Success breeds success, but what to do if you’re in a new territory? How to be that first Trailblazer? We spoke to Abdoulaye Diop to hear how and why he established the first Trailblazer Community Group in West Africa.
This is his story.
I went to the University of Thies in Senegal to achieve the software architect engineering degree and I worked as a fullstack developer in Dakar, our capital city. I got passionate about Symfony and spring boot application development.
I got in touch with Salesforce the first time when one of my professors talked to me about it and an opportunity to be hired for a job in this arena. After that discussion I naturally went to investigate and see if I could figure out what this Salesforce was, by doing research and getting interested in it.
It blew my mind, so I started on Salesforce in February 2018, and at the beginning I only knew it thanks to Trailhead. Which I find amazing because I was able to get quickly into training and getting hands on developing applications in Salesforce. Little that I knew what makes this ecosystem so unique.
The need to find a community
All around my country I could not see many collaborators and I didn’t have office mates to bounce ideas and help each other. The need of finding a community came naturally. One day a friend tagged me on a post of Houssam Saoudy on LinkedIn, where it was talking about one of the past community meetings in Morocco, so I got the link to join their community group. However it was difficult for me to attend a meeting in Casablanca, so I decided to open a community group in Dakar.
The first meeting
It wasn’t easy at the beginning, I remember we did our first meeting in our office and I didn’t know that I must create the event in Trailblazers Community Group platform and then Houssam taught me how to do it and a lot of things for managing and organizing events. His visit to Senegal had a powerful impact in our group and now our group is growing very fast.
Through this group people in Dakar know Salesforce and have discovered Trailhead for the first time and many of them are thinking to switch to it. More widely, in the international community, many engineers are discovering that Dakar is developing in Salesforce skills because of the activities of our group.
Why to open a community group?
A question which is at the same time easy and complex to answer, let me give it a try:
As soon as I’m concerned there are 3 reasons to open a community group:
You can meet your locals to exchange, give and receive tips and maybe you can become friends and discuss in others’ domains in life and help each other. You can meet peers and MVPs that guide you in your Salesforce career; it’s very helpful to your success. You can give people, who are often alone, the feeling of being with family in their free time.
This environment helps develop skills when you assist on the meetup, on the virtual event, on the demo or workshop. It’s a cool place to exchange ideas on projects, to stay connected with your domain, to ask questions about issues at work and resolve some problems encountered. It’s prospitious for the development of collective intelligence. You can also be guided in the way of innovation and success at the job with peers and mentors. It’s very helpful.
It’s an environment for networking, organizing some fundraising activities such as parties, playing football or basketball. We can organize blood donation day, we can organize day to help and give tips to the new student in college …
Success is your main goal, as a leader you must have the mindset of helping or inspiring and expect nothing back. Being the enabler and seeing your local community unfold is the reward itself.
YeurLeadin shares best practice and inspiration for Salesforce Community Leaders. Whether you’re on the organising team of a Community Group, Salesforce Saturday, Community Conference, or a Product Champion; or you’re otherwise deeply involved in the community, the aim is that we can all learn from each other.