I have a small little prank I like to do at Dreamforce =)
As people line up outside the doors for the session I’m presenting in, I like to walk up to the attendees with a confused look on my face and say:
“Is this session worth going to?”
“Is the presenter any good?”
“I really doubt this session is worth waiting in line for!”
Sometimes people know and we share a hearty laugh. Sometimes people have no idea until they see me up on stage later. And then sometimes people start saying things about David Liu not realizing he’s standing in front of them pranking them:
“Funny story I actually was talking to you while we were waiting for your session to start. There was a big crowd outside waiting to go in and I was talking to you and a few other people. I didn’t recognize you so I was talking to you and was telling everyone that I learned how to code from SFDC99.com and from David Liu’s youtube videos. Then I saw you up there, it was pretty funny.”
OK maybe it might not be that funny but sadly these are the kind of things that make my day!!
(And for the record, the victim gave me permission to post this!)
See you at #DF17!
It can be daunting finding the motivation to start something big.
Something big like learning to code! Or passing that certification. Or learning how to play guitar.
When in fear, I always remember the magic formula. This formula has gotten me through even my most fearsome moments. You never want to be in a position frozen by fear. Here it is:
Increase your knowledge by just 1% every day, and in one year you’ll be 38X smarter. Amazing!
And yes I double-checked the math already!
Who knew 1% could do so much! Surely, each of us can commit just 5 minutes each day to learning!
Best. Dreamforce. Ever. Did you really expect anything else? =)
Here are some of the magic moments and announcements from this year:
Magic Moment: Salesforce Einstein!
Salesforce Einstein was THE major announcement at Dreamforce this year – and it didn’t disappoint!
Einstein brings artificial intelligence to the cloud. Your Salesforce cloud! So Einstein will do crazy futuristic robot wizardry like tell you which of your leads will close and who you should be emailing right now. Einstein even drafts the email for you! Scary.
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. There’s something special about Einstein versus the big Dreamforce announcements of the past. Too bad we need to pay for it!
Magic Moment: Lightning is better than ever!
Many of you have been waiting for the right time to adopt Lightning – I believe that time is NOW.
With new features like ultra-customizable page layouts, the Lightning App Builder, horizontal navigation tabs, and the (finally!) customizable homepage, it’s time to overcome Lightning anxiety and take steps towards the REAL future of Salesforce.
I always say: “Always be learning!” I know the move to Lightning can be frightening for our careers. But we can’t stick to the past just because we’re comfortable with it! Keep innovating and learning!
Magic Moment: New Developer Tools!
Not gonna lie: writing my first Lightning component was a huge pain in the you know what.
But this Dreamforce, for the first time ever, I feel like Salesforce is dead serious about making our developer lives easier through features like:
Can’t wait to write more Lightning code and have some newbie tutorials up for you!
Magic Moment: My Unofficial Keynote!
This session was my “thank you” to the community and the session that finally closes my circle.
A circle that began when, years ago, I was a complete newbie, and I sat in the sessions of my heroes who inspired me to go for my dreams. Talks by people like Jason Venable, Dan Appleman, Steven Herod, and Syed Talha. Everything I’ve accomplished in Salesforce I owe to them.
And now, with this session, that circle finally ends. I hoped to inspire you too to reach for your dreams, and maybe, for you to start your own circle. One where you achieve your dreams and use your knowledge for good to help inspire the next generation of Salesforce developers.
When I asked the audience who would be brave enough to take this task on themselves, I didn’t know what to expect. I would’ve been happy if just ONE person took on this challenge. When more than 20 people accepted, well, it was magical. Please do email me and let me know how I can help.
One day when I’m old and grumpy, I’ll still reminisce on the feeling of a room full of 500+ people giving me a standing ovation. Thank you for the memories.
(Check out the full “Admins: You Can Code Too” slides. Session recording coming soon!)
P.S. loved trolling people in my session entrance line! “Is this session worth it?” LOL
Magic Moment: My Official Keynote Interview!
How lucky am I to be able to be part of the official Admin Keynote?! (Thank you Donald Bohrisch!)
Kris Lande, Salesforce Senior Director of Admin Relations, interviewed me about how I was an agent of change that helped Google implement Lightning.
And yes, at the end, I threw into the air hundreds of hand-cut pieces of Lightning shaped confetti! It was glorious! Special thanks to my wife for making all of them! (See first picture of this post)
Watch the full Admin Keynote – my interview is 40 minutes in!
Magic Moment: Meeting all of you!
Hands down the best part of Dreamforce for me!
