Sharon Faust, a Certified Quickbase Expert and passionate devotee of the platform, is on a mission to help others maximize its power as a business-accessible, problem-solving tool—and use it as launchpad to a more fulfilling and successful career.
Last week we chatted with Sharon to talk about her self-described “obsession” with Quickbase, and how she’s turned nearly a decade of expertise with the platform into a new online builder-to-builder resource that offers a wealth of tips, tricks, and insights. Here’s what she had to say about her Quickbase journey and her calling to empower others.
Where did you get your start with Quickbase?
I began using Quickbase when I was working at Intuit, and of course, they’re big Quickbase users. In my process improvement roles there I had the opportunity to build my own Quickbase apps—and use those of others—to really change the way we worked for the better.
What’s your favorite thing about Quickbase and how did it become the focal point of your professional journey?
Hands down, the speed and flexibility to build custom applications are my favorite things about the platform. Before having access to Quickbase, workflow automation projects would take weeks or months, piecing tools like Word, Excel, and Outlook together. These projects could have been done easily, and in days, had we known about Quickbase. That was a huge revelation for me, and it’s what turned me into such a Quickbase junkie.
Tell us about your Quickbase Junkie website, and why you are so passionate about spreading the word and sharing your expertise.
With my background in Lean Six Sigma, it’s hard to see wasted efforts, or people working with the wrong tools when it doesn’t have to be that way. If I can give someone the right tool for the job and make it easier to learn and leverage it quickly, I feel like I’m contributing to a transformative movement that’s much bigger than myself.
The other thing is, in a lot of companies, you may have only one Quickbase builder so there isn’t anyone’s shoulder they can look over and learn from. I get to be that for them through my website, and that makes me happy.
How long have you been running the site, and how do people typically find you?
I launched my website in May of this past year. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube as “Quickbase Junkie”, so many find me that way. They also discover my site organically when they’re searching for answers to a problem they’re facing. Most of the content I’ve developed is for current app builders who are in beginner to intermediate stages, but even advanced builders will find helpful resources on my site too. In fact, I just launched a series of premium courses on my website, and during beta tests I was getting great feedback like, “Wow, I thought I knew all there was to know but I didn’t know you could do this!” from even experienced builders.
How are your resources different from those offered by Quickbase?
I think they’re complementary. Quickbase’s product, engineering, and training folks all do an excellent job and the resources are great. What I offer in addition to that is a builder’s perspective, so you’re also learning from someone who has been exactly where you are—solving problems and developing apps on the job. I also offer in-depth courses on topics like API Buttons and Webhooks.
A sampling of resources you’ll find on Quickbasejunkie.com
- Easily consumable, two to ten-minute video clips featuring helpful tips, tricks, and app demos
- Cheat sheets with HTML/CSS code to quickly enhance forms with customized text, images, hyperlinks, buttons, etc.
- Sharon’s blogs and articles including popular posts such as:
- New, in-depth courses designed to quickly get builders up to speed on advanced topics including:
- The Secrets of API Buttons
- Cracking the Webhook Code
- The Power of Rich Text Formulas
What are some of the neat ways you’ve used Quickbase functionality that might not be obvious to everyone?
The first time I learned how to add charts from different apps to the dashboard of a single app, simply by using the webpage widget and the code &ifv=1, I was over the moon happy! At the time, I was managing a very large team who all worked different queues in Quickbase and it made tracking the status of those queues so much easier for me. I also recently started using Webhooks to send Quickbase notifications to a Slack channel and that’s really cool. Webforms are great too, and I hope to create a course on them in the future.
What I don’t think a lot of people realize is how many ways there are to automate and streamline routine tasks using Quickbase. Features and functionality like APIs, Automations, Quickbase Actions, Webhooks, Sync, and scheduled imports can all make a huge impact. You just have to invest some time learning them, and my job is to make that fast, easy, and fun.
What do you wish more people did with Quickbase?
I think it’s important to brand your apps to look different from one another and closely align with both the purpose and user experience. Form and function really do matter when it comes to building tools that people love and want to use; for example, laying out a form or report in the way that makes the most sense and provides the most value for those using them, or adding color-changing icons to records when a status is revised to provide at-a-glance awareness.
What you name your app can also make a big difference in the way it’s perceived. I created an app to store call recordings for quality assurance training and instead of calling it “Call Recording Quickbase” I called it “The Listening Studio”. People tend to smile when they first hear the name, and it gives a positive emotion to the work.
What are your plans and goals for the coming year?
In 2019 I’m planning more of everything: more short videos, articles, tips, cheat sheets, and courses. I’m also planning to be at Empower in June. The year is young, and I’d love to know what my fellow Quickbase junkies would like to see next!
Sharon holds an impressive array of accreditations and degrees that complement nearly a decade of Quickbase experience. They include:
- Quickbase University: App Builder and Expert Builder certifications
- Project Management Institute: (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Society of Manufacturing Engineers: Lean Bronze Certification
- American Society of Quality: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt
- Microsoft Corporation: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Master Certification
- University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business Executive Education: Product Management
- Stanford University, Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning: Professional Development, Advanced Project Management
- University of Arizona, Eller College of Management: MBA, Operations Management
- University of Arizona, Eller College of Management: BS, Finance
Start a 30-day free trial of Quickbase today and check out Quickbase University and www.quickbasejunkie.com to start off with all the resources you need to build awesome and impactful Quickbase applications!