From Speedboats To Rockets: My Career As A Salesforce Engineer

4-Minute ReadUPDATED: March 24, 2022


My name is Lexi Weber and I lead the Salesforce Center of Excellence (CoE) at Rocket Companies®.

I was first introduced to Salesforce as an end-user when I worked in the telecom industry as a business-to-business (B2B) account executive in Atlanta. During this time, I was asked to be part of a group that provided feedback to the Salesforce team. Being part of this group opened my eyes to the Application Engineer role. I was intrigued to see an engineering role that required a deep understanding of the business. The longer I was involved in this group, the more I became interested in making a career change.

At that time, I was also racing hydroplane speedboats; a hobby/sport that required me to travel from Georgia to Ontario multiple times a year. Balancing work and racing was a little hectic to say the least.

Ready to make a career change and find personal life balance, I made one of the best decisions of my life – in just a few days I packed up what I could in my little SUV and headed to Detroit. To this day, my dad and I still laugh about my phone call to share the news:

“Uh, hey Dad! I have great news. I think I’m going to move up there!”

“No way. Really!? You can stay here until you find a place. When should I get the spare room ready?”

“Great! I’m on I-75. Is 10 hours enough time?”

Soon after settling in, I took a position for a small company that allowed me to learn Salesforce and work closely with the technology and sales teams. Within 6 months, I was solely focused on building Salesforce.  

The Salesforce Landscape At Rocket Companies

Exactly 4 years ago today (as I write this), I was recruited by Rocket Companies via LinkedIn and began as an Application Engineer on the Business Development team under the organization’s umbrella company, Rocket Mortgage. There are two types of Salesforce engineers at Rocket Companies – Application Engineers and Software Engineers.

Application Engineers (or Admin if you’re familiar with Salesforce’s terminology) are typically focused on configuration, user management, data, reports and dashboards. In some cases, they also work closely with stakeholders to define system requirements. Application Engineers quickly become some of the most valuable resources at the company as they understand both the business goals and process as well as the technical side of things.

Salesforce Software Engineers on the other hand, are equivalent to the traditional developer. They are focused on coding backend logic, Salesforce integrations, developing and maintaining Visualforce pages and any other need that cannot be achieved through configuration.

The Salesforce Community At Rocket Companies

We have roughly 45 different Salesforce teams across all Rocket Companies and this number continues to grow. Most Salesforce engineering teams are embedded within the business which allows them to work closely with their end users.

Although these individual teams vary in size, our collective internal Salesforce community consists of more than 200 team members. This unique structure is one of my favorite things about the Salesforce ecosystem here; we’re deeply integrated within our business areas while being supported by the larger Rocket Companies community of experts.

At Rocket Companies, we have a ”We Are The They” culture, which is embedded in everything that we do, especially within the Salesforce community. This culture of collaboration has had a significant impact on my own professional growth.

Through participation in the larger community, I’ve had the opportunity to get valuable feedback and exposure to expertise that wouldn’t be possible at another company. As an Application Engineer, it was easy to stay motivated knowing the work I did had the ability to impact not only my team, but also the greater Rocket Companies community.

Rocket Companies Salesforce Center Of Excellence

As Salesforce usage continued to increase, there became a need to create a centralized team to support all Rocket Companies Salesforce teams. In March 2020, I transitioned from being a Senior Application Engineer to building and leading the Salesforce CoE, which supports all teams and team members that are interested or actively utilizing Salesforce. A key focus of the CoE is community development which focuses on providing communication channels that drive and grow cross-team expertise, relationships and awareness.

I always say that no one goes to college to be a Salesforce engineer; we may have studied business or computer science but specializing in Salesforce hasn’t been an option. All of us have studied it on our own whether it be through Salesforce Trailhead, YouTube, etc.

Salesforce is everchanging. Keeping up with all the changes that come with new products and the three releases that take place every year can be challenging, so having a community that you can lean on and learn from makes a huge difference. When that community also happens to be filled with coworkers that are a part of the same mission –  that’s even more powerful and certainly something that doesn’t exist at many other companies.

Qualities We Look For

Each of our Salesforce teams are unique. Therefore, the skillsets and/or product expertise leaders look for can vary greatly from team to team. On the Salesforce CoE, I look for talent that has both a strong technical background as well as strong interpersonal skills. The right candidate would also be someone that is well-rounded, motivated by new challenges and passionate about learning and creative problem solving.

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