I planned this post for a while and at the end didn’t write it, as I felt nobody would be interested in. But then Salesforce celebrated 1000 community groups and asked people to share „why“. Here is my why.
I’m an introvert
Might be hard to see this, but it is true. Put me in a room full of people where I don’t know anyone and I’ll leave soon, not really that guy who start the talk.
When I learnt a while ago that the best cure is to approach speakers or organiser I solved my problem at some events. But what about the others? Let’s be on that „other“ side and people will come, we will have a great chat and I’ll be comfortable.
Guess what – it works! It works that good that I usually don’t even have time to speak with everyone I want to speak with. That’s why I really enjoyed our latest meeting with BBQ, because I had plenty of time (still didn’t have time to speak with everyone I wanted :-))
I want to learn
Eric Dreshfield said it really nicely on the video I saw at last Dreamforce (and which sadly isn’t publicly available) – I have fun, I meet people, I learn a lot and it doesn’t look like a work.
I also heard it either from Padak or Filemon – when I want to learn something, I’ll make meetup and invite people, who will explain it to me.
It also has some rules, which Padak nicely listed (in Czech) and there are companies who take meetups as a way to draw new people, which (sorry PwC) is something I try to skip as much as possible (we even don’t use PwC offices just to be sure that there is no link).
I want to show others what it is
My first community event was probably Surf Force and it was super awesome. The main reason – there were like 50 people, I was able to have a quick chat with most of them and then I met them on any other conference. I immediately had someone who I can chat with and who can introduce me further.
Dreamforce, TrailheaDX, World Tours are awesome, but all those smaller conferences are even better to me, because I’m able to absorb all those new faces.
And that’s the reason why I decided to organise CzechDreamin – to show people here, what an awesome community exist outside Czech Republic and that it is worth to travel abroad. You might start with a conference and then – before you know it – you will mix your holidays with community groups meetings in the final destination, to learn new things and meet new people. People, who will tell you even more about the country, people you’ll be able to contact in case you have a question in an area they are expert in.
Giving back is the most selfish thing you can do for your career
He spoke about things like forced learning, sense of responsibility, meeting people who will inspire you, exposure to new opportunities, became MVP, your brand and karma. And you know what? He was right, but at the same time I don’t feel that any of those things is the reason why you should do it.
We have 4 groups in Prague, I heard that 5th is just being established. Get involved is as easy as attend one of them, ask the organiser to introduce you to a few people and before you know it you have a few new friends, which can help you on you way in Salesforce ecosystem.
We not used to high-five others or hug people, but I’m really happy that Zdenek gave me a few years ago the latest impuls and Alena joined me as co-leader, with whom I can share my bad ideas.
If there would be competition about the most awaiting conference of the year, YeurDreamin would win. They started the planning a year and half ago, team grow and grow bigger to around 10 people, who regularly met and planned together, did fantastic job in drawing attention and at one point it even looked like they will draw the famous Steve Molis to present. Which didn’t happen at the end, but there were so many other great speakers, that it wasn’t problem.
At the end 350 people met at Amsterdam for a day full of learning in 5 parallel tracks, each session lasting between 20 – 50 minutes. And I (with my colleague Adam) were lucky enough to present as well.
Before the conference
I just found out that I bought my tickets in November last year, that’s how in advance they built momentum.
Several Slack channels appeared along the way, I was lucky enough to be invited even to the one where they planned the whol event. Awesome insights. Then another for speakers and one more for attendees. Plus community created WhatsApp group, so there was so many channels to monitor, that at the day of the conference I gave up and just enjoyed myself.
Dinner for speakers was great, I met a lot of new people and had time to chat with those, I didn’t see for a while. Just not enough time, I forgot to ask so many questions I wanted to.
Badge, shirt and printed agenda plus warm welcome was the first we got when entering the venue. Backdrop for selfies en route to the main hall, with something for breakfast and plenty of sponsors to talk with. Surprised how many of them they got at the end, I just wish to have at least half of them for CzechDreamin.
And then kick off the day. Crazy video call with Rene and Zayne, which just a minority enjoyed – those who follow the cats‘ story on Twitter. And shortly after we went for all those great sessions.
