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The year was 2013. Miley Cyrus was swinging around on that giant wrecking ball, the movie Frozen began taking over the brains of children and adults everywhere, and President Obama was getting inaugurated for his second term in office. But somewhere in Fresno, CA, Irma Olguin Jr. and Jake Soberal were hatching plans over a Red Bull and a gin and tonic, respectively. In 2023, we’re celebrating ten years of Bitwise Industries, and in this week’s blog, we’ll be revisiting Bitwise’s incredible growth and achievements over the last decade, while also taking a look ahead at what’s to come.
Bitwise Industries’ initial presence began in the heart of downtown Fresno’s Mural District. All in hopes that they could build something meaningful in their community, this is where Irma and Jake came together to build a tech presence in the Central Valley while leaning heavily into local education efforts, where Irma taught coding classes to beginners with little-to-no development experience. The Bitwise-born Geekwise Academy was created to provide specialized coding courses, targeting underestimated humans who would have otherwise not found their place in tech, including a significant focus on veterans and the formerly incarcerated. Amidst all of this, Bitwise launched their development consulting company, Shift3 Technologies–becoming a beacon in the community for building reliable, efficient, technological solutions for local businesses and community organizations.
Twenty-fifteen saw the first instance of the physical expansion of Bitwise Industries, with the opening of Bitwise’s South Stadium building, the first flagship headquarters for the rising company. This era also saw the first round of Series A funding, allowing Bitwise to stand-up locations in both Bakersfield, Oakland, and Merced—leasing updated, state-of-the-art spaces to businesses in local communities all over the Central Valley and beyond. By 2019, Bitwise’s expansion also saw the introduction of the Bitwise Hive and Bitwise|41, two more spaces in Fresno designed to accommodate both the company’s growing workforce, as well as creating spaces for local businesses to move into innovative tech campuses downtown. This also saw the unveiling of Bitwise’s Cowork, the premiere workspace for entrepreneurs and Central Valley residents alike, fostering a community of small business owners that continues into 2023.
It was at this time that Bitwise Industries also launched Ordrslip, a software development company that has continued to help restaurants create efficient solutions for customers to order food from their favorite eatery with the touch of a button. Ordrslip continues to build custom mobile apps with partner integrations from companies like Square, Clover, and DoorDash.
When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, Bitwise did exactly what they knew needed to be done–jump in headfirst to help their community through the power of technology. In the uncertainty of job layoffs, business closures, and schools taking their learning remote, Bitwise developers and community members helped launch TakeCare, PodUp, and OnwardUS. These solution-based platforms helped the humans struggling with food insecurity, childcare, and access to government resources in real time, offering solutions all over the country for the unprecedented times. Bitwise’s employees went remote from 2020-2022, ensuring a safe work environment for employees, their families, and the greater communities. When returning to the office in 2022, Bitwise required masks as an added measure to continue keeping humans COVID-19 free.
It was during this time that Bitwise saw the early iterations of their apprenticeship programs begin to help the economic transformation of communities without a tech presence; allowing the opportunity for people in those underestimated communities a chance to work and learn tech trades simultaneously. To date, more than 15,000 Bitwise apprentices have gone on to full-time employment, with some continuing to work for Bitwise. This was true to the mission that started way back in the Mural District with Geekwise Academy–giving humans the tools they need to get in the door with a growing skill set that holds great value in the tech industry. Bitwise continues to develop their apprenticeship programs with the help of local and national partners, most recently a partnership with Calbright College, focused on workforce development training, in addition to cultivating an apprenticeship program with the same goals in mind: give people the tools to develop the technical aptitude they need to carve a place out for themselves in the industry.
It’s no secret that Bitwise’s expansion efforts have been at the forefront of the company’s growth–in just a few years, Bitwise expanded to Buffalo, New York and Toledo, Ohio. In the coming years, that list of ten current innovation hubs will only grow. From Colorado to Illinois, to a brand new facility in downtown Fresno, Bitwise continues to cultivate a culture of growth and challenging the status quo–letting humans know that they belong in the burgeoning world of technology.
As 2023 ushers in Bitwise’s 10th anniversary, it also ushers in a whole host of new beginnings. This summer, Bitwise employees in Fresno will be moving into the newly renovated State Center Warehouse, a 100,000square-foot historical fixture on Fresno’s R Street that will serve as the new headquarters. Local businesses have already moved into the R St. Marketplace, including the Fresno staple Las Mañanitas, as well as Railway Pizza and Mosaic Cafe. These local eateries are just the beginning for Bitwise’s expansion efforts, with it’s new locations all over the country hoping to cultivate the same sense of community via the power of food and drink. ICYMI, Bitwise Bakersfield unveiled Reset Cafe in 2023, a barcade built on the foundation of bringing humans together.
At the end of the day, the heart of Bitwise Industries is humans. The goal is to lead the way through transformative tech and digital equity, bringing future-focused opportunities to cities that would otherwise have been left behind. What does the next ten years hold? When asked, Irma’s answer was simple; to just keep being a catalyst for change in underestimated communities. “Bitwise making it to a ten-year anniversary is a victory. We’re doing things the world hasn’t done because it’s very hard to do. My dream is that we survive and that we continue to make an impact in the places we’re in today. Surviving looks like building and growing a meaningful business that sustains itself. I would love to see us get to twenty years old, and I would love to see us continue to have hundreds and now thousands of meaningful stories of folks who have changed their lives, and by extension, their communities. And I would love that to not stop. My dreams are simple–I just want to keep going.”
Bitwise Industries creates technology solutions in Salesforce, DocuSign, and digital product development by leveraging a talented, diverse workforce from underestimated backgrounds to create digital equity worldwide. Bitwise is a catalyst for economic transformation with a proven record of year-over-year growth, positive outcomes, and has been recognized for its work on the global stage.
Bitwise has pioneered a movement in the technology industry through the development of skilled workforce talent and transformative job opportunities in secondary and tertiary markets.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries. When she’s not writing, she’s experiencing what can only be referred to as a Soft Pants Era, so if you see her walking around in linen all summer, mind ya business.
