Friday, August 22, 2014

The Benefits of Sending Your Developers to Dreamforce

Yes, it's that time of year again already... the period of all-out crazy as we run up to Dreamforce. With less than two months to go I sincerely hope that anybody reading this blog has already got their tickets, but if you haven't, or if you haven't bought them for your developers, then I want to highlight some of the reasons as to why it's all but optional.


It goes without saying but Dreamforce offers an incredible learning opportunity. Out of hundreds of sessions targeted at developers it is trival to find a multitude of sessions that are not only relevant to your role, but also pitched at your level of competence. The truly hard part is picking which to attend as once you get into the planning tool you'll find that your days fill up rapidly. Dreamforce is the number one place to learn about developing on the platform, and that counts for double when it comes to technologies that you may use with the platform but are not covered extensively by the standard training and documentation. If your team uses various Javascript frameworks for instance, you can guarantee that there'll be some experts on hand, leading sessions and making themselves available for general discussion.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jayvin Arora on Troubleshooting Sharing in Salesforce

Today's post is a guest post from Jayvin Arora, a certified developer and the leader of the Philadelphia Salesforce User Group.  Jayvin has been writing a series of blog posts titled "A review of Record Level Security for Admins and Developers" (see parts One, Two and Three) and I highly recommend reading them.

Jayvin is often found hanging out on the #salesforce IRC channel on Freenode, and you can find him on Twitter too @JayvinArora.

Troubleshooting Sharing

Typically, you'll have two troubleshooting scenarios to deal with in Salesforce:
  1. Why can a user access a record?
  2. Why can't a user access a record?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Easy Handling of Static Resources with MavesMate

I've been using MavensMate exclusively (ok, minus the odd developer console usage) for the development of all our products at S. P. Keasey and Proximity Insight, and I can't recommend it highly enough; if you listen to Code Coverage it's obvious how much the community loves it too.

Resource Bundles FTW

Personally I find many aspects of MavensMate to offer productivity bonuses, the most obvious one being that your UI doesn't get locked out while saving code to the server cloud, and deployments with stored deployment targets are a dream. Somehow, despite doing a lot of Visualforce work with Javascript and friends I'd totally missed out on resource bundles which have been available for a good 18 months now. Essentially a resource bundle is a group of files which are contained in a zipped static resource.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Salesforce Summer '14: Four Wins For Developers

One of the great things about working on the Salesforce1 platform is that there are three releases a year, and you can be sure your customers will be running the latest release because they don't get a choice! The upshot of this is developers never have to wait long for new features to come along, and even when they're smaller and incremental fixes, they're always worth their weight in gold. So here four features currently on the horizon that I'm particularly excited about.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Introducing Code Coverage: The Podcast for Developers

The ecosystem has always been well served by the community with innumerable blogs, articles and podcasts around to help others learn more about the platform. One hole that has been evident though is the lack of a podcast aimed at developers, so I'm proud to say that four weeks ago Steven Herod and myself launched Code Coverage, which is our humble attempt to begin filling that hole.

The Goal

In essence the plan is to produce content that's of interest to developers by talking to developers, both well known in the community and those who aren't so public, in a bid to learn what people are doing with the platform, what they love about it, and what tools they use. Since the scope of the platform is so large these days it seems like everybody has a different experience of working with it, and the number of different technologies available seems to increase on a daily basis. In short, we want people to tell their stories (with a healthy serving of technical detail), because we always find them interesting and we hope others will too.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why The & Microsoft Partnership Excites Me

Generally I aim to stick to a fortnightly schedule on this blog, but from time to time breaking news dictates that I throw that structure out the window, and this is one of those occasions. and Microsoft have announced "a strategic partnership to create new solutions that connect’s customer relationship management (CRM) apps and platform to Microsoft Office and Windows so customers can be more productive".

Why I Care

I'm a Windows Phone user. People who meet me face to face tend to know this, because I can't help but mention how good I think is. I'm not a massive Microsoft fan and I use a Mac day to day because I prefer *nix environments and for the most part things just work, but I do have a Windows 8.1 hybrid machine and I find it enjoyable to use for the most part, a few quirks aside.

Windows Phone 8.1 (not to be confused with Windows 8.1) is, in my opinion, a top-class mobile operating system. I've always found iOS to be a bit too simplified for my liking, and personally I find the latest style changes to be horrendous. I used to use Android phones but switched to a Lumia 920 out of mere curiosity when I needed to get a new contract, and I fell for it straight away. I'm now on my second Lumia (the 1020) and I can't get enough of it; the camera is simply astonishing and if you're into photography I really don't know why you'd pick something else. I recently used it as my only camera on holiday in India (I left the DSLR at home) and was not disappointed.

Hand-held, low lighting conditions are not an issue with the Lumia 1020.

There seem to be plenty of people who write off Windows Phone without a second thought, usually spouting something along the lines of "it doesn't have any apps", and it drives me kind of crazy. I've got nearly all the apps I need, I use Evernote, Expensify and Spotify and many more on a regular basis.

Nearly All The Apps?

There has been one app missing from my phone, and that is Salesforce1. This is about to change.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Advanced Developer Certification Experience (501) - Boris Bachovski

Today's post is a guest post from Boris Bachovski (Twitter handle @Bachovski), a good friend of mine, an ex-colleague, and a great developer is a regular fixture at the Melbourne Developer User Group. Boris has recently run the gauntlet that is the Advanced Developer Certification, and given that developers are always on the look out for more information on the certification I thought it'd be great to get some further insight on the topic.

The Advanced Developer Certification (501)

I'm sure you've already read many blog posts at this stage regarding getting DEV501 certified, but according to the stats on other blogs it looks like that this kind of blog posts have the highest number of visits, which tells me that there is a lot of interest around it... Having said that, I decided to write up a post and share some thoughts based on my personal experience while going through the certification process itself.

At this point in time, I have completed and submitted all 3 parts of the exam and I am waiting on judges to evaluate it, score it and communicate through the results to me, which unfortunately takes a while (around 8 weeks since there is really a lot to be reviewed and the high demand of registered users).

Let's just quickly recap the components of the exam as a whole. There are 3 parts essentially:
  1. Multiple choice exam
  2. Programming assignment
  3. Essay