Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Mind Over Matter: Low Code Love

It's no secret that I'm a fan of low code solutions. While I love dabbling in some html as much as the next person, and I'm looking forward to the day when I join a RAD Women Code cohert, for now I'm 100% no code.

So of course when Salesforce announced their Low Code Love event, it got me thinking about what low code means to me... Chatting with the awesome Gillian Bruce on the subject, the words "Empowering,  Equalising, and Fun" came to mind. But what do I mean by that?

My favourite thing about the Salesforce Community are the truly incredible people I've been fortunate to meet as a result. They are always happy to help you figure out a problem, including helping you brainstorm a low code solution. Take Automation Hour as an example - a bi-weekly webinar focused on process automation solutions, presented by members of the community.

And it was during a recent catch up call with my good buddy Aleks Milic Radovanovic that a light bulb went off. We were talking about the requests we get from our companies as Admins, and our approach to dealing with them. We chatted through our processes for getting to the root cause of the request, not just "creating a new field".

Low code solutions don't just give us the power to "build cool apps", they give us the power to truly change how the companies we work with do business. Because that's the thing - the true power of a low code solution is the power to improve your company's business processes.

As #AwesomeAdmins we learn how to use low code tools, but the real value is learning when to use them, and quite honestly when to say no. And this can sometimes be difficult - our bosses pay a lot of money for us to learn how to use Salesforce, and as you share your enthusiasm for the low code solutions you now know how to use, they may ask for fields here and there, but sometimes you really do need to say no.

Being a truly #AwesomeAdmin and Business Analyst comes down to understanding what needs to be done, rather than what's being asked. This can take a while to get the hang, but the good news is thinking this way sets you up to start thinking as an Architect someday.

So whether you're empowered through use of low code solutions, you find them equalising, or you enjoy them, just remember to use your Admin super power wisely, and keep on enjoying that low code love!


Soundtrack
Mind Over Matter - Anthony Ramos 

Friday, 20 March 2020

#AwesomeAdmins, this is our time to shine.

Things are changing very quickly. The way we are doing business is changing literally by the day at this stage. I've been thinking about what to write about - a guide to working remotely, a list of favourite songs and tv shows, but as I thought about it more, and about how I've been able to change things at my company in just over a week, it finally came to me.

Awesome Admins everywhere, it is our time to shine. Even if you don't work remotely, and even if you don't have job functionality outside being a Salesforce Admin, you have the power to be to help your users and your company as we begin to navigate our "new normal".

Last year I was lucky enough to attend London's Calling and saw a presentation from the wonderful Lizz Hellinga about how Admin's are Critical Change Agents, and it really stuck with me. With the current climate, the time has come for us to step up.

I checked in with Lizz to hear how she's dealing with things at the moment, and here's what she shared - "Admins are at the heart of helping companies adjust as they understand the data structure and can pull data together quickly to help businesses act. I've had to work closely with end users to get data updated to meet the daily demand as the situation unfolds. I even had an open office hours for one client to help the end users update data for leadership."

As Admins, we're old hats at managing updates, new release features and new apps, and now is the time to transfer over that knowledge and to offer some guidance. For me, becoming an Admin has been so much more than a journey of learning how to utilise Salesforce for my company. It's come with many learning and collaborating opportunities that in turn have helped me shape this for my company.

Working in Financial Services, my users are generally late adopters, so when the time came for us all to work remotely, I was able to push through some implementations that I had been running pilot projects of. Programs like Zoom and Teams that might sound necessary, but the evolution of my use of both of them is from my use of Salesforce and the learning opportunities presented along the way.

But of course, aside from branching out, there's plenty of ways to help out from within the platform too - can you help create an app that helps your business adapt? or along the line of what Lizz said, can you stay on top of things from a reporting standpoint and help leaders better understand their constantly changing data? or my personal favourite, run an open office hours to help your users? 

Additionally, Salesforce is helping you make things a little easier on your users, by offering quip free until September. So Admins - now is the time to check in with your users and see if there are ways you can help them adapt to the change in the way we're doing business. We're all in this together, and now is your time to shine and use those skills that Lizz talked about in her presentation to offer guidance for your users even in a small way. 

