Dreamforce 2017

What is Dreamforce?

Dreamforce is an annual user conference hosted by Salesforce.com in downtown San Francisco, bringing together thought leaders, industry pioneers and thousands of IT professionals. This is Salesforce’s big annual event, in 2016 over 170,000 people descended on San Francisco for the event.

I have spoken at Dreamforce for the past 5 years.

Apex, Dreamforce, Videos

The Mystery of Salesforce Connect Custom Apex Extensions and the Missing video

So I wonder if anyone can answer a question that has been bugging me for months…

So Salesforce records breakout sessions at Dreamforce, and for the last couple of years, I’ve been doing a lot of theatre sessions, which don’t get recorded. So I was a little bit excited to know that one of my Dreamforce 2016 sessions had been selected to be a workshop session! Whoopie! A video’ed session and it’s going online! In the end, Salesforce started recording theatre sessions at Dreamforce 2016 as well so the majority of my sessions were recorded which was brilliant.

BUT

For some reason, Salesforce never uploaded my “Integration with Salesforce Connect and Custom Connectors” session. It never made it to the 2016 Dreamforce Developer Sessions site.

So I contacted Salesforce thinking it may have been a mistake, a couple of people did a hunt for me but couldn’t find anything conclusive.

Present > Get Feedback > Improve > Repeat

The main reason I want to know is you can only improve your public speaking with feedback. I want to know what didn’t work. I want to know why people did or didn’t engage with it. So I need your help. Could you take a look at the video and see if you can figure out why Salesforce didn’t put this video up? A couple of ideas:

  1. “The talk that was too radical for Salesforce” – I did say things which may not be the real purpose of Salesforce Connect, but in my opinion, it makes Connect a much more powerful tool than people think.
  2. “Salesforce doesn’t like product placement” – I did mention two non-Salesforce products, both of which I had contacted and one of which was a Salesforce partner anyway.
  3. “I was talking rubbish” – Maybe there are things I said that were incorrect? if so I would love to know.
  4. “They just made a mistake and forgot the video” This is probably the most likely explanation but without knowing its a bit hard to tell.
  5. “Maybe it wasn’t very good, and they don’t put bad quality sessions up” – Now with 100% of people on the session survey recommending the session for next year and 4.86 out of 5 score, one of the highest for all developer talks, I don’t think it’s that.

Take a look for yourself and see if any of these are right, I’d love to know!

 

Dreamforce, News, Videos

When Two wizards and Yoda met at Dreamforce …

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 🙂 Read more

AppExchange Demo Jam

I’m honoured to be invited to present the Salesforce Demo Jam at Dreamforce. App Vendors will be showcasing the best of their app with a real-time demo. Each app vendor will have only THREE minutes to share! After the audience vote for their favourite, only one can win!

For those who haven’t been to a Demo Jam before this is an amazing way to see a lot of Vendor apps in a very short space of time.

Location: San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel, CRM Outfitters Theater South

Events, General

My top tips for public speaking at Dreamforce

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

Administration, Dreamforce, General, Videos

Data Tips, Tricks & Strategy (Dreamforce Session Slides)

Thank you everyone who came to the session. As promised here are the slides and links to videos. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter as we do publish Salesforce tips, tricks and blog posts from other Salesforce users. Any questions give us a shout on twitter / community or below on the blog post.

YouTube: How to use Cross Filters in reports
YouTube: Formula Ninjas – Formulas & Image Forumlas for Data Quality

Read more

Dreamforce

Internet of Things top picks for Dreamforce 2015! #IoT

The “Internet of Things” is the buzziest term in technology which has dethroned Big Data (according to Gartner). Gartner also believes that it will become the pillars of digital business and be of huge importance to business going forward and as such there are a load of IoT talks at Dreamforce this year. So that being said I thought I’d share my top IoT sessions picks for Dreamforce 15.

Create Lightning with Lightning & IoT

With Salesforce Lightning Components and Process Builder, it’s now even easier to have physical devices react to events happening within the Salesforce Platform. Join us to learn how to use Lighting Components, basic Apex, Process Builder, push topics, and a simple node.js application to talk to devices to publicly reward success or warn of impending doom within you’re office.
When? Tuesday 12th – 12:45pm to 1.15pm
Where? Moscone West, Inspiration Theater
Who? Francis Pindar
Follow / Sign Up Read more

Dreamforce
  • My Dreamforce 2015 Sessions; Salesforce Data Quality & IoT
  • My Dreamforce 2015 Sessions; Salesforce Data Quality & IoT
  • My Dreamforce 2015 Sessions; Salesforce Data Quality & IoT

My Dreamforce 2015 Sessions; Salesforce Data Quality & IoT

Well that came around quick! Seems like only yesterday I was flying the flag of Great Britain outside the Moscone Centre last year. So what am I doing this year? Well taking it a little easier than last year and doing two sessions; an admin session & developer session. Hope to see you there!! Give me a shout if you’re coming.

Create Lightning with Lightning & IoT

Extra session added due to popular demand! Salesforce has a a huge number of people signing up Thanks everyone!!! So they have added a repeat of my session on Friday at 10:45am!

