Dreamforce, News

This year’s Dreamforce was a blast! I have to say I was just a little bit busy! Two Sessions, staffing the code consultations and mini-hacks, helping out on the Salesforce security booth and deejaying the AppExchange DemoJam. But one of the most fun parts of Dreamforce was being on the WizardCast podcast hosted by the brilliant Brian Kwong (The Salesforce Wizard) and Mark Ross (Salesforce Yoda). They have just released it so go checkout all the things I really shouldn’t have said live on air, oh and Brian we missed I’m a qualified Snowboard instructor too! :)

If you have not got WizardCast on your podcast list add it on :)

Francis Pindar, The Universe, and Everything

Some Great Feedback from the Episode, thanks Stuart!:


Sometimes when you work with Salesforce it can make you mad! But there is one part of Salesforce that Admin’s seem to avoid which can REALLY help you out. I can understand why they avoid it, but I think it’s one of the most useful parts of Salesforce. Salesforce is on a continual mission to reduce code and increase declarative development, but with that comes added complexities. Why didn’t my workflow or process run? Why did I update an account only to get an error from a completely different object?! In my Dreamforce session “An Admin’s Guide to the Developer Console” I lift the lid on what Salesforce is doing under the hood and how you can see what Salesforce is doing! Want to come along? I did this talk in London as a practice and this was the response:

Session: An Admin’s Guide to the Developer Console
Location: Moscone West, Admin Meadow Theater
Time: Tuesday Oct 4th 5pm – 5.20pm

Bookmark NOW!

Community-Powered Circles over lunch

Join my fellow Salesforce MVPs and me for a fun and engaging conversation over lunch! This is unscripted, consultative, roundtable discussions where like-minded customers come together to share and learn from each-other. Grab your lunch and find the table with the topic that speaks to you. If you want to talk about the platform, come to my table!

Location: Moscone West, 2002
Time: Tues 4th Oct: 12pm – 1pm

Bookmark NOW!

trailhead_module_lightning_connectIntegration with Salesforce Connect & Custom Extensions

I go through Salesforce Connect and how you can create Apex Custom Extensions to turn any web service into an object in Salesforce. I also let you into a secret of a huge benefit that Connect can have to the platform!! and from what I can see, Salesforce isn’t telling anyone!

Location: Moscone West, 2002
Time: Friday Oct 7th 8.30am – 9.10am

Bookmark NOW!

SMB Dreamforce DemoJamAppExchange Demo Jam for Small and Medium Businesses

If you haven’t been to a Demo Jam, this is the time to go! They are SO much fun. Six partners have 3 minutes to demo their app. No powerpoint just pure DEMO! Then at the end of the six apps, you get to vote for your favourite. It’s a great way to see a lot of Partner Apps in a short amount of time. Join Amber and me as the partners do battle!

Location: Moscone West, 2002
Time: Wed Oct 5th 12.30pm – 12.50pm

Bookmark NOW!

The boasting of Dev & network operations has changed. They ask the question “How many servers do you have?” looking for an answer to see if they manage more servers than the other guy. The question has stayed the same, but the response has been turned on its head. Now if you are managing zero servers, you are some genius. This is the birth of Serverless and maybe the end of for physical and virtual servers for all of us (except for those in data centres).

Salesforce’s jump on to the AWS bandwagon

Back in May Salesforce announced that it had selected Amazon AWS as their preferred public cloud infrastructure provider. For me, this event was incredibly exciting as I work in both the Salesforce and AWS worlds (in fact as well as my Salesforce certifications I’m also an AWS Certifed Architect). They said this was to aid their international expansion at the launch, for their core services including Sales, Service, App Cloud, Community Cloud and Analytics cloud. Salesforce isn’t new to AWS; they have Heroku, Marketing Cloud Social Studio and SalesforceIQ all running on AWS (although mostly through acquisition). But the bread and butter of Salesforce is its core Force.com platform that powers the Sales and Service Clouds. This platform is all currently hosted in traditional data centres on their hardware and infrastructure. But now based on their statement, I’m thinking they are looking at moving to Serverless!

Salesforce invented “Platform as a Service.”

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I’ve talked at a lot of tech events, but most of my talks are at Salesforce events (user groups, Salesforce World Tours, Dreamforce etc). This year will be my 5th year speaking at Salesforce’s largest customer event ‘Dreamforce’. With more than 150,000 heading to San Francisco for the event, it’s a BIG event. If you haven’t been yet its well worth the trip. With around 1600 breakout sessions for every role (Admin’s, Dev’s, Sales etc) and industry vertical you can think of there are still a lot of people going to the sessions.

