Recently, a large group of nonprofit and higher education Salesforce enthusiasts went to San Francisco for an Open Source Commons (the Commons) Community Sprint. Over the course of two days, 14 projects were worked on in small teams: in-person, virtually, and hybrid. Despite being called a sprint, many of the projects are more like marathons—tackling the miles one at a time over the course of multiple sprints.
As a premier Salesforce implementation consultancy, Summit Partner, and Consulting Partner of the Year – Education, Attain Partners prioritizes involvement in these events to stay current with the happenings in the Salesforce.org community and to bring our consultant expertise to the table. As leaders in the ecosystem, we pride ourselves on giving back not only to our clients, but to the larger community of trailblazers as well. Three of our consultants, including Salesforce MVP Chris Pifer, had the opportunity to join the sprint in person, bringing their expertise on various topics to their teams and projects. Read on for the reflections of two of our first-time sprinters, Michelle Schafer and Richard Bobo.
Michelle Schafer, Higher Education Salesforce Implementation Specialist at Attain Partners
I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first Sprint event with Salesforce. I was excited to see the Salesforce grounds in San Francisco and spend a few days networking with the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Salesforce communities. Thanks to the Salesforce employees who took us up the tower, it was so fun eyeing San Francisco from 61 stories high!
We frequently suggest solutions to our clients from the Salesforce AppExchange—I didn’t realize some of these originated from the Commons Community. It was inspiring to learn about current projects being approved and primed for the AppExchange, and hear about others, like the Direct Lookup Rollup Summary (DLRS) currently in use in over 17,000 Salesforce Orgs.
I had the privilege to work on a newer project to the Commons Community related to Scholarship tracking for current and incoming college students. It was an incredible experience to work with so many dedicated individuals—the ideas (and snacks) were flowing. Inspired by the Education Data Architecture (EDA) model within Salesforce, we were able to identify some best practices in the design of the overall Salesforce model for the project and had the Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) outlined at the end of our two-day session. It’s safe to say this project will be around for years to come, especially with such a dedicated group of volunteers excited to continue to work on the project in our spare time and at future sprints.
Richard Bobo, Principal Consultant at Attain Partners
This was my first of hopefully many community sprints. It was just the right balance of small group collaboration, medium size group networking, and major reinvigoration for the work we do. It was such a pleasure to see so many people come together to work toward solutions that will impact organizations across the globe.
I personally chose to work on the Outbound Funds Module (OFM) project as this was a package that I was actively considering for my clients at DoSomething.org who needed a solution to manage outbound scholarships that they distribute to youth for college. OFM ended up being the perfect solution for the team.
I especially loved being able to present my use case to the team and receive crowd-sourced brainstorming on how I could further customize and automate the package to not only benefit my client but also benefit potential future improvements to the package.
My other favorite part of participating in the community sprint was building a community of like-minded professionals across a range of organizations, cities, states, and the world. With many of my nonprofit clients, who often have small to solo-admin Salesforce teams, having this sense of community and an actual community is priceless. You never know when you might be able to support each other’s career growth or call on one another to help solve your next biggest challenge.
Big kudos to Salesforce.org for supporting this community’s continued growth.
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More information about the Open Source Commons can be found here: Open Source Commons – Salesforce.org
About the Authors
Richard Bobo is a Principal Consultant in the Salesforce Innovation Group at Attain Partners where he focuses on Salesforce implementations for nonprofit and higher education clients. Richard brings 15+ years of nonprofit experience, a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgetown University, a certificate in Software Engineering from the Flatiron School, 10 active Salesforce certifications, and an extensive understanding of the Salesforce ecosystem.
Michelle Schafer is a Senior Specialist at Attain Partners focused on Salesforce implementations for higher education clients. Michelle has been in higher ed for ten years and brings expertise from both the user/client perspective and the technical side with prior experience in Registrar, Provost, and IT offices. She has a passion for helping clients produce creative solutions using Salesforce and supporting tools.