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.
#TDX18 Women in Tech Community Group session, lead by @allisonapark and @singhbhavana8 ! Attending with my new friend, Appy! @trailhead pic.twitter.com/dCh45NSgYQ— Zarina Varley Scott (Zaz) (@zazamataz) March 28, 2018
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...
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!Incrediblly honored to award @zazamataz a golden #Trailblazer hoodie for being such an inspiration to everyone here in Toronto. TY for sharing your story how @trailhead helped supercharge your career as a woman in tech by learning @salesforce skills #lifewithgoldie pic.twitter.com/QYClFYqSDC— Sarah Joyce Franklin (@swbjoyce) April 11, 2019
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!