Point, click, predict. Einstein Prediction Builder empowers admins and developers of all skill levels to build AI-powered apps with clicks, not code. Chalenge Masekera, a Salesforce Software Engineering Manager, is one of the incredible individuals paving the way for everyone to be smarter and more productive through this tool.
A Zimbabwe native, Chalenge received his undergraduate education then joined a technology consulting firm as its first Business Intelligence Consultant. He soon realized that his firm could deliver much more value to its customers through data science and predictive models than traditional static reporting. Chalenge also knew that to succeed in this field, he needed to improve his data science skill set. And after doing just that through a Masters program in Information Management & Systems, he was able to transform his career at Salesforce.
To begin, what brought you to Salesforce? Why did you choose to join when you did?
In a word: Dreamforce. And after speaking to members of the team, I knew I would be working on something big that would have a major impact on the way the Salesforce platform works. I also knew that as a company experiencing tremendous growth, Salesforce would offer great opportunities to learn new things and advance my career.
All the people I met during the interview process were wonderful, so I had no doubt that I would enjoy the Salesforce culture. Finally, a lot of my UC Berkeley alum network had joined Salesforce and loved it. And with that, I joined the Salesforce Einstein team as a Data Scientist.
What excites you about coming to work every day?
My team and co-workers. They strike the perfect balance of smart, fun, and personable. Everyone is always eager to bounce ideas and help ensure issues are resolved whether they be work or personal.
Of course, the work we’re also doing is top notch. We’re democratizing AI to thousands of Salesforce customers. There are lots of technical problems to be solved and many more innovative features that we can build and deliver to our customers.
Finally, the Salesforce leadership really cares not only about people, but the world at large. We all want to make the world a better place.
What makes the Salesforce Einstein team unique in the industry?
As one of our team leaders says, “There are lots of AI solutions out there, but none do it at the scale and breadth we’re doing with Salesforce Einstein.” We’re enabling AI capabilities that serve use cases across hundreds of companies and help them better serve their customers through an integrated Salesforce Einstein assistant. A typical AI app solves one AI problem, while Einstein’s AI capabilities are built for hundreds of problems.
It is also exciting to be part of a company that is leading the way in establishing ethical AI and technology practices.
Tell us about some of the Salesforce Einstein projects you’ve worked on.
Einstein Prediction Builder would be one. Einstein Prediction Builder enables Salesforce admins to build predictive models for specific business problems through a point and click interface — no coding required.
It’s built on top of our open source autoML platform TransmogrifAI. As a Data Scientist, I wear many hats. I’ve worked on User Interface, data pipeline and orchestration system design, which is what enables the model building capabilities. We also created an autoML system that enables us to build hundreds of AI models without manual intervention.
Right now, I’m working on extending the Einstein platform, so our developers can innovate more features faster. Another cool project was building a Slack bot to help with our DevOps and tooling for the autoML platform.
What’s the secret sauce for success on the Salesforce Einstein team?
Love what you do. Have an agile mindset along with a willingness to learn and try out new things. Understand the big picture and the value we want to offer our customers through incremental and continuous delivery. Then be a team player who loves to have fun. Be open to your manager on things that work for you and those that could be improved.
When asked which Salesforce value most influences his work day to day, Chalenge didn’t hesitate: innovation — which he believes is deeply intertwined with all the company’s other core values.
“We have a mature startup mentality here. We keep growing but also understand what has made us successful. We don’t compromise our values for growth. We ensure our customers can be successful in the short and long term. They trust us to be leaders in technology and social impact.”
Inspired by Chalenge’s journey and want to learn more about how you can transform your career at Salesforce? Check out our current open positions.