With May comes the first hints of summer: the first days of sweltering heat, graduations, and weddings. One more goody that comes with the May flowers? The chance to celebrate our Asian American Pacific Islander developers during AAPI Heritage Month. In this week’s blog, we’ll be celebrating some of Bitwise Industries’ very own AAPI tech mavens that are helping propagate Bitwise’s mission.
In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, we asked some of our AAPI teammates at Bitwise to highlight their favorite things about being AAPI, how they’re celebrating the month, and what the work that Bitwise does to be diverse and inclusive means to them.
DJ Agellon (He/Him)
Director of Software Development
DJ Agellon has been in the Bitwise ecosystem for four years and is one of the directors of software development for digital product development services. This month, DJ is aiming to celebrate AAPI Heritage month by teaching his kids aspects of Filipino culture and appreciating the rich heritage that the AAPI community encompasses. And it’s true–as of 2023–Bitwise’s home city of Fresno houses more than 100,000 AAPI residents, which makes up more than 10% of the city’s total population. DJ’s most thankful for the work Bitwise does via social media to spotlight the company’s AAPI community, and the company’s commitment to including every culture and every walk of life in their work.
Lucas Phan (He/Him)
Director of Development
Lucas Phan oversees the software development department alongside DJ Agellon, with his journey beginning at Bitwise eight years ago. “I am proud to be part of the AAPI community for its resilience in the face of challenges, the richness of cultural heritage, and the strong unity and support we offer each other. Together we overcome, celebrate diversity, and stand together in solidarity.” Celebration and solidarity are at the forefront of the AAPI community. With the uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes in the last few years, now is the time to stand strong with the AAPI community. In the last year alone, our country has seen 146 documented acts of anti-Asian hate crimes, which makes AAPI representation more important than ever. In celebration of Heritage Month, Lucas is engaging in dialogues that promote cultural understanding and inclusivity in our community. Far and wide, cultural competence is the driving force that helps demystify racial misconceptions, with the eventual goal of lowering (and hopefully, eradicating) race-related hate crimes in our communities. Lucas continued, “Bitwise empowers me to embrace my cultural identity through allowing authenticity, encouraging diversity, and consistently highlighting the importance in team meetings. One of the aspects I cherish most about working for Bitwise is the company’s genuine encouragement to be my most authentic self. Moreover, Bitwise fosters a relaxed work environment, understanding the importance of work/life balance and mental well-being, providing extensive support.” In a time that is fraught with unrest, Bitwise seeks to celebrate all of our employees, and empowers them to take care of themselves, and by extension, their communities.
Chelsey See Xiong (She/Her)
Quality Assurance Technician
Chelsey See Xiong is a quality assurance technician at Bitwise. When asked what makes her proud to be part of the AAPI community, she shared, “As a Hmong person, my community’s history and diaspora have prepared me to be resilient and adapt well to whatever environment I may be in,” and it is with that energy that Chelsey moves through the world. She loves the company’s commitment to including diverse voices and the celebration of every community that makes up the Bitwise ecosystem, additionally, she deeply appreciates how supportive the company is of families. Chelsey shared, “I am in a place where I am able to support my family, be available for my family, and work with a team that understands that I’m not just my job. My leads, my department, and human resources are easy to work with, and in retrospect, I feel blessed to have gone through this life change while being a part of this company.” While AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated during May, the work that Bitwise does to celebrate families of all kinds isn’t limited to the month. It’s a focal point throughout the year.
Diversity is what makes our communities unique and strengthens our overall sense of togetherness, and that’s why we continue to celebrate our employees from every corner of the world, and embrace all identities. It is together, through solidarity and celebration, that we continue to empower underestimated communities through transformative technology and digital equity. To check out how we’re celebrating AAPI Heritage Month on social media, visit our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more.
Bitwise Industries builds tech economies in underestimated cities, driving digital transformation through its Salesforce, DocuSign, and digital project development services. Developing innovative tech solutions, and training individuals living in underestimated communities with in-demand tech skills to improve their standard of living is our mission. Centering our efforts in the heart of the downtowns of these overlooked cities, Bitwise is creating a place for the technology industry to take root and ignite local economies.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries. If anyone needs her, she will be happily planted in a kiddie pool for the next three months–California summer in the Central Valley, amiright?
While the world changes quickly around us, there are a few constants: death, taxes, and pursuing some sort of education. Whether it’s public or private, the educational tech landscape is one that requires growth, accessibility, and efficiency. The days of paper report cards and notes pinned on jackets have long passed, and school administrations are looking for ways to modernize severely antiquated workflows to meet the demands for students, teachers, and administrators now. What does that look like, and how is Bitwise Industries making it happen for local school districts and other institutions through the magic of digital product development? Read on for more!
The year is 1979. Or 2003. Or, if you’re a gen z kid who’s stumbled upon this blog, potentially 2010. Anyway, imagine this: it’s the first day of school and you’ve been sent home with a mound of paperwork that requires your parent to drop everything they’re doing to fill it out; this includes the thick, cardstock emergency card that permanently defines who your emergency contact is, the school lunch billing form that demands sensitive information, and pesky permission slips to the zoo field trip everyone looks forward to all year (if you don’t have it, you will NOT be feeding the giraffes). You may be wondering how in a post-Google Suite world, teachers, administrators, and hiring teams can keep track of all of these stray forms that house potentially sensitive information while also preventing the seemingly inevitable backpack-crumpling effect.
That’s where Stria, a Bitwise Company, comes in. Where paper fails as a realistic long-term option, digital image conversion ensures that scanned and permanently stored documents are regularly backed up to your system of choice and increases efficiency. No more thumbing through file cabinets to find student files or emergency cards in case of the occasional tummy ache/headache combo. Additionally, these documents are scanned with security in mind: student records, report cards, and medical files can be digitally converted in a FERPA and HIPAA-compliant facility that ensures your sensitive information stays safe. Stria also provides access to Ed Central Software, a FERPA-compliant software that allows school districts to store and manage all digital documents and provides online forms, scanning functions, workflow tools, and document management features necessary to securely manage a school’s worth of files. This means that things like student records, scanned files, and attendance records are now incorporated into an easily searchable, unified platform that makes documentation accessible via a computer or smartphone to the appropriate people on staff.
