The interior of Devin Ingersoll’s San Francisco apartment says a lot about her personality.
She loves to garden, but living in a big city doesn’t always make it so easy. So, she installed vertical gardens and flushed the walls with greenery.
“My apartment is literally covered in plants,” she said.
Devin’s love of growing things – and overcoming obstacles – branches into almost everything she does, including her work at Perficient. She joined our Salesforce practice two and a half years ago, and in that time, her penchant for problem solving and building relationships with clients has paved the way for a successful career path in technology and business consulting.
“I feel like I’ve gotten so much support from everyone on the Perficient team,” said Devin, a Senior Business Consultant. “They’re constantly wanting to work with me to improve my skills, find things that I’m good at and hone them. It’s really been amazing.”
We recently chatted with Devin about how she got to where she is now, and where she hopes the future will take her.
What initially appealed to you about a career in technology and business consulting?
My degree in college at Santa Clara University was in OMIS (Operations Management and Information Systems), and my interest in technology really started there.
I was always really good at math and language; that’s what appealed to me most at school, and I felt like the degree was a really good combination of the two – writing formulas and coming up with complex solutions to difficult problems, both in looking at patterns and finding the best choice between all of my constraints. I was attracted to that side of tech, and I always knew that I really wanted to be client-facing with my career. I also really liked that with consulting – and especially Salesforce – things are constantly changing. The products are always changing and improving, and each project is unique. What I like is that I’m kept on my toes, having to change and manage things as new obstacles and client dynamics arise. That’s what attracted me most to consulting in the Salesforce world.
What’s one of your favorite aspects of your job?
I interface directly with my clients, all the way from discovery – gathering requirements, understanding their current solution and issues and why they’re deciding to move on to Salesforce – to designing, implementing, testing, training, and go-live and post go-live support.
I interact with clients every single day. I love when you can establish a relationship where your clients trust you to come up with the best solution to meet their needs. I also like to see how what we’re building in Salesforce is directly impacting our clients for the better. That’s part of what makes my job so rewarding.
What’s one of the more notable projects you’ve worked on?
I was fortunate to be added to the team behind our NextGen Healthcare project. I’m the senior business consultant, and I was brought on to the project primarily because of my Salesforce Service Cloud experience. The project has been great because I have been able to work with colleagues from Perficient that I hadn’t worked with before.
NextGen provides integrated clinical, financial and connectivity solutions for ambulatory, inpatient and dental provider organizations. Our NextGen project is basically a massive Service Cloud implementation. We’re building a Customer Community, a very complex case management process with skill-based routing and a couple of integrations to other systems. We’re including ideas as part of our Customer Community piece, allowing our customers to have more of a voice in the way that their product evolves, which is a huge deal.
We’re also including things like training, registration, project management and known-issue tracking – basically reporting on bugs that are in their current system, so the support team can interact with their R&D team to help improve product management.
How did you grow your skills while working on the project?
What’s been really great about this project is that NextGen is extremely open to our best practices. They’ve not only switched to a new system but have also changed their processes to adapt to Salesforce.
I’m still a fairly young consultant, but being able to know how to look at this very complex system and determine the best practices for the betterment of the entire company and their customers is huge. Community Cloud is also fairly new for me as a product, so I’ve really been able to expand on my skills in that area.
Another benefit is that you learn how to adjust your communication skills and strategies depending on the group that you’re speaking with to meet their needs. That’s a challenge that I really enjoy.
Career-wise, what value do you see in having Salesforce experience?
I think it’s huge. Salesforce is used everywhere. Every time I tell someone that I’m a Salesforce consultant, they almost always tell me that their company uses it, not only for-profit companies but also non-profits. I think your skills are easily transferrable. You are able to develop problem-solving skills, creativity, and good communication skills, which are huge for this job. I think all of it transfers to any area of my life, especially my professional career.
How do you want to grow as a professional? What are some of your goals?
I want to become a full subject matter expert on Service Cloud. I feel like that’s the area I’ve mostly worked in. I would really like to deepen my knowledge of Customer Communities in particular. The voice of the customer is becoming so important for companies these days; that’s the area I really want to focus on.
At the same time, I would also love to spend time gaining a wider range of knowledge within Salesforce. I’ve ended up becoming quite specialized in Service Cloud, so having the greater knowledge of all the different types of functionalities Salesforce has to offer is something I definitely think is important for me to be able to keep pushing forward in my career.
Salesforce evolves quickly. How do you continuously improve your skill set to align with the growth of the product?
I think it’s valuable to have an area of Salesforce that you are more specialized in than others. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a pretty wide range of Salesforce functionality. But, because Salesforce is moving so quickly, it really does require you to stay on top of their release notes and get into the sandbox and test things out before the new release goes live.
It’s important to test random things out based on requests you’ve heard from customers in the past on challenges that were especially difficult to solve to see if there are new ways to do so before you carry forward in your next project.
How have you made yourself an asset at Perficient?
For me, what’s been valuable is knowing where my knowledge is and continuously working to expand that but also knowing my limits. We really rely on other members of our team who have a deeper knowledge in certain areas and ask for advice.
What’s awesome about our team is that everybody’s there for each other. We’re constantly asking for other opinions and wanting each other to play devil’s advocate. You have to be open to having someone challenge your ideas for the betterment of your customers.
What motivates you?
I really love the people I work with. I know that can sound cheesy, but I really do. They make my days awesome. Not only the people who are on my direct team for my project but also just the people in the office with me. Everybody is really great, and it makes going to work fun. I also love the variety in our day-to-day challenges. Give me the next tough problem. That’s what I thrive on.
Giving back to the community is a priority for Perficient and Salesforce. Have you had the opportunity to take part in any philanthropic projects?
For our new hires, Perficient assigns non-profit projects to work on. It’s amazing because it’s like winning on both sides. The non-profit gets to have us build something for them that maybe they don’t have the admin to do on their own. For the new hires, it’s the perfect experience to practice interacting with a client and managing a project for a good first start.
I personally worked with other new hires on a project for Girl Ventures, a non-profit organization that empowers adolescent girls to develop and express their strengths. It was a wonderful experience. We helped them to allow for people to register for different courses and manage that internally. We helped them build a couple reports as well. I think it’s an awesome initiative that we do.
What’s a day in the office like for you?
I feel like everybody here is very young at heart. Their outside activities make them really interesting. We all have things that we relate on, like common interests, and the office is constantly buzzing. We are always asking each other questions, playing devil’s advocate or maybe just even cracking jokes, which makes it really fresh and fun.
You mentioned that you share common interests with your teammates. What are some of yours?
I love to garden. It’s a fun hobby for me. Living in Northern California, I love going on hikes and being outdoors. It’s just a beautiful place to be. Those are my top two.
Work-life balance is so valued here. It’s definitely one of the things that I really appreciate about working at Perficient. Everyone is very encouraging of taking that time to develop outside activities. They don’t want you being 100-percent involved in your job 24/7. I think everyone realizes that having that outside time or those extracurricular activities are what keep us fresh and passionate about our projects and our work.
What Makes Devin a Standout?
JD Nordberg, Director, Perficient’s Salesforce practice, shares his experiences working with her:
“Devin is never satisfied with good enough. She expects nothing less than the very best from herself for her clients and colleagues. This attitude, coupled with a willingness to get the job done at all costs, have propelled Devin into the star she is at Perficient.
“Working with Devin is a privilege. She challenges everyone she works with to be better, while infecting everyone with her contagious positive attitude and laugh.”