It's been a week now since Dreamforce came to a close, and although that week has been somewhat on the crazy side as well, it's been great to talk to friends about the experience, and I've been looking forward to sharing my personal highlights here.
Disclaimer: this isn't a summary of the technical revelations, so if that's what you're looking for I'd suggest reading Nicola's excellent summary on the Tquila blog—after finishing this post of course!
I last attended Dreamforce in 2010, and so I can't comment on the Developer Zone in 2011, but from what I heard and saw, it was beyond clear that this year took everything to a whole new level. I've indicated my thoughts on learning to code previously, but it was really great to see so many people taking part in the lessons available, learning to cut code on the the platform armed with solid books and experts on tap.
The Developer Zone 20 minutes before kick-off on Tuesday morning
The Unconference seemed to be particularly well received, and every time I walked past the area where code assessments were taking place it looked to be very busy. I can't even begin to speculate on what growth and features we'll see next year, kudos to all those involved in creating such an amazing environment.
The Developer Keynote
The Developer Keynote was easily the session highlight for my Dreamforce 2012 experience, and I'd wager that many others who were there would share my view. Developers are typically not enamoured with some of the marketing videos on display elsewhere, but we do appreciate seeing real, live demos. When Dave Carroll's camera button in his mobile app demo failed, he earned a round of applause; for both the honestly involved and the fact that everybody in that room felt, and knew, his pain.
One thing nobody could have helped but notice in the keynote was the number of people in the room—indeed the doors had to be close by the fire marshall due to reaching capacity—there can be no doubt that this is a development platform that is growing at an incredible rate. I'm pretty sure that next year the developer keynote is going to need a larger space!
Meeting Amazing People
Myself with Nick Tran (@tranmanyo
The first blog post I wrote related to force.com development was published on March 24th, 2010, and it's safe to say that I wasn't actively taking part in the development community at that stage, though clearly things were heading that way. Back then I was still new to the platform (with a few opinions which have subsequently changed considerably) and finding my feet to some degree, and actually I made a point of not using my Twitter account for discussing things related to my job.
Somewhere along the line things changed for a me in a big way, and definitely for the better; now the larger part of my interactions on Twitter concern force.com development. As a result, I've come into contact with a large number of incredibly smart, entertaining and engaging people from all over the planet, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of those people at Dreamforce. I'd love to list everybody individually, but I don't have the few days needed right now to sit here and type all the names out. I'd like to say thank you to everybody who I did meet for the inspiring conversations which helped make the week so fantastic.
This post could easily go on for a long time yet, but in the interest of brevity and your sanity, here are some of my other highlights and experiences:
- Finally getting a decent headshot thanks to Erica Kuhl (@ericakuhl) and BellaLu Photography
- Receiving a 'Coding is so 1998' button from Mike Gerholdt—a man with a great sense of humour
- Running into @Zacharyjeans right in the middle of one of the craziest hours he's ever likely to encounter
- Adam Seligman (@adamse) giving (shout-out to the Salesforce StackExchange site at the end of the Developer Keynote
- Meeting Parker Harris! It was heartening to hear Parker say that even today he's still cutting code