About Me

About Me

Although I come from a varied background, the common theme along my life path has been that I am fairly handy at figuring things out and creating things.

What sort of things? All kinds. But to keeping a focus on just the technical world, I like to create useful programs that are easy to use and increase efficiency.

My programming background began in the days of Fortran and Pascal, and then went dormant for a couple decades while I did non-programming stuff, like getting a post-grad degree and raising two terrific kids.

Then one day I got a wild hair to teach myself Excel VBA. Once my boss got his hands on the first few programs I wrote for him, little did I know that it was planting the seeds for him to commission me to becoming a full-time Salesforce administrator/developer.

So I now find myself in the mysterious, confusing, troublesome, and sometimes treacherous Salesforce playground, trying to learn as much as I can as quickly as possible. There is so much to learn, and only so much time!

I started this blog primarily for my own reference: A place where I could detail my findings and create notes for myself to rely on if needed. What I am finding is that writing a concise, accurate and understandable post is quite an undertaking. But this process of putting together my thoughts in a logical and readable manner forces me to dig in deeper than I may have otherwise gone.

My career as a Salesforce developer was launched from the Visual Flow world. It’s a tricky place, but once you get the hang of it (and figure out how to work around the proverbial brick walls), it’s a great place to create customization to the platform.

After Visual Flow, what next? Hmmmm. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, if you get some value out of my musings, then I’ll be super tickled.



7 responses to “About Me

  1. Eraaj Khan

    May 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Karen

    Stumbled into your blog and found tons of beneficial info. Keep them coming.

    Are you planning putting up something for ADM211, Platform App Builder etc..certifications.


    • Karen

      May 12, 2016 at 6:40 am

      Hi Eraaj,
      Yes, as I have time I’ll finish putting up my notes for ADM201, and when I take the ADM211 study group I’ll most likely add notes for that as well. 🙂

      I’m glad you have benefited from my ramblings!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jerry

    September 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Karen.

    I found your blog and it seems you have a lot of experience with flows. I have searched the web and tried several techniques to solve my problem to no avail. I posted to the developer forum and have not received an answer from their either.

    My problem is this:

    I have a visual flow setup with two screens. The first screen has 2 input fields. These input fields are used in calculations to create the default for a field on the next screen. The first time through everything works as expected. If I click the previous button on the second screen and change the values on the first screen, the defaults for the second screen do not change. I even added the fields from the first screen as display text fields on the second screen and the new values show there so I know the inputs are taken and stored. The input fields on the second screen are not recalculated though. I need to have them be input fields so the user can adjust them if needed. Any ideas?

    I have a word doc with screen shots showing the issue if it would help.


    • Karen

      September 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Jerry,

      I agree that Visual Flow has a limitation when it comes to updating default values in screens when they have previously been visited and the user is coming back to them after using the “Previous” button. After fiddling with it a little bit I came up with the following workaround:

        1. Create variables to hold the values that are entered into the first screen. Be sure to set default values for them.
        2. In your first screen, use these variables as your default values for your entry fields.
        3. Immediately after your first screen, save the entry field values to the variables using an Assignment element.
        4. Create a function that uses your variables and does the necessary calculations.
        5. On your second screen, use the function as your default value for the next input field.
        6. Also on your second screen, on the “General Info” tab, select the “Don’t show previous” button option.
        7. Again, also on your second screen, add a field that the user can use to indicate if they want to change the input from the first screen. I used a check box, but you could use a radio button or choice field as well, just as long as you will get a predictable value from that field you can test against (next step)
        8. Immediately after the second screen add a Decision element to test if the user wants to change their original input values. If so, route the Flow back to the first screen. If not, route the Flow to the next element. In my test I had used a check box on the second screen, which the user would check if they wanted to adjust the original input values, so my Decision element looked to see if the value of the check box was “True,” and if so, route back to the first screen.

      Even though Flows are very cool and very powerful, they have a lot of frustrating limitations which, unfortunately, we have to get creative about finding workarounds.

      ‘Hope this helps!


  3. Jerry

    September 21, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I was hoping I didn’t need to go to this extent. I had already removed the previous button and had toyed with the idea of a checkbox feature similar to what you suggested. I was hoping not to have to add the extra complexity. This flow is already huge and getting bigger – similar to your screenshot in the organization article. Thanks for your help!


  4. Harjeet

    January 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Karen,

    I’m Windows Admin in AD with good experience in System Administration. Im planning to switch my field to salesforce. Please advise if i should go for Dev or Adm exam and do you have links to download study material for the same. Thank you


    • Karen

      March 28, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Hello Harjeet,

      I would start with the Certified Administrator exam, then move to the Platform Developer I exam. There is much to know about how everything works, and studying for the Administrator exam will help put it all together. There is an excellent study group that you can participate in for free. It runs between 12 and 15 weeks, and thoroughly covers subjects needed to take the exams. I highly recommend it! To locate the group, look for “Salesforce Certification Study Group” in the Salesforce Success Community. It is a closed group so you’ll need to request to join. They hold study groups twice a year for a few different certification exams.

      Best of luck to you in your Salesforce career!



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