How Sprint’s Shelie McKelvey Grew Her Career With Quick Base

Tips & Tricks
Aug 9, 2018
9 Min Read
How Sprint’s Shelie McKelvey Grew Her Career With Quick Base

One day Shelie McKelvey was chatting with a neighbor about a challenge she was having at her job in operations at Sprint, and the name Quick Base came up.

That was 15 years ago, and the rest (as they say) is history. McKelvey has used Quick Base nearly every day since then, turning to the platform for just about every use case imaginable: product management, process automation, compliance, operations, training, customer service, reporting and analytics… the list goes on.

At EMPOWER2018, Shelie shared some specific use cases from over the years in the aptly titled session, “How Quick Base Took Over My World (In A Good Way).”

We had some time after the conference to go in a bit more depth with her on her path with Quick Base, and what the future holds. Here’s what she had to say:

Fifteen years is incredible — thank you for being such a loyal customer! For those who are new to Quick Base, can you share what it was like 15 years ago?

Wow! It has been so long since I first started using Quick Base! The product has definitely evolved and widened its depth and breadth when it comes to low-code platforms. There weren’t any training classes, blogs or instructors that you could learn from when I started using Quick Base. It was very much a trial and error process. At the time, you had to learn by reading about the product and functionality online, learning from other Quick Base developers and then trial/error building.

How have you managed to evolve your Quick Base skills over time, as Quick Base itself has changed?

Some of the ways I have grown my skill set and knowledge include:

  1. If I am ever stuck or want someone to bounce ideas off of, I reach out to my buddy developer, Gil Spigelman. I think having a buddy developer, or mentor, is the most powerful way to learn how to apply your Quick Base knowledge. I am constantly looking at what other citizen developers have done, or how they have solved a problem, to find new and alternate ways of accomplishing a task or end objective.
  2. Taking all the classes I can get my hands on. Going to Quick Base University frequently to take all of the online courses and to see if any have been updated. If they have been updated, then I go back through it to see what new nuggets of information I can learn.
  3. Reviewing videos on YouTube that Quick Base experts have produced.
  4. Reading the release notes for each new release.
  5. Getting certified.
  6. Staying active as a Quick Base citizen developer. Even if I am not doing development, I am in the tool almost every day as an admin and user.

Did you ever consider using other tools? Why?

There was a time when we did an audit of the market to see if we needed to replace Quick Base as our tool of choice across many of our workstreams. But for what we needed and how we used Quick Base, there was no other single tool that could provide a complete solution like Quick Base. We considered Salesforce, Appian, Microsoft Project, etc. Nothing could provide the vast array of functionality, the quick speed of development, or the agility to make changes quickly as our processes matured as Quick Base.

What are some of your favorite features that you use with Quick Base that might not be obvious to everyone?

A couple of features that I would encourage other citizen developers to use, if they are not already, would include using connected tables, Quick Base Actions, Automations, formulas and notifications to help with process improvement. All of these have the potential to reduce manual data entry, reduce repetitive tasks, streamline processes, improve team communication and drive projects forward.

How has Quick Base (and knowing how to use it as well as you do!) impacted your own career path and the opportunities you’ve had at Sprint?

Knowing how to use Quick Base has been a valuable asset in my tool belt and has definitely helped with my career progression. With every new opportunity that I have taken on at Sprint, my portfolio of skill sets has grown and so has my knowledge and use of Quick Base. Very rarely have I accepted a new challenge at Sprint where I have not needed Quick Base. Every time I’ve started a new position, we have sat down as a team to evaluate our current work streams and processes to see if there is room for improvement. Without fail, there is a need for tools that can help us do a process faster, smarter, better and cheaper. That tool is usually Quick Base.

We usually end up extending the apps we develop to other teams at different points in our process to help get a complete ‘cradle to grave’ view of whatever it is that we are working on. So the app may start as a tool to help one team, but then quickly becomes recognized by other teams and they want to use it as well. So as the developer, you end up broadening your network of people and teams, increasing your visibility to other colleagues and leaders.

What are your recommendations for someone who is about to jump into Quick Base?

My recommendations for new Quick Base users would be to:

  1. Take the QuickBase University courses and never stop learning.
  2. Find a development buddy or a mentor. This is by far the single, most powerful way, for you to solidify your knowledge of Quick Base. Learning is doing.
  3. Don’t be afraid of failing – just try. And try again and again until you find the method that works for you.
  4. Use the Quick Base community to get help, new ideas, or for you to pass on your knowledge to someone else.

What’s next for you and Quick Base?

I am always looking for new challenges and opportunities, and I know I can always turn to Quick Base when looking for a solution. I think it is such an amazing and versatile tool which allows me to continue to grow my knowledge of the platform through all of its evolutions and releases.

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