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MVP, Dreamforce, GTD, and a moving Baby

James

My last blog post was on July 8th, which is over a month ago. It turns out that you get a lot busier when your baby starts to crawl and you hadn’t quite baby-proofed the stairs yet. Who knew?  Someone should really warn you about these things.

It seems like all my time is now eaten up with:

  1. Working
  2. Picking my son up off the floor, pulling the dog bowl out of his grasp, and moving him back to the living room
  3. Eating and sleeping

Pretty much in that order

So instead of my planned Login Flows v2 that I thought I would have easily completed by now, I thought I’d write a quick post on a few other things like becoming an MVP, Dreamforce, GTD, and what I have planned for some upcoming blog posts.

MVP Logo

I was honoured to be selected as a Salesforce MVP at the beginning of July.

Article on Summer ’15 MVPs

I was one of 15 people chosen, many of whom I’ve come to know over my time in the community. There are some really deserving people on that list and I’m just happy to be associated with them. For those that don’t know, I’m guessing that most of my votes came from my work on the Answers community where – as of writing – I’m up to about 6000 answers and 800 best answers overall. Considering that the majority of that has been within the last year it’s been quite the journey. I was hoping to hit 1000 by Dreamforce but it doesn’t look like I’ll manage to do it. I’ll have to settle for 1000 in a year.

For those that have reached out, I’ve generally said that I’ve gotten a few key things out of becoming more known and answering more questions, with becoming an MVP just a bonus

  1. The amount that I’ve learned by trying to problem solve for others. Never, ever underestimate how much you can learn just through helping others
  2. The privilege of being able to reach out to other people who know way more than I do, that I’ve learned from in the past, and be able to talk to them on a first name basis.
  3. All the contacts that I’ve made, and continue to make, just by helping people.

I’m still getting my feet wet, so I’m still figuring out what else comes with being an MVP, but I’m sure I’ll have more to say as time goes on. For now I just wanted to mention it, and thank anyone who nominated me.

Anyone who is interested in the program can read more here

Dreamforce

I’m going to Dreamforce for the first time this year!

I’m also presenting at Dreamforce this year with a session on Cross-Filters. Here’s the link for anyone that is interested:

Data Cleansing and Analysis with Cross-Filters

I put my name in the hat to present for a few reasons

  1. I thought it would be a good experience
  2. Cross-Filters are amazing and more people should use them
  3. To try and give back

Plus, why the heck not. Hopefully I’m able to help a few more people this way and it’s great experience.

For those that haven’t read my previous posts on Cross-Filters, here they are:

Since it’s my first time I have no real advice to give, but I thought I’d share my schedule and explain why I picked what I did. This will probably change but for now I’m trying to keep it light, while also putting a focus on attending sessions that are maybe a little more high level. I’m trying to not spend my first Dreamforce learning things that I already know, or that I can get the answers to quickly if I need them.

Monday

We arrive Monday and all I know is that I want to pick up my badge before everyone else swarms the registration desk.  As long as I do that it’s been a good day.

Otherwise we want to get settled in the hotel, there is supposedly a Canadian meet-up that is currently being planned, and we’ll see where else the day takes me.  I’m hoping that this might be a good day to meet a few people that I’ve come to know well virtually, but have yet to meet in person.

Tuesday

8:00-10:00 Volunteering in the Admin Zone – Part of being an MVP is having these great opportunities to help people, I figure I’m pretty decent at the standard Salesforce reports and dashboards, and I figured what better way to get myself acquainted with Dreamforce than to stand there and answer questions for a few hours, so that’s what I’m doing

10:30-11:10 – Getting to Know Visual Workflow – I wanted to do at least one session on this topic and it was a matter of finding one that fit best into the schedule.

12:00-1:00 – Hands On Training with Pardot – I haven’t used Pardot much and they don’t offer developer orgs for it right now, so I wanted to just get in there and see what it’s about

1:30-2:10 – Salesforce + IBM + Watson: The Cognitive Customer-Activated Enterprise – I’ve had a man-crush on anything Watson since I worked in the Cognos world and was at a IBM paid for breakfast where Watson had just won Jeopardy but they had no idea what practical applications existed for it and were gathering ideas through free bacon

3:30 – 4:10 – Best Practices for Successful Deployment – As a consultant you can never have too many successful deployment tips and tricks.