Lizz and I at London's Calling 2019.
Bonus Community side project...
Being very involved in the Salesforce Community is something I'm quite proud of, and so when I saw someone post on social media about a fun little way to help my community, I decided to take it on for myself. A friend received a note in his mailbox asking him to join a facebook group of neighbours to help each other our in this weird time of need. I decided to do the same, and so hubby and I went around our neighbourhood last night putting notes in mailboxes, and the group is now successfully up and running! Turns out it's actually turned into a bit of a movement.

Stay safe out there!

PS tune into London's Calling today for some amazing virtual content!
Also check our Lizz Hellinga's company, Montage Learning.

Soundtrack
(one of the greatest fake songs of all time)

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Do the next right thing

So we've finally made it to February, despite the fact that somehow January felt like the longest year of all time. Rather than writing a Happy New Year post in January, even though it was so long, I thought I'd take a different approach and do a February check in post.

I, like most people, set some New Years resolutions, ranging from small things like "wash my face twice a day" to vague things like "be tidier" and then bigger things like career goals. I'm always guilty of falling off the wagon pretty quickly after setting my goals, and in some instances I haven't even started them at all, so I've decided to focus on a different approach this year, and it's inspiration came from an unlikely place... Frozen II.

Do the next right thing. It's something that Anna mentions early on in the film, and then proceeds to turn into a whole musical number. And it really stuck with me.



I'm looking at this from two perspectives, the first being to breaking down your goals.
"I won't look too far ahead
It's too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make"

What I've taken from this is breaking down to your goals so they're more manageable. We all want to become better people, and so we so set big goals, but then are not really sure where to start. So as Anna has said, break it down to this next breath, this next step.

This ties into what I learned from Bossed Up from their Bootcamp and planner last year related to goal setting. Start with your end goal, and work backwards. List all the things that you can do to help achieve this goal and focus on those, one at a time, and don't be afraid to give yourself a little reward along the way!

My second interpretation relates to getting back on the wagon when you fall off. I don't know about you, but sometimes if there's something I'm trying to be better about, whether it be eating better, changing habits etc, I sometimes find I end up giving up all together. 

2019 was an eye opener for me in terms of what I learned about my anxiety and how I deal with things when they don't go exactly as planned. But thanks to our good friend Anna, I'm changing my mindset. I'm doing the next right thing - not focusing on being perfect, but taking it one day, or one act at a time. So I didn't do something right today - that doesn't mean I should give up on all the great progress I've made.

I'm happy to say that doing the next right thing is going pretty well for me - it's helping me form new habits and work on making my goals more attainable. I'm definitely putting both in place to work on and stick to my Salesforce related goals for the year. 

Who'd have thought my personal mantra form 2020 would have come from a Disney movie! 

Resources: Bossed Up


Soundtrack: Do the next right thing - Kristen Bell


Friday, 8 November 2019

Honky Cat - DF19 Preview

So... I continue to have one of the craziest/busiest years of my life, and Dreamforce is no exception! I've kind of spent the year with a "always say yes" type of philosophy, which has taken me literally all over the world.... but that's for a future blog post!

For now, I'm going to give an overview of what I'm going to be involved in at Salesforce's most wonderful time of the year,  Dreamforce. I am speaking four times. That's right FOUR times. And you know what? I submitted three sessions, and none of them were selected. I've had a wile ride since last year's Dreamforce as a first time attendee and speaker, and it just goes to show that sometimes the right opportunities have a way of finding you.

So with that, here's what I'm up to:

AppExchange Street Team


The AppExchange Street Team are a group of Salesforce MVPs and AppExchange All Stars who spend the week at Dreamforce having an extra bit of fun helping attendees enter to win prizes! As a self proclaimed Appy Enthusiast, I'm so excited to be a part of this team - say hi if you spot me during the week, and I'll hope you enter the contest! We're also playing a really cool game of Street Team Bingo.


Appyness Continued


I'm excited to be collaborating with Holly Rushton from the AppExchange Team to help spread some more Appyness to help Small and Medium businesses with some great options for low or no cost apps. We're presenting twice so you have two opportunities to catch us in action! Make sure you check out the Sales/Service/SMB Lodge at the Marriott as well - they had some pretty sweet swag last year, including the "build your own Astro" station!

