Member Profile: Luis Robles

Member Profile: Luis Robles

Member ProfileConsulting
September 19, 2022

Salesforce Architect, on the Evolution of His Life as a Freelancer

“I don't love top-down structure too much,” says Luis Robles, a Salesforce architect for Accenture and full-time member of Quorum One. Luis’s experience – and sentiment – is a familiar one among consultants, who often spend most of their lives refining, preparing, and searching for opportunities to strike out on their own.

For Luis, that started back in middle school when he built his first website using Flash for a friend. In that scenario, “somebody had a need, I wanted to solve it, and I wanted to have fun being creative. That hasn’t really changed, thinking about it.” He also built sites in college and started to charge for his services. He hit craigslist to turn up WebDev clients.

“I actually never expected to be a tech professional. I always thought of tech as a fun side thing, Luis says. “But tech is a good catalyst for working freelance.” It was challenging. There was always something new to learn. And there was always work.

After college, he joined the legions of new graduates in tech taking on the challenges of startup life. He was only answering phones as a support agent but something caught his attention. “We were using Salesforce and I had never seen anything like it. This was 2008 and it was so well-built at the time,” Luis said. “Things were still in Classic, but just still the data depth and integration you could do allowed me to start thinking about metrics and how businesses interact with Salesforce from my very, very first job.”

Shortly after, Luis became an analyst for a social media metrics company. When their Salesforce admin left, “I just picked up the hat while doing my other jobs,” he explains. In fact, he had been wearing other hats outside of his full-time job for quite some time, working a series of full-time roles at companies that came and went in success or failures.

After one of them folded, he relocated to Denver for a role with Transamerica, where he took advantage of the newfound stability to hone his expertise across the entirety of the Salesforce cloud offering.

“There were a lot of fun, interesting technology questions involved and for me, that was when I realized that I should become a Salesforce architect.” In 2020, Luis took a substantial pay cut to join Inspirato, a luxury travel company, to work under a seasoned architect. From there he began delegating writing work from a Salesforce perspective to give to other people, writing code as a template so that people can understand how to better write code and pair programming, and being the full-time code reviewer.

After making the jump to Accenture, Luis’s side-hustle days were far from behind him. Looking for more opportunities, he joined Quorum One. According to Luis, what really drew him was the autonomy that Q1 grants its members and consultants.

“Something that is always exciting is being able to go to Slack and say, ‘Hey I need somebody for something’, and then ‘Okay. Booked. We’ll give you the requirements and the client’s expectations. Talk to them, align expectations, and boom. Go.”

Like many in freelance, Luis enjoys being his own boss and being accountable to himself. He loves that members can be consultants without a burdensome hierarchy. “We set our own things, we find what works, and that’s what’s exciting.”

The collective expertise in the organization – growing every day – can also overcome some of the limitations imposed by small teams. “Because there are so many people with so many certifications, we're already at the weight and power that a consulting firm could provide, but with better organization and less top-down direction.” Luis attributes failures in these types of firms to projects handed down in silos, along with implementations done in disconnect with the client’s expectations.

“Quorum One isn’t like that. We're very much discussing everything along the way.”

Finally, Luis is a big fan of creative freedom in client relations. “Sometimes it’s not solely about the best way to solve someone's requirements, but to reduce tech debt or make something that lasts the test of time, which I find is what really compels me these days.

“Want me to design something? I can come up with a solution, but a thoughtful one is always more fun."