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Stories from our Salesforce cross-skillers

16th December 2021

Author Alice Hopkinson

Opening new doors – Jitendra, Lavanya and Terry share their Salesforce cross-skilling experiences

Davanti’s Salesforce Developer Cross-Skill Programme is bringing curious, clever and technically talented individuals into our company and the Salesforce ecosystem, helping to develop our team’s depth and breadth of expertise.

We sat down to chat with three very clever individuals who’ve experienced Davanti’s Salesforce Developer Cross-Skill Programme first-hand this year. Here are Jitendra, Lavanya and Terry’s stories.


Name: Jitendra Kushwaha:

Joined Davanti: January 2021

Jitendra, like all of our team, is a fabulous human being and an amazing Salesforce Consultant. Jitendra came in at the start of 2021 as our first recent hire with a Siebel CRM background and I was dubious about how quickly he seemed to be getting the hang of things – he absolutely rocketed through his learning and was hungry to get to work with our clients. Jitendra showed me just how powerful a background in developing another CRM is – he has gone from strength to strength and I’m extremely proud of his work.


How did you come to Davanti?

I came onboard as a Siebel developer as I was interested in and had the capacity to learn Salesforce. In fact I have wanted to learn Salesforce ever since I started my career in 2014.

Friends of mine who’ve moved from Siebel to Salesforce told me good things about it. I saw this role with Davanti as an opportunity to learn and grow. I took the chance and I’m very glad I did.


Tell us about your background and your journey to this point.

I graduated in 2014 with a degree in chemical engineering, and I didn’t have any background in computer science. When I started my first job as a software developer I was completely lost and felt I didn’t know anything, but if you’re smart you can learn just about anything. I’ve applied this perspective to my entire career.

Eventually I wanted to formalise my skills, so I decided to go back to study, and graduated with a Master’s in IT project management in 2020.

When I got this role at Davanti I went onto Trailhead and YouTube to see what I could learn about Salesforce. Once I got to the company, I wanted to move onto project work as fast as possible – I learn by doing. In my view, once you know one programming language, you know the basics of every programming language, you just need the documentation. Another way to describe that is that you know the concept, now you just need to know the different implementations of it.

So far it’s been easy to adapt to the concepts and entities of Salesforce at Davanti, because the in-built business logic is basically the same. It’s also very useful to talk to people, whether that’s people in the Trailhead community or in the Davanti team. It’s been a good journey and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. My skillset has definitely improved; I can write better code now than a year ago and I’m a better front-end developer.


What would you say to someone who’s interested in the programme?

You’ll always have apprehensions, and that’s valid. But at the same time if you’re willing to learn and put in the effort you might be surprised by what you can do. Any previous job experience and previous skillset isn’t lost, and a lot of what we learn in previous roles will be transferable, you just need to have faith in yourself.

Obviously, in our industry we have to keep learning anyway, as the technology is constantly developing.

And we can also remember that the new technology is based on the old technology, so as long as your concepts are clear and you know your basics, you can always excel. There is so much available to us. The amount of documentation out there, and the number of developers on community sites and blog posts, it’s huge. So we can always be learning.

This has only been confirmed with my experience at the cross-skill programme. You just need to be smart, you don’t have to have a lot of knowledge, you just need to know the basics and you can expand on that and excel.


What are you excited about moving forward?

I’m looking forward to doing more work with integrations and APIs. I will try to do that in future. It’s also pretty exciting to see the new features that Salesforce keeps introducing every year, so it’s nice to keep up to date with that.



Name: Lavanya Bommini

Joined Davanti: July 2021

Lavanya is such a breath of fresh air and brings wonderful energy and fun to our team. With a background in integration development, she had played around the edges of CRMs before coming to us and, given the highly integrated nature of our customers’ Salesforce orgs we knew her experience would add value to our business more broadly. Lavanya is about to wrap up her first customer engagement and it’s wonderful to see her pushing herself technically and bringing her maturity to conversations with her customer with thoughtful questions and considered recommendations.


How did you come to Davanti?

Prior to Davanti I was working on technologies like SugarCRM, then went on to work on Dynamics CRM.  The next CRM I wanted to work on was Salesforce, it was the number one platform that everyone was using and talking about. This opportunity with Davanti was a good opportunity to dive in and learn on the job.

I got the sense right from the start that Davanti wanted to invest in my learning, which was so great, and made me very interested. I’ve really loved it, and I’m loving learning this new technology.


Tell us about your background and your journey to this point.

I didn’t have any technical insight into Salesforce as a tool, but when I started applying for jobs I wanted to know what exactly the tool does, so I went to Trailhead and found the amazing courses there. I just love that, because no other CRM tool has learning modules in this way. In fact, one of the most attractive things I’ve found about Salesforce is the Trailheads and the communities. This encouraged me to continue to learn and look for Salesforce roles.

