Ready Admin One

Or what video games have taught me as a Salesforce admin (and consultant).

I realize that this will come as a shock to almost 0% of my audience, but I like to play video games. Mostly long (100 hour plus) RPGs with rich stories, well-developed characters, or at least enough of one to mask the lack of the other.

Growing up I didn’t have a game console. It wasn’t until I was an adult, free to make my own choices and eschew responsibilities as I saw fit, that I really started getting into them. As an avid reader and someone who revels in the feeling of accomplishing a task, they’re kind of perfect. There’s a story, and there are clear steps and tasks presented that have clear success or fail requirements. You know…not at all like real life.

All the same, I’ve been able to apply a lot of things from my hobby to my job. If you’re a fellow gamer, you might recognize some these things, too.

Leveling up can be a grind

I am a trophy hunter. If there is an achievement to be unlocked in a game, I’ll probably go after it. Enter: Skyrim.

One of the last trophies I earned before getting platinum was the silver Master trophy, for reaching Level 50. I had completed the main game with two different characters. I had finished all of the side faction storylines, but I still wasn’t quite there. So I did what any other Skyrim fan has done – I started grinding through low-level abilities to get that sweet XP. I made so many daggers; I cleared so many dungeons. It was boring.

platinum700

But I got the trophy. And I got the platinum.

Twice. (Thank you, Bethesda, for re-releasing it on the PS4.)

If you think that only applies to games, you’ve obviously never gone after multiple Salesforce certifications. Reading and re-reading release notes, help articles, the study guide, blog posts, Trailhead, etc. It takes some serious heads-down time to study for some of the certifications out there, and yeah, it can be really boring. But at then end, you have a brand new certification.

Side quests

It’s Monday morning for the solo admin, and they have their week planned out. Got some Trailhead badges to earn, a new dashboard to build, and a meeting with the steering committee. They have one goal this week: deploy a new custom object and flow, to support a functional group that is adopting Salesforce.

preston

Except….

A user needs a password reset.

Another user deleted a record but they can’t remember which one, and they need it back.

An executive needs a report of all sales in 2012, for some reason they have deemed unimportant to share.

And on and on and on. Each random task may only take a handful of minutes, but those minutes start to add up, and soon your inbox is full of minor requests that may have a time limit attached to them. At least all experience is good experience, right?

It’s good to recruit companions

dangerousEven non-gamers know this one.

It’s not impossible to finish quests and storylines alone, of course. But misery and joy and struggle…pretty much everything loves company. So why wouldn’t you recruit companions? Especially if they can fill in gaps in your abilities or knowledge.

Most of us already know the importance of the community, so I can pretty much just…leave this here, right? Ohana, my peeps.

Once a completionist…

This is actually a thing (read about the Zeigarnik Effect here). Once a gamer (or an admin) starts on a quest, we have to finish it. Luckily many of these tasks have definitive end-games.

Slay the dragon.

Deploy the change set.

Find the pan.

Build the report.

We obsess over the things we haven’t completed. How many of us have gone to sleep, thinking about data schema, only to wake up with the answer and excitedly go about building what we imagined?

How many of us have to get all the Trailhead badges? (BTW, if you think Trailhead hasn’t taken into account some of what I’m writing about here, you aren’t paying attention.)

And it’s not just video games

Ultimately it comes down to liking the feeling of solving a puzzle. Admins are problem-solvers. We are people that like to get our hands dirty, play with something, and make it work. For me it’s like video games. For some people it’s like puzzles or building things.

We are the people who stay up into the wee hours, searching the community, building and rebuilding our flows, until it is done.

And bonus! Now I can check this particular task off my list.

Skeleton-King-Quest-Complete

Completely Unexpected Bonus Post!

http://tardisbuilders.com/

Where has this website been all my life?

Have I been living under a rock? Perhaps a tree? In all of my wildest, geekiest, craftiest moments, how did I never think to search for a website like this?

How have I never made a TARDIS?!

This must be corrected immediately.

Starting tomorrow, a new project takes center stage. Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to build a TARDIS. Maybe a small one at first, say, a jewelry box, but this is so on!

 

It’s Friday; I’m in love!

I have been working diligently on a new project, but I hit a bit of snag, and I’m having to rethink the finished product. Therefore, I am not posting yet.

I am also baking brownies. Or was. The timer just went off. Mmmm! Brownies!

So in lieu of showcasing my own crafts today, I wanted to share some ideas. I have been starting to plan Eric’s birthday gift for this year; I want to do something really cool and meaningful, so I need to start sooner rather than later.

He loves board games, and I love crafts, so I am thinking of a few board game-inspired gifts. NOT Scrabble tiles; we already have scrabble tile names, and he’s more into war games. Here are some things I’ve found:

A journal with a board game cover, courtesy of Etsy seller 366thday.

