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2U Enterprise Case Study: Salesforce

Written by Rich Reynolds on Sep 15, 2020

Related content: Strategic Partnerships, Outcomes

According to Burning Glass Technologies, jobs are becoming more hybrid, demanding new sets of skills. The company, which has analyzed close to one billion job postings and employee resumes, believes about 12% of all job openings now fall into this category (January 2019). These roles are not only growing fast, but they are also highly paid and more immune from automation.

Perhaps no company other than Salesforce better understands the need for high levels of technical fluency across all departments. As technology becomes a crucial part of day-to-day work and more jobs evolve into hybrid roles, Salesforce responded by piloting a full-stack web development corporate training program from 2U, Inc. and in partnership with Columbia University.

Solution engineers at Salesforce often have strong backgrounds in sales and marketing. But department heads believe it is important for employees with “engineer” in their title to also be able to speak fluently with customers about technical concepts. That’s why a “Fundamentals of Full-Stack Web Development Essentials” boot camp was offered to employees after work for three hours twice a week for seven weeks.

2U helped us create a course that focused on what we wanted to achieve and nail down ROI both quantitatively and qualitatively.
— Owen McClave, Senior Manager, Solution Engineering

The curriculum incorporated hands-on lessons in website design, including HTML, CSS, and responsive web design; JavaScript; and server-side technologies such as Node.js and Express. Students also worked on Salesforce API integrations and finished the program by creating a full-stack feature that utilized their new skills and showcased what they learned throughout the program.

“In my role, it’s important to be able not only to understand the needs and challenges our clients are facing, but also to articulate what they need from a solution,” said Ali DeBear, Solution Engineer and program graduate. “Having a better understanding of full-stack web development helped fill that gap.”

The Essentials program was offered in partnership with Columbia University, one of 2U, Inc.’s university partners. Through its successful consumer boot camps offered since 2015, 2U has earned support from the world’s leading universities that lend their expertise and oversight to the delivery of every program. As a measure of the program’s quality and rigor, participants receive a university certificate upon successful completion.

“Trilogy’s relationships with universities are super impressive,” said Valerie Wolloch, SVP, Solution Engineers. “The certificates that students receive have a lot of value to them.”

Fourteen students participated in the online course, which fit perfectly into employees’ schedules while also building team camaraderie. Students were able to apply what they learned throughout the program to their jobs immediately, and Salesforce reimbursed graduates through the company’s tuition reimbursement program.

“There have been a number of times since I completed the course when I’ve been on the phone with a customer, extremely technical individuals and important customers of ours, and prior to taking the course I would have been completely lost,” said Laura Maitz, Solution Engineer. “Even though my job function doesn’t require me to write code or to have a specific programming background, it’s helped to not only better understand what my customers are saying, but also better articulate a response and where Salesforce applies.”

McClave wanted the program to introduce solution engineers to modern web development and see how they could tie what they learned into the Salesforce ecosystem, providing a tremendous amount of value to customers. “The results of the initial class were above expectations,” he said. “The group came together and bonded, and I think it really brought a lot of teamwork, what we call an Ohana, really a family type of environment.”

For more information on how we can help your workforce, contact our 2U Enterprise team.

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