This was my third Dreamforce and by far, my best Dreamforce yet. I totally geeked out this year and couldn’t wait for DF ’15 to get here.
My first Dreamforce was in 2012. I was such a newbie to Salesforce that DF was a bit overwhelming and I really wasn’t sure what sessions I should focus on/attend so I end up attending several keynote sessions. I also remember having to miss out on a couple here and there to attend work conference calls.
My second Dreamforce was last year. I had just started my new job as Salesforce Business Consultant for a newly formed Salesforce shared services team so my main focus were on sessions regarding governance, release/change management, center of excellence, laying down the foundation for the new team. It was at DF ’14 that I learned about Process Builder and the existence of visual workflow. I then took back my learnings, trained my team on various use cases for process builder and visual flow to push them to consider declarative versus development for solutioning ways to automate business processes.
This year, Dreamforce ’15 was personal for me. I focused on my personal growth and strengthened my knowledge of Process Builder and Visual Workflow, taking it to the next level and learned more about the platform. But this year, DF meant more to me. This is the year I’ve became an active member of the Success Community and on Twitter and through those venues, I’ve come to meet and interact with many people who use Salesforce and are enthusiastic about it, just like me. I also like the community who share and help each other. I couldn’t wait to meet the people I’ve been talking to or have helped me through their tweets/blogs. This is also the year I’ve fallen in LOVE with and is highly addicted to TRAILHEAD to the point where I now have all 66 badges from the modules/projects + CATTER!
Geeked Out for Dreamforce
Thanks to Sarah Deutsch’s sister for the nifty Trailhead, Astro and SF cloud nail wrap designs. I opted to wear the Trailhead nail wraps due to my Trailhead obsession. And of course, I had to sport my Trailhead T-shirt and Trailblazer hoodie while at Dreamforce. I also wore all the Trailhead embroidered pins I collected from the booths in the Admin Lodge and the Awesome Admin pin (thanks, Gillian!) on my DF lanyard.
The pre-Dreamforce event that kicked off the week was Salesforce Women’s Network & Girly Geeks Panel & Networking Session Women in Leadership: Inspiring Change. It was great to listen to empowering women with words of inspiration and meet fellow DF’ers.
Leah McGowan-Hare, Master Technical Instructor, Salesforce
Catherine Courage, SVP, Customer Experience, Docusign
Mary Moloney, CEO, Coder Dojo
Diana Bell, Board Chair, Girl Scouts of Northern California
Tracey Gardiner, Americas Marketing, Chevron Lubricants
Here are some inspirational quotes from the panel:
“You have to have a vision for yourself or others will have a vision for you” – Leah McGowen-Hare
“Be authentic. Show that you can be all those things so other girls can come and be all those things too.” – Mary Moloney
“Let your light shine. Don’t lessen yourself for anyone. Don’t let them dim your light” Leah McGowen-Hare
“Make your time count. Make something change based on what you’re learned today.” – Diana Bell
#DFGives incorporates charity into Dreamforce with a different daily cause
Salesforce integrates charity into the Dreamforce experience with each day focused on a different cause—veterans, education, girls in technology and the environment. One of focuses was the 1 Million Book Drive for K-12 students in San Francisco area.
Admin Lodge, Dev Zone and Trailhead, Trailhead, Trailhead, Trailhead
The Admin Zone and Dev Zone was transformed into a Trailhead theme with the Admin Zone branded as the Admin Lodge and camp themed areas throughout. The mascot for the Dev zone was the goat. Many took selfies with it. All the sessions had a Trailhead tie to them. There was Trailhead trail path you could follow and collect stamps by watching demos in the dev zone, completing Trailhead projects in an instructor led session or self paces, perform two mini admin/dev hacks and pick up a Trailhead starter pack to trade in at the Trading Post for Trailhead mugs, mini and big Astro dolls, Trailhead T’s and hoodies. You could also pick up starter packs with the various cheatsheets and tie ins to Trailhead modules in addition to the usual books available at the Book Library.
Best part of the Admin/Dev Zone area was meeting the awesome Salesforce people behind Trailhead, some of whom I’ve been talking to for months about my addiction to Trailhead. So glad to finally meet you all! Thank you for the welcoming hugs, Sandeep Bhanot and Adam Purkiss.
There would be no trailhead without it’s Godfather, Josh Birk. I was really excited that I got the opportunity to meet him and have him share his idea for a learning tool. He showed me his initial prototype that eventually led to Trailhead as we know it today! As his idea caught fire up the chain at Salesforce, it was decided that they would build and deliver Trailhead in 10 weeks for DF14 (and they did it!). I even got him to sign “Trailhead Godfather” on my 3D Trailhead badge which I received from the Boston User Group for my 65 completed Trailhead modules.
The awesome, Chris Duarte, managing editor of Trailhead. She’s the Trailhead cheerleader!