Description: With Salesforce Lightning Components and Process Builder, it’s now even easier to have physical devices react to events happening within the Salesforce Platform. Join us to learn how to use Lighting Components, basic Apex, Process Builder, push topics, and a simple node.js application to talk to devices to publicly reward success or warn of impending doom within your office.
Date: Tuesday 12th 2015 – 12:45pm to 1.15pm
Location: Moscone West, Inspiration Theater
Sign Up

OR:

Date: Friday 15th 2015 – 10:45am to 11:15am
Location: Moscone West, Mobile Theater
Sign Up

Admin Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Data Quality

Date: Thursday 17th 2015 – 12:00 to 12:20
Location: Moscone West, Admin Theatre Zone
Description: Arm yourself with both a strategy & Salesforce Platform tips and tricks to show to your organization the importance of avoiding bad data quality. Learn Platform features and handy tricks that will equip your org to enforce data quality. This presentation provides data quality strategy as well as implementation guidelines.
Sign Up

 

Apex, Best Practice, Development, Dreamforce

You can you use DML in a for loop!

Some people may have have seen ‘Apex Ten Commandments’ that myself and Codefriar did at Dreamforce a while back.

One slide we didn’t know if we should put in or not was to come right at the end saying “Thou shalt feel free to break these rules as wisdom merits”. But the issue with this slide was two fold. The majority of developers the ten commandments was aimed at should be following the rules. But for more advanced developers you do at times need to twist the rules and they don’t make sense. Adding the slide could mean that junior developers think of the commandments are only loose guidelines. In the end we left it out but the following year Codefriar kept it in… and in hindsight a better idea 🙂 Read more

General

From UK to Dreamforce… is it really worth it?

There have been several blogs saying why you should go to Dreamforce. But coming from the UK adding flight, ESTA costs etc can get quite a lot. I’ve been going to Dreamforce now for the past 3 years and as a freelancer spending the money to get to Dreamforce was no easy pill to swallow the first time I did it.

  • Flight (current lowest London return fare) – £502
  • Dreamforce Ticket about – £480 to £790
  • Accommodation – Ranges £400-£900
  • Food (you get lunch at Dreamforce) – £150
  • Other (transfers, ESTA Visa etc) – £100
  • TOTAL: £1832*

* see tips below to see how you can reduce this!

So is it worth it? Here is value comparison:

  • Salesforce Certification Exams; Take your exam at Salesforce and you
    Saving: £61 per exam
  • Training; With over 1000 sessions over in multiple different streams ( developer, admin, architect) in a number of different formats (theatre sessions, hands on training with laptops provided, seminars, small group discussions.
    Saving: £2300 (average cost of a 4 day professional technical course in London)
  • Materials & Manuals; A load of free workbooks, manuals and guides that you can pickup.
    Saving: At least £20
  • 1 to 1 Developer code reviews; Have an issue with your code? just want an expert to look at the architecture of your project, just sign up for a code review and get them
    Saving: £100 (based on the average daily rate for an Apex Developer in London)
  • Cheaper Salesforce Training; There are training courses before DF starts which are shorter more condenses courses which are cheaper than the longer courses, you also get your own laptop.
    Saving: £2162
  • Bruno Mars gig ticket; Ok Bruno Mars may not be everyone’s cup of tea the gig maybe not your
    Saving: £180 (based on the price of tickets currently being sold on the internet for his sold out gigs)
  • Lunch; Lunch is included in your ticket for all 4 days.
    Saving: £40
  • Collaboration with like mind individuals; So many experts from the MVPs to other customers that you can collaborate with. This is INVALUABLE!! This is where I get the biggest benefit! You could know the platform inside out and backwards but there are so many different ways to skin the can you can really find new ideas and “quick fixes” that solve difficult business problems.
    Priceless

Rough Value: £4863

Ok, its very subjective and still 100 other things I’ve missed, the sound stages playing live music throughout the week, the expert booths to answer any questions you like, the campground where you can speak to individual product experts, the partners… but believe me its worth it!

*Tips for reducing the price:

Dreamforce Ticket
The earlier you book the cheaper the ticket, also never get it at face value. Partners get offer codes to get cheaper tickets. Search the net for discount codes and the amounts off can vary. Also talk to your Account Executive as they may be able to get you a discount to especially if you are a Non-Profit!

But a way to get it FREE is to do a talk. Salesforce opens up at the beginning of the year a call for entries to do talks. These can be Developer talks or Admin talks and if you get selected you get a free entry with anyone else that is on the talk with you.

You can get a ticket for $899 using the developer discount code: D14DVLPR right now!

Accommodation
Rates go high for Dreamforce. With 100,000 people hitting the city it can be a race for hotel. Salesforce block books many of the main hotels in San Fran so check the price when you are booking your Dreamforce ticket before checking hotels yourself but it can be a lot cheaper looking a bit further afield. A good spot can be near the airport, with good transport links straight into the city.

An alternative is dive to the success portal and look for people willing to flat share.

Flight
To be honest there is not much I can say about this. Either get chummy with cabin crew and get mates rates or Book early! I do now try to save as main airpoints/air miles as I can during the year so that I can use them with my flight.