I enjoyed how to build meaningful connections with David Liu and Stephanie Herrera. It is all about sharing, giving back and then other will consider you an expert and want to meet with you. Plus a lot of other benefits from simple sharing knowledge.
Sadly I missed Christine’s tips for solo admins, luckily every single session has been recorded and presentations will be provided as well, so I need to find some time to check it out. Because she is awesome every single time.
Just a quick look into Ines’ session about Social Studio and off to the discussion about war for talent, which continued on David’s note – year of experience doesn’t matter, it is about involvement, ethic and everyone needs to look beyond the CV.
I feel I know workbench so I skipped Louise’s session, I completely missed Melissa’s session about recipe for impact first NGO and went to Keisha’s talk why Pardot is the next big things for your career. It is easy – as an Salesforce admin you know all the automation and power of platform and just need to learn a bit of marketing mumbo jumbo. This mix of technical and marketing people is hard to get (which I can confirm as I’m one of them) and you will be wanted.
And somewhen during the morning we delivered with Adam our session about Salesforce DX and practical experience with it. We spoke about the good and bad and got a bunch of questions later on during the day. Crossing my fingers for all of you to switch to it and see the benefits.
Lunch in Dutch style – bread with cheese plus salad on side. I loved the simplicity, for CzechDreamin we will probably serve bread and salt 🙂
During every single break I tried to see sponsors – to learn what they offer or get some for CzechDreamin. QualityClouds do awesome things to monitor code quality and other things, Copado support DevOps, Elements.Cloud is not about documenting your SF org but about teaching users how to use it as well, PDF Butler looks like great competitor to S-Docs and DocuSign Gen, introhive we use at PwC and it is great how it can find the relations between people, SharinPix doesn’t have to be introduced – they do awesome things with pictures – and Duplicate Check is here if the standard one doesn’t work well enough for you.
Afternoon is here, I’m skipping the musical and am off to David’s presentation how admins can code too and how he prepared 15 weeks long training plan to anyone willing to learn.
I also enjoyed playing a „bingo“ at Elements.Cloud presentation – have you seen any of these at your clients? I feel I saw at least half of them, definitely need to find time (finally) to play with this app.
Going probono is a big topic at Salesforce world and its 1:1:1 philosophy. I agree with Trisha, that free probably isn’t the right approach, because what is free isn’t good enough, I like when NGO pays for your work, doesn’t matter how much and in which form. Trisha travels world to help NGOs and I cannot wait to have her at Prague and have another great chat with her.
Dan Appleman stopped by at Prague shortly at the beginning of June for our BBQ user group and now we met again. He spoke about tests, why they are important even though you do the click-not-code approach and much more.
And with that it was over. Actually not yet, as the next was awesome key note by Ladies be Architects. 4 ladies, 4 stories, all connected together, that it made sense. This key note also made YeurDreamin the first dreamin conference, which had key note speaker from the community.
Over. Over? Not at all, price drawing, time for dinner and chat with others. I learnt that The Customer Link sent everyone who did a certification from the beginning of the year to YeurDreamin (anyone plan to do the same for CzechDreamin? We might give you some discount!), I spoke with Don Robins, catch up with Barry Hughes again, Ines and Helen Garcia, Jessica Langston made it to Amsterdam as well. For some reason I missed Meighan Brodkey and I forgot to mention plenty other, who I spoke with that day. Yeah, still call myself introvert.
I had no plan for Saturday morning, maybe some sightseeing. But the weather was really bad, so when I learnt about Salesforce Saturday, I went there. Cafe, plenty of people from the community, who either have a chat or do some trailheads. I didn’t bring computer, so I had a chat with a few and finally had time to say hello to David Liu.
Saturday afternoon was dedicated to conference for community group leaders. We started with a small survey, which showed that every group is different, on average we are getting anything between 1 – 60 attendees on our meetings.
Then we learnt how to engage with local Salesforce offices and other partners, that success managers might be the right contacts and how awesome cooperation they have in Netherland.
