Salesforce Events

TrailheaDX From a Non-Developer Perspective

DD-xJ_BXcAEEpI9.jpgI seen several posts about the second annual TrailheaDX (TDX), which is Salesforce’s 2-Day Developer conference in San Francisco from June 28-29. These blog posts are from developers and why not, right? It IS a developer conference, Jen, after all.

I thought I’d write a post from a non-developer’s perspective. Yes, I’m a non-developer. So, why did I attend TrailheaDX, you might ask? Ok, I’m going to be honest. I suffered from major FOMO watching all of the Twitter activity during the inaugural TrailheaDX. So, I decided I’m going next year and I did.

If you thought TrailheaDX was just for developers, you’re wrong. Like Dreamforce, there was an Equality track and there were some Admin focused sessions. I didn’t attend TrailheaDX just for the Admin sessions. I wanted to attend the developer sessions as well. Another neat thing about this conference is that there is a strong tie to Trailhead. Several hands-ons sessions worked through the recently released developer focused Trailhead projects.

Admins, don’t be close minded to developer sessions. For me, while I may not create a lightning component in my day job, knowledge is power. I like knowing what makes up a lightning component, its capability, etc. so if requirements ever come up and something can be solved via a lightning component, now I know.  There is so much that can be done on the platform, and the more you know about what is possible, the more valuable you will be. It’s ok to not fully understand the technical details about Salesforce DX, but understand what it is at a high level. I challenge you to give Salesforce DX Trail on Trailhead a try.

TrailheaDX was at Moscone West. Keynote and bigger sessions were held on the 3rd floor while everything else occurred on the second floor. TDX reminds you of Dreamforce, but a very, very scaled down, laid back version of Dreamforce. It was not crazy crowded. You didn’t feel rushed to get from session to session because everything was within a couple of minutes walk. No hiking to a hotel 10 min walk away for a session. Thank goodness! You actually had time to talk to people, to your #Ohana. Plus, all sessions are presented by Salesforce product managers and developers, so you have direct access to the people who make it happen.


One of the highlights during the Keynote was my fellow WiT and MVPs, Rebe de la Pez and Stephenie Herrera, received a Salesforce Equality Award from Parker Harris on behalf of their non-profit, PepUpTech. They’re two of its co-founders. Watch it now.

It was great to see to see two women presenting at a developer conference.

The awesome Leah McGowen-Hare showcased Einstein Platform Services.

“Are you picking up what I just put down?” (Love that Leah quote!)

“Y’all not done with me yet. I’m not finished. I’ve got more…I’ve got these shoes on. We’re going to work this stage for a while, y’all.” – Leah McGowen-Hare

She then goes on to demo Salesforce DX,  a new integrated experience designed for high-performance, end-to-end agile Salesforce development that is both open and flexible. A cool feature is the ability to create scratch orgs, a source-driven, fully configurable, and disposable environment that can be used for development and automated testing.  (For more information on Salesforce DX, visit:

Sarah Franklin announced and demoed Salesforce Platform Events. Platform records end with “__e,” hence, Sarah’s custom tee “tdx__e.”

Majority of the platform sessions were focused on Lightning Apps, Lightning Components, Platform Events, Einstein and Salesforce DX. Many of the sessions were recorded and posted to the TrailheaDX site.


The hands on sessions at TDX are much different than at Dreamforce. I attended Hands On: Summer 17 Platform Events. We worked through the Build an Instant Notification App Trailhead project. I wanted to learn about platform events hands on and also get that nifty looking TrailheaDX community badge too! Plus, for each badge earned during TDX, Salesforce donated $10 to the Sierra Club. It was a win win for everyone!

There was also a ‘Meet the Developers’ session. This is similar to the ‘True to the Core’ session at Dreamsforce where you can hear from Shawna Wolverton and the Engineering team and ask them questions.

A group of us celebrated equality evangelist, Mary Scotton, in a surprise session. Watch a portion of this on Periscope. Thank you, Mary, for all that you do!


So, this happened during Parker’s portion of the Keynote.

I got a shout out from Parker Harris for my Trailhead badge count (250 badges)! I did the Trailblazer photoshoot the day before and did not expect that I would see a very big version of me on screen during the Keynote, of all things. I met Parker afterwards and we talked for a few minutes. How cool!






After the first day, we were all ready for the TrailheaDX party at the Warfield with band Thievery Corporation. They’re a Washington, D.C.-based recording artist and DJ collective. There was a special MVP meet-and-greet event with the band before they hit the stage. That’s me with the band.



The great part of TrailheaDX is seeing my #Ohana in real life. #Ohana means family. Ohana are people who are your extended family, whom you talk to frequently, socialize with on Twitter/other channels and are your virtual friends.

My #MVPOhana at TDX and at the Quip office visit after the conference.





#SalesforceOhana at TDX17






Thank you, Mary Scotton, for the invitation to the Equality Networking event the evening before the conference, and for the really cool BoldForce tees (Bold. Proud. Unapologetic). It’s quickly become one of my fav Salesforce tees. #EqualityForAll







So, if you have the opportunity to go to TrailheaDX next year, do it!

You will learn a lot and have a great time!

6 thoughts on “TrailheaDX From a Non-Developer Perspective

  1. Your description of this conference reminds me of my first Dreamforce in 2005 when it was only in ONE Moscone. Those first few years were such a totally different experience than the giant DF has become so its nice to hear that this was more intimate.

    I really like your blog and get so many great ideas from you – thank you for doing this! I too have no desire to become a developer but I like to know what is possible. On your suggestion, I am going to take that Salesforce DX Trail.

    Congrats on the recognition you’re getting – you have earned it! Keep up the amazing energy and good work you do.


  2. Thank you, Jane, for your comment. I do this for the community, to share what I learn with others as I had learned from others in the community myself. It’s my way of paying it forward. 😉


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