And what about the people that teach in our schools? Stria also offers HR Central, a HIPAA-compliant software that integrates with the institution’s Human Resources Information System, enabling administrators to create and manage electronic employee files, eForms, and workflows for active and terminated employees. Stria’s clients include both public and private institutions from CSU Bakersfield to Loma Linda University, Kern County School District to Anaheim Union High School District.
So what about after all the permission slips and cardstock emergency cards? For some, what comes next is pursuing higher education at the institution of their choice. This is where post-secondary technology solutions come in. How is Fresno Pacific University (FPU) utilizing Salesforce managed services to create a strong (and necessary) workflow that ensures a user-friendly infrastructure that can stand the test of time and a fast-moving technology sector? FPU is a private Christian institution with five campuses, a seminary, and online programs located throughout California’s Central Valley. Historically, FPU administrators have been focused on moving their technology forward and “broadening the base” to expand their facilities, enlarge their curriculum, and develop strategies to grow enrollment year over year with a quality student experience.
Introducing leading technology to incorporate automation on all of their campuses started with the early adoption of Salesforce Classic, with the continued commitment to serving an increasingly tech-fluent student population with high-end digital platforms that are intuitive to navigate and simple to use. After performing a diagnostic health check, Bitwise discovered that FPU’s security settings did not meet Salesforce standards, and that the overall health of the institution’s org was at risk in case of the need for critical system updates.
Life comes at you fast, and that’s why FPU approached Bitwise to architect the rebuild of their Salesforce organization to help them prioritize accessible and intuitive technology that their students and administrators continue to use and love. Working with the school’s Head of IT and their dedicated in-house Salesforce admin, Bitwise proposed a time and materials option to work through the project in the most cost-effective manner possible. Bitwise was able to enhance automations and UI/UX along the way, with a focus on permissions and security, system integrations, performance, functionality, and accessibility. Most importantly, Bitwise provided consultation and education for the FPU staff to ensure their comfortability navigating the upgraded system. This system overhaul has provided a lasting impact that continues to enhance user experience and move FPU into a future that continues to meet the demand of technology adoption for multiple departments.
Through digital product development, Bitwise is continuing to introduce practical solutions in a growing tech ecosystem that offers efficiency and an overall more-intuitive user experience. Whether you’re an emerging college student, an HR professional aiding in the hiring process of brand new educators, or an administrator looking for ways to make sure IEP’s and transportation plans for students are stored away with the security and searchability that allows for more time to connect with students and parents, Bitwise is leading the way. For more information on digital product development and how digital solutions can help your institution grow and remain relevant, click here to learn more about the future-focused services that Bitwise offers.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries. When she’s not writing, she’s powering through another rewatch of The Office and, despite her previous doubts, can confirm that it holds up even in 2023.
The heat waves have arrived, and so has the newest preview of Central California’s premiere Salesforce event, CenCal Dreamin’. The time to grow your Salesforce career with local and state-wide events is now, with networking and career-building opportunities galore. In this week’s blog, CenCal Dreamin’ sponsor Bitwise Industries gives you a special look at what to expect from CenCal Dreamin’ 2023, and a round up of other summertime Salesforce events to enjoy from Fresno, to San Francisco, and to Lake Tahoe.
CenCal Dreamin’ (In Person) | Fresno | May 11, 2023CenCal Dreamin’ is an opportunity for every type of Salesforce aficionado to congregate and celebrate all of the goodness that comes with our Central California Salesforce community. After two years of virtual events, this year’s CenCal Dreamin’ conference will take place in person on May 11 with a loaded docket of speakers and sessions for every kind of Salesforce user. CenCal Dreamin’ offers three track options–one for the Executive or Manager, another for Admins and Developers, plus a third Specialty track focused on product-specific elements. Additionally, attendees will get to enjoy the amenities of two Bitwise Fresno locations, with a keynote delivery at the John Dodson Auditorium at Bitwise South Stadium building and a host of informational break-out sessions at Bitwise|41.
Who can you expect to hear from at Cen Cal Dreamin’? Gillian Bruce, a Principal Technical Evangelist with 13 years of experience working at Salesforce, will deliver the keynote session, “Creating a Values-driven Career,” inspiring attendees to “discover their values, develop their skills, and amplify their impact.” Another can’t-miss event? “The Intersection of Customer Connection and Community: A Fireside Chat”, featuring Irma Olguin Jr., the Co-CEO of Bitwise Industries, a key sponsor of the event. Irma will be joined by Charlie Isaacs, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Customer Connection at Salesforce.
The power of CenCal Dreamin’? Something for everyone. From breakout sessions for Salesforce executives and managers from Ian Gotts, a 21-year Salesforce employee with multiple Dreamforce sessions under his belt, to administrator and developer-focused sessions from Kelly Ryan and Evan Ponter, two CRM heavyweights with a combined 30+ Salesforce certifications. Not to mention this year’s specialty track–featuring sessions on using the Salesforce Lightning Email Builder and methodology and documentation. If you’re looking for a place that combines the utility of Salesforce with the magic of community connection, it’s not too late to register for Cen Cal Dreamin’. For more information on speakers, sponsors, or scoring some stylin’ CCD ‘23 merch, the event website is your one-stop shop. Register today!
Tahoe Dreamin’ 2023 (In Person) | Lake Tahoe | July 20-21, 2023
Okay, so this one’s kind of a wombo combo–Tahoe Dreamin’ takes place on the California and Nevada state line, but is still the place where NorCal Salesforce community members congregate for its fifth annual conference. Networking and learning opportunities abound with one-and-a-half days of sessions, keynotes, and a whole bunch of other Salesforce awesomeness that will inevitably spark great ideas to take home for your very own Salesforce org. What makes Tahoe Dreamin’ special? A bonus day filled with hands-on networking activities that range from hiking, to boat rides, to a fun-filled beach day where family and friends are welcome to join! Talking with other community members during these activities has led to past attendees figuring out complex Salesforce needs while engaging with fellow Salesforce experts.
