Salesforce, as a whole, is a brilliantly intuitive tool used to build applications in many different ways, for a variety of talent pools.
Arriving at a Salesforce conference is like accidentally taking a weird turn on the highway, and winding up in a cult town. An extremely enthusiastic, hyper-talented cult that ooze niceties, and make you want to drink the Kool-Aid. And there’s plenty of it here.
Salesforce users love Salesforce. And yet, those who adopt it are left feeling kind of like everyone who isn’t Kanye feels about Kanye. Except that Salesforce is doing for app development what Kanye West thinks he’s doing for music.
It’s easy to see why all of these people (thousands of attendees) are so exceptionally ecstatic about their Salesforce family; a lot of money comes in and falls out of this ecosystem, mainly due to the majority of Salesforce applications revolving around e-commerce.
While not there quite yet, Salesforce is aiming – and quickly arriving – at having 100 million app developers using Salesforce’s toolset. 5.5 million applications have been built and launched using Salesforce, turning out 4.2 billion purchases a day.
When Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff takes the stage at the Warfield theatre in San Francisco, a “Beatles-like” roar bursts from the crowd. This is a boss who is public facing, accessible, and absolutely adored by his employees. In fact, almost everyone who went up on stage to make a presentation during the keynote was met with at least some degree of cheer; these faces are well-known, and these people own their work/projects/teams. It’s slightly left of the norm for big tech companies to function this way.
I picture it like this: remember that moment when you were a child and you wanted to go to Disney World, and the thought crossed your mind that the best way to get what you want would be to work for Disney himself? Salesforce operates the way you’d wish that Disney would. That is why, out of all the amazing, and large tech companies in the world, Salesforce is one of few that throw their own conference. Two actually.
Dreamforce in the fall is a Salesforce-focused event, while the one I’m at now, TrailheaDX, is aimed more at those using the learning tool Trailhead.
Trailhead is a service that is fundamentally changing the way people can bridge the gap between needs experience and companies seeking experienced admin/developers. One of the videos shown during the opening keynote included interview clips with developers whom prior to learning the ways of Salesforce via their Trailhead education path, had never written a line of code, built an app, or designed a user experience. I feel like Trailhead is doing more for developers than nearly any institution can currently offer. Benioff made mention that they’re predicting over 5 million jobs for Salesforce developers will open up within the next year. This is making Trailhead the mouth-watering beverage of choice for those looking to get into application development.
The beauty of Trailhead is in it’s desire to further the skills of the people using the platform for the platform. When you design a education base with the goal of giving users a better grasp on the same product that inspires the creation of the curriculum, something oddly pure is born from that.
Built on the spine of an amazing product, Salesforce is putting a lot into the education and improvement of their developers. Using Trailhead, existing developers and beginners alike can learn the skills needed to create phenomenal consumer apps using the Salesforce program.
With the monetization of module components within the AppExchange, developers don’t even have to be consumer-focused and publically selling in order to do amazing business with their portal.
Thanks to a new Lightning build tool, code need not apply to your blockers list when stacking tools, integrating all needs, and forming a viable online, and public application.
On the show floor is a handful of special partners that share their affection of Salesforce, as well as share the innovations they’re making on the platform, or how they’re using it. A nearby Trailhead desk offers guests a look into the tools designed to improve the skills of Salesforce users. You can even earn an exclusive Trailhead badge – their digital bragging currency.
Back to the atmosphere. I’ve been to my fare share of conferences, and taken part in many events revolving around various tech worlds, but nothing really feels like a Salesforce event. The only reason I bring this up is because I feel like it has a direct correlation with the way Salesforce is shaking up the start-up world, and dominating a market that they continue to innovate within.
Saying you’re part of the Salesforce family is kind of like saying that you use Google Chrome. It’s a brand, and a toolset that is affecting and facilitating so many people right now. And it shows no sign of slowing in the slightest.
Sure, most of the people here are looking to learn tips and tricks from seasoned Salesforce developers, but here I stand, surrounded by what can only be described as a feverishly devoted user-base, and I’m impressed. The platform, the family, and the Trailhead, Salesforce as a whole is impressive.