10 Business-Growing Apps You May Not Know (But Need To) (2) 
Thursday November 21, 2pm
Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate – Sequoia Theater



Career Time


I'm honoured to be sharing the stage with host Shirlene Crow and fellow paneslists Aaron McGriff and Tami Lau to discuss our journeys and careers in the Salesforce ecosystem. I'm excited to talk about how Salesforce has helped me move up at my current company and in the community as well.

Thursday November 21, 12pm, Moscone West, Room 2020



#AwesomeAdmin Keynote


Now any of what I've mentioned would be exciting enough, and I would be thrilled to be a part of any of them, but rounding out Thursday afternoon is what I'm most excited to be a part of.... The #AwesomeAdmin Keynote! I've been working with the amazing Admin team (we already know they're awesome!) and am so excited to be representing Canada on the big Keynote stage!

Thursday November 21, 5pm, Moscone North, Hall F | Keynote Room


I'll also have various volunteer shifts throughout the week, and might even have another special costume for the #AwesomeAdmin Games night!

For this post's soundtrack, I've gone with an Elton John classic. I recently watched Rocketman, and totally loved it... in particular Honky Cat, so I decided to name my next post after it, even if it has nothing to do with it... so, enjoy! Better get back to the woods.

Honky Cat - Elton John

Monday, 30 September 2019

Salesforce Admins podcast - All That Talking

So this post this post has been a long time coming... I discovered the Salesforce Admins podcast very early in my Admin journey, and it has been a staple ever since. I love all the advice and insight from people all over the world, and have even made some great friends as a result.  After quite the summer, I'm finally getting a chance to write about it -  just in time for International Podcast Day.

From my first listen, I knew I wanted to be a guest, and officially added this to my Salesforce goals list after meeting Mike Gerholdt at Toronto Salesforce World Tour last year.


And so it's finally happened!


I recorded my interview with Senior Lightning Adoption Consutltant, Kelly Walker and Podcast Producer, Celia Belarde, a few weeks ago - kicking off a six issue spotlight on Lightning Champions. Regular host of the podcast, Princpal Admin Evangelist, Gillian Bruce, is currently taking a break from hosting duties at the moment, so the original host and creator of the podcast, Senior Director, Admin Evangelism, Mike Gerholdt, is back behind the mic, which got me thinking... As someone relatively new to the ecosystem, I've only ever known the pod in its current iteration, as hosted by Gillian. So I did I did what any curious blogger would - did some reasearch and went straight to the source.

Before it was the Salesforce Admins podcast, it was the ButtonClick Admin podcast - a community podcast hosted by Mike, who at the time was a customer with a passion for helping other admins in the ecosystem.



"The idea came from the fact that hearing stories from other admins at events was way more powerful than reading the words on a screen in a blog post." Mike explained. "I was also looking to expand the choices of medium available on the ButtonClick Admin site. Hearing someone's passion is addictive."

He's certainly right there! Hearing passionate members of this community from around the world has lead to many wonderful friendships - I was particularly excited when I heard an Aussie accent on the podcast last year, and ended up connecting with Bec Aichholzer from Brisbane. We met in person at Dreamforce last year, and actually ended presenting a session together at Down Under Dreamin' Sydney last month. That's the power of the pod!

In this day an age we are almost spoiled for resources, especially in the Salesforce ecosystem, yet the Admins podcast is still such an important resource. "Podcasts give you the freedom to continue to consume knowledge while doing other things you love. Like you can drive your car and listen to a podcast. Walk your dog and listen to a podcast."

It even celebrated 500,000 downloads last year - "Our podcast shares incredible stories of knowledge of people that are having a tremendous impact in their career, company, or community. How this podcast doesn't get a million downloads per episode is beyond me." I certainly couldn't agree more, as an Admin, the podcast continues to be one of my favourite resources. If you haven't already, please make sure you subscribe so you can get the newest episodes as soon as they're released!

For the Salesforce Admins Blog post on my episode, click here.

Special thanks to Mike Gerholdt for contributing to this post, and for starting the podcast way back when.

