生産性

Salesforce’s Sarah Franklin on the power of continuous learning

The EVP and GM of Salesforce Platform and Trailhead shares career development tips ahead of her keynote at Spec, the Slack developer conference

Slack チーム一同作成2019年10月7日

Editor’s Note: 
As you may have heard, Slack is now a part of Salesforce! This means some of the information below is dated, but we wanted to keep it around for historical context and other good reasons. For more details on Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack, read the official announcement

When given the opportunity to learn something new, Sarah Franklin is never one to say no.

As the executive vice president and general manager of Platform, Trailhead, and developer relations at Salesforce, she oversees an online learning platform that gives everyone the tools to learn the technologies and skills necessary to land a top job in today’s workforce. That platform, Trailhead, is a pioneer in the learning space designed to help everyone—regardless of where they live, their education level or their background—build skills for the future. But the skills that Franklin, a former software developer herself, puts to work as its leader weren’t always in her wheelhouse.

Before she began building with programming languages, Franklin was a chemical engineer. Fast-forward through a major career pivot, years of coding, and sitting in one lackluster presentation too many, and she was once again driven to pick up something new: marketing. Franklin admits it’s an unusual move, leaving a highly technical career for one defined by soft skills, but she believes that marketing know-how can be a difference-making skill in technical roles.

“Being a developer,” she says, “it’s scary to think of doing something that isn’t in a [computer program] command line every day. You worry, ‘Will I still be employable? Will I still be valuable?’ For developers to really understand not just what they’re building, but also the problem that they’re solving, makes them better developers. Some of the most valuable people understand both the technology and business worlds.”

Franklin was drawn to marketing because she’s passionate about educating customers. “Talking to customers about how they were using our technology opened my eyes,” she says. “They didn’t understand the possibilities—far less than someone who had built the technology.”

Tapping the well of communal knowledge

Much of the value that Trailhead delivers comes from the Trailblazer community, which unites more than 1.6 million people on their journeys of continuous learning. Franklin believes that community and education go hand in hand, and, similar to how developers can learn from their users, they can also learn from their peers.

“Not feeling like you have to know everything is so powerful,” Franklin says. “It makes you a better developer when you have people that you can talk to and rely on.”

A willingness to ask for help has become even more important as the pace of innovation accelerates. In fact, Franklin believes, keeping up with the latest technology and tools is the biggest challenge facing developers right now: “To stay relevant, you have to always be learning. And that feels like a full-time job.”

That concept extends to more than just coding, she says. She fires off a list of areas in which people must remain apprised in order to excel, including agile methodologies, business trends and ethical product design. For developers, the last is particularly significant. “If you’re creating code,” Franklin says, “and you have a feeling like, ‘I don’t know if this is right,’ you should feel empowered to step up and say something about it.”

Diverse voices make us all better

Franklin has also long been a champion for inclusive hiring and changing the ratios in software development, a sector that’s been historically lopsided. “We don’t see enough women; we don’t see enough underrepresented minorities,” she says. “We need to actively recruit, empower and help people.”

This change starts with challenging our own unconscious bias—a stereotype someone holds without realizing it. “Systemic unconscious bias is real,” Franklin says. “The best thing we can do is call ourselves on it, recognize it and take action.”

When we’re able to do that, Franklin says, it not only creates opportunities but also presents the chance to learn from others. For example, when called out for overlooking a peer’s point of view, she says, the onus is on her to learn from that person and understand her own blind spots. “When we’re humble and don’t think we know everything, we can create a feeling of safety, where conversations can happen.”

Put simply, it’s yet another example where an appetite to learn can make a very tangible difference in our own careers—and the success of others.

Don’t miss Sarah Franklin’s keynote, “Crafting Community,” at Spec, the conference for anyone who builds on Slack. Check out the full agenda, and grab your ticket today.

この記事はお役に立ちましたか?

0/600

助かります!

ご意見ありがとうございました!

了解です!

ご意見ありがとうございました!

うーん、システムがなにか不具合を起こしてるみたいです。後でもう一度お試しください。

読み進める

変革

カスタマーサービスの専門家が明かす、顧客を不幸にしないための 3 つのステップ

顧客との約束を守り、カスタマーサービスを高める 3 つのステップ

開発者

新しい Slack Community フォーラムで働き方の未来を構築

コミュニティ責任者の Elizabeth Kinsey が話す、Slack をより活用するための場を作った理由

変革

ようこそ Slack コミュニティへ : Slack 活用の世界を広げましょう

つながりとコミュニティをゼロから構築