Engineering Engagement

An undergraduate paper led engineering student Amber Joseph from an honours degree to her own app and an exciting graduate role.

In the final year of her undergraduate engineering degree, Amber Joseph took part in a project with some classmates to study the computer software Salesforce. The project was a success, and Amber’s interested in Salesforce was piqued.

“I loved the amount of knowledge there was to learn in Salesforce and how it drew together software concepts, sales, and relationship management. I’d never seen anything like it in my degree,” Amber says.

Amber decided to pursue her interest in Salesforce through her Honours thesis project. She spent her summer attending Salesforce meet-ups, asking professionals from all over Wellington about their experiences with the software, as well as what could be done to make those experiences better.

“I spent the whole summer attending local Salesforce MeetUp events to try find a Salesforce related topic to do my thesis on—I was literally turning up at lunches and asking people what their problems with Salesforce were over cucumber sandwiches!”

She finally found a common challenge that would make a good thesis topic, and Dr Jennifer Ferreira became her supervisor, alongside Samuel Garratt and Dion Woodbury from IntegrationQA.

Over her Honours year, Amber worked to develop an app called AuditAlly, which helps Salesforce users conduct audits across a range of Salesforce apps.

“This helps users identify areas of concern and improve outcomes quickly across their organisation,” Amber says. “Currently users have to complete manual audits, which are extremely time consuming, or use automated options that are often very expensive for the average organisation. AuditAlly is a web application that is quick and affordable for users wanting to gain an understanding of a whole range of complex Salesforce apps at once.”

Amber valued the opportunity her Honours year gave her to connect with Salesforce professionals from across the world and test her app with them.

“I can’t imagine a better introduction to the world of Salesforce. They were all so supportive of my journey, and as a result I have made many friends and mentors.”

Amber also picked up over 100 Trailhead badges, awards given for completing tasks or learnings in Salesforce related subjects, giving her extensive practical experience in Salesforce.

Amber’s supervisors at IntegrationQA also plan to use Amber’s app in their work, and a number of other Salesforce professionals have given positive feedback on how the app could directly benefit their Salesforce work—a positive sign for the app’s future.

Amber’s Honours thesis also led to another exciting success: a graduate role with Salesforce, starting in 2021.

“I wrote about what I learned about Salesforce in a blog on LinkedIn each week, which led to me being headhunted by six different companies and receiving eight offers of employment,” Amber says. “I’m taking the summer off to rest from my Honours year and travel a bit around New Zealand, although I’ll also be continuing work on AuditAlly to turn it into a commercially viable tool for Salesforce for the future.”