Sadly I missed Aaron’s presentation how to grow the group, but with 270+ members in Prague Administrator Group we just need to make sure more people attend our meetings. Actually we still need to persuade partners and Salesforce to spread the words to other customers, as I still wish to see more of them, as I really think there is value in it for them.
Debate with Jessica about everything around community group, about the advisory board, all the good and bad. That half an hour went by super quickly, as everything these days.
Ankit had a great talk about giving event a theme, because then it is easier for you to find speaker and because people know why they should come. And you can also have several different views on the same topics. Exactly the way I prefer it as well, so our next meeting will be about … will see, but it might happen at the beginning of September.
Piers spoke about working with volunteers, about V2me, which is alternative of V2MOM and is really about „what is in for me“. Amanda spoke about effective event manager and the important part Excel plays in it 🙂
And final word from Jessica again about the future of community group and much more. Sadly no recording here, so what I don’t remember is forgotten.
Party, chat, food, cake, drinks. Luckily the nights are warm in Amsterdam and light till late, so I made it to the bed just before midnight to get some rest and fly back home on Sunday.
What is in for me?
I was really happy that Adam made the presentation with me and that he saw what these events are about. Now he should spread the word inside PwC, I’ll do my best to organise CzechDreamin and I really hope that I’ll see more and more people from Czech Republic on these conferences. Because there are a lot to learn and share.
He spoke about importance of integrations, how companies are getting more and more connected, but there was one slide which I liked the most – the different types of integrations on Salesforce platform.
MuleSoft when you need to orchestrate multiple APIs, Salesforce Connect when you want to reference the external data but don’t really want them in Salesforce, Heroku Connect because it might be easier to connect to Postgres, Platform Events when you want something in real time, Salesforce Customer 360 when you need to connect customer data from different systems and consolidate them or Salesforce API when you know best what you need.
And with that we passed the word to Patryk, who orchestrated the rest of the day. He split it into 3 parts – Application Networks, API lifecycle and Prototyping.
Application Networks was to me mostly introduction to the integration world. System APIs, Process APIs, Experience APIs and finally the Application Network, when you don’t have to connect systems point to point but they can communicate through network and don’t really know how to talk to each other. ESB in IBM world, nothing new to me.
But it is important to see the future, because with first integration you might be tempted to make it point to point, but that will block you in the future.
Anypoint Platform, which you can use to design the whole experience. And that’s the point where I occasionaly lost myself and had to find me again. Switching back and forth, different types of artefacts – at the end it wasn’t that hard, I just didn’t see the picture at the beginning.
We started at Sign-Up page, where anyone can start 30 days demo. MuleSoft Kernal (aka Community Edition) was thrown away (or I feel), you can download something and much more, which is usually too much to me, when you can survive with the web.
The whole process is pretty easy after all – you design, simulate, gather feedback and validate. As with everything else.
Anypoint Exchange has a tons of artifacts you can use – examples of connections to popular REST API, description of common data structure and much more. All of it can be linked and used in your API, with versioning.
MuleSoft uses RAML (RESTful API Modelling Language), which has pretty readable structure and the editor isn’t bad at all. Might be hard to remember all the defaults, so you can skip thing and know when you shouldn’t do it, but after all it shouldn’t be that hard to learn it. After all there is a certification which you might want to get – API Design Associate.
Fragments after fragments, linked together and at the end we had the data structure for the call. Somehow is looked odd, to write it by hand, when we have Swagger or Apiary and we should be able to reuse the documentation someone else already did, but whatever, it is probably possible to use them somehow.
I got lost again for a while, but found myself quickly. Mock service is something I know from Salesforce as well, so we designed the API and tested it. Or are we already in the Feedback phase? Lost again 🙁
Never mind, the designer is nice, we somehow had to enter the structure of the data again and then save as a new „type“. More and more typing, frankly, it scares me.
Feedback and Validate
Yeah, I got it. Not sure where in the spiral we are, but I understand, why it is important. I like the fact that you can comment on the Exchange, something maybe Keboola can invent 🙂 Or rather not, that would mean I have to reply to customers who uses my free Salesforce Extractor/Writer.
