Salesforce’s 4th annual 100 Days of Trailhead, #100DaysofLearning, competition has just come to a close, and they have officially announced the winners. We would like to congratulate ArganoKeste’s own Glenda Ninan for placing 1st in the competition!

If you are not familiar with 100 Days of Trailhead, the competition was founded to encourage continuous learning, personal growth and career advancement, and anyone looking to develop their Salesforce skills is encouraged to join.

This competition isn’t for the faint of heart, as participants vie to see who can complete badges to achieve the most points over 100 days. There are thousands of badges to select from, and they range by level of expertise and cover nearly every aspect of Salesforce’s capabilities.

The Winners Circle

In 100 days, Glenda Ninan achieved 224 badges and almost 200k points to beat out thousands of competitors for the top prize – all while continuing to be an unstoppable force at ArganoKeste.

Glenda, a Solutions Architect, has been honing her Salesforce skills since 2007. Since then, she has worked her way from Salesforce Admin to Architect and has obtained 12 Salesforce certifications. At ArganoKeste, she diligently works with our clients to identify gaps in their sales processes and design custom Salesforce solutions, namely with Salesforce Revenue Cloud (CPQ), to help them sell their products most efficiently.

We sat down with her to see how she accomplished such a feat:

Glenda, tell us about your career history and experience with Salesforce?

“I’ve been working with Salesforce since 2007. The first company I worked for had 5 different Salesforce organizations, which was interesting for a new developer. I then worked for a company where I was the only Salesforce employee, and that’s really where I learned everything about Salesforce. The hard part about that is that I didn’t have anyone to ask questions to or get some answers about situations or problems I was having. I learned everything on my own, trying and testing in Sandboxes, and then Salesforce started this certification process where you could prove to the world that you know Salesforce. This was different, a different type of animal… That was the best thing that ever happened. From that, I was able to take architect certifications, and when I passed that, I said to myself “Hey, I don’t need to get promoted by a company, I am already an architect even though my title is developer”. The best way to get yourself promoted is studying during your free time and weekends, and that’s how I became an architect. You can decide for yourself who you want to be.”

Why did you join the 100 Days of Trailhead competition?

“I was trying to get another certification where you have to complete an exam and complete a superbadge, which is a series of challenges to achieve the superbadge. So I took the exam and I passed that exam, and so I joined the competition to complete the superbadge.”

How did you stay motivated to continue for all 100 days?

“When I worked on that superbadge, I noticed that my name was always on top of the list. I was one of the top 10, and then I said ‘Oh, I can see my name now,’ and as I worked on that superbadge, I just kept seeing my name go up. And then after a while I said to myself ,’Hey, I could win this competition’.

To do that, I had to ask myself, ‘Am I willing to commit to the competition? If I have a deadline, if my family wants to go out on the weekend? Do I really want to do this?’ I also checked if this was going to help me in the long term? Do I just want the prize and the short-term acknowledgement, or do I really want to learn?

…There were times I was 20k points ahead of everyone. When I was at that position, I was unfortunately confident that I didn’t think I had to work as much. I consider this a bad thing because it’s not about the points, it’s about learning. A competitor is a motivator. If the competitors stopped working because they thought I was too far ahead, I wouldn’t have continued… After some time they caught up to me. There were times I had to work at night on this. That was a good motivator for me to see that others are beating me. I have a deadline, but I finished it and now I have to work on this Trailhead and beat the other person.”

Did you go into the competition expecting to be a top contender?

“No way! I just wanted to complete my superbadge, but the leaderboard is the main thing. If you see yourself going up and ranking top 5, you get motivated to stay at the top 5. But ‘what’s the point of staying at the top 5, I wanted to stay at the top!’ It was only on the last few days that 2nd place was beating me. I was so busy, but I had to go back on. The three of us were sprinting at the end, and it was exciting on the last 3 days.”

What was the biggest challenge of the competition?

“You can give yourself excuses. ‘I have kids I have work, I have vacations.’ Then you realize, what is it you really want. You can still do all of those things and still win. That’s when strategy comes in. You win by points. I have half the badges as some of the other competitors… but I have the most points. I really looked for the badges with greater than 1000 points and was strategic about it.”

What are you most proud of accomplishing during this competition?

“That I achieved something. I finished the race with highest score. That’s what I’m most proud of. I didn’t give up regardless of any situations good or bad. I finished on top. It’s nothing to do with skills or experience. Just pure drive. That’s the hardest thing about this in COVID times. You get up out of bed. What’s your drive? What do you want to be? You can be the same thing as you are yesterday. No one is going to say anything or reprimand you. It’s up to you to be who you want.”

Final thoughts on the competition?

“There are no losers in this competition. Everyone who joined achieved their goal, however they saw their goal. Like me, I started with the goal of completing my superbadge. If I stopped there, I’m not a loser. Just being in the competition, they’re a winner.”

Congratulations to Glenda for winning 100 Days of Trailhead 2021! We admire her dedication and motivation to advancing her Salesforce expertise.