My 1st Dreamforce – it was a blast

Dreamforce 2016 is now a few days ago. It was my 1st one. It was a blast. By any means. I am still sorting out all the impressions, all the ideas, all the talks. It is an experience on it’s own.

Here are a few of my takeaways (for you and myself).

 

Trailhead

Does Trailhead need an explanation? We presented a massive experience for developers and admins in our very own Trailhead zone. The zone covered the whole Moscone West ground level (approx 130,000 sqft/12,000 sqm). Open Theaters, an IoT Cabin, our Tree of Code and many more experiences. I highly recommend to checkout this Twitter feed to see some photo impressions.

 

Salesforce DX

We announced the availability (safe harbor) of Salesforce DX for the next year. Readers of my blog will remember that I posted pre-Dreamforce my thoughts about “Developer eXperience”. I did that intentionally – as I knew what will come.

So what does “Salesforce DX” mean? It means that we’re pushing the application development experience on the Salesforce App Cloud platform to new heights. A complete new Command Line Interface (CLI), source-driven development, a new Eclipse-based IDE and much more. Besides the linked product page you have to read this InfoQ interview with Wade – he runs product strategy and development of DX.

We’re rolling out the pilot internally this week to selected people – including myself. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. 😉

 

Lightning

With the newly rolled out Winter ’17 release we are adding more and more functionality to our Lightning Experience. There are tons of enhancements in the user-interface (i. e. Kanban boards for leads, contracts and campaigns or the beta integration of Skype for Business).

From an application development perspective I am so excited about the preview of the Lightning Data Service (LDS) and our new Lightning Base Components. LDS enables any developer, be it low-code or full-stack, to work with any kind of Salesforce Object in Lightning without writing a single line of Apex code. And the Lightning Base Components make it really simple to apply the CSS styling of the Salesforce Lightning Design System to your UI. Both capabilities combined add a new level of simplicity for any developer with Lightning.

 

Content

There are tons of information available as thousands of people presented about their specific topics. Let alone in the app development track we had around 300 different sessions. World class speakers presenting a broad range of topics, representing every part of the Salesforce Application Development platform. Be it Virtual Reality (VR), 12 Factor Apps on Heroku, steering drones with Salesforce and and and. It’ll take “some” days to wade through everything.

 

TrailFindr

As you probably read we ran a pioneering pilot for helping visually impaired people to navigate in the Trailhead Zone. I’ll share our experiences later here in this blog – but to tease you a bit: it was challenging, it was greatly received, and it was fulfilling.

 

Fun

To whomever I talked – attendee, speaker, sponsor, colleague – they all told me that their bottom line about this conference is “fun”. Fun to learn, fun to network, fun to conduct business, fun to party. I personally experienced how people that met for the first time enjoyed recommending to each other about what their next steps should be to embrace more of the Salesforce platform.

 

People

At the very end, and that applies to every event, it is all about the people. The human beings that you meet. Like the remote colleagues, the new customers, the old stagers in your technology. Face-to-Face. Discuss, chat, enjoy. That is what makes an event an event. There were open theaters, evening parties, the Dreampark, the AppDev Community breakfast and many more opportunities for doing this.

 

 

As the saying goes – after Dreamforce is before Dreamforce. So save the date as I hope to meet you at next years Dreamforce, which will happen from November 6th to November 9th 2017. And don’t forget to reserve already a hotel room – they are sold out quickly. 😉

 

I’ve posted below some impressions (click on the pic for a larger version).

 

Meeting Salesforce Einstein

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Controlling Salesforce via brain waves (no kidding)

df_2016_brainwaves

 

Photobombing my managers VR experience 😉

df_2016_vr_photobomb

 

Salesforce Dreamfest with U2

df_2016_u2

 

Saying goodbye to my US team colleagues (and to the guys carrying them)

df_2016_wrapup