Catch you next time, in the cloud!

Soundtrack: All That Talking - The Cat Empire

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Summer of Less.... Blogging: I Don't Wanna Stop

There's been a lot of talk of the "Summer of Less" lately... and unfortunately it seems I was only able to achieve the summer of less blogging... Here's what I've been up to - the good and the bad.

I went to TrailheaDX and had a great time - learnt a lot, spent time with some amazing people, failed some exams, and unfortunately managed to catch a really nasty bug. I came home, passed my Advanced Admin exam on my third try, and then got really sick. I work remotely, so will usually work through the usual stuff that keeps most people from the office... but I couldn't get out of bed for two days... and it was several weeks before I really felt like myself again - whatever I caught seriously kicked my ass.


So while trying to get over whatever it was I caught, it was also time for the final countdown to True North Dreamin. The last few weeks were definitely the most hectic of the whole planning experience, but I enjoyed every second of it.

Before I knew it, it was show day. Attendees from all over Canada, and other countries came together for the first ever Canadian Salesforce Community Conference. Our team really outdid themselves - the energy in the room was infectious, and the feedback we received has been overwhelmingly positive.


My cup was so full from this event - being able to help the Canadian Community to experience the wonderful Ohana Spirit I have been fortunate to experience was a downright privilege.

And then something happened I wasn't expecting. I had an anxiety attack. After being on such an emotional high at TND, a couple of situations brought me right back down to Earth... and down further than I realised, and I had my first ever anxiety attack at a work event. Reflecting on this now, I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I haven't blogged over the Summer. I hadn't realised what a calming affect it has on me!

It was then it was time for some rest and self care, and as luck would have it, time for WITness Success. It couldn't have come at a better time - I was able to spend some time with my most favourite Lady Buddies and absorb the truly unique content that this event provides. It really did wonders for the soul!


So with that, Summer is sadly coming to an end. Having an anxiety attack was certainly not anything I was ever expecting, and it's changed a lot for me. I'm all of a sudden so much more aware of my anxiety, and am learning that things I thought were normal, or that I've struggled with for a long time, are actually anxiety related. It's quite the learning curve.

As for what's next, I'm gearing up for mine and my hubby's favourite weekend of the year, our annual pilgrimage to Fan Expo Canada, and then I'm leaving on a jet plane to go home, see some family and friends, and swing by Down Under Dreaming Sydney!

So I'm back after taking an unintentional break... I certainly don't wanna stop for this long again, as it clearly had a bigger impact than I realised.

Soundtrack: I Don't Wanna Stop - The Bamboos (Strings Version)
Photos: Amazing Lady Buddies who give me strength and courage every day.

Friday, 24 May 2019

TrailblazerDay - Life is a Highway

I honestly wasn't sure if I should write this post, but a wise friend told me that sharing my thoughts, however briefly would definitely be worthwhile... so here goes...

On May 15 I found myself in Indianapolis with some of my of my friends from the Salesforce ecosystem for the Inaugural Trailblazer Day. When I received the invite for the event there wasn't a whole lot of information, but it sounded like an opportunity too good to pass up, so off I went to the crossroads of America.

Pit side with the Salesforce 48 crew!
The day started at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway  for the Indy 500 practise sessions with JR Hildebrand who shared his love of data science with us, and then on to a sneak peak of the upcoming TrailheaDX keynote session... but I know what you're all really interested in.

I don't like to talk about politics, but I'm sure you, dear reader, have a pretty good idea of where I fall in terms of my views, so I'll leave it at that. To round out our first day, we were joined for dinner by Marc Benioff, the Governor of Indiana, JR Hildebrand... and Ivanka Trump.

The following morning back at Indy Trailhead Tower,  with Marc and Ivanka... Zac Otero, Shonnah Hughes and Stephanie Herrera shared their stories of how they've been able to overcome the obstacles in their lives and empower their careers through the power of Trailhead, Salesforce, and the Trailblazer Community.

I've had a number of people reach out to me about Trailblazer Day and their thoughts on the situation... For me, what it comes down to is this. Someone who has the power to help with jobs and skills shortages in the US was put in a room to listen to the stories of my friends and hear about the magic of the community. Time will tell if anything will come, but credit where credit is due - Marc facilitated a unique opportunity for our community to share our stories.

