Jessica Murphy, from a Sign Language Interpreter to a Known Personality in Salesforce World…

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible” – Winston Churchill

Jessica Murphy’s story makes you believe in this quote. She is an “out of the box” thinker with a great sense of humor and will always meet you with her wonderful smile. Her innovative and practical approach towards life is quite commendable and is one of the prime reasons for her journey towards success. Jessica’s positive vibes and her smiling nature assist her and everyone around her in taking the critics in an affirmative way.

As a teenager, Jessica started as a babysitter for friends, neighbours and family. In 2003, She graduated with a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting and worked as an ASL interpreter and instructor for approximately 14 years. She completed her post-graduate work in Adult Education and Training in 2014. Her plan was to work in an office of disability services and perhaps attain a doctoral degree.

However, the course of her life was noticing on the cake. After graduating, she faced a lot of issues in finding a job. By 2015 she was still searching when she meets Sheena, a full-stack developer, and Women Who Code volunteer. Sheena was passionate about teaching women code. For Jessica, this encounter was a turning point in her life. The idea of learning to code appealed to her. Jessica went home, googled Women Who Code and learning code. She joined Women Who Code Phoenix as well as Girl Develop It Phoenix. She began learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript. She started digging more and more to gain knowledge by attending a coding boot camp for Ruby on Rails and another for JavaScript.

Girl Develop It Phoenix was very active in exposing women to various languages and technologies. Jessica’s transition into Salesforce was a result of these experiences. Girl Develop It Phoenix has a dine and demo about Salesforce. Jessica went to support a friend. When the friend was excited about the prospect of Salesforce, Paula Nelson (aka ThatDarnWoman) invited Jessica and the friend to attend a weekend user group event featuring Chris Duarte. Because Jessica believed she was there to support her friend, she was initially focused on a JavaScript project. However, as Chris spoke about her experiences and the Salesforce platform, Jessica became enthralled. Before long, she stopped coding and began exclusively listening to Chris. During that event, she made up her mind choose Salesforce as her path.

Jessica’s experiences in learning technology has not always been easy. In bootcamp and in learning Salesforce, she has felt Imposter Syndrome. She has felt like she’s lacked knowledge, but she kept moving forward anyway. In 2016, Jessica achieved Trailhead Ranger status. After accomplishing this goal, she decided that 2017 would be her year to become certified. With the help of Girlforce (now Amplify), she went to Destination Success and passed her Admin and App Builder certifications. Even though 2017 was a tough year personally, she went on to attain Advanced Admin, Platform Developer 1 and Sales Cloud certifications.

Jessica is quite passionate about helping women to learn Salesforce and learn to code. Before meeting Sheena, she had not met a female developer in her life and had only met one black developer. In essence, she did not see herself reflected in technical professions. Visibility is vital and as it is said “There is always someone following your next step”. By leading, volunteering and helping others, she hopes that others can relate to her experiences and envision themselves in a tech role whether that individual is a girl, black, brown or any other applicable minority. She wants other women to succeed in Salesforce. In her expedition for the same, she has initiated on a few projects in hope of inspiring girls begin their Salesforce careers.

A glance at some of her works: “SaaSie Tech Socials”– The purpose of SaaSie is to bring women together from numerous backgrounds and to devise a network of individuals who assist each other to succeed in technology.

“Phoenix Salesforce Saturday”– She is one of 3 founders of Phoenix Salesforce Saturday. Salesforce Saturday was created by Stephanie Herrera in 2015 to encourage everyone to improve and master Salesforce.

“Women Who Dev User Group” – This group was created with a perspective in mind to encourage women to learn coding and become Salesforce developers. Most recently, Jessica decided to lead the charge to challenge WWDUG member and allies to 100 Days of Code to learn code and improve skills.

She is inspired by people from all walks of life for diverse reasons. A few of them are Maya Angelou, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Michelle Obama, Marianne Williamson and Iyanla Vanzant. Within the Salesforce ecosystem, she is quite inspired by some of the amazing people namely Leah McGowen-Hare, The Trailhead Team, Stephanie Herrera, etc.

Jessica believes that “A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her” and she most definitely has proved it. She deserves applaud and with this spirit let’s devise a world for women where there is equality. “Salesforce Equality” is not only the right thing but it is the smart thing which is one of the core values of Salesforce.

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