In this blog series, we share people’s incredible Salesforce Certification stories. Hamza Abib is a father of one based in London. He currently works for Salesforce Partner Cloudreach and shares with us how he sat for and passed five (yes five!) Salesforce certifications in just one day.
My journey with Salesforce started during my two-week paternity leave following the birth of my beautiful baby daughter. I realized I would need to readjust my work-life balance in order to spend more time with my new family. I came across David Lui’s blog and was so inspired by his story that I started to teach myself everything I could find about Salesforce. If I hadn’t read that post, I simply wouldn’t be where I am today.
I left my job in the financial industry and went to work for a charitable organization. They had such a complex instance of Salesforce with extensive customization that I was challenged from day one…and loved it. I was new to Salesforce and just jumped right in the deep end.
It was then that I decided I needed to get Salesforce-certified, so I went for and passed my Admin certification. Within the next three weeks, I passed three more, then added another a few months later. I was very determined to achieve my first five certifications quickly. It’s easier once you are in the studying zone. I was willing to make sacrifices to achieve my goals, getting up really early to spend a few hours studying before my family woke. But the outcome was worth it.
Realizing I wanted to dive into and learn about other Salesforce implementations, I found a client-facing position with Salesforce Partner Cloudreach. Right from the start, I made it clear my learning journey need to continue. I even told my now boss, Kevin, during my interview that my ultimate goal was to become a Salesforce Technical Architect, in a quicker time than anyone has done in the past.
I didn’t even plan to sit for all five certifications on that day. I simply took all my study notes to the office one Saturday at 9:00 am to review. A few hours later, I decided to book a remotely proctored exam slot and sat for my first one. And passed. Feeling motivated, I studied for a couple more hours, then booked another slot. And passed again. I was surprised to get that first one, and very happy. I then just let the momentum carry me on, and thought, “If I fail one, then I’ll stop.” But I didn’t fail and by 10:00 pm that night, amazingly I had passed all five Salesforce certification exams!
Hamza’s colleagues weren’t even aware he was going for any certifications. Kevin Campbell, Cloudreach Head of Salesforce, muses, “Anyone can pass any exam if they approach it in a manner which is solely designed to achieve a pass mark. But Hamza studies in a fashion that allows him to not just glean the necessary information from the study materials but to put that knowledge into practice. His feat of five certifications in one day was mind-boggling, given that he only planned to sit for one — and that he'd not even told his wife, who was no doubt wondering where he was.”
Although I have experienced a lot of success, it was hard work, not luck, that enabled me to become 11x certified in under a year. Sometimes I did get overconfident. I would go into an exam underprepared and would fail. I didn’t see this as a negative thing, but a valuable learning opportunity. I didn’t deserve to pass that time. But I focused on the areas I wasn’t confident in, studied, and tried again.
It is no surprise to discover that Hamza did 21 GCSEs (UK high school qualifications), a record at the time, especially when the average is 5-10. And true to his word, Hamza is now working on becoming a Salesforce Technical Architect, even completing three beta exams for the new Architect Domain Specializations.
I’m always looking out for how I can attain professional development through professional certification. By attaining Salesforce certifications, I have literally been able to create my own career path, dependent only on the effort I was willing to put in. I have studied and passed my certifications, and it opened doors for me to apply the knowledge I have learned. I am seeing the fruits of my labor, so I plan to continue planting new seeds of learning, growing, and realizing my potential. I don’t think there’s an industry besides Salesforce where I could achieve so much in such a short time.
To everyone thinking of getting a certification, I can tell you from personal experience it is worth it. It’s an investment that will provide exponential returns. And once you get one, don’t stop. Keep going and establish yourself in an industry that rewards hard work and achievement.
Hamza’s Salesforce Certifications:
Salesforce Certified Administrator March 31, 2015
Salesforce Certified Force.com Developer April 10, 2015
Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator April 10, 2015
Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant April 24, 2015
Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant July 2, 2015
Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist February 20, 2016
Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Social Specialist February 20, 2016
Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist February 20, 2016
Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant February 20, 2016
Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder February 20, 2016
Salesforce Certified Data Architecture & Management Designer April 12, 2016
If you’ve been inspired by Hamza’s story, learn more about how you too can become a Salesforce Certified Professional.