With everything that has transpired since, and all of the very colourful reactions, I'm choosing to focus on the wonderful time that I had with friends from all over the world, especially my Life with Goldie sisters from Australia, new friends from Europe, and of course my Salesforce sisters Bhavana Singh, Rachel Park and way too many more to be able to count.



Big thanks to Erica, Holly and Becky for pulling this all together!

Soundtrack: Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts
In honour of JR Hildebrand... and my only knowledge of racing, Disney's Cars.

For my adventure in pictures, check out my Twitter moment.




Thursday, 9 May 2019

TrailheaDX 2019 Tips and Tricks: Get Ready

TrailheaDX is only a few weeks away, and I can barely contain my excitement! I shared some "official" thoughts on Why Admins should attend TrailheaDX on the Salesforce Admins blog, but I figured I could share some fun "unofficial" thoughts as well as some tips and tricks here.

Travel


Get yourself a Clipper Card - it's the transit card for the Bay Area. You can get one at the airport (not to mention many other places), and depending on where you're staying, get the BART to right near Moscone. I definitely recommend riding the Heritage Street Car up Market Street to Fisherman's Wharf if you have the time too.

Getting from the airport -  If you're not staying near a BART station, and as an alternate to taking a Ride Share (Ride share surge rates can get a little crazy depending o when you arrive) or Taxi, Super Shuttle is a great option. It's less than $20US one way, and will drop you right at your door.

Extra Curricular Events


Keep an eye out on twitter for links to Parties happening. There won't be as many as Dreamforce, but they're definitely worth attending.



Registration


Pick up your Conference badge as soon as you can. Registration opens at 2pm on Tuesday - I'll be there right for opening.


Planning your Days


More and more sessions are being added every day - Agenda Builder will go live a week or so out from the conference, so start having a look book marking sessions that tickle your fancy, as well as make sure you have the Salesforce Events App ready to go. Bookmark everything you're interested in so if you're unable to get the first session you'd hoped to, or you got caught up chatting to a new friend, you already have an idea of what else you can do! (edit - Agenda builder is now live!)

Make sure you bring a powerbank to keep your app powered throughout the day.

Becase I'm Appy


Speaking of Apps... The Dreamoji app is a whole lot of fun and can add a bit of extra whimsy to your social media during the week. A TDX update will go live around the time the Agenda is added to the Events App.


Make Friends


I touched on that in my official thoughts, but I really mean it. Making friends and connecting with the Salesforce Ohana last year was a total game changer for me. Strike up a conversation with a new friend and make plans to keep in touch swing by Community Cove to talk to the Community volunteers and take in a session if available.

If you're not sure where to start and are looking for friends to have dinner with, check here! You can also start getting active on social in advance to make some new friends - @trailhead and #TDX19.


Swag


While not as crazy as Dreamforce, TDX is still PLENTY swagalicious. We've already heard about OG Astronaut Astro and Hootie plushies available at this year's event, so make sure you leave room to bring home goodies! You earn them by completing various tasks and challenges during the days, so keep an eye out for the Quest in the Events App (another reason to download it).

If stickers are your thing, stop at every booth/table/welcome desk you see - multiple times a day. You'll find all sorts of different ones and new ones are sometimes switched out throughout the day well. I also picked up some pretty handy "cheat sheet" documentation at the welcome desk last year too - it definitely came in handy a study resource.

If you happen to see Astro's Mom around, she always has a supply of the rarest stickers you can find. (bonus tip: Attend her session for the BEST prizes!)


Still have more questions? Reach out and I'll do my best to help! See you in San Francisco - don't forget to say hi!

Soundtrack: Get Ready - The Temptations

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Be An Innovator with Flow Builder: Let it Flow

Get ready everyone - it's #AwesomeAdmin challenge time again! It's another "Be an Innovator" challenge, this time harnessing the power of Flow Builder. I love that the Admin team have been rolling out these challenges, as it pushes us to step out of my comfort zone and try something new - something as Admins we need to do all the time, but might not have the means to.