That’s Sandeep Bhanot. Thank you for your help on the IOS Native Trailhead module (helping me obtain my 66th Trailhead badge).
Kim Shain. Her teams creates the content. Picture w/Adam Purkiss, team Trailhead
Picture w/ Adam Seligman, Boston born, VP of Developer Relations.
Couldn’t Get Enough of Process Builder/Visual Flow Sessions and HoTs
First DF15 session was a walk in to the 8:30 Tuesday session “You Gotta Know When to Flow ‘Em: When to use Process Builder, Flow and Workflow” with MVPs Brian Kwong and Mark Ross. Over the course of the four days, I attended 3 sessions and 4 HoTs, picking up use cases and new tips/skills for Process Builder and/or Visual Flow.
Getting to Know Visual Workflow with Bonny Hinners, Christopher Marzilli and Mark Passovoy
Accelerate and Automate with Process Builder with Shelly Ecreg, Brian Kwong, Mark Ross, Joanne Iturbe, Lauren Russo
HoT by MVP: Learn to Crawl, Walk & Run with Process Builder with Michael Gill, Chris Edwards and Rakesh Gupta
HoT: Automate Your Business Process with Visual Workflow
HoT by MVP: Build Advanced Flow with Loops and Fast Elements with Brian Kwong & Mark Ross
HoT by MVP: Approval Processes Using Visual Workflow with Brian Kwong
From looking at the list of sessions and HoTs above, you would think I’m totally stalking Brian Kwong but in all honestly, it was just a coincidence…seriously, Brian! I swear! The highlight of those sessions was getting to meet and talk to the Process Builder product manager, Shelly Ecreg, about Process Builder and meeting the infamous process builder/visual workflow expert, Rakesh Gupta in person. I was really touched when he gave me a hug when we met! He has helped me several times with my PB/VF use cases and he writes an awesome blog. Visit it, if you haven’t already at https://rakeshistom.wordpress.com/. I saw so many DF PB/flow presentations that referenced his blog as a resource.
Picture with Rakesh and Shelly
Get Ready for a New Kind of Customer Success with Marc Benioff & Special Guests
I watched the Keynote sitting in the Dream Park. Marc invited the awesome Stevie Wonder to play the event. Parker Harris in his Lightning Man suit introduced Lightning Experience (LEX), Lightning Design System, Salesforce IoT Cloud powered by Thunder and SalesforceIQ. LEX is the new and improved desktop user interface. Lightning Design System allows developers to build custom applications with a look and feel that is consistent with Salesforce core features — without reverse engineering Salesforce styles. The Salesforce IoT Cloud allows clients to connect data from every device, sensor, website, and interaction with Salesforce to get a more complete view of their customers. Salesforce Thunder is the most scalable event processing engine, designed to ingest and orchestrate billions of events from the connected world in real time. It uses smart technology to reveal insights that were invisible and allow anyone to take proactive personalized actions from any device. Salesforce IQ for small business uses “relationship intelligence” technology with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent manually entering information. The predictive software automatically looks through emails with customers and pulls in relevant data and reminds the sales rep when they should get back in contact with the customer.
Thursday, 9/17, was the First Official Admin Keynote and Admin Day!!
I associate myself as being an Admin so having a full day dedicated to celebrating us Awesome Admins PLUS the day of the first official Admin Keynote was extra special. I heard the Admin Keynote ranked the highest in Keynote registrants.
It started off with cheerleading stunts…Parker Harris opened and recognized Salesforce MVP and Boston’s own, Steve Molis, for his great contribution to the Salesforce community. Steve has most recently provided 3,000 best answers in the success community! Parker gives Steve a hug and gives him his lightning bolt!
This is the Year of the Admin!
Shawna Wolverton walked us through the Lightning Experience, the new Salesforce desktop UI, and other enhancements. Mike Gerholdt rounded out the Admin Keynote telling us about what to consider before turning on Lightning experience and highlighted using Trailhead to learn more about LEX, how to migrate/plan.
DreamFest 2015 with Gary Clark Jr, The Killers and Foo FIghters
This year’s Benefit Concert at Dreamfest for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals had special performances by Foo Fighters, The Killers and Gary Clark Jr. at Pier 70 which was turned into three concert stage areas.
Quotes from David Grohl:
“To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from a corporate event, I was pleasantly surprised.”
“I’ve been to office parties before. This ain’t no office party. This has turned out to be a Rock ‘n Roll masterpiece.”
“I’m going to start a band called ‘Corporate Riot’.”
Other Cool Sessions
There are so many sessions that I couldn’t make due to session conflicts or not enough walking time between sessions and now need to go back and watch the recordings. (Note: Salesforce is still posting recordings so continue to check back.) I made it a point to catch these sessions in person.
