues / requests. After a two years of doing this at UrbanPromise, I began to have more fun solving more problems with Salesforce. I did a short stint with a SF Partner creating a legal technology app for Salesforce, but found my real love when re-connecting to NonProfits that needed what I loved doing – help customizing and leveraging Salesforce. I started calling a few consultants to find out how they got into the market and was eventually introduced to Now IT Matters – I applied, they took me and the rest is history!
[Annie: I love that you were proactive in reaching out to the success community for advice. Just by asking, you created opportunity for yourself!]

What advice would you give to someone who is developing their career on salesforce?
Make relational networking your bread and butter. You can learn faster and better by collaborating with others to do Salesforce as a career. It’s also a ton more fun. User Groups, World Tours, coffee meetings with whoever is willing to sit down with you. Give to get and pay it forward every chance you get. Every person that “opened up” a way forward for my next step in Salesforce was a personal conversation – whether by phone call, at a user group, through an onsite meeting. The community is great to offer these things to folks, but you have to invest in your community to get to that point.  I can tell you the folks that did this for me from day one – each conversation jump started a new learning phase for me.  Jesse Maddex was my first Account Exec – calling him put me in touch with Dale Gish.  Calling Dale Gish (then at Now IT Matters) helped me find out that I could actually do Salesforce Developer work.  I connected with David Franklin in Texas to find out “How do I start a User Group?”  Connecting to the Non Profit User Group in Philadelphia put me in touch with Dean Graham and a ton of other folks.  

If you are keen on becoming a Developer and a long term Salesforce consultant, then I’d recommend you go and work for a Salesforce.Org partner.  Find a group of people you can get down with and kick ass with and sign on for a few years.  You will learn more, do better work, and help more clients that way.  Learning on your own is nice – and sometimes better financially – but you’re growing at a snail’s pace compared with learning from a team of developers in your vertical.  

Are you a leader or member of a user group?
Currently transitioning the Delaware Non-Profit User Group I started to an awesome local Salesforce partner – Donna Whitig at BackOffice Thinking in the Delaware Valley outside of Philadelphia.  

Please name 1 person from the Salesforce community that you’d like to thank for supporting you on your journey.
Dale Gish – Dayspring Tech. He sent me forward into a new place with Now IT Matters and through one phone call with him – encouraged me to take steps forward and not retreat. It was a small, short phone call – but I was able to see myself in his shoes and understand what was possible to move forward.
[Annie: My friend, Sarah Deutsch, always told me that mentorship could be a one time moment. Sounds like Dale gave you a HUGE #mentormoment!]

What’s the one Success Community group you can’t live without?
NPSP -Beta Testers.  They figure out what’s wrong, where it’s wrong, and flag that its wrong before anyone else does with the NonProfit Starter Pack 3.x.  The NPSP is sort of a best in breed version of functionality created and maintained by nonprofit technologists that have been using and developing on Salesforce.  It’s a managed package provided for FREE by to allow non profits to quickly implement and deploy Salesforce to fit their NPO-specific needs – managing volunteers, raising money, maintaining email blasts, etc.  

This version of the NPSP involves patched upgrades on a continuous development cycle.  The NPSP Beta Testers is a group in the Power of Us Hub Community.  This is the Success Community for nonprofits using Salesforce.  This group helps flag issues that may go wrong with client’s I’m supporting and helps me to know how to support them with recently released functionality.

Follow Justin on:
Twitter: @justinbarss



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