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Force Five Newsletter #2, 2023

Jan 2023 started on a challenging note. Like many tech companies, Salesforce downsized 10% of its workforce. So many talented, wonderful people were affected. My LinkedIn wall was filled with posts from former colleagues sharing unfortunate news and contacting their network. There was also massive support from the Salesforce community(Company, Partner, Ecosystem), offering resume reviews, referrals, and 1:1s.

So, if you are hiring for a position and come across someone with Salesforce experience, be assured they are rock stars! Make that connection if you come across a position and know of someone who could be a good fit.

Over to this week's newsletter. Thanks to all the folks who signed up! In the turn of unfortunate events, two of five will be on Career and Wealth. We will resume regular Salesforce articles next week.


Financial Freedom

The best thing you can do for yourself is to have financial freedom and spend your time exactly how you want while building wealth. Of course, I have my fair share of missteps and missed opportunities, but I can be diligent about the time ahead. Eventually, Happiness, Health, and Wealth form a virtuous cycle.


The ultimate insight on financial freedom is from Naval Ravikant:

You can't earn non-linearly when you're renting out your time

Many tools exist, but Naval gives you a workable framework to be happier. Follow him at Additionally, Eric Jorgenson has an Almanack in various formats if you want something more comprehensive.


Staying Resilient

Folks in the workforce, including myself, can't control these unfortunate events, but we can be resilient and stay prepared. I learned that some affected colleagues were veterans of the company, and it can be daunting to dust off the resume and prepare for the following job interview. However, I did it a year after staying in a company for 15 years, and a few methods helped me make the transition.

If you are looking for a one-stop shop, read Dave Anderson. After reading several of his articles and taking notes, I was able to write up several STAR stories and align them to behavioral principles. If you are wondering if it is worth preparing for Amazon's way of interviewing, fear not! Amazon interviews are tough - if you are prepared for it in the way they prescribe, you are probably ready for all behavioral questions.

Remember, the only person who cares most about you in your career is yourself! So ask yourself the happiness and goal questions every day!

Spring 2023 Release

Salesforce releases in a predictable cycle and path, making it easy for everyone to preview, plan and migrate for upgrades and new features. Head to the Salesforce Trust site to know the exact dates and plan. Last week, Salesforce announced the Spring '23 Product Release preview. Generally, every release packs a ton of improvements, enhancements, and features for a range of products, so it is best to get product-specific release notes or release-in-a-box.

My personal favorites beginning Spring 2023:

  • Migrate to Flow Tool now can migrate record-triggered Process Builder Processes to Flows. If you aren't aware, Workflow Rules and Process Builder are being retired.

  • DevOps is now GA: The war between Devs and Admins is over! DevOps shut the war down - now there is something for Admins and Developers, and everybody wins!

  • Run Screen Flows from Slack (Beta) - Flows enhance declarative programming in Salesforce and pack a lot of punch. After the Slack acquisition, Salesforce has increased integration between Slack and Salesforce from custom to platform capabilities. So now you can take your Screen flows to Slack (Beta).


Salesforce Decision Guides

You will discover many ways to accomplish a task when developing solutions in the Salesforce Platform. Not all methods are created equal, and each has a set of pros and cons. Salesforce decision guides help you to make informed decisions on data integration, event-driven architectures, building forms, and record-triggered automation.

Are you deciding whether to build or buy? There is a guide for that too.

Understand that these guides help you make a quick checklist of things to consider while making decisions. They are generic and may apply to a wide range of problems. What you want is to find the best solution to your specific situation. To use it effectively,

Establish the Context: Identify the situation, problem, and players. The #1 challenge for architects is that they only get part of the context, or sometimes not the actual problem. Separate and filter out solutions from problems if needed.

List the Constraints: Of course, every problem has a reason. Constraints are limitations or boundaries that confine the problem space. Usually, there is some leverage or balance between constraints. Listing the constraints and levers helps you evaluate the options.

Identify the Forces: Carefully study your Business vision, Architecture vision, and methods to achieve them. If your company has well-established Enterprise Architecture practices, learn the Architecture principles. Forces are non-negotiable factors that influence your decisions. Now, there is good news and bad news. Forces are rare and are pretty much defined. The not-so-good news is that Forces can significantly impact your decisions.

Once you have the context, constraints, and forces, hash them against the decision guides and make an informed decision!


Order of Execution

Whether you are building your next automation, evaluating options to improve performance, or debugging a data inconsistency, understanding Salesforce Order of Execution [diagram] is critical.

Record Save is a multi-step process, and Salesforce does a lot in between before committing to the database. When you have recursive saves, criteria-based sharing rules, rollup summary fields, multiple flows, processes, and workflow rules for the same Object, the visual can come in handy and answer specific questions.


That's it for today. Have fun! I'll see you in another post.


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