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trailheadx 2020 Roundup

A little over a week ago, Salesforce held its reimagined version of trailheadx. The videos for this are now live for you to watch and catch up with if you missed anything. A number of the team attended online and have shared their thoughts and highlights below to help give you some ideas of what to go searching for.

Mike Gill – Architect

My first TrailheaDX was a little different than expected. Having been to many Dreamforce’s over the years I made a mental promise to myself to to attend “TrailheaDX”. Gift a little Pandemic I was able to live up to the promise and attend a virtual version of the conference.

The format was condense and focused, I set aside some time to kick back with the iPad, watch, and learn some stuff. It was executed flawlessly. I had no connectivity issues at all compared to previous years trying to watch Dreamforce, which was a pleasant surprise. Maybe I got lucky there? Either way, here are some of my highlights:

App Development with Salesforce DX

As someone who lives in VSCode and sfdx cli daily this was a good session, the session presenters did a number of polls during the session asking questions like who has tried things like unlocked packaging and scratch org – it’s clear that these technologies are still in the nascent phase of maturity and people are only just getting their feet wet.

One of the key take-aways which isn’t new but worth keeping in mind – Adoption of DX doesn’t mean you have to go all in.

True to the code (TTTC)

And my other session – well would have been rude not to mention this one. I’m sure this is a big favourite of lot of people. I love it because it puts product managers on the spot quite literally. Parker is the master of deflection and deferring the relevant person on the product manager panel.

True to the Core

There were plenty of great comments and promises! I noted this one from Parker Harris himself:

We all know that file storage on the platform is something which if you don’t take care of, the costs sky rocket … maybe there are more efficient and cost effective storage coming our way…

And as promised by the man himself, “we’re not trying to make money on data storage… I promise you”

Neel Meghani – CTO

I was excited that TDX was virtual this year even though I had planned on attending in person for the first time. This was also my first Salesforce virtual event. I was very impressed how slick the UI was and how good the streaming and chat were.

The content was brilliant with some excellent new functionality revealed. Already very excited to learn more about Salesforce Anywhere, and to get my hands of Code Builder. The stand out sessions for me were ‘Digitizing your Business with Automation’ and ‘Unlock Developer Productivity with Modern Open Tooling’. This last one in particular showed me some plug-ins that I hadn’t previously discovered.

Salesforce Code Builder

Salesforce Code Builder – credit https://developer.salesforce.com/blogs/2020/06/introducing-code-builder.html

So that’s what Mike and Neel had to say about their experience of TrailheaDX 2020. Did you attend? What are your thoughts? Let us know on Twitter!

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Dreamforce 2020 Will Be Virtual – Phil’s Tip of the Week #398

Late last week, Salesforce confirmed that for the remainder of 2020, all of their events including Dreamforce 2020 will be virtual. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this is not surprising. Salesforce held their Sydney World Tour as a virtual event earlier this year. This allowed them to have an experience for 80,000 people instead of the regular 11,000.

Safety First

Firstly, Salesforce should be commended on taking a sensible “safety first” approach to event planning. For partners and potential attendees like us, it also gives clarity. Dreamforce is a very expensive experience, between flights, hotels, food, marketing, and fun. Planning and then cancelling such things can cost a small fortune in deposits, so this should minimise any risk of loss for people.

Additionally, even a Dreamforce at 33% of regular size would still be around 60,000 people. Given everything that has occurred, even if we are out of all forms of lockdown in November, it would be unwise to congregate that many.

Virtual Dreamforce 2020 Ideas

I hope the whole Salesforce ecosystem can use the time now before whatever virtual event occurs to plan to make it as good as possible. Our COO Paul shared some thoughts on making the most of virtual events earlier this week which you can read to get preparing as well. Some ideas we have had in the Galacticos team we would love to see include:

  • A rolling 24 hours of coverage rather than a single fixed timezone. This will allow the maximum number of attendees to experience the content.
  • Stream everything and make it instantly available for review. Pre-record just in case.
  • A virtual 24 hour Dreamfest to raise money? Now we have no fixed time to worry about, what about a longer event globally to raise even more!
  • A virtual hangout experience somehow – anyone remember Second Life?

These are some of the crazy things we have thought of – what ideas have you got? What would you like to see?

Other News

Zoom Gets 20x More Users

Zoom, the conferencing app that everyone seems to be using at the moment, announced they had grown from 10 million to 200 million daily active users in the past 3 months! Obviously this is because of people now working from home, but that is incredible to see the growth and ability to scale from their team!

Salesforce Org Limits App

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night worried how close you were to hitting your org limits? No, just me? Well for those of us worried about such things, Salesforce Labs have released the orgLimits app for free. Head to the appExchange now to grab it.

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Best Practices and Thoughts on Virtual Events

Over the past few months we have seen a number of events cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and a number of events go virtual. Last week  Salesforce announced all its events including Dreamforce will now be re-imagined and virtual. Because of this, I thought I would share some best practices and thoughts on virtual events to help you make the most of them.

North England Salesforce User Group Virtual Event

Virtual vs In-Person Events

Firstly, let’s talk about the differences between virtual and in-person events. The biggest (and most obvious) difference is that it is generally a lot harder to network and meet new people. I have made numerous new friends and acquaintances over the years at conferences through just casual interactions. Queuing for lunch, waiting for a session to start or just sat next to someone at a session. You get to meet and interact with a lot of new people, which will obviously be much harder for a virtual event.

However, I would encourage you to use the remote nature of the event to your advantage when it comes to interaction with the speakers. It is not uncommon at an event to find it hard to ask a speaker a question or further information after the talk if there are a number of people all doing so at once. I cannot think of an instance where I have seen a speaker at a remote event not provide some form of contact details, so reach out to them if you have a question, comment, whatever. You are almost guaranteed to get a reply and it is a great way of making a new connection.

More Speaker, More Content, More Spaces

Virtual events however tend to have a much broader range of speakers and can accommodate a greater number of attendees. As an example, the talk I gave at the recent Xforce Summit had over 1,000 people attend. I don’t think I have been to a conference where any of the sessions for speakers outside a keynote had that many attendees possible. With no constraints on room sizes or availability, you are more able to attend any session you want. I have lost count of the number of times at Dreamforce I have been unable to attend a session because it was oversubscribed.

Finally, the biggest difference for most people is cost. Attending any conference can cost you for a ticket, travel, potentially lodging as well. All of these items add up and I know are a consideration for us when we look at events to sponsor and attend. Virtual events are likely to be cheaper (if not free like the Xforce Summit) for a ticket and also do not incur any of the associated expenses.

Allocate Time and Avoid Distractions

One of the primary benefits of events is that you have time away form your day work to focus on learning. It can be very tempting to work on other items in the background whilst dialled in to be productive. This type of multitasking does not work and should be avoided. If attending a virtual event, try to keep this in mind and focus on the session exclusively when possible. Just as if you were in a room during a talk you wouldn’t be doing something else, apply the same thought here.

One difference here though is you can take much better notes virtually than often is possible in person. Know how to take a quick screenshot for later and open up any additional reading material. This makes it easy for you to implement what you have learned afterwards.