Dreamforce 2023 (Hybrid) | San Francisco | September 12-14, 2023In case TrailblazerDX is too close around the corner, have no fear! Salesforce’s premiere conference, Dreamforce is coming September 12-14, and there’s ample time to plan. Click here to get in the loop for early access registration and be the first to know which incredible speakers, celebrities, and performers will be in attendance at the Salesforce community’s biggest event of the year. Much like TrailblazerDX, Dreamforce seeks to bring together the Salesforce community on a large scale, with admins traveling worldwide to watch and deliver keynotes regarding the latest in the Salesforce ecosystem. Last year’s Dreamforce featured keynotes from Co-CEO’s Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor, along with appearances from Bono (yes, that Bono), and performances headlined at Oracle Park by Red Hot Chili Peppers and DJ Mary Mac. This year’s conference celebrates 20 years of Dreamforce, which means the event is bound to be a success. Not able to make it to San Francisco this time around? No worries–the event is being streamed live on Salesforce+.
Phew! If that sounded like a mouthful, those were only some of the thousands of events put on internationally each year by the Salesforce trailblazer community. From in-person events to online keynotes, there are countless opportunities to meet your Salesforce match and work together on using the CRM to find a solution for any and all problems within an org, with the added bonus of a rock concert, celebrity appearance, or beach day–just for kicks. You can find even more information here.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries. When she’s not writing, she’s tending to her virtual farm in Stardew Valley, which basically makes her an agricultural powerhouse.
This week, we’re spotlighting a client with a barrier-breaking mission. Hedge Heroes is a start-up business focused on making cryptocurrency of all kinds accessible to everyone–not just tech giants. For most, cryptocurrency remains a mystery, but Hedge Heroes seeks to demystify it in a collaboration with Bitwise’s digital product development department. Keep reading to see how Hedge Heroes came to be, and all the ways Bitwise is helping make this barrier-breaking idea a reality.
Hedge Heroes seeks to redefine utility and bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds. Client Jose Velasco enlisted Bitwise Industries’ digital product development team to create a clickable prototype to show to potential investors as a means to raise funding. By creating a transactional platform that allows mobile application users to get exclusive access to vendors’ online marketplaces, both merchants and users will be able to buy physical and digital goods using cryptocurrency. Get your Dogecoin ready to go!
Picture this: you’re a vendor at a farmer’s market in your neighborhood–Hedge Heroes would allow you to accept cryptocurrency payments via the use of a digital wallet and can even convert your US dollars to whichever cryptocurrency you choose. Hedge Heroes seeks to provide cryptocurrency point-of-sale systems to brick and mortar retailers. Imagine being able to pay for your farm-grown celery with Ethereum?
Bitwise’s digital product development team, led by project manager Daisy Mayorga, worked to create a visually-appealing user experience with a full click-through demo to share with potential investors. “People don’t immediately understand how the technology works and it can be scary to adopt, but our designers have done a great job at looking at the scope of work and creating something that makes the user understand cryptocurrency on a different level than they have before.”
Hedge Heroes’ goal is to raise capital for a full platform build, and to subsequently develop the org’s offering into a user experience that goes beyond a point-of-sale system and completely delves into discovering all of the possibilities that live within the Metaverse. Mayorga continued, “Once they get funding to create the full version of the app is when I think we’ll see the full impact of the product, and the difference it can make in the community.”
Initially, the creation of the app posed a challenge: there aren’t a lot of existing examples of cryptocurrency wallets that function to convert US dollars into whatever cryptocurrency you choose. How do you create a workflow for something that’s never been done before? But through research and collaboration, this new and otherwise mysterious technology became clearer and clearer.
With Hedge Heroes, everyone wins: vendors interested in accepting cryptocurrencies can create and accept payment in both physical and online marketplaces, and customers are able to make purchases easily with the use of their crypto wallets. Jose Velasco’s mission is to make cryptocurrency less mysterious and more accessible to every community, including small businesses.
In terms of the project, Bitwise’s digital product development services plugged in from day one. Jose Velasco shared of his experience so far, “Bitwise has been an incredibly helpful partner in crafting a vision for the future. I came to them with a concept, wireframe, and hope. After countless hours of collaboration, we were able to produce an incredible prototype that is sure to revolutionize the payment industry. Above all, Bitwise has proven that there is incredible opportunity for innovatIon even in the smallest or least unexpected of places.”
Hedge Heroes is only one project that Bitwise Industries is working on with clients to create a better world via digital solutions. When an idea can go from something mysterious and scary to a fully-realized prototype, magic can happen. This is only the beginning for Hedge Heroes, and our digital product development services can help build a beautiful beginning for your idea, too! Whether it’s leveling-up your current business practices or designing something brand new from the ground up, you can learn more about digital product development here.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries, but she is also okay with being referred to as The Girl with the Miss Piggy Tattoo.
Take a peek behind the curtain to get a first-hand look at how an apprenticeship looks and feels from one of our very own apprentice experiences. Introducing: Thomas Heppner (he/him), Salesforce Client Crew & Interim Apprentice Lead at Bitwise Industries.
My name is Thomas, and I just finished my Salesforce Apprenticeship at Bitwise Industries. Before learning about Bitwise or Salesforce, I was attempting to finish college with the end goal of becoming a math teacher. I had been a tutor for over a decade, and unlike many, I truly love math. It is logical and challenging, but can be maddening at times. Little did I know back then, Salesforce administration is quite similar.
Unfortunately, when COVID-19 hit and we entered a state of quarantine, those concrete plans of becoming a teacher were suddenly fluid. I did not have the necessary determination or willpower, and failed in completing my college courses. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have some friends in the Salesforce industry. While lamenting my failures and wallowing in self-pity, one of those friends took an interest in my career that exceeded even my own interest. They refused to let me fail.
After months of learning–months filled with laughs, but also fights, and thoughts of completely giving up–my mentor told me I was ready to become a Salesforce professional. Unfortunately, I had a really hard time finding a company that agreed with him. Until I applied to Bitwise.
