Speaking about Creating a Custom Setting to Disable Validation Rules

I spoke at the London Admin User Group a couple weeks ago on this topic and it went well! Yay! But how did I get from feeling like I could have done better speaking to actually doing better?

  1. I added in a new challenge for myself. I had already done my presentation to my Speaker Academy class and at the London Developer User Group so I was little bored of it. I added in a demo of actually setting up the setting to keep myself entertained. When I do a demo, I write out all the steps, even the extremely obvious ones. You never know what you might forget when you’re doing the demo.
  2. I practiced a lot. I recorded myself speaking on a voice memo on my iPhone and then I listened to myself speak. Sometimes public speaking practice can make you feel a little self-involved.
  3. I made myself feel excited instead of scared. I went for a run before the talk to calm my nerves.

When I arrived at the user group, some of the leaders told me the PA system wasn’t working, so I would have to be loud. Instead of letting this freak me out, I decided I would capitalise on being a loud American.

During the talk, I made eye contact, waited for people to laugh at my jokes, and managed to do the demo with my back to the audience and without everyone being able to see. People asked a lot of questions and seemed to find value in the content I presented. That was a great feeling!

I learned that not every time you speak will be perfect, but that the more you get out there and speak, the easier it gets. When I feel impostor syndrome kicking in, I try to remember that when I don’t speak, no one gets to hear my ideas. We all need believe in our ideas, even we feel that they aren’t perfect, original, or interesting. I went into this talk thinking most people knew all about my topic, and it turns out they didn’t. You never know who you might inspire or help.


Photo by Dave Humm

Here’s the directions for Creating a Custom Setting to Disable Validation Rules:

  • Find Custom Settings in the Setup Menu
  • Click “New”
    • Label: Disable Validation
    • Object Name: DisableValidation
    • Setting Type: Hierarchy
    • Visibility: Protected
    • Description: “This setting allows admins or devs to turn off validation rules for specific users or profiles.”
  • Click “Save”
  • Under Custom Fields, click “New”
    • Data Type: Checkbox
    • Field Label: Active Users
    • Field Name: Active_Users
    • Click “Next” and “Save”
  • Click “Manage”
    • Click “New”
    • Add in all profiles with active users unticked
  • Find the Validation Rule and repeat for all validation rules.
    • Click “Edit”
    • Add in the line: “$Setup.DisableValidation__c.Active_Users__c = FALSE” to the correct place in the validation rule. Make sure you’ve edited the formula so it’s still working!
    • Click “Check Syntax”
    • Save

When you are done, you can add in users or profiles that need validation rules disabled by making Active Users = True (ticked).


London’s Calling was better than Dreamforce

Okay, I know you’re saying, are you just sucking up to the organisers or what? As much as we all like them, I’m not, really. Here, I’ll explain it!

First, I’ll say that I’m from San Francisco. I grew up in Noe Valley and spent most of my adult life living in Glen Park. I love San Francisco, but it doesn’t excite me. Also, both times I went to Dreamforce, I was living in San Francisco, so I didn’t travel there from somewhere else. I went home at the end of the night to my own bed.

I liked that Dreamforce exposed me to lots of new ideas and I heard some amazing big name speakers, but I found it pretty overwhelming. I didn’t know how to spend my time wisely, and I didn’t know very many people other than my boss. I am also not a fan of huge crowds.

I signed up for London’s Calling because I was taking the Speaker Academy course with one of the organisers, Jodi Wagner. She was not shy to plug it at every opportunity, so I signed up as soon as the tickets went on sale. I had no idea what to expect, but turned up on 10th Feb nonetheless.

What I liked about London’s Calling:

  1. Maybe it’s a consequence of being part of the community here, but I knew people. It made a difference to be at an event where I knew half of the speakers and a lot of the attendees.
  2. All of the sessions were high quality and didn’t give me fear of missing out on something better. I felt that I was in the right place. I came away with concrete ideas for my career and future Salesforce implementations. I went to sessions with Louise Lockie, Amanda Beard-Neilson, Agustina Garcia Peralta, Ines Garcia, Angela Mahoney, Karen Mangia, Peter Coffee, Belinda Parmer OBE, Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, and Jodi Wagner. Because of the size of the event, more people were able to ask questions and maybe because it was a community event, everyone seemed less concerned with being on brand.
  3. The lunch was really good. I am always swayed by food.
  4. Both keynotes didn’t strike me as something I’d heard before. Peter Coffee gave me a lot of hope for my career with Salesforce as a non-developer. Belinda Parmer OBE and Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE both spoke really eloquently about women in tech and creating organisational culture that truly supports people. Their conversation with Jodi was very frank, and I found that refreshing.
  5. The size of the space meant you could get to sessions very easily, and it never felt too crowded or overwhelming.
  6. The mood of the event was upbeat and low-stress. I liked this. People were there to learn, enjoy the day, and meet people. Everyone was friendly and didn’t seem in a rush, which is kind of the opposite of London. 🙂
  7. While there were sponsors there who wanted to tell you about their products, it didn’t feel too sales-y. I was able to walk through the sponsor area and not feel like people were trying to grab me to pitch. This actually made me more willing to learn more about all of their services. Win-win, right?
  8. There was a photo booth. A photo booth makes everything better.
  9. I’d never seen a demo jam, and I really liked seeing the extremely short demos of products. It was a feat of time management and succinctness.
  10. I had a bad headache most of the day and I didn’t leave because it was such a cool event. All of the details came together to create an event that was really attendee-focused. I loved this.

I will definitely be back next year! Thanks to the organisers and the London community  for being so excellent.



Salesforce Interview Questions

A friend of mine who is new to the Salesforce ecosystem asked me if I had any examples of interview questions for Salesforce roles.  I did a huge brain dump and thought it might be helpful to other folks.

Here’s some interview questions I’ve been asked:

  • What projects have you worked on and what role did you play on the project team? This is one of the most common questions. Be prepared to have a few impressive projects and be able to explain the entire project lifecycle, as well as the technology you used to build it.
  • Sometimes I’ve been asked to do a test in a developer org. The one I did involved Data Loader, creating formula fields, adding automation, and permissions.
  • How do you gather requirements from stakeholders? Do you use certain processes? How are you able to work with people and listen to their frustrations and needs?
  • How do you solve various user questions? I’ve been asked how would a respond to a password reset question. Sometimes this question will involve a requirement that hasn’t been totally fleshed out by the requestor. You should be able to demonstrate that you are able to push back and ask why when you’re asked to build something.
  • How did the project management process work at places you’ve worked? In most of my jobs, I’ve used JIRA and Confluence, so be prepared to discuss how you organise your time and work.
  •  What is your strongest cloud? For me, this one is Service Cloud because I’ve used it the most and I find it the most interesting.
  •  What is the cloud you know the least about? It’s okay not to know everything about Salesforce. Honestly no one I’ve met does.
  •  What are your long-term goals for your career in Salesforce? 
  •  Have you done user training? You might discuss any help documentation, training slides, presentations you’ve done.
  •  Have you worked with developers? Even if you aren’t a developer, are you able to understand what is possible with code in Salesforce?
  •  How do you deal with conflict? This is a standard interview question, but  it’s a good one to know how to answer.
  • Do you use Trailhead? If you’re not, get started. It’s fun and pretty soon you’ll be addicted to badges.
  • Do you know much about Lightning? Not that many people I’ve met have implemented it, but do the Admin Lightning Challenge and the Trailheads on Lightning. It’s going to be on the rise and it’s in your best interest to know what it can do. Also, Lightning dashboards are very pretty and will make you happy.



Credit: Robert Leighton, The New Yorker