Now the fun begins. We have all those artifacts, API definitions (or is it the same) and we put it together into one big flow, which can have several (a lot of) steps and do crazy things. Obviously it can reuse information from previous steps, do some logic, iterate through variables, handle transformations. Pretty cool, you just need the imagination.
The deployment was pretty longer than I expected, but in real life it should run the old version till you deploy the new version, so there shouldn’t be any downtime. Nice.
The last topic – Catalyst, which should enable organisations to learn quicker. Accelerator for three large projects full of best practices and ready to go pieces.
Which somehow go together with MuleSoft.U courses, which are for free and you can take them any time you want. They are on my to-do list for a few months already, hope to finally get to them. You can also find some modules on Trailhead and I feel there will be more.
Would you want the presentations we saw during the day, here you go:
Pokud nemáte rádi čokoládu případně nechcete utrácet, tak raději dál nečtěte.
K Vánocům Ježíšek přinesl poukaz na čokoládovou degustaci a konečně jsem se dostal k tomu, abych vyrazil. Čekalo nás 12 + 1 vzorek, které jsme v průběhu dvou hodin poctivě ochutnali a většinou vychutnali. A aby to nebylo jenom o tom jídle, tak jsem se dozvěděli i něco o historii a výrobě čokolády a o různých výrobcích.
Jak se degustuje
Čokoláda se – dost překvapivě – degustuje podobně jako víno. Nejdřív ji člověk zkoukne, jestli není moc černá, což by značilo, že je spíš přepálená. I hodně hořká čokoláda je s odstíny červené a fialové, neměla by být černá.
Pak se jí dotkne – ta kvalitní hořká se v podstatě nerozpouští.
Poslech nás všechny rozesmál, ale prý se má poslouchat. Při zlomení, protože čokoláda se má lámat. A má krásně a silně lupnout, pokud se tak nějak oddělí, tak asi nebude nic moc.
Vůně je asi jasná, stejně jako chuť. Při degustaci se nekouše (ale jinak prý můžeme), ale nechává se roztávat na jazyku, aby se chutě rozlily hezky v celých ústech.
Co si budeme povídat, ten zážitek byl úplně jiný, než když ji rozkoušu a hned zapiju vodou 🙂
Mimochodem – degustovali jsme také Milku. Nelupne, na prstech se rozpustí, nevoní vůbec nijak a když ji zařadíte mezi ty ostatní tak zjistíte, že nemá ani chuť. Cítíte prostě sladkost, ale po ničem to nechutná. Prý je na ní obdivuhodné to, že obsahuje 58 % cukru, takže jim stačí jenom cca 40 % aby ten cukr udrželi u sebe a nerozpadl se, když rozbalíte tabulku.
12 čokolád, 12 výrobců, o pár jsem si něco zapsal.
Nejbližší výrobce je už na Zbraslavi a to co jsme ochutnali bylo moc dobré. Míšina čokoláda získala spoustu ocenění, vyrábí se v malém („jednou do měsíce nám přivezou tak 30 tabulek“) a … musíte to zkusit.
Ajala je pro změnu z Brna a taky jsme si pochutnali – dochuť brownies byla opravdu cítit, datle nejím takže ani moc nepoznám. Asi jsem v průběhu večera ochutnal i o kousek lepší, ale neuděláte s ní chybu, pokud si chcete přivézt něco z výletu 🙂
Willie’s Cacao je hrubší než všechny ostatní, protože Willie prý kupuje staré stroje, opravuje je a vyrábí na nich, takže nikdy není schopen dosáhnout té jemnosti nových mašin. K výrobě se prý dostal tak, že na dovolené byl u nějaké plantáže, která se shodou okolností prodávala, tak ji koupil a od té doby dělá čokoládu. Také o ní natáčí videa a napsal knihu s čokoládovými recepty.
Original Beans má hezký „give back“ program – za každou prodanou čokoládu zasází jeden kakaovník, obal je plně kompostovatelný, výnosy z prodeje jdou na podporu různých oblastí. A – ta čokoláda je výborná.