I was referred to Bitwise by a friend, and before my first interview, I read every Bitwise article I could find, and watched all the interviews of co-founders/co-CEOs, Irma Olguin Jr. and Jake Soberal. Their attitude was that of my mentor: to take those that do not know success, and show them that success is for everyone; to make a conscious effort to find those that have fallen, and prove that they do not have to stay down; to actively empower others to shape their own futures, and break from societal traditions and expectations.
My interview went well, and I ended up landing a spot in an apprenticeship. I realized soon how lucky I really was. I had a talented, thoughtful, and experienced leader named Andy DeSanctis, and I had fellow apprentices who were passionate, engaged, and hungry for success. We were all remote workers, but we were able to take advantage of a wonderful online platform called Gather, where we built a virtual office space on a digital pirate ship! To our friends and family, it looked like a video game, but I swear it was all business … mostly. We were able to collaborate instantaneously like we were in person, and this truly helped to build a sense of community among the team. Before long, the apprenticeship felt like family.
At the start of the apprenticeship, we were all building a foundation for future knowledge. Salesforce does a great job of providing lessons and guided paths to teach anyone interested about their software. It’s called Salesforce Trailhead, and I encourage you to check it out. Also during this time, we were answering the more abstract questions: Why do companies use Salesforce? What value does Salesforce bring to those companies? How can I build a career by learning about Salesforce? While my mentor had previously covered the basics, my apprentice lead, Andy, fully dove in to answer these questions. And for every apprentice, he made the dream of a career in Salesforce seem more than just possible. I have no doubt that quitting the apprenticeship crossed some minds at one point, but Andy made it clear that no one was getting left behind.
A few months into the apprenticeship, the team was completing projects like we were a professional organization. We felt so professional in fact, that we named ourselves “Top Deck Consulting,” in reference to the pirate ship we inhabited for our virtual office space (and yes, we all eventually figured out that the “Top Deck” is not actually a nautical term for any part of a ship). At this fictional company that we were able to create within the Bitwise Apprenticeship, our Salesforce knowledge grew, and we learned how to excel as a team. We weren’t just doing basic lessons anymore, we were building applications and solutions for real-world scenarios.
As we came upon our one-year anniversary, the apprenticeship seemed to be running itself. Our apprentice lead had a medical issue and needed to take a few weeks off. While it was difficult without him around, it became clear that no matter who was gone from the team, someone would always step up to fill the missing spot. During the last six months of our apprenticeship, we had multiple projects humming along, while every team member successfully juggled numerous tasks and responsibilities. We came up with our own ideas for Bitwise applications (one that is currently being used by Bitwise), and even created a Podcast to boost Salesforce adoption within the company. I can guarantee that not a single apprentice knew that they would be capable of such greatness when they first started. I had the advantage of knowing Salesforce before starting, and I did not come close to anticipating what I could accomplish.
Throughout the entire apprenticeship, we all felt such privilege to work at Bitwise. It is a company that you brag to your loved ones about. A company whose goals and missions can only be refuted by those with no sense or love, no brain nor heart.
Conclusions have never been my strong suit. It doesn’t seem real that we just finished in the last week of March. I had to go through this whole post and change almost every verb to the past tense. I could write pages upon pages about every single fellow apprentice I had the pleasure of working with. And I am more than tearing up while writing this finale. I will always remember the goals we accomplished and the bonds we made. The apprenticeship was life changing, and I have grown more than I thought possible. It only makes sense to give back, to pay it forward. And remember that success feels empty if you can’t share it with those that helped you get there.
Bitwise Industries builds tech economies in underestimated cities, driving digital transformation through its Salesforce, DocuSign, and Digital Project Development. Developing innovative tech solutions, and partnering with mission-aligned organizations to train individuals living in underestimated communities with in-demand tech skills to improve their standard of living is our mission. Centering our efforts in the heart of the downtowns of these overlooked cities, Bitwise is creating a place for the technology industry to take root and ignite local economies.
This post was written by Thomas Heppner, Salesforce Client Crew & Interim Apprentice Lead for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not working on Salesforce, he’s jamming out to some sweet tunes while playing golf with his family and friends! And after that, you’ll find him at a restaurant grubbing down on some delish cuisines of all origins. The only thing you won’t find him eating are beets. (Bleh!)
Earlier this month, a few of our beloved Bitwise Industries employees ventured to Austin, Texas, congregating from our various hubs throughout the country to celebrate SXSW and SXSW EDU, a conference and festival that fosters learning and innovation within the education sector. Though South by Southwest (commonly abbreviated as SXSW) is known most widely for its music and film festival, tech innovators and educators from all over the country gather at SXSW EDU to discuss the people, platforms, and virtual systems that are driving the next wave of educational change happening amidst the digital revolution. With Bitwise at the forefront of economic and educational change via our apprenticeship programs, it felt appropriate to do a recap and let our community know all of the goodness that happened in Austin (presumably in conjunction with very good barbecue).
Various members of the Bitwise family traveled to Austin as a means to talk about the economic transformation and impact that comes from training those from underestimated communities brings us closer to stimulating local economies and transforming communities previously lacking the opportunities to grow in the technology industry. People from all corners of Bitwise Industries teamed up to make their presence known at SXSW and SXSW EDU, with Chief Workforce Officer, Michelle Skoor and Vice President of Bitwise Oakland, Kennan Scott taking time to speak on panels about the transformative work happening at Bitwise.
Chief Workforce Officer, Michelle Skoor participated in a conversation with other leaders in apprenticeship program development for a podcast broadcast by the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning. The podcast, recorded and edited by apprentices, talked about the work being done for young adults of color previously impacted by the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a general lack of advancement opportunities in the tech industry. Michelle spoke to the barriers to entry that exist for potential apprentices, and how Bitwise seeks to address them and open up new pathways for learning and career development while garnering real-time experience in the industry. Check out their appearance on the podcast here.
Prior to the podcast recording, Tech Services team member Rhieanne Saunders spoke on her experience in her own apprenticeship and how the experience she gained prepared her for her role as a Jr. Salesforce Administrator at Bitwise. “Letting the wider educational community know that Bitwise apprenticeships not only positively impact the individual, but also the community in which the apprenticeships are held, is a pretty impressive flex. It was an honor to represent Bitwise.”
