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 http://bit.ly/lightning-org to create a new Developer Edition org (free, just for you, forever…you’re welcome!) Using this bit.ly 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:
bit.ly/lightning-connect-tutorial (Start at Module 2)
bit.ly/process_lightning_tutorial (Start at Module 3)
bit.ly/lightning-components-tutorial (Start at Module 3)
bit.ly/app_builder_lightning (Start at Module 3)

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

Dreamforce by the Numbers

First I did the Dreamforce Alphabet, and now it’s my Dreamforce by the Numbers.

One – Dreamforce is ONE awesome conference!

Two – There are way too many great breakout sessions to choose from but my top TWO, must attend sessions are: Michael Farrington’s Comedy of Clouds and Formula Tips & Tricks featuring Steve Molis. Fair warning though, be prepared for loud laughter, thunderous applause and the occasional “F-bomb”!

Three – 2014 will be year THREE for me hosting the Newbie Reunion Breakfast. Learn more about that here: http://goo.gl/5bwkBa

Four – Dreamforce covers FOUR days, and this will be year FOUR for me attending Dreamforce.

Five – Take FIVE minutes out of every hour at Dreamforce to introduce yourself to someone near you. Go on, Dreamforce attendees don’t bite, and you’ll never know who you might meet, and what you might learn if you don’t say “Hi, I’m Eric. Is this your first Dreamforce?” (Of course I would suggest you use your real name, and not mine!)

Six – Samanthia Achuff, Erica Kuhl, Matt Brown, Phoebe Venkat, Eanna Cunnane & Elna Miller are SIX key Salesforce.com people in the Success Community you should get to know.

Seven – The number of hours of sleep you should be targeting each night at Dreamforce is SEVEN. Your actual results may vary (widely) but try to be well rested each morning.

Eight – The number of meals you are likely to eat during Dreamforce. I know the math doesn’t work out…4 days, 3 meals a day should be 12, but this is Dreamforce. I’ll bet you’ll not have time between sessions for a real lunch or not wake up early enough for a real breakfast every day!

Nine – Nine Salesforce MVPs you should make a point to meet while at Dreamforce: 1. Sarah Deutsch – her story is inspiring; 2. Matt Bertuzzi – if you’re on Professional Edition, Matt’s your man with the answers; 3. Denise Carbone – she runs the Chicago User Group and has some serious skills; 4. Leyna Hoffer – one of the first 500 Certified Admins and runs the Twin Cities User Group; 5. Rhonda Ross – not only a Salesforce MVP, but also the San Diego User Group leader for both the Salesforce user group but also the Marketo user group; 6. Michael Farrington – not only is he a dual MVP (Salesforce.com and Force.com MVPs) but he also manages his girlfriends using the force.com platform and he’s ‘kind of a big deal’ at Dreamforce; 7. Tal Frankfurt – a four-time MVP and founder of Cloud For Good; 8.  Bill Greenhaw – he’s the guy responsible for there being less of people at Dreamforce – he founded the DF’14 Health and Weight Loss Challenge;   9.  Steve Molis – He IS the Answers KING.  Who here hasn’t had a question answered by Steve?  Come on, admit it, you owe Steve a beer, or two

Ten – The number of Starbucks locations within a mile radius of Moscone Center. (If you’ve ever attended Dreamforce before you’ll understand the importance of this!) Disclaimer – this was a guess…I did not make any measurements.

What’s your lucky Dreamforce number?  Tweet it using hash tag #DF14FavNumber 

Are you looking for some Salesforce.com training?

As the leader of a Salesforce.com User Group since 2010, my biggest challenge has been finding content that provides relevant and helpful information to the members of the group. Our last meeting we had presentations by two business analytics partners of Salesforce.com. The group told me they wanted more analytics, so I began searching. That’s when I discovered Stony Point.

I recently coordinated and participated in Stony Point’s Introduction to Salesforce Analytics – Reports, Dashboards & Snapshots (SPRD-101A) course, along with several coworkers and many other members of the Southern Indiana Salesforce.com User Group. The entire experience, from the first interaction via email to the culmination and completion of the training session was outstanding. Stony Point provided great customer service, responding very quickly to my many inquiries about course cost, detailed curriculum, and scheduling the on-site training to our convenience.

I was equally impressed with the facilitator they provided us with. Beth Ann began the class by introducing herself, giving us a brief history of her qualifications and then asked the participants to do the same. She then dove right into the course. She did a great job making it very interactive, calling each student by name as they had questions, or when she was asking for real-life use case examples. She kept everyone engaged in the training session by injecting humor and some of her personal experiences.

The audience she was teaching at this session ranged from the true novice, who had never logged into Salesforce.com before to full blown certified Administrators and Developers. Nearly everyone indicated to me after the class that they gained knowledge of things they felt they could take back to their organizations and implement. It was a great success, and worth every penny.

I highly recommend Stony Point for your Salesforce.com training needs.

20130711-095413.jpg

About Stony Point: Stony Point is a leading provider of Salesforce training for end users, administrators, developers and consultants. Stony Point develops and delivers training classes throughout the world for customers of all sizes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. All classes are conducted by a live instructor, offered publicly and privately and students may attend either virtually or in-person. Please visit StonyPoint for complete details on what they offer.