10K’s Take on Trailblazer Day and the Future of Work

By Mike Martin, CCO

Last week, Nick Hamm and I were honored to represent 10K Advisors for Salesforce’s first ever Trailblazer Day in Indianapolis, joining 60+ people from around the world who have changed their careers with Salesforce. It was a day to celebrate the community’s commitment to skilling-up, mentorship, and coaching for the future of work.

The day started with a new experience for many, attending Indy 500 practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where we got to meet and hang out with J.R. Hildebrand, the driver for the Salesforce #48 car.  We had the opportunity to walk through the pits, stop at the garage, and meet the awesome team that supports J.R. throughout the month of May and on race day. J.R. has a strong STEM background and a data driven approach to auto racing that makes him a great partner with Salesforce. They are even using Salesforce Einstein Analytics to help prepare for the win. They’re publishing some high level numbers via J.R.’s twitter account, but also using data from both the car and speedway to compare with other teams. J.R. told the group of Trailblazers that each car has enough sensors to collect a gigabyte of data per lap.

After a fun morning at the track, we regrouped on the Ohana floor of the Salesforce Tower, where we got a quick preview of the TrailheaDX keynote, including the opportunity to provide direct feedback to the creative team putting it all together.  

At dinner that evening with Marc Benioff and an impressive list of special guests (including Salesforce celebrities Sarah Franklin, Erica Kuhl, and Holly Firestone; government leaders Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Ivanka Trump; and J.R.Hildebrand) the trailblazers were again invited to weigh in with our experiences and ideas. However, this time on the broader topic of workforce development — a topic that 10K is extremely passionate about ourselves. We discussed the skills gap, the challenge of diversity as it relates to technical roles, and we had the opportunity to hear some life changing stories from some of the Trailblazers present.

After a short rest, we all gathered the next morning for a workforce development conversation, including a panel discussion led by Marc with trailblazers Shonnah Hughes and Stephanie Herrera of PepUpTech, Zac Otero, and Ivanka Trump. Local celebrities Joe Hogsett, the Mayor of Indianapolis, Suzanne Crouch, Lieutenant Governor, and Salesforce’s local executive Bob Stutz joined us for the morning as well. These were a few of my favorite takeaways:

  • Zac urged those new to the platform to pace themselves and lean into the Trailblazer community. There is so much support available through local community groups, conferences, and the online Trailblazer Community. Zac asked all of us to construct a highway behind us to support others looking to break into the Salesforce ecosystem.
  • Shonnah urged folks to get involved in organizations making strides in workforce development such as PepUpTech which gives motivated, underserved students the skills, mentors, access, and confidence they need to begin careers in tech and help diversify the industry. PepUpTech is always in need of volunteers and mentors to work with their students. At 10K, we truly believe in the mission and vision of PepUpTech and their founders. It’s an incredible organization that is changing lives.
  • Stephanie lauded Marc & Salesforce’s efforts in closing the gender pay gap, but also challenged other leaders to follow their lead, put the talk into action, and directly impact the future of work.
  • Ivanka shared her advocacy for inclusive growth – pushing for more and better opportunities for workers.  She shared Salesforce’s belief that we shouldn’t compartmentalize learning to a certain phase of life (e.g. college) and lauded Trailhead’s ability to train and enable a global workforce quickly and efficiently.  
  • The day wrapped up with Salesforce’s pledge to train 1,000,000 Americans as a part of the Pledge to America’s Workers. While the official announcement commits to training 500,000 people, Marc called an audible and doubled it. These types of commitments are exactly what the Salesforce ecosystem needs to start addressing the skills gap.

I was disappointed that the Salesforce Pathfinder program didn’t get any airtime during Trailblazer Day.  Salesforce has partnered with Deloitte, IvyTech Community College, VetForce, and ElevenFifty Coding Academy to train 500 admins and developers in Indianapolis and more globally.  The program is making strides in helping to build the next generation of Salesforce talent.

We’d like to thank Salesforce, Marc, and the entire Trailblazer team for the commitment they are making in the space and for highlighting the incredible Trailblazer stories they have inspired. Salesforce’s commitment to job training, and programs like PepUpTech featured at the event last week are just what we need to build skills in the ecosystem. We need to celebrate success stories and help inspire others to build their career in the Salesforce ecosystem!