Vice President of Bitwise Oakland, Kennan Scott, also spoke to the inequities in the tech sector and what can be done in increasing Black representation across the industry. Along with our friends from the Kapor Center and the Kapor Foundation, Kennan sat on the SXSW panel with the CEO of a venture capital company that specializes in closing the racial wealth gap. Together, they addressed the challenges that come from Black communities being negatively impacted by income inequality and exposed the areas of growth that can come from creating culturally-competent tech curriculums for the students in those communities. You can listen to his talk here.
What could get better than a week full of friends, fellowship, and community-building amongst like-minded individuals working to make the technology industry more inclusive? An Innovation Award from the folks at SXSW themselves! Bitwise Industries took home the Mid-Sized DEI Workplace Innovation award for the work we do to bridge the gap between learning and working in the tech industry.
After an already special week of panels and sharing with others about the Bitwise mission, winning an award for the company’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion feels even more sublime. Lives are being changed in real-time at Bitwise, and word is traveling quickly. Our ability to train and subsequently hire the developers, administrators, and project managers working on real-life projects, is a testament to all the ways our company has grown, and the lives Bitwise will continue to change through its efforts to break down barriers and open doors for those previously excluded from the conversation.
Bitwise Industries builds tech economies in underestimated cities, driving digital transformation through its Salesforce, DocuSign, and Digital Project Development. Developing innovative tech solutions, and training individuals living in underestimated communities with in-demand tech skills to improve their standard of living is our mission. Centering our efforts in the heart of the downtowns of these overlooked cities, Bitwise is creating a place for the technology industry to take root and ignite local economies.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries. She is single-handedly relying on the power of Panera mac and cheese (in the bread bowl, duh) to get through the many atmospheric rivers affecting Fresno at the moment.
Bitwise Industries is a company known for creating solution-based products and services in the tech industry and that feels great! The only thing that feels better, is knowing that our company puts inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of every decision to drive the company forward—while leading by example when it comes to putting humans first. Bitwise Industries’ list of accolades primarily celebrates all of the efforts made to create a workplace culture that promotes a positive environment for all employees, especially those from marginalized identities. Here are five ways Bitwise uses intentionality and resources to ensure that this is a great workspace for women.
The culture at Bitwise Industries is the backbone of our employee experience, setting the tone for the community and atmosphere of our workplace environment everyday. It only takes one visit to any of our campuses to realize that Bitwise is not your normal office—but behind the colorful murals and fun activities are specific priorities to help folks feel a sense of belonging. Diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging are at the heart of our office culture, because without these values we isolate individuals who might not fit into the standard tech employee role.
Bitwise provides a variety of in-office and out-of-office activities for employees to attend, focused on professional development, wellbeing, and bonding with other team members. Employees have access to free coffee, snacks, and a variety of workspaces to complete their work, providing flexibility and spaces that make all people feel welcome and comfortable. And most importantly, this positive culture has buy-in from all employees. It’s emphasized at all levels of the organization, from new hires to senior leadership. Together, these aspects and more help us live out our motto, that “No one belongs here more than you.”
Great workplaces for women should feature women at the senior leadership level, acknowledging that women not only deserve a place at the table but that they can positively contribute in a variety of ways. Here’s a quick highlight of some of the incredible women in leadership at Bitwise.
You probably recognize our rockstar Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Irma Olguin Jr. Between her TED talk and dedication to Bitwise’s continued growth, Irma always makes sure to care for our team and everyone on it. Alongside her are some incredible ladies helping make sure the Bitwise ship sails smoothly! Bethany Mily not only serves in executive leadership as our company President, but also mom to her two adorable sons, Emmett and Eamon.
Chief Operating Officer, Channelle Charest, oversees Bitwise administration and operations, and is also a talented tattoo artist, inking many Bitwise teammates and friends. Chief Marketing Officer, Jeanáe DuBois, leads a 60+-person marketing team on a variety of digital and physical projects, and somehow still finds time to hit the trails on her mountain bike for countless miles and miles. And keeping our buildings in tip-top shape while leading the Real Estate team is Sandi Olguin, Chief Real Estate Officer, who has a smile that can light up a room and make everyone feel right at home with her infectious humor. Together, these ladies help pave the way for Bitwise to do everything that Bitwise doesAt Bitwise Industries, sixty percent of our C-suite executive leadership—and sixty-seven percent of our VPs—are women. This is obviously a dramatic increase from the corporate average (especially in technology). In fact, Fortune Magazine awarded Bitwise one of the Best Workplaces for Women, landing in the top three of twenty-five companies recognized. Overall, Bitwise’s full-time team is made up of 51 percent women—proving that we not only talk the talk, but walk the walk too.
The term “work-life balance” has been in the headlines more than ever recently, as employees begin to self-advocate for themselves as holistic individuals at work. There are endless things that happen outside of the office that impact someone’s work—food, rent, medical issues, childcare, etc. This doesn’t even include leisure activities like paid time off to rest and recover from the day-to-day routine of going to the office. Employees traditionally spend 40 hours a week at work, and subtracting sleep hours, only leaves 72 hours per week to handle everything else.
Companies must take into account employees’ demands outside of work in order to holistically support them. Flexible schedules, adequate PTO, and open lines of communication between leadership and employees help individuals feel comfortable balancing work and life. At Bitwise, we emphasize the idea of working to live, not living to work. We understand that our employees work to support their families and outside interests, so we pay all employees a living wage to make sure that’s attainable. The end result? Employees who love where they work, and feel holistically fulfilled in the work they do.
Along with taking into account demands outside of work, a “Put the Person First” attitude goes a long way to create a great workplace for not just women—but everyone at your company. Bitwise Industries has always been about humans, but we are also about putting the human first with all of our team members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our company established Wellness Groups that allow team members to connect with each other to discuss challenges in life and share resources. Originally a temporary benefit, these have grown into a whole department focused on employee wellness after folks identified the benefits of group meetings and resources.
