Preparing for Community Events

I am a big fan of a Salesforce Community Conference, I have so far managed to make it to French Touch Dreamin' (twice), WiTness Success, InspireEast, Surf Force, and each and every London's Calling. I already have my ticket for Southeast Dreamin' later this month, and both Yeur Dreamin' and Yeur Leadin' in June. Unlike Dreamforce community conferences are short, normally one or one and a half days. This means that time is precious and so a bit of planning is required. Here are my recommendations for your pre-event preparation:
Do Your Homework Take the time to review the schedule before the day. Both London's Calling (here) and Southeast Dreamin' (here) publish their sessions and schedule a month or two out. There are often 5 or 6 sessions per time slot. The organisers will have tried their best to offer something for everyone in each slot but that doesn't mean that your choices are already made. Take the time to pick out the sessions you want to attend …

It's fun (and essential) to play in the sandbox

I sat for, and passed, the Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer certification earlier this month and it really was a reminder of the importance of sandboxes for all Salesforce admins and developers. This exam, being part of the architect track, is pitched at a more technical level than that of your average admin, but proper use of sandboxes does not require this kind of experience and is definitely not just for developers.

Last year I wrote a series of posts entitled Best Practices and Recommendations for New Admins and one of the Tools from post four was Sandboxes. Here is a deeper dive into the world of Salesforce Sandboxes.

I was shocked recently to hear a tale of an end customer having no sandboxes in use at all. There really is no excuse, sandboxes are available to all customers. How many, and what type, depends on your edition. Here is a handy grid to tell you how many you have access to out of the box. You can, of course, buy more.

Why make it complicated and have four…

Boost Not Berate

Sometimes we have moments of self-assessment and clarity, and they are not always positive.

I talk to myself, I know this, but I have only just taken real note of the fact that so much of my narration is self criticism.

For example, I called myself stupid 3 times putting the washing out the other day. How one can hang the washing out incorrectly I don't even know, but I judged that I had made a mess of it.

More often, as someone who spends much of my working day trying to get Salesforce to do what I want it to, and often not immediately succeeding. It is not unknown for me to be sat, literally head in hands, muttering at my inability to triumph before spotting my mistake, and, of course, berating myself for making said mistake.

Why do we do this?
I tell myself to stop picking on myself but its a habit I slip back into with ease.

This week French Touch Dreamin' released the photos taken at the event here.
As a presenter at the conference there were photos of me delivering my ses…

Trailhead: The Salesforce CPD Scheme

Many of the industries my company works with have mandatory CPD schemes for their qualified practitioners. In order to retain their status as a licensed Accountant or Solicitor individuals must show that they are continuously developing their professional skills.

One reason for this is to prevent said professionals from getting rusty, to keep that grey matter active, but another is to encourage members to stay abreast of new developments in their field.

Those of us who are certified Salesforce professionals have similar obligations. Three times a year we need to pass the maintenance exams of each track in which we are certified in order to retain our certification.

But as Salesforce has never been the kind of company to leave its community to fend for themselves, Trailhead was created to aid and encourage our continuous development.

Trailhead isn't just there to help us pass our exams though, far from it, Trailhead is for the whole ecosystem. Trailhead is used by employees, certif…

Good Things Come In Small Packages

Scheduled just three weeks after Dreamforce 2018 closed, InspireEast shared some of the qualities of the world's biggest tech conference, but differed in just as many ways.

Dreamforce offered 2,000+ sessions, and 171,000 attendees, while at InspireEast we had a choice of 4 or 5 sessions for every time slot and the numbers were into 3, rather than 6, figures.

I have attended Dreamforce four times and you may think that an annual trip to San Francisco is enough conferencing for one season but I find so much value in these smaller community conferences that I was keen to jump on the train to Cambridge as soon as my jetlag had passed.

Here is why I attended InspireEast and have previously travelled to Surf Force, French Touch Dreamin, my local (and favourite) London's Calling, and even the further afield WiTnessSuccess.

There is time to have real conversations with fellow attendees, not just snatched pleasantries.Dreamforce is often called 'one big family reunion' as we mee…

Women in Tech at Dreamforce 2018

Here is a list of sessions from Dreamforce 2018 which I found of interest as a Woman in Technology.  I am posting this here so that I can share the links with my fellow WiT members and interested parties.

The Era of the Trailblazing Woman
Hosted by Molly Q Ford from Salesforce's Equality Team, hear from a panel of Trailblazing Women - Founders, CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Activists. They are visionary, inclusive, progressive, and they are game changers and industry shakers.

Managing Up For Admins: Inspire, Pitch, and Speak Candidly Supercharge your influence and change your organisation by using tactical strategies to set up and have pivotal conversations with executives. Learn how to connect with what executives care about, distill data into stories and calls to action, and ask for commitments. 

Ladies Be Architects: Admins Can Be Architects Too Even if you've never even thought of becoming a Certified Technical Architect, it's worth learning about and finding out what it REALLY…

How to Have an Awesome Dreamforce

I'll shortly be starting the long journey from London to San Francisco for my 4th Dreamforce and I'm getting my ducks in a row (and packing a large suitcase).

I think it is safe to say that my three past Dreamforces have been quite different. I wrote about year one in my post Solo in San Francisco and Dazed at Dreamforce, I was extremely overwhelmed and found the whole experience too much. Year two as captured in Dreamforce: My Second Attempt, was still a challenge but I knew what to expect and had more contacts to share the experience with. Last year was on a different scale and was all about spending time with people and event after event after event, with quite a few highlights as I wrote about in My DF17 Highlights.

Now I ask myself how I can make the most out of my Dreamforce experience this time, what have I learnt from attempts one, two, and three? Here are my recommendations:

Get Organised
Know where you want to be when. Once each day starts you are going to be out ther…