Coasters made from old board games

A box made from a game board

*A table made with a game board, though I can’t find it again. 😦

But I’m also thinking something more along the lines of an original creation that would compliment games he has now. We’ve talked about playing one of our favorite tactical war games with miniatures, instead of the wooden blocks that it comes with, but to do so, we would have to have a larger playing field. The game board is a hexagonal board; I would essentially be making a mat that we could play on instead. I am not good enough to do that yet, which is why I’m thinking about it now, when his birthday isn’t until October.

*sighs* The difficulties of a crafting gift-giver.

I am looking forward to whatever I come up with and the actual project itself.

In the meantime, sorry for the lack of substance. 🙂

 

 

Twofer Tuesday 2: Miniature Magic

I mentioned in “A Day in Pictures“, or rather showed, that I bought a new miniature at Riders on Saturday. I collect, paint, and play a Warhammer army of Chaos, but I was looking for something a little different from metal and grotesque creatures. Don’t get me wrong – I love my dragon ogre, but I needed a challenge.

Yvette, a figure from Reaper minis, proved to be a challenge indeed.

Take a look for yourself.

Twofer Tuesday 1: Site Review, Geek Crafts [dot] Com

Since I am so new to crafting, I must steal [read: borrow] ideas from the web. But, I mean, that’s what they’re there for, right? And I find a lot of great ideas and projects for the likes of me.

A real bonus is when I can find projects that also satisfy my inner geek. This might be the newspaper print nails I did for my wedding or Doctor Who etched pint glasses. For the record the nails came out…okay…and the pint glasses I am afraid to try, but they are suitably geeky.

So when I stumbled upon Geek Crafts, my  little geek heart went pitter patter with joy. It is pretty much what it sounds like – a website with geeky crafts highlighted.

There were some great ideas on there. I won Daredevil #1 (1993) on Ebay yesterday, so I was looking specifically for some comic book crafts. There are 16 pages of comic-book inspired crafts, and I ogled many of them. With the Avengers movie out now, it was rife with Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and even Black Widow. Nice.

But there are also categories for Anime, Video Games, and even History. If you have a geek bone, you can likely find a craft to scratch it.

However, do not go in search of specific how-to guides because you might not find it. Also be aware that the posts are links to other sites, which, again, means that it might not always come with a how-to.

Of course, if you’re an awesome crafter, then you probably already know how to do a lot of that. For me, the craftily challenged, I usually need something else to go on. Now, of course, I am able to take an idea and find other resources – in fact, I enjoy it – but if you need one stop, you might want to look elsewhere.

I will still be using this site for inspiration though.

Let the geek crafts BEGIN!

 

In lieu of flowers

I titled this post a half hour ago, and then I went about addressing some Thank You cards. Now, coming back to it, “in lieu of flowers”, I recognize why it seemed so easy for me to type.

I used to write obituaries for a local newspaper, and when a family wanted money donated to a charity in someone’s name, they would write “in lieu of flowers, please send a donation to XXXXXXX”.

So now I feel a little awkward, but I’m also stubborn, so I’m not changing it.

* * *

This will be the first of my wedding posts. I actually, technically eloped, and my husband and I decided to do that because neither of us are good at being the center of attention and because we just made our second cross-country move in a year, and we thought paying under $2000 for everything was a fabulous idea.

Despite myself, I got a little bit of the bride fever, and I went on a DIY, crafty frenzy. At one point, I had planned on making my own dress, but I came to my senses in time. After all, eloping usually happens quickly, and ours certainly did.

Although my parents did drive up that week, so we had a post-elopement ceremony to celebrate with our families, carrying flowers down the row of courthouse benches seemed a little silly to me. Still, I had read from a lot of folks over at Off-Beat Bride that it might be helpful to have something in your hands.

Did I mention this happened theday before our scheduled courthouse bonanza?

I rushed to Michael’s!

I stayed there for about 2 hours!

And I wound up with two ideas. The first was a rustic stick (bear with me) with a heart-shaped blackboard at the top, almost like a lollipop. I had it in my mind to use that as a center, buy some whimsical white wire, some butterflies, and make it into a kind of…bouquet…thing.

The second idea won out. I bought a cute white lantern (they are so in right now it seems) with butterflies on it and decided to plan on what to do with it when I got home.

Cue that night. I tossed and turned, trying to decide how to make the lantern unique. At one point, I entertained the idea of going back to Michael’s the next day to buy the whimsical white wire and butterflies and go with the original idea. And then I came to my senses because I was getting married the next day.

Instead, I decided to make the lantern unique.

By adorning the inside with trinkets that represented meaningful memories to us. I put in a magnet from Seattle, where we met, a Packers hat (a mini one!), my painted Space Marine (John), and some dice. Did I also mention that we are Super Geeks?

To make it a little more fancy, I tied some velvet ribbon at the top as a handle, and voila!

It was great. It was so us. The photographer loved it. And we ended up using it as a centerpiece for our Exhibit (pictures and explanation to come later). The best part for me is that we can still use it! Take the artifacts back out, put them in their respective homes, and we can have a cute little decoration that will always remind us of that 3 minute ceremony that was our courthouse elopement.