Additionally, every employee at Bitwise Industries receives a benefits package with full medical, dental, and vision insurance—allowing our team to take care of their physical wellbeing without feeling restrained by cost. And when individuals feel the need to take a break from work, especially after stressful projects or presentations, all employees can take advantage of our unlimited PTO benefit, giving them the ability to take a day or two off occasionally instead of accruing PTO over time. All together, these aspects truly showcase how easy it can be to put the person first in your company—creating team members that feel cared for as humans, not just employees.
Along with all of these practices we’ve listed above, there are a few practices that should be retired. Just because they’ve worked well in the past, doesn’t mean they can’t be adjusted or removed in order to help create a more fulfilling work environment for women and other marginalized groups.First and foremost, employers should not brush off mental health as a priority for employees. Mental health leave wasn’t always granted for workers, and should be embraced as an actual health concern that warrants just as much care as physical health. Next, close the pay gap. Experts estimate that the gender pay gap may take as long as 30+ years to close. Don’t let your company wait—embrace equitable pay now and the results will be worth it. Along with closing the pay gap, don’t lose focus on closing the gender gap in leadership roles. This helps fight gender bias as a society, and increases the amount of women in the workforce. Next, reevaluate your parental leave policies. Parents work too—and if we want women to advance their careers, we can’t afford to make work more difficult just because someone is a parent. Finally, don’t sleep on your company’s diversity training. This not only benefits the women in your company, but also BIPOC individuals, LGBTQIA+ folx, and other marginalized communities.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging seem like buzzwords in workplace discussions, but at the end of the day these efforts are focused on taking care of everyone who works at your company. Every company has some existing gender/racial/etc. bias that needs dismantling, Bitwise included. What’s important is doing the work to help chip away at these systemic inequities. It takes time, but every effort helps your entire team feel more comfortable and cared for at your company—leading to industry recognition, high productivity, and employee longevity.
Leah Sadoian is a Content Writer for Bitwise Industries, who primarily writes marketing material, website content, and narratives for Bitwise Stories. In her free time, she enjoys Law and Order SVU reruns, a good weightlifting session, and spending time with her cat, Marge.
With the warmth and new life of spring comes the opportunity to grow your Salesforce career with local and state-wide events organized by fellow admins, far and wide. In this week’s blog, Bitwise Industries gives you the download on all of the events the Golden State has to offer in 2023–some of which may be happening in your own backyard!
TrailblazerDX (Hybrid) – San Francisco – March 7-8, 2023With the passing of seasons comes the need to update the Salesforce community on the what’s what (and who’s who) of all the greatness Salesforce can deliver. Learning and fun come together during TrailblazerDX, where you’ll get the opportunity to tune in and hear all about the innovations coming our way from top Salesforce leadership–speakers include Parker Harris, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sarah Franklin, President and Chief Marketing Officer. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler, the event also includes a keynote from Marvel actor Kumail Nanjiani and a Fall Out Boy concert to close out night one at the historical Masonic Auditorium. Can’t make it to the event In-person? Click here to register and stream the event for free on Salesforce+.
CenCal Dreamin’ (In-person) – Fresno – May 11, 2023CenCal Dreamin’ is an opportunity for every type of Salesforce admin to congregate and celebrate all of the goodness that comes with our Central California Salesforce community. After two years of virtual events, this year’s CenCal Dreamin’ conference will take place in-person on May 11 with a loaded docket of speakers and sessions for every kind of Salesforce user. CenCal Dreamin’ offers three track options–one for the Executive or Manager, another for Admins and Developers, plus a third Specialty track focused on product-specific elements. Have we got you hooked? For more information on speakers, registration, and possible sponsorship opportunities, visit cencaldreamin.com.
Tahoe Dreamin’ 2023 (In-person) – Lake Tahoe – July 20-21, 2023Okay, so this one’s kind of a wombo combo–Tahoe Dreamin’ takes place on the California and Nevada state line, but is still the place where NorCal Salesforce community members congregate for its fifth annual conference. Networking and learning opportunities abound with one-and-a-half days of sessions, keynotes, and a whole bunch of other Salesforce awesomeness that will inevitably spark great ideas to take home for your very own Salesforce org. What makes Tahoe Dreamin’ special? A bonus day filled with hands-on networking activities that range from hiking, to boat rides, to a fun-filled beach day where family and friends are welcome to join! Talking with other community members during these activities has led to past attendees figuring out complex Salesforce needs while engaging with fellow Salesforce experts. Early bird tickets are available until March 30 for $125, and registration information can be found here.
Dreamforce 2023 (Hybrid) – San Francisco – September 12-14, 2023In case TrailblazerDX is too close around the corner, have no fear! Salesforce’s premiere conference, Dreamforce is coming September 12-14, and there’s ample time to plan. Click here to get in the loop to early access for registration and be the first to know which incredible speakers, celebrities, and performers will be in attendance of the Salesforce community’s biggest event of the year. Much like TrailblazerDX, Dreamforce seeks to bring together the Salesforce community on a large scale, with admins traveling worldwide to watch and deliver keynotes regarding the latest in the Salesforce ecosystem. Last year’s Dreamforce featured keynotes from Co-CEO’s Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor, along with appearances from Bono (yes, that Bono), and performances headlined at Oracle Park by Red Hot Chili Peppers and DJ Mary Mac. This year’s conference celebrates 20 years of Dreamforce, which means the event is bound to be a success. Not able to make it to San Francisco this time around? No worries–the event is being streamed live on Salesforce+.
This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter, at Bitwise Industries. She just got bangs, and can promise they are a stylistic choice and not a cry for help.
For the Salesforce aficionados out there who were just getting comfortable with the Winter ‘23 Salesforce updates, prepare yourselves. Spring is coming. Yes indeed, the Salesforce Spring ‘23 Release is just about ready to roll out, and there’s a lot to unpack. Who doesn’t love combing through a massive color coded excel PDF file detailing all 676 aspects of a tech company’s enhanced software rollout? Fortunately, Bitwise Industries is here to help. As the premier Salesforce solution provider in the Central Valley, we’re excited to share these updates and help your business continue to efficiently leverage digital solutions.