Prý jsou v podstatě jenom tři odrůdy kakaovníků:
Criollo, které roste na posledních pár místech na světě, je nejlepší, plné chuti, vyrábí se z něj jenom cca 5 % čokolády;
Forastero je nejčastější (80 % čokolád je z něj), ploché, takže nepřekvapí ani neurazí, výrazně větší lusky;
Trinierio je kříženec mezi těmi dvěma.
Boby z každé země chutnají jinak, venezuelské jsou prý víc hořké než vietnamské, takže i když máte stejné procento kakaa, tak jedna z nich může být víc hořká.
Že jsou mléčné, hořké a bílé čokolády víte, prý má přibýt i růžová, která se dělá ze speciálně vyšlechtěného kakaovníků, který šlechtili 13 let a chutná vlastně stejně, jenom jinak vypadá.
Když si kakaovník zasadíte u nás tak nic moc nevypěstujete. Prý potřebuje 36°C, 94 % vlhkost, hodně světla a přitom být ve stínu. Také to prý vypadá jako plesnivý klacek a až když vyroste do 190 cm tak začne vypadat jako strom a má listy. Plody nerostou na větvích ale na kmenu případně začátcích silných větví.
Vzhůru na nákupy
Na čokoláda.cz toho mají na výběr spoustu, vůbec nevím jak vybrat, takže jsem hned po degustaci zakoupil spoustu tabulek co jsme ochutnali, ať mám alespoň pro začátek. Pak se asi někdy zastavím v Husově 8, kde mají prodejnu, protože ty čokolády jsou krásné i na pohled a oni to mají všechno nachutnané, takže určitě dokáží poradit.
Kde vlastně nakupujete vy a která čokoláda je ten favorit, ať mohu ochutnat něco dalšího?
Organising conference is easy – you find place, attendees, speakers and sponsors and put it on one big heap. Done.
When I helped to coorganize first (and later) Sutol conferences, we found speakers amoung ourself. We realised we limit the diversity by it, but it was really hard to find speakers outside of our circle. Not a way I wanted to follow with CzechDreamin.
When the Salesforce Basecamps are organised, those partners who pay enough get slot to talk about something. Again, not a way I want to follow with CzechDreamin, as – to me – it doesn’t sound fair to partner and attendees. And I’m not alone in this thinking.
So when I started to organise CzechDreamin I knew, that we will open call for abstracts and hoped we will get enough traction to get some great speakers to submit their idea. Not many people here believed me.
Then we opened call for abstracts, got some absracts, I wrote to a few people, pretty sure others helped me to promote as well. I rather didn’t check our Salesforce till the very last day.
And then came the moment when we closed the call.
Easy, that’s what I thought.
I exported the session titles and abstracts out and the whole team marked how they like each session. 1 – 5 as in school. We did average and just after that I linked it to names.
Looks our job should be done by now, just choose those top 20 or how many fits into our schedule and we are done.
It wasn’t that easy. First of all some sessions overlap in content and it make sense to choose just one of them. But which one – the one with better points or the one with better speaker.
What about speakers who submitted more sessions and they are all great? So we prioritised with the intention of one session per speaker. Just to have the diversity.
Equality and balance
Then came the question typical in Salesforce community – what about equality? Is it important or not? After all we did a blind selection so the best won, should we take gender into account later or not? And if we have less women then men is it our fail that we didn’t reach out to so many of them? Or that we aren’t open enough? Or anything else?
Of course we also had to balance the sessions for the attendees we want. My ultimate goal at the beginning was to have some really deep dive session, as I felt from conferences I attended that the sessions don’t go deep enough. At the same time I wanted to make the conference open to beginners as well, to people who don’t want to get deep but still want to get deeper than on Salesforce organised events.
We also had to balance the topics. We got plenty of marketing sessions, development topics, basic admins and much more. 22 slots we have sudently feel not enough and I understand the whispers about YeurDreamin being multiday event next year.
I’m grateful for everyone who submitted their session, selecting those few we are able to host was one of the hardest thing I ever did. Something, I didn’t expect at the beginning.
Thank you everyone who submitted one more time. And for all of you – it is time to check the session at CzechDreamin and get your tickets.