For those of you like me that are still total Flow noobs, I couldn't be more excited to give this a try, and the best part is I feel like I'm hanging out with Admin Evangelists Marc Baizman and LeeAnn Rimel in my home office (couldn't help but include the photo of us below!)

Modelled after the success of last year's Be a Builder and Be an Innovator (with Einstein Prediction Builder), this Be an Innovator challenge is once again being spearheaded by the wonderful Rebecca Saar.

For so many of us, it's hard to get into the groove of Flow, especially when you don't have your own business use case for it - something I'm definitely hoping to change. As per previous challenges, if you get active on Twitter you can go into the draw to win some fun prizes, including an #AwesomeAdmin tshirt and some other goodies.

The challenge is live with the videos being released daily until May 1, and the Trailmix needs to be completed by May 31 to receive your special Trailhead community badge! I'm really excited to harness the power of Flow Builder, with a little help of some friends.

That's it from me - I talked a bit about how the #AwesomeAdmin challenges came to life in a previous blog if you're curious!


Soundtrack: Let It Flow - Kruv Man
This post's soundtrack is a little different - Salesforce MVP Amnon Kruvi had a bit of fun with his session on Invocable Methods at a London Developer Community Group meetup last year. Highly recommended if you haven't already seen it!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

My #LifewithGoldie Adventure - Brighter than Gold

Let's rewind to the end of March 2018, San Francisco, TrailheaDX. I knew nothing and no one, and was greeted by the community with open arms. I had a great time learning at bootcamp, and was excited for the conference.

I was all set up with the Events app and was learning about the swag situation (I'd heard that Salesforce events had pretty good swag!), but all I was really hoping for was a Trailblazer Hoodie. Anything else I could possibly obtain would be a bonus. I had seen people wearing them around all through bootcamp, and all over the posters, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I wanted people to know that I was a Trailblazer, no matter how brand new I was - I had just had the best few days of my professional career after all.

I arrived bright and early for TDX the next day, and pretty much ran to Camp Quick Start. If you earned three Three badges there, you'd get your Trailblazer Hoodie - while supplies lasted. I don't think I've ever been so anxious to earn a badge since! I remember this super cool chick with polka dots and purple hair was coming over to check each time I'd done a badge and cheering for me (heyyy Melinda).

And then I was done! I had finished my three badges and unlocked a brand new Trailblazer Hoodie. I went straight to the Trading Post before anything else - I needed to make sure I got the right size... So within the first hour of TDX, I had my precious hoodie! It was the first ever piece of swag I had earned, and was my most treasured piece from TDX... and then l I met Appy, who I now had a matching outfit with! We headed to a session on Women in Technology Community groups where we met Allison and Bhavana.

I sheepishly went up to introduce myself, and we exchanged contact info, but with a conference this size, you never know if you'll actually ever see them around again, let alone stay in touch in the future.

And then this happened... I saw my first ever Golden Hoodie awarded... to Bhavana, who had just inspired me the day before!

I was in total awe. Of everyone I could have seen receive the Golden Hoodie, I happened to see someone who had just had a profound effect on me, and was also one of the few people I happened to know!  At the time I didn't know what that actually meant, only that it had to be a pretty big deal as Bhavana's story was pretty amazing. I sent this, just to make sure she knew...



So you've all read my stories since then. Bhavana and Allison have been mentioned in them frequently. They have become some of my closest friends - in fact we even do a fitbit challenge together every week to encourage each other!

Dreamforce 2018

Fast forward to April 2019 - I've had the best professional year of my life, frequently wearing my hoodie on my adventures with Appy. But then something happened. This past week at Toronto World Tour, just over a year since seeing Bhavana awarded the Golden Hoodie, and telling her how much she had inspired me... the same thing happened to me!

I was completely blown away to think that I had done something to deserve such an honour - I just want to help people. Throughout the day I was approached by so many women who told me how inspired they were to hear my story, and honestly, this was the best part of the whole experience!

I still can't quite believe that after only just over a year of wearing my favourite hoodie, I got a bit of an upgrade. I was asked by people throughout the day what they had to do to get one, and that's the thing - it's not something you can really set out to earn. I have had an amazing year professionally, and have found the time to give back to the community that inspires me, and somehow that was deemed worthy enough for such an honour.

