It Feels Like The First Time…

Despite the racy title, this is not one of those posts that you can’t read in front of your children. In this post I want to explore human nature, and try to explain what if feels like to be named an MVP.

In the spring of 2013, I got the email telling me I had been named an MVP for the first time. I was full of all sorts of emotions. I felt incredibly honored, very humbled, and 100% totally undeserving of such an honor. It was a rather odd day to begin with. I had shut off data on my mobile phone because I was on the last day of my billing cycle and was dangerously close to exceeding my data plan limit, so it wasn’t until lunch time when I connected my iPad up to WiFi when I noticed a few tweets telling me congratulations. I replied to one of them with a ‘for what?’ and the response I got was ‘check your email’. Oh, wow. Look, I’m an MVP now! Oh &*#^! What does that mean? What’s expected of me now? I was excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. Some of the MVPs were (and still are) heroes of mine. They post so much good stuff to the community, they help so many people solve problems, and all I did was start a user group and host a small regional user conference…so small that some user groups were bigger!

Fast forward a year. I was a little nervous about being renewed. I’m one of the few MVPs who hold zero certifications, and those seem to be gaining a lot more attention. I knew I should be trying to get certified, but I’m not an Admin or a Developer at my job. I’m simply the reporting and analytics guy. I build reports and dashboards all day long. Ok, I do more than that, I do have Admin rights, and I’m allowed to play the admin role, as long as I do it in the sandbox for testing. Once I’ve got things tested out and working as I would like, I pass it all over to our Admin who moves everything to production. I did organize a “little” regional event called Midwest Dreamin’ that seemed to be a success.  When I got the email telling me I was re-awarded the MVP title, all those same feelings came right back. I felt incredibly honored, very humbled, and 100% totally undeserving of such an honor.

2015 was no different.  I’m still not certified, although I did try the Admin certification exam once, and failed.  I also just finished participating in the Salesforce Certification Study Group on the Success Community, but I haven’t yet attempted the exam. I’m not quite ready to try it again. I’ve been too busy with work, planning Midwest Dreamin’ 2015, and helping my wife launch her new business to have the appropriate time to devote to studying and practicing in a Dev org.  I got the email again, stating that I’ve been renewed as an MVP yet another time. Needless to say, I was thrilled, but still, all those same feelings came right back. I felt incredibly honored, very humbled, and 100% totally undeserving of such an honor.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.

To all of the Community who has helped me, a very big THANK YOU. I couldn’t be where I am today without YOU!

Does Lightning Really Ever Strike Only Once?

Lightning Developer Week was kicking off as I was starting to write this post. As a User Group Leader, I’m absolutely thrilled with Salesforce has special events like this. It makes my job easier…I don’t have to go hunting for content or people to present at the meeting.

It All Started With a…No, Not a Kiss!

This time, it all started with a phone call from Reid Carlberg. I hadn’t talked to him since Dreamforce, so it was great to get caught up. But it was even better to hear him say, “I can get you Josh Birk to present at your meeting.” Sweet! Josh and I go way back…at least in Salesforce years, it’s way back. I first met Josh at the original Midwest Dreamin’ in Lousiville back in 2011.  He led a full day of developer training back then, so I knew he’d do an awesome job presenting for Lightning Developer Week.

The Bait and Switch.

The day after my phone call with Reid, I get an email from Mary Scotton wondering if it would be ok if she stepped in to present instead of Josh. No offense to Josh, but that’s a no-brainier for me. Of course it’s fine, I told her! Mary just happens to be one of my favorite Salesforce people. She’s very passionate about not only the platform but about women in technology, and since I’m the only male at my house except for our Boxer-Lab Yukon (Living with me: my wife Cindy, her 34 year old daughter Paula, our 13 year old daughter Bonnie,  our 16 year old granddaughter Tess, and our 13 year old granddaughter Hope. I should also note that I have another daugher, Allison, age 26, who is away at Graduate School.)  I seem to always be thinking about ways that my girls can improve their chances of future success.

A Sneak Peek.

Thursdays always seem to be the best days for the Southern Indiana User Group to meet, so I looked for an open conference room for March 12th to host a meeting. Hmm…now why does that date sound so familiar? Oh yeah…it’s my wife’s birthday, but that’s not the reason there wasn’t a conference room available. There’s a field sales training session going on that week. So…March 19th is. I wondered if I could still call it a Lightning Developer Week even if it was happening the week after. I quickly discovered that I wasn’t the only group holding a meeting during the Week After Lighning Developer Week. But what I also discovered is that Lightning Developer Week was kicking off on Saturday, and people were tweeting about it, and posting in the Success Community about it.

The Main Event!

 Thursday, March 19th arrived, I got the conference room all setup and filled a table with the awesome t-shirts that Salesforce provided for Developer Week swag and waited for Security to call and let me know my visitors were here. Now, I’d love to say I packed the house. I’d love to say that every single person who registered to attend showed up. Alas, this was not the case for this meeting.  I had a couple cancellations the day before, but was still expecting, and had enough pizza and snacks to feed about 20 people. On one hand, this was my worst meeting since the very beginning of the Southern Indiana User Group, as I only had 8 people show up. On the other hand, it was absolutely the BEST meeting since the group started back in 2010, simply based on the interactions between attendees and presenters.

It’s a TKO!

That’s a Technical Knock Out, for those who don’t follow boxing.  It was the most technical, developer-focused meeting of the Southern Indiana User Group, and it was a knock out because everyone there learned a ton! (And there really wasn’t much code shared at all. That’s the beauty of Lightning Process Builder, and Lightning App Builder. Drop and Drag, Clicks not Code!  Dare I say it, almost anyone can become a “developer”.

The Second Strike!

Are you at least curious now?  If you want to get hands-on with the tutorials, go to to create a new Developer Edition org (free, just for you, forever…you’re welcome!) Using this link will get you an org with Lightning App Builder enabled, and with the metadata for all four of the Lightning tutorials (allowing you to skip the install & config steps in the tutorials). And then you can go through the Lightning Tutorials: (Start at Module 2) (Start at Module 3) (Start at Module 3) (Start at Module 3)

When you are done, tweet me @ericdresh and use #LightningStrikes2X to tell me how you did!