Tell a story

Some of the best talks I’ve done and seen tell a story. Having a narrative going through your session builds, in my opinion, an excellent speech. I think it’s essential to inspire hope and confidence and tell the story as if you were talking to a friend. One of the best examples of this personal style is Bryan Stevenson TED talk on injustice. The security talk I did earlier in the year at Salesforce World Tour was quite an emotional subject for me as one of my friends had lost their life savings and another also lost money because they didn’t take necessary steps to protect themselves. I tried using a Narrative Arc in the talk, now this can be hard to implement in a product demo type talk but talking about Security allowed me a bit more flexibility. My goal was to educate the audience in security and protecting themselves as well as securing Salesforce. For me the structure was: Read More


I straddle three strange worlds of Theatre, IT & investment. For the last couple of months I’ve been working in the theatrical and design world creating a mobile app for theatre with the help of students from University Art London, the University is amazing, bursting at the seams with creativity, but it got me thinking…

When I was growing up I (as with everyone) was stuck in the same education system which hadn’t changed since the Victorians. A system where the hierarchy of subjects was clear. Maths and sciences at the top followed by humanities, languages and finally the arts subjects. I remember the very day I was finally sold this idea. It was when I came to decide my A’Levels (16 years old ish), do I go the artist route and learn to act, etc? Or the IT route and do computing and Electronics? In the end, computing won the day. Yes, it has done me very well but with every passing day, I feel the subjects are upside down for our future children. If you haven’t seen it already check out Sir Ken Robinson’s: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

The Goldern Age of AI

We are now in an era where processors and sensors are cheap and after many failed attempts at AI over the years (Alan Turing even predicted that machines would be able to imitate humans by the year 2000), I believe we are now on the cusp of jumping forward in the AI industry. Just look at Google photo search! I can search for names of objects like “bridge” and up pops all the bridge photos I’ve ever taken!

“Machine learning is a core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking everything we’re doing.”
— Google CEO, Sundar Pichai

Salesforce Acquires PredictionIO

Salesforce is building up its Machine Learning Muscle and has recently acquired PredictionIO. PredictionIO is a machine learning tool that allows developers to create predictive features, such as personalisation, recommendation and content discovery. I believe this to be the key to the CRM of the future allowing the vast amounts of data that companies collect to be cross-referenced by AI and provide users with information to become more successful in selling and managing their customers.

Lack of front line jobs

McDonalds Pay points

McDonalds Pay points

For the show ‘A Secret Life‘ (see a trailer here) we interviewed nearly 200 people about their experiences as a teenager which were used to create the script for this outdoor promenade theatre show. We interviewed two age groups, teens of today and OAPs (aged 75 years+). We found that finding work in the 1920s was a lot easier to come across than now as well as a lot more pressure on children today to “do well at school”. If you wanted work in the 20s, you could just go down the road and ask, and those jobs went on to more skilled higher paid roles. But that’s not surprising when you see that nowadays companies are automating a lot of those accessible “front end desk jobs”, it’s cheaper to have a machine than a human doing the work. Take McDonalds for example; you can now choose, order and pay for your meal without even talking to any staff. When I’m at the supermarket, I sometimes find staff tills empty yet a queue for the automated tills?!. Are we being programmed that having the unpredictability of talking to another human at a supermarket too much for us to bear?

If it’s getting harder to get a leg up on the job ladder, shouldn’t we be teaching our children more about how to create their own jobs?

The shift to creativity

Glowforge.com - Reinventing homemade to allow home product production

Glowforge.com – Reinventing homemade to allow home product production

I feel now that creativity is more important than ever. It’s now become even easier to create creative products without the need of offshoring the production of the product allowing people to start their own micro-businesses. Just take a look at GlowForge! An amazing laser cutter tool to create and sell creative products from home. Brilliant for prototyping.

Want to get your kids involved in product creation check out the Mattel ThemeMaker!

I’ve found some countries educational systems and cultures don’t see creativity as an important part of education. I remember discussing this with someone who had recently moved to the UK and couldn’t understand why their child was “playing” so much at school. But it’s such an important part of education. Being able to play, experiment to come up with creative solutions when programming/developing solutions, and being able to think “outside the manual”.  to solve complex solutions in a simple way so that the end solutions are focused and targetted at the users who are using them.

I’ve worked with people who are technically brilliant but have hit a ceiling. They are missing the creativity to be able to think “outside the manual” to solve complex solutions in a simple, intuitive way. To be creative with the tools, APIs and technologies available to them. In my opinion, those who have that creative thinking are the gurus of their industry.