I'm still coming down from the crazy high of TWT, and from all the messages of congratulations from all of the world - I've genuinely cried multiple times. I am especially grateful to my emotional support crew who came to sit with me - Aleks, Sarah and Scott from the True North Dreamin Team, Brandon - my former AE, and Karen and Myra - my colleagues.

And so the cycle continues. In a few weeks I will return to San Francisco for TrailheaDX 2019, a long way from know nothing and no one just over a year ago, and totally in awe of everything that I've been able to accomplish between now and then.

Soundtrack: Brighter than Gold - The Cat Empire
so... I of course don't actually think I'm actually "brighter than gold" - this song has just always been a favourite of mine, from my favourite band... and the lyrics also talk about not being able to sleep - which I definitely experienced during all of this!

Monday, 1 April 2019

London's Calling

One of the main reasons I chose Toronto over Vancouver was because I would be much closer to Europe, and could visit all the time if I wanted... yet seven years have passed, and I was still yet to make the journey... In fact, my favourite uncle lives in London - he's literally my closest geographical relative, so when I first found out about London's Calling, I decided that I was going to attend!

Having never been to London, I obviously wanted to pack as much sight seeing in as possible, and managed to even nab tickets to see Hamilton! It's funny that I've been able to see Hamilton on two separate occasions, both on trips to Salesforce Community events.

Appy and I even went to Buckingham Palace and managed to be in the right place at the right time and saw the Queen leaving! I actually saw her face and her snappy bright orange hat and jacket. This amused me even further when I was chatting with Londoners who said they've never seen her in person!

So despite getting lost on my way from the tube station, I made it to Skills Matter. It was wonderful to see some friends from across the pond, and finally meet some others that have only been twitter buddies! Of course I ran into some friends from North America, and had a great time spending my time with the wonderful Lizz Hellinga.

London's Calling is a really neat conference. To start with, the space is really cool. CodeNode is London's largest space dedicated to technology events, and really add a special feel to the day. All the rooms are "key" themed, with the bar aptly called "SpaceBar".


The content was literally world class, with presenters flying in from all over the world. The day was off to a great start with hugs from friends - old and new, and the opening session from the kick ass organizing team. The time was then right to then head off to my first speaker session of the day, Goodbye Cloud Flow Designer, Hello Flow Builder from Claire Jones, who was a total champ and filled in at the last minute.

Up next was a session I've been excited to catch for a while from Salesforce Sister Lizz Hellinga, Admins are Critical Change Agents. Lizz and I then some some time getting acquainted with the wonderful sponsors who make events like this even possible, before a traditional English pie for lunch. I would call it "tiger style" with mash, mushy peas and gravy, but I'm sure others will correct me. The main thing was, everyone had a pie - I'd heard all sorts of horror stories of PieGate from 2018's event. #PieForAll!




 


Just enough time to do some #LightningChampion booth duty before Callum Gardiner and Danielle Ahmed's session How do YOU Stand Out?, before Lizz and I fell in love with Stacey Torman and her Embracing and Activating Your Personal Brand session. I should have known I would like Stacy's session - she took a photo of my shoes earlier in the day!

Next was my for my final speaker session of the day by way of Louise Lockie and her Learn to Leverage the power of SOQL for Admins session - something I'm hoping to put to use after some time to breathe (and maybe when I haven't been on 4 international trips in a single month...)

And if all of those insightful sessions didn't sound like enough, it was time for the Closing Keynote from Dr. Anastasia Dedyukhina, Mind Hygiene: how to take care of your brain in the age of digital distraction. This was bar far the most eye opening session of the day, and I highly recommend checking out her Ted Talk, and anything else you can find!

So if my ramblings were not enough to let you know, I loved this event! Any one thinking of attending next year, I would highly recommend it, just make sure you book early as the waiting list ended up quite substantial!



Extra special fun - this blog has the same title as the accompanying song!
Soundtrack: London's Calling - The Clash

Mind Over Matter: Low Code Love

It's no secret that I'm a fan of low code solutions. While I love dabbling in some html as much as the next person, and I'm look...