Salesforce software is one of the most powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tools on the planet. Their automated CRM software allows your businesses to seamlessly interact with customers, and collect and organize data to effectively communicate. Since 2016, Salesforce Lightning, or Lightning for short, has been the operating system of choice for users due to its modern, user-friendly and customizable interface that can now be accessed through more web browsers, as well as the Salesforce mobile application. Lightning is not supported on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge (Non Chromium) web browsers, so it’s a good practice for organizations to frequently update their browsers to allow for more compatibility to run complex data storing softwares like Lightning. Older browsers aren’t guaranteed to support all of the new features included in the spring update. Learn more about supported browsers.
“I really love building complex automations. Since the beginning of Bitwise, the Salesforce team has been making automations for internal use, using Workflow rules and Process builder. Both of which will be retiring soon. In the new release, Salesforce has upgraded the “Migrate to Flow Tool” to include Processes from Process builder. Flows can do everything a Process can do and a lot more, so this new function will make it easier for us to update our dozens of Processes without too much stress.”Marcel Haynes (He/Him) – Salesforce Administrator, Bitwise Industries
“I really love building complex automations. Since the beginning of Bitwise, the Salesforce team has been making automations for internal use, using Workflow rules and Process builder. Both of which will be retiring soon. In the new release, Salesforce has upgraded the “Migrate to Flow Tool” to include Processes from Process builder. Flows can do everything a Process can do and a lot more, so this new function will make it easier for us to update our dozens of Processes without too much stress.”
The new Migrate To Flow Tool is there to help your Salesforce Administrators make the transition to Flow Builder, so your business will be able to streamline processes by implementing this new resource to convert Process Builder tasks into flows, in combination with an organization’s previously defined workflow rules.
Workflow is one of those words that you often hear in corporate settings. But in case you’re wondering, it’s defined as a series of activities needed to complete a task relevant to the workplace. An automated workflow means that those tasks are being completed automatically with the help of A.I. and pre-programmed parameters, also known as workflow rules.
The Spring ‘23 release updates will be applicable for Lightning and Salesforce Classic throughout all customized user softwares including Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions, and only supports record-triggered processes. Custom events and custom invocable type processes are not supported. As well as processes containing scheduled actions like metadata types, and field traversals. Learn more about the Migrate to Flow Tool.
Supported Actions Include:
Lightning users can expect Multi-factor authentication and auto-enablement for faster logins to begin in Spring ‘23. New and improved enhancements for booking appointments on Salesforce will help to ensure that your business is making the most out of every minute. Get more information tailored to your team’s workflow with updated filters like the new Einstein Search option in the Search Manager. However, this is just scratching the surface in regards to the new updates your Salesforce savvy business can expect. Read on to learn more about the general enhancements and updates that will affect the entire Salesforce landscape this spring.
Streamlined emailsThis welcomed update will reduce the number of emails crowding your inbox. Salesforce has updated the “Release is Live” email preference and discontinued “Features Enabled” emails.
Limit the maximum number of tabs during Lightning console sessionThis update focuses on improving memory usage and responsiveness during console sessions in Salesforce Lightning. If users exceed the limit during a console session, the feature will automatically delete the least used tabs until the limit is reached.
Log in with more domain formatsImproved domains and partitioned domains change the format of the login URLs for Salesforce-based organizations and their websites. To aid with shorter log in times, users can gain access with a custom domain on the login.salesforce.com, and test.salesforce.com site.
Knowing how to effectively analyze and integrate incoming data is the name of the game for any CRM-based business. Customized Salesforce Lightning reports with unique filters based on user preferences allow for more engagement. Fully automated updates and well organized data flow is a vital tool for any organization operating in the modern digital landscape.
CRM AnalyticsTemplated apps make life easier with perfectly choreographed data refreshes, automated upgrades, and simplified dashboard actions allowing easier single-click user navigation.
Reports and DashboardsLightning reports and dashboards featuring new customized user features are more pertinent and engaging. Streamlined dashboard filters, improved data organization, and user-friendly image and text widgets makes it easier than ever for your organization to digest CRM data and improve overall performance.
Standardize your organization’s sales resource management and close deals faster with advanced operational and productivity features. Users interested in Revenue-related data can familiarize themselves with our new feature called Account Discovery. Teams can use Einstein Conversation Insights to confirm if their programs are changing how sales representatives interact with customers, or take the dynamic Activity Composer for a spin where everything is just one click away.
Core Sales FeaturesThis new feature allows you to integrate your enterprise with improved forecasts, and monitoring platforms. Determine if your sales reps’ compensation needs to be adjusted based on the covered territory when you track assignment dates using Enterprise Territory Management.
Revenue IntelligenceThe Account Discovery feature is a new Revenue Intelligence tool that provides dashboards and Einstein Discovery models for users to navigate. Account Discovery helps you to discern which of your accounts has promising growth potential and which ones require extra attention.
Enablement for Sales TeamsStay in the know of how your sales teams can benefit from these new features with more customizable sales resources like the Einstein Conversation Insights. This amazing tool can verify whether or not the programs implemented by your organization are actually having an effect on how sales reps talk to and interact with customers. Another added benefit is that your Enablement team gets a host of new and updated features to build programs quickly and efficiently with custom parameters according to your business’s unique workflow. Still want more? Not to worry, because there’s a whole lot more sales-related awesomeness where that came from. Unfortunately, there’s not enough space or time in the day to fit all of the incredible Spring ‘23 updates into one blog. However, for those of you who simply must know, click on this link to get the full picture of all that is the Salesforce Spring ‘23 release.
Bitwise Industries builds tech economies in underestimated cities, driving digital transformation through its Salesforce, DocuSign, and custom SaaS solutions. Developing innovative tech solutions, and training individuals living in underestimated communities with in-demand tech skills to improve their standard of living is our mission. Centering our efforts in the heart of the downtowns of these overlooked cities, Bitwise is creating a place for the technology industry to take root and ignite local economies.
This post was written by Trenton Lively, Jr. Copywriter for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not writing, he spends entirely too much time analyzing the flavor profile of Flaming Hot Cheetos.