Yes, I know, contentious. Our government is imploding and they are now trying to figure out a route to take. Should we take the Canadian, Norwegian or Swiss setup? who knows its up to the experts. But after the initial shock, I’ve now taken a look to see how this affects my life and my work (yes I know selfish me). For me the decision wasn’t so clear cut as it seemed for many others (although I did vote to stay in). But…

The advantage for global/EU Salesforce projects


Now there is no guarantees that the pound will stay down but at the moment it has lost 10% against the dollar and similar drops across other currencies. Its even dropped further than it did during the banking crisis, although that may have been slightly different as the banking crisis affected every market. The graph on the right shows the pound since the 80’s so you can compare how hard its been hit.

So what does it mean to us working in Salesforce? Ok going abroad at the moment is going to cost us 10% more than it did last week. But conversely we’ve have also now become 10% more competitive than we did a week ago. For global projects and companies that work across Europe it could now be cheaper to have your development and implementation done from the UK. We are not going to leave the EU for AT LEAST 2 years. So we still have freedom of movement across the EU, no laws are changing it is the same it was last week, the only difference is we’re now 10% cheaper! Sounds good to me. Read More

  • 5 years ago today a small event kicked off Salesforce Craziness
  • 5 years ago today a small event kicked off Salesforce Craziness
  • 5 years ago today a small event kicked off Salesforce Craziness
  • 5 years ago today a small event kicked off Salesforce Craziness

5 years ago today a small event kicked off Salesforce Craziness

It was a small event in the upstairs of ‘Kings Stores‘ pub, near Liverpool Street station, but it was the beginning of a real Salesforce community in London. 23rd June 2011 at 5pm, 5 years ago today around 30 or 40 people squeezed into the upstairs room of the pub for the first London Salesforce Admin & Developer user group. Organised by Wes Nolte, Anup & Bruce the event was tagged onto the end of a Tquila company meeting (from what I remember, they did like to have their meetings in pubs). I did a talk on Talend Open Studio (a free open source ETL tool) and how to connect it to Salesforce. The great ObiWan JeffNobi (Jeff Douglas) who at the time was working for Appirio and had flown over from the US did an unforgettable talk… so good in fact I can’t remember it. Sorry Jeff! Anup did a talk on a dynamic VisualForce component.

But since then we have grown… and grown and we now have seven… yes seven London Salesforce user groups in London:

  1. London Salesforce Business User Group
  2. London Salesforce Admin User Group
  3. UK Non-Profit User Group
  4. London Salesforce Developer user group
  5. Women in Tech Salesforce user group
  6. Salesforce UK Public Sector User Group
  7. Pardot User group

Read More


It was 5.40pm and my phone was ringing. I didn’t know it at the time but this was going to be one of “those calls”, I’d had one last year too. My friend had just left the bank after being grilled by them for 5 hours. The day previously someone had entered the bank, confirmed their identity and proceeded to clear out all her bank accounts and investments. The bank had thought that the thief had come back to finish off the job, thinking it was her they grilled her for 5 hours. The bank, in the end, managed to recover about half of her money but the rest had gone.

We had a chat and it came to me quite quickly that over the past month or so, someone had been slowly gathering information on her (hindsight is a terrible thing). Her phone went missing for a day only to reappear, the strange phone calls from “Microsoft Support”. All of which may have rung alarm bells for someone who had been trained in CyberSecurity but unfortunately she hadn’t, but that isn’t surprising. Only 15% of employees are trained in CyberSecurity.

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Administration, General

This month’s Admin user group was hosted by Slalom a US consultancy that has just created an office in London. Thanks Slalom for a great venue overlooking the Thames!

London Salesforce Admin User Group at Slalom

London Salesforce Admin User Group at Slalom

First we had Andy talking about Slalom. Slalom is a US based consultancy that has only recently moved over to the EU with their first office in London. First up was Matt with his Chatter talk. Have to say it was really interesting! How do you get analytics on who has viewed chatter groups or feeds and surface chatter analytics as a global VisualForce action, kinda neat.

Then we had Matt with his Chatter talk “I didn’t know chatter could do that”.

Matt Morris Kicking us off with "I didn't know chatter could do that"

Matt Morris Kicking us off with “I didn’t know chatter could do that”

Have to say it was really interesting! How do you get analytics on who has viewed chatter groups or feeds? Then with the analytics you have gained how do you visualise that to all your users? via a global VisualForce action of course :) kinda neat. I’ve actually been working on a chatter project myself recently had have come up with similar limitations.



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Join the conversation on LinkedIn

David Giller from Brainiate. Online or In Person?

David Giller from Brainiate. Online or In Person?

When David Giller from Brainate asked “Salesforce Training… Online or In Person?” on LinkedIn I couldn’t stop myself from replying.


I very much believe training is just one part of being at brilliant at your job: Read More

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