Believe it or not, this was the very first developer-only conference I had ever attended. All I can say is “Wow!”. For those of you that haven’t attended a Salesforce.com conference lately…my oh my how things have changed. I attended Dreamforce in 2015 which was the first time I experienced Salesforce’s full embodiment of being a Trailblazer. Now, back in San Francisco nearly 2 years later, I felt like Moscone West had been transformed into a safari, hunting expedition, casual hike, and mountain lodge all in one cool package. They even handed out a “field guide” to guide attendees along the trail (Expo Hall). I almost forgot I was at a conference! Enough about that.
What I love most about attending these conferences is hearing about all of the new, cool stuff Salesforce has or is about to release. TrailheaDX 2017 did not disappoint. Here’s a brief recap of 2 of the major items that were announced:
One word…epic. Like many Salesforce developers, I have struggled, like most of us, with change management, testing, sandbox provisioning, version control, you name it. All of the challenges I faced with Java or .Net projects were just as prevalent with Salesforce projects. I can tell you that those challenges are about to get a whole lot easier with the introduction of SalesforceDX. I am a huge proponent of Agile development. While waterfall certainly has its place in the world, Agile is by far a much more effective methodology when developing on Force.com. SFDC’s dev tools have finally made the adoption of Agile 1000% easier. You can check out the nitty gritty in the link I provided but I implore you all…run toward this technology as fast as you can. I’ve already incorporated it into 2 AppExchange packages we are working on – 1 active and 1 in development – and it has already made my life exponentially easier in just a few days time.
Einstein Platform Services
AI is the future…period. I always jokingly refer to Google or Amazon as SkyNet. If you don’t get the reference, take a few hours this weekend and watch Terminator. The reality is, artificial intelligence technology is advancing at such a rapid pace it’s difficult to keep up with its capabilities but it is absolutely mind blowing in what it is capable of. Salesforce has packaged its major AI components into (surprise, surprise) an amazing API. While I won’t get into the details of what was announced in this post, I am amazed at how quickly any developer can train Einstein to learn how to behave in a matter of minutes and hours, then harness that AI power as part of custom developed application, all with the tools we are used to using every day. If you want to play around with Einstein, specifically Einstein Vision, check out the Cat Rescue Project Trail on Trailhead to see it in action. After attending that workshop at TrailheaDX, I was blown away with how easy and powerful Einstein is. And, it was neat hearing René Winkelmeyer (from Germany) pronounce it “Ein-shtein” for an hour and a half!
Also, a huge shout out to Leah McGowen-Hare who was one of, if not the most impressive keynote speakers I’ve ever witnessed. Her excitement about Einstein and SalesforceDX was infectious. Please Salesforce, can she do every keynote?
There are so many other cool, new features that were highlighted as well, including Platform Events, Lightning Data Services, Async SOQL, Big Objects, and External Services. I’ll be covering all of these in more detail in the coming days and weeks. But, for now, I am heading back to the trailhead!
What were your favorite TrailheaDX moments?