So time for my contribution to the ‘I can’t wait for Dreamforce’ blog posts! There are a lot of them, and I find them fascinating reading – everyone has different perspectives, but the enthusiasm of the authors is palpable. I’m looking forward to meeting a number of my favorite authors there next week. In a post back in June (Why I Love Salesforce.com Events) I explained why I love going to Salesforce.com events and all of those reasons are still very true. Added to that is that I’ve been named as a Salesforce MVP for evangelism and contributions to the community, which means that I get to participate in some of the events, and I’m excited!
Dreamforce is stuffed full of keynotes, educational sessions, networking events and parties. In the midst of all this noise, it can be difficult to pay attention and figure out what’s important. That’s why it’s key to go into it with a plan. Unlike previous years (this will be my 5th Dreamforce), I’m going to have to drag myself away from most of the Developer track sessions – given where we are as an organization, I need to focus more on rollout, adoption and governance sessions in order to bring some best practices back with me. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to skip them all – mobile and iOS development sessions are very interesting to me.
So here’s what am I going to do next week:
Listen: from the opening keynotes to the last session, my ears are going to be open. The keynotes contain the big product announcements which show the direction that Salesforce is headed in. We’ll get a better sense of what the ‘Social Enterprise’ means and I can begin to assess what that can mean for Citizen Schools. As well, there will be new product announcements: Dreamforce is where Apex code, Visualforce and Chatter were all introduced – I’m very curious to hear what’s coming this year. Even if you’re not going to Dreamforce, you can watch – they’ll be streamed live and are worth the time investment.
Learn: the opportunities for learning at Dreamforce are tremendous with over 400 sessions being offered. There’s no where near enough time to go to everything that I’d like to. Fortunately, I’m bringing five colleagues this year and we’re splitting up to cover as much ground as we can. Additionally, almost all the sessions are recorded and are accessible online after the conference. Beyond the sessions, the Developer zone is a great resource if you’re interested in what’s involved in getting more technical with the Force.com platform.
Network and Share: This is a fantastic week for networking! The vendor expo, general networking sessions, Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions, and of course, the parties in the evening are a great place to meet others, share tips and best practices and otherwise build relationships that you can leverage when you return home. As an MVP, I’ll actually be hosting BOF tables on Tuesday and Wednesday and will be in the ‘Ask an Expert’ booth on Thursday. I really look forward to meeting any of you at these events!
Reflect: Probably the hardest thing to do given the firehose of information, but it’s really important if you want to leverage the excitement into real world success when you get back home. Have a notebook, sketchbook or tablet with you and in spare moments, jot down the ideas that resonated, features you want to try out , or code you want to explore and then when you get home – do it! There’s nothing worse than going to an event like this and then not taking advantage of the opportunity to improve your knowledge and use of the Force.com platform.
Most of all, though, I’m going to have fun! The Salesforce community is smart, passionate and enthusiastic – throw yourself into the mix, drink the Koolaid and enjoy the week!