6:00 – 8:00 – Cloud Expo Welcome Reception – we’ll see if I make it this far

Overall – Tuesday is heavy by design.  I want to get in there, see what everything is all about, and stay busy for the first day.  If I decide I want to keep that pace up, I can walk into a few more sessions the rest of the week.

Wednesday

8:30 – 9:10 – Keeping Salesforce in Tip Top Shape: Secrets from the Pros – curious to see how Salesforce recommends handling certain scenarios.  Again, just looking to pick up a few tips

11:00 – 11:40 – Best Practices for Salesforce Change Management – I like my odds of finding out a little more about improving immediate user adoption, and successful user management strategies.  It helps to be able to talk about these and help companies drive this behaviour

1:00 – 3:00 – Benioff Keynote – Yeah, I’m going to this one

5:00 – 6:00 – Fireside Chat with Satya Nadella and Jessi Hempel – I think some of the things Microsoft are doing are quite interesting, and I’m curious as to what they have to say.

Overall – A fairly light day after Tuesday, hoping to spend a bunch of time just walking around the Admin Zone

Thursday

9:30 – 10:10 – Salesforce Admin Survival Guide: Avoiding Platform Nightmares – I’m curious to see the big pitfalls they call out, and it might be a good session to point other people to once Dreamforce is over and the presentations are made available

1:00 – 1:40 – My session on Data Cleansing and Analysis with Cross-Filters – There will be references to Top Gun

3:30 – 4:30 – Salesforce Admin Keynote – I want to see this one

7:00 – The gala – We’ll see.  It might be time to relax instead.  I’m not a big concert guy.

Overall – Very light so that I make sure I deliver a good session.  I also don’t want to be rushing off right afterwards, I’d like to stick around and help people if they have any particular use cases.  Otherwise I’ll probably hang out in the Admin Zone again

Friday

9:00 – 9:40 – Building a Lightning Reporting App with the Salesforce Analytics API – I feel like I should know this stuff, and I want to see how Salesforce is starting to tie it all together

10:00 – 10:40 – Getting Started with Lightning Reports and Dashboards – Hopefully a good continuation of my first session. Looking to leave Dreamforce with a much better appreciation of what Lightning can do for clients

1:00 – 1:20 – Meet the Awesome Admin Team – I’ve followed them, I’ve conversed with them virtually, I’ve retweeted them, time to put a face to the awesomeness

2:00 – 3:00 – Marc Benioff and Parker Harris Q&A – I’ve heard that this is a great session and a good close to Dreamforce

Friday night – I should probably take my family out to dinner to close the week.  Unless something good is going on, at which point plans may change

GTD

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

I heard about this on the Arkus podcast about a month ago and was looking for a new book so I figured I’d give it a shot. My baby is also interfering with my reading schedule but I can honestly say that I’m really enjoying it and getting a lot of ideas out of it to improve how I organize my life. I recommend it to anyone.

What I’m really thinking of doing is probably reading it a second time shortly afterwards, and then also trying to tailor my dev org to make this work.  Trying to utilize Salesforce for tracking my GTD activities dovetails quite nicely with the overall objective of my blog so expect some upcoming posts on that.

I’m also in the process of building a new office, might as well start everything out on the right foot.  I’ve been wanting to read up on this topic for some time, listening to the Arkus CloudFocus Weekly Podcast just helped pick the right one.

Posts moving forward

I set out trying to use this blog to show how I use Salesforce for my own life, and I’ve done lots of posts on that over time, but Salesforce has come out with so many new things like Process Builder and improvements to Login Flows that I’ve been caught up in showing off the cool stuff. Moving forward I’m going to try and strike a bit more of a balance again. I want to get back to optimizing Salesforce for things like:

  1. Expense Tracking including Receipts
  2. Vacation Planning
  3. Other areas where I find myself tracking just about anything somewhere else
  4. Items my wife would find useful as well
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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this knowledge in a blogpost.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information. You inspire me a lot 🙂

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