For some clients, adopting the right Salesforce solution for their needs requires customization, a tailored fit. When it comes to developing the deeper, technical aspects of Salesforce, Rebecca’s team gets called in. (Think Hawaii Five-O of Salesforce.) Rebecca is the Managing Technical Solutions Architect. This means she handles technical development while managing the team of technical solutions architects. You could say she’s an architect of architects.
With a background in traditional programming, Chapple has years of experience handling technical aspects of design and development, acting as team lead as well as technical advisor on many sizable projects in her career. Chapple was introduced to Salesforce when asked to learn the platform at a prior company. She learned the ins and outs, eventually acting as the technical advisor.
When speaking about some of the projects she has been involved in, she believes the agile approach to software development has enabled teams to “size projects and break them down” more efficiently. Where years ago there may be 20+ developers on a project, today only a handful of developers could tackle a large-scale project. Size doesn’t necessarily imply numbers of bodies, but rather the scale and complexity of the solution.
And, the bigger the challenge the better for this technical solutions architect. “I like when things get complex. Of course I try to solve problems in the simplest way possible, but in terms of enjoying the task, the harder the problem is the more interesting it is to try and solve it.” While she may enjoy the mental puzzle, projects with a high degree of complexity have another challenging side: “[When] there are multiple unique considerations that you have to take into account for a solution—a lot of nuances, a lot of moving parts to it—thinking about those things, making sure the system can take anything that gets thrown at it can be a challenge.”
Yet in our past experience lies knowledge that can inform the present if we take the time to reflect on the lessons different opportunities have to teach us. “Even when you think something in your history doesn’t apply when you make a shift in your career, it could still be useful. I think I’ve used everything I’ve learned from each assignment I’ve taken on.” No experience is wasted. Sometimes a way of seeing or approaching a problem in one industry can inform a different situation in another.
In the end, it all comes down to having a conversation with a client. Sometimes a question about a process sparks a decision from the client which drives the development. Doing right by the client is a value that resonates with Chapple: “I am a person who wants to successfully deliver [for the client].” This technical solutions architect knows a client deserves value from an engagement, but her long experience also tells her that there is a reality to being able to deliver that value in the most timely, efficient and cost-effective manner possible in a given situation. Open, honest and timely communication helps lay a foundation of trust that leads to a happier outcome.
Though there is certainly time to get technical, such wizardry isn’t the only thing that makes a solution a good one. It’s a team effort; people really do make a difference, and while they all don’t go the extra mile merely for the recognition, Chapple appreciates how everyone takes time to support each other, celebrate an achievement, and reward effort. “I’m really enjoying my work, and enjoying the people I work with. It’s a great place to work.”