Product Roadmap Sessions – A MUST attend
Roadmap sessions aren’t recorded and the presentations aren’t posted. I was able to make it to the Salesforce App Cloud/Platform Roadmap and Lightning/Sales Cloud Roadmap sessions, Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to any of Service Cloud roadmap sessions, due to conflicts with a HoT or another must see session or due to the fact that I just couldn’t make the hike over to the Palace Hotel from the Intercontinental or Moscone.
Parker Harris’ True to the Core: What’s Next For Our Core Products
This is the second year I’ve attended this session. This year, this was held in the Developer Theatre in Moscone West and drew a large crowd. Wouldn’t miss this session with Parker Harris, Shawna Wolverton and the Platform product team to get the inside scoop on the things to come for the Salesforce platform.
From Awesome Admin to Champion Coder: How to Become an Apex Developer
This was a really cool all women’s panel about female Salesforce administrators who have made the leap over to become Salesforce developer. The panel consisted of MVPs Nana Gregg and Kieren Jameson (who was also the moderator), Jennifer Bennett, Kristine Hankins and Samantha Powell. It was interesting to hear about their challenges and their progress into the coding side. I’ve been following Nana and Kieren on Twitter and have talked to them prior, so it was really great to meet them in person. They are very active in the Salesforce community and great representatives of women in technology. Another cool interaction was with two other attendees who recognized me from my Trailhead accomplishments.
Picture with Nana Gregg Picture with Kieren Jameson
Marc Benioff & Parker Harris Q&A
Last year, I cut out of Dreamforce at noon to catch a plane back to Boston and missed this session. But this year, I wanted to fully experience Dreamforce so I stayed to the bitter end. It was great to see the playful relationship between Marc Benioff and Parker Harris. It was an opportunity for anyone to ask questions to the two or senior execs at Salesforce. Steve Molis got to ask the last one…He talked about how blessed he was to be part of this community and his request was to Marc and Parker to bring the admin zone and dev zone to the Salesforce1 World Tours, where Salesforce goes on the road. SF1 World Tours are a much smaller one day version of Dreamforce held in selected cities. I hope Salesforce can make that happen as not everyone gets the opportunity to go to Dreamforce.
AND NOW, THE BEST PART OF DREAMFORCE – THE PEOPLE/COMMUNITY
While I’ve learned a lot at the 20 keynotes/sessions/Hands on Training Sessions that I attended during the 4-day Dreamforce conference, the other aspect that made this Dreamforce so awesome and extra special to me was meeting the people in the community, those who I have tweeted with, those who write blogs I’ve read or subscribed to, or who have provided advice in the Success Community. As Nana Gregg says, “These people are my tribe.”
Salesforce MVP, FinServUG & NYUG leader, Cheryl Feldman
New MVP, UK’s Jenny Bamber
Chris Duarte, Adam Olshasky (Thank you, Adam, for helping me troubleshoot the errors for the Hybrid and Native Android Mobile SDK Trailhead challenges.) and Astro!
Salesforce Awesome Admin Team, Mike Gerholdt & Gillian Madill
My Boston buddy, Salesforce MVP, Formula Guru and the guy with 3,000 best answers on the Success Community, Steve Molis
London based Salesforce MVP, Francis Pindar. He’s the guy who asked me if I was up for being a MVP (Read our tweets on this conversation)
This is Salesforce MVP Mike Gill from London. Glad to meet up with my mentor in person!
MVP Mary Pustejovsky, Shawna Wolverton and MVP Becka Dente
Salesforce MVP, Process Builder/Visual Flow expert, Rakesh Gupta. He is the go to guy for PB/VF questions. Great blog!
Process Builder Product Manager, Shelly Erceg
The inspirational Salesforce MVP David Liu, owner of SDFC99.com. You were SOOOO hard to track down. Glad I finally found you.
Honestly, I’m not a Kwong stalker…Really, Salesforce MVP Brian Kwong. MVP Mark Ross photobombed us
Met Salesforce MVP Mr. AdminHero, Brent Downey
I met one of my Trailhead arch rivals (LOL!), standing next to me at a Trailhead session at the the Campfire Campground site in Moscone West — James Loghry
Salesforce MVP, London based Chris Edwards. Happy I got to attend your HoT. Thanks for the welcome hug!
Salesforce MVP, Geoffrey Flynn
Nice to meet you, Mayank Srivastava
Connecting with former colleagues, Hugh Munoz and Adam Menzies
Thank you, Parker Harris, for taking this selfie with me before you hit the stage for the Marc Benioff & Parker Harris Q&A session.
I got to meet one of my Twitter followers, Bill Doyel. How did you find me in the crazy crowds at Admin Lodge? Nice to meet you!
So close, yet so far…Maybe we’ll get a selfie next year, Marc Benioff!
I had an absolute blast at Dreamforce 15 and was sad to see it come to a close at the end of the four days. It was exhausting but well worth it. There are so many more people to meet. There was so much to do, so little time. Sigh.
I look forward to Dreamforce 16!