Dreamforce is right around the corner. Many people are probably still begging their boss to go, or perhaps still trying to decide whether or not they should attend. We all attend for different reasons I am sure, but I’m also sure that many of us attend for the same reasons as well. If you are on the fence, maybe my list will help convince you that you need to do this, for your career, for your company, but mostly…for yourself.
- It’s like hitting a reset button on your year. Many of us measure a year by the number of days until the next Dreamforce. The reason for this is while it’s work-related — its a break from your daily grind, from your mountain of emails, voicemails, etc. While most of us still check & answer the emails while out of the office there’s a good chance you can shirk at least some of your responsibilities while away. We all need that reset button and there’s plenty of non-work type events while there from any number of happy hours and parties to the Gala night (featuring the Foo Fighters this year!) So you’ve worked pretty hard all “year” and you could likely use a reset.
- Content, Content, Content. There are numerous sessions chocked full of information for you to absorb and take back with you. If you are a developer, there are numerous sessions on tools of the trade, testing techniques, how to use new features, and a developer zone dedicated to what we do as well as some fun things the we generally like to do, like play with robots, and virtual reality, etc. If you’re an admin there are tons and tons of sessions from brushing up on your formulas, to cracking open an IDE and learning to code. For the second year in a row, there will be an Admin Zone, so you’ll want to check that out and hangout with your favorite #AdminHeroes. If you’re simply a user of the system, or perhaps a “shot caller” there are plenty of tracks on how to best leverage the platform, and learn from the experiences of other companies and how they have used the platform to their advantage and increased user adoption, etc. Basically, no matter what your level of involvement is with Salesforce, you will find something useful to take back with you.
- Hands On Training. I’ve been to quite a number tech conferences since I’ve been in the industry. If your like me, these other conferences usually leave you wanting more, but more never comes. The learning stops when the Powerpoint is closed. At Dreamforce we have HOTS (Hands On Training Sessions). This is chance to take the platform for a spin. You actually get to sit down and learn a new feature, or how to do a particular task on the platform. This year I’d expect to see numerous sessions on Lightning Components and Lightning App Builder. These things are so new that just going to a session to hear someone talk about it is not enough. Getting to sit down and actually sling some code with an instructor led course and plenty of assistants there to help is just what you need to grasp some of these new concepts. For me, there’s no better way to learn than by doing.
- MVPs galore. The Salesforce community is its own world with its own “rock stars” — I know many of them and am convinced that they are the best at what they do. Many of them volunteer some of their Dreamforce time to staff the Admin and Developer zones. This year some are even hosting training sessions. They are very approachable so who better to learn from than someone so knowledgable and ready & willing to help. Who better to ask a complicated formula question than Steve Mo? With all of this knowledge so close at hand, its a great time to seek assistance with that “one problem” that’s been eating at you.
- The Community. I’ve talked about this before, and here it is again. It’s clearly a re-occurring theme with me. The community is just so unlike any other tech community I’ve experienced. If you are a reader of my blog, then you’ve heard this time and time again. So rather than drone on about it, go read/re-read this. That should sum it up for you again.
I hope that if you were one of those folks sitting on the fence, that this helped you decide that this is something you need to do. You owe it to your career and yourself to get refreshed, learn new things, get assistance with outstanding issues you may have, to meet new people and make new friends — and while you are at it — have a little fun.