Takeaways from a short Dreamforce

I came, I saw U2, I’m flying home.

My dreamforce is over, though today is a huge day with all of the product keynotes. Here are my initial takeaways this year, from the perspective of a declarative developer at 30,000 feet.

Lightning is maturing. Its no longer the lanky teenager than just shot up 18 inches. Feature parity on the key missing pieces (obscure stuff like campaign members) is coming in the next 2 releases, while Salesforce is delivering new complex functionality faster than ever. The power of the lightning platform is starting to shine. I will need to work to become fluent with the declarative side of lightning and to get sufficient understanding of how lightning components and the code side of lightning work.

AI is here, now The use cases (and the pricing) will evolve - but there are real applications now. Some that resonate with me are automatic logging of emails and automated generation of insights from social media and web analytics. I think companies with strong processes with good data will find success with lead scoring and predictive revenue. I’m curious what Einstein would do with data of lower quality - will it be able to recognize that the models are not strong, or will it give less insightful insights…tbd.

Sales and Service remain core The continued investment in the core platform is clear, with a strong roadmap and a clear vision to listen to the voice of the customer. The focus on retiring idea exchange points drives development priorities, and there is a good balance between the shiny and new and the trenches. The True to the Core session was as honest and open as ever. And had a knighting.

U2 are phenomenal The quality and depth of their sound, at an outdoor concert, was amazing but transportation was total madness at the end. i didnt doubt i would get home, but its lucky if (hopefully) nobody was injured. They need to plan for an afterparty next year, or perhaps do 25 smaller concerts and let folks choose where to go just like they select sessions.

Make time for yourself I only could join for 2 days this year. instead of going crazy trying to do everything, i planned 2 things i wanted to do each day, and left a lot of time to actually think, learn, and interact. This gets lost easily when you are running around always looking for whats next. I was conscious about slowing down and being present, and found that I was able to do and learn more. Dreamforce presents tremendous opportunities for personal growth, and its hard to take advantage of them when you are in a rush.

 
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