At Davanti, the team had specific modules for a developer, so I started doing that and exploring the different coding perspectives and how things are done here. I found there were certain similarities between this and what I was doing prior, in terms of the flows and approaches.

On the whole, I had this whole attitude of ‘I know I need to learn, I need to go on with it and I need to ace it,’ so that was my plan. It was a nice learning curve and I had the wonderful people at Davanti to help at any point or ask any question. On top of that, those of us that are part of the cross-skill programme have a catchup every Friday to see how we’re going on with everything. This is where we discuss any roadblocks or help we may need, or if there are any courses we want to do in relation to a project.


What would you say to someone who’s interested in the programme?

I think Davanti is very good at providing a path where you can get on and do it. If you have the right mindset, it’s perfect.

On the mindset, it’s a choice. You decide to be in a state of constant learning, to advance and challenge your skills. So what I would say to somebody who was considering taking perhaps a sidestep into a role that utilises technology they’re not familiar with, I would say this may be different from what you’re doing but there are huge opportunities and the possibilities of learning are great.

For me, it’s awesome, because I feel some roles wouldn’t draw on that critical thinking quality. You know, some roles you may just be in front of a screen coding or whatever it may be. But this really allows you to have that interaction and that element of creative thinking.


Name: Terry (Terence) Fan

Joined Davanti: September 2021

Terry’s background in utilities and development of such an industry-specific technology made him a bit of an unusual candidate for us but he came with a super-strong recommendation that we should meet. Immediately I was impressed with Terry’s problem-solving approach, curiosity and alignment to the Davanti values. Terry is a quick study and has a wonderfully dry sense of humour that makes him a great fit in our team. He’s still getting his feet under the table with his first project but already we’re seeing that his experience in delivering for complex clients is going to help make him a superstar in the Salesforce world.


How did you come to Davanti?

My previous job was my first job out of Uni, and I worked for a company that specialises in CRM software for energy utility companies and airports. I was working on the energy utility side of things, and in many ways it’s similar to what we’re doing now for Salesforce as a CRM platform.

After six years there I felt that it was time to move on, especially because we were working on a proprietary tech stack that meant we didn’t get much of a chance to develop transferable skills that would be applicable in the industry.

As I learnt more about Davanti and the Salesforce platform, and the sort of opportunities they offer for learning and upskilling, it really drew me in. I thought it was a really attractive opportunity so I jumped at it.


Tell us about your background and your journey to this point.

I knew very little about Salesforce. I knew it was a huge CRM platform, but I didn’t know much about the technology, or the development experience.

My previous workplace was very good in the sense that it encouraged having a good work ethic, which is a very valuable skill, and to verify our own work. I sometimes hear the stark difference when I’m talking to other developers. I’ve heard horror stories of developers committing directly to master with very few or no approvals. So these transferable skills were very useful.

In terms of the Salesforce learning experience, it’s very well organised. You can check out different topics, what they call modules, in Trailhead. And each subject area is broken down into more specific topics. You can move through daily short pages that introduce you to various concepts and test your understanding with a series of multiple-choice questions or interactive exercises. You can also create your own Salesforce sandboxes to play around with to give you a feel of the user interface. I think that’s very well done from a technical point of view.

So far most of my focus has been around building my understanding of Salesforce. This means learning to navigate the UI and trying to understand the ways that it can integrate with other services, because that’s a hugely important part of the learning.

Personally, I come from a coding background, so I’ve been trying to look into the ways in which I can get into the nitty-gritty of the platform when, of course, Salesforce does stress a low code approach with point and click development interfaces.


What would you say to someone who’s interested in the programme?

Starting the role in lockdown has been challenging, and no matter how good the resources are sometimes it can become tedious when you’re not interacting with anyone. But the Davanti culture is very good, and I’ve been set up with a ‘buddy’ who’s set up several meetings to meet some of the faces of the company, get to know what other people are doing and their roles, and help to settle in. What’s really struck me is how friendly and positive everyone has been so far. They’re really making an effort to foster a good company culture even during lockdown.

If you’re someone who is interested but you don’t think you have precisely the right experience in the right technologies to be considered for a role – bear in mind that engineers do understand that most people who are experienced in any technologies naturally develop a set of platform-agnostic skills that can help them wherever they go. What’s important is your willingness to learn and engage.

Joining Davanti I’ve come in with an open mind to see where this opportunity can take me.


If you’d like to know more about Davanti’s Cross-Skill Programme, please get in touch. You can also read more about it here.


Salesforce Talent Alliance


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Salesforce Talent Alliance