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Geoff.Dreamforce@gmail.com – I’d do it again

df15

*Hint – not a real email address*

This is a quick post to show you guys why I decided to cut yet another completely free Developer Edition of Salesforce for the sole purpose of attending and functioning at Dreamforce this year.

Even though I consider it a strength, my wife would say that I’m slightly compulsive when it comes to planning itineraries, especially around travel.  The more I looked at the Dreamforce15 app the less comfortable I got with relying solely on it for my travels.  Hopefully everyone gets to see a few reasons why getting more than one developer org can be helpful, even for small and short use cases like this

The Dreamforce15 App

DreamforceApp

So don’t get me wrong, I used this app a lot and I had it side by side with my Salesforce1 app open to my special geoff.dreamforce@gmail.com edition.

Pros

  • I used it every day to check the food schedule
  • It had all the sessions in it so I could see what was on at any time
  • It was the “System of Record” if you will, so when my session location got changed at the last minute, I didn’t need to worry about writing down the new location because I knew it would be in here

Cons

  • I don’t know why it kept crashing, but it kept crashing.  Drove me nuts.
  • I couldn’t add my own information (more on that later)
  • I found the list of sessions overwhelming at times, even just looking at the ones I had favourited

My Salesforce1 App

MySchedule

See all those green stars?  Those are all the things I had in my geoff.dreamforce@gmail.com instance that I couldn’t put in the Dreamforce15 app because they weren’t true sessions.  So that was my calendar for the week, that was my focus.

I’m sure some people are wondering why I didn’t just use my regular gmail calendar and honestly, there are a few reasons:

  • There is enough crap in there already, all sorts of recurring reminders that I wasn’t going to do anything with anyway while I was in SF.
  • I wasn’t sure how the time difference was going to mess with it, and wanted no part of dealing with that.  This took me 10 minutes to set up, which is way less time than would have been spent sorting out time differences in a calendar.  Since Salesforce calendars don’t change time zones with you, I knew I would be free and clear on this.
  • Just look at it – it’s clean, it’s easy, and it’s my focus for the week.  Nobody can put anything else in there.  Somebody wants to invite me to dinner, cool, I like food, but it’s not being committed to my calendar of record unless I say so.
  • Each day I could pop in and I had just a nice clean view of what was on the agenda for that day.  It was perfect and I’ll definitely do it again for next year.

Daily

Other things I used it for

  • I created all my example data with movies and actors for my session on Cross-Filters.  Realistically I would have created a new dev org for that anyway to avoid any strange behaviour and just start clean, but this made it even easier
  • I saved my presentation there.  You know the great thing about the cloud?  It doesn’t require a USB stick that you could lose.  You know what’s nice about a free dev org?  It’s in the cloud.
  • I used Chatter as a quick dumping ground for ideas for later.  Again, it’s clean and isolated, I can come back to it later, which I did.  Those quick actions are your friend when you are running between sessions or waiting for a light to turn.
  • I put my itinerary, confirmations, and passport numbers in there as well for safekeeping in case anything happened.  It didn’t, so I deleted them afterwards.  They always say you should make copies of your travel documents in case you lose them, this seems like a pretty good place to leave them, beats pieces of paper in a backpack that I’m just as likely to lose

Notes

  • This Dev Org is actually an Admin Playground which is something new, basically the same for now, but I’m told will be different from a true dev org over time.  I’m curious to see how that plays out
  • If you are going to use Dev Orgs a lot, and travel, make sure you don’t enable SMS based identification.  It’s not worth the money to get the text message in another country.  I learned that the hard way when I was in the caribbean in the spring.  Stick with email based confirmation for any org you’ll need overseas, or at least switch it off before you go away.  Easiest way to switch it off?  Delete your mobile number from your profile.  #Done
  • Did you know you can have more than one org linked to your Salesforce1?  For those that didn’t, get on that.  I’m sitting on 6 right now, all on my phone, and I can toggle between them.  As an inside tip – set your profile picture to something meaningful with each Dev Org, that way you can keep them straight.  You’ll thank me later

SF1

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4 Comments

  1. YES YES YES! ….I don’t know why it kept crashing, but it kept crashing. I gave up sending the logs.

    I was particularly annoyed this year because they did away with the iCal export of sessions. In years past I used this in order to import all my sessions into my personal calendar. I then color coded; green = enrolled, yellow = favorites. I could then add my personal items in blue (dinner with a friend, vendor party, etc).

    The dreamforce app didn’t allow me to import personal events and the new calendar link piece was only enrolled sessions (different than ical in years past).

    I may steal your idea for next year, instead of using a personal calendar. I’m thinking I could also add each venue (AT&T park etc) as accounts with an address and be able to click to google map.

    • geoffreyflynn

      October 19, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Keith. They had the iCal briefly and then it disappeared so I’m not sure what happened there.

      Dev Orgs actually don’t support the OOTB google maps capability on addresses for some reason, which is annoying. I still hope they will remedy that at some point. I haven’t tried replicating it with Visualforce components yet but it’s on my list of activities.

      I look forward to seeing how many people do this next year and hopefully I get some good feedback again. I wrote the post thinking it was something a few people might find useful but it looks like a lot of people are keen to try it next year which is pretty cool.

  2. This is great! I’m going to have to try this for next year! Did you key in your schedule on the Salesforce calendar, or did you import your calendar somehow then delete the events you didn’t want in Salesforce?

    • geoffreyflynn

      October 15, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks Brent!

      I keyed it in manually. I used the process as a way to de-enroll in a few things as I saw the blocks of time start to fill in and evaluated the distance between venues, along with remembering some of my other obligations. It was a great opportunity to de-clutter.
      In terms of import, I hadn’t ever bothered to put it in a different calendar other than what was in the Dreamforce tab on the community, and the app. It never even hit my Google calendar, and that’s the only other one I have.

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