Philly Meetup with Keynote Speaker Mary Scotton

On Thursday, April 14th, the LiquidHub in Wayne, PA hosted a meetup with members of the community to network and hear remarks from Developer Evangelist at Salesforce, Mary Scotton.  Scotton, a seasoned designer and innovator, has been with Salesforce for ten years.  The company is well known for its cloud commuting technology that enables businesses to manage its relationships with customers through an online platform.   She began at Salesforce as a Product Developer and has since moved into her Evangelist role where she advocates for diversity and inclusion, specifically within the tech industry.  Her role is often responsible for starting the discussion among tech groups without a diverse structure, in addition to educating organizations on ways to improve their existing structure or philosophy.

Scotton has never stopped innovating throughout her career and her four patents are evidence of that.  Her twenty years of enterprise software experience led to the development of the “point-and-click” feature that allows non-app developers to partake in the customization of programming.  Other notable innovations include the Page Layout Editor feature and her development of spanning formulas.

Aside from her responsibilities at Salesforce, Scotton maintains a blog that shares her career journey as well as advocates for underrepresented groups in the tech industry.  These topics have become the source of many of her talks.  The focus of this particular talk was an extension of her Southwest Dreamin’ keynote speech.  She explained the “Power of Authentic Connections,” a vital piece of her personal career journey and one she encourages her peers to strive for in their own career paths.  She is currently in her tenth year at Salesforce and is appreciative of the mentorship she received from early product managers that urged her to make those authentic connections by “going to coffee.”  It may seem like a simple gesture, but consider the possibilities that may arise from a casual coffee chat.  The setting, combined with the informality of getting coffee, is one way to build authentic relationships outside the confines of the office.  From a student’s perspective, we are always taught to “network, network, network” because of how valuable experience, knowledge, and advice can be.  However, the quality of the networking opportunities can sometimes become overlooked.  Taking the time to make genuine connections rather than skimming the surface of topics (as is sometimes the case with networking) is far better than stockpiling a list of contacts somewhere in your portfolio, never to be looked at again.  To take this idea one step further, from an entrepreneurial lens, building authentic connections may just be the differentiating factor that launches an idea into a successful business.  When you’re strapped for resources, one thing that isn’t costly is building relationships.  To take Scotton’s advice, why not begin building those relationships over coffee?