You took time out of your crazy busy Dreamforce to find me, shake my hand, and tell me your story about how you learned to code or how you were inspired to get certified.
Boy does it feel great knowing that I could be a part of your journey. What you’ve been able to achieve in this industry through your hard work (with just a little bit of inspiration) is AMAZING! You are so much more incredible than you give yourself credit for!
The BEST part about this is I know you’re going to pass it on. The circle doesn’t end with you. Anyone, including you, can be an inspiration to many. Your amazing journey is really just beginning!
Magic Moment: Free T-Shirts!
Can you believe we gave out over 500 of these beauties?!
I hope you got one! And if you didn’t, I just might have a global giveaway coming soon =)
Special thanks to Pluralsight for making these happen! There would be no shirts without them!
My free t-shirt haul from #DF16? A single Eat. Sleep. Dreamforce. shirt that I actually bought for $22.50. Wardrobe this year is gonna be light. Swag retirement is rough.
Saddest Moment: Farewell Dreamforce!
1. I’m speaking at the Admin Keynote!
2. 500 shirt giveaway – SFDC99 shirts are IN!
Swankiest t-shirt you’ll get all Dreamforce! And the quality is superb!
HUGE thank you to Pluralsight for both sponsoring and designing these shirts and the new SFDC99 logo on them! Stop by their booth in Moscone West to say thank you and grab a shirt!
You can also get a shirt directly from me at my sessions and around the halls!
3. I’d love to meet you in person!
Stop me anytime to say hi, I don’t mind =) I’d love to shake your hand!
Getting free swag is an art.
Sure, any scrub can grab a few shirts at Dreamforce. If that’s your goal, this guide isn’t for you. This guide is for the overachievers out there looking to bring home a horde of swag.
These are the swag secrets I’ve accumulated through years and years of hard work. I hold nothing back here. Using these secrets, I’ve been able to easily get over 60 t-shirts and multiple big ticket electronics such as iPads and Beats headphones in a single Dreamforce.
Some of these secrets came at great sacrifice. One year I literally broke my back and could not walk for a month because my bags were too full of free stuff. I kid you not. It was worth it.
Without further ado, here are my swag secrets:
1. Realize that random drawings are not random
The highest quality swag often comes from these “random drawings”.
But you need to realize that companies pay big bucks to have a booth at Dreamforce for a reason: to make big $$$ back on leads. They’re not going to “randomly” pick “Non-Decision Maker Nelly” and give him an iPad if there’s no chance he can help close a deal.
If you’re chasing a big ticket item, maximize your chances by talking the sales rep up at the booth and giving them a chance to potentially close a big deal. More time at the booth and more questions shows them you’re a serious lead.
Don’t be a bad person and lie about it though. Trust me, the swag gods remember.
2. Get lots of sleep and arrive early
Getting swag is not easy. While others are still recovering from late night Dreamforce parties, you must be up early and ready to go. Your best swag runs will come right when the booths open.
No lines, full swag stock, and hungry, hungry, booth people. Memorize exactly when the expo halls open and be there 30 minutes early.
3. Prioritize official Salesforce gear
I’ve been doing this long enough to know that Salesforce passes out the best swag. It often has the cleanest designs, softest material, and overall is a step above the rest.
I also know that Salesforce swag always runs out.
So if you have an opportunity to get Salesforce swag, drop whatever you’re doing and get it. You can always come back later for the tier 2 stuff.
4. Be nice and don’t beg
Some companies make it really difficult for you to get their swag. Oftentimes, you’ll be in a position of weakness because you can’t convince the rep you’re a potential lead.
Don’t give up. Find creative ways to help them. Your team might have zero interest in mobile, however down the line this might change. Or perhaps maybe you know a colleague or friend who would be interested.
Getting swag is a game of give and take. Don’t always take. Find ways to give and you’ll find yourself with bigger swag bags.
5. Find the hidden swag
Don’t skip over a booth because you don’t see free t-shirts near them. Oftentimes companies hide their swag inside storage units and only bring them out to worthy visitors.
Take your time to chat up the sales rep and afterwards politely ask if they have swag. They’re usually more than happy to give you some!
6. The Expo Hall is not enough
Yes, you’ll get a ton of swag at the main Expo Hall and even the Admin/Dev Zone in Moscone West. But don’t underestimate the other Dreamforce areas too such as Dreampark and the Marriott Marquis. You’ll even get swag at nearby restaurants from companies sponsoring mini-events there.
These shirts are often among the best and rarest. Plan accordingly.
7. Don’t be afraid to double dip
Come back to the same booths a second or even third time to maximize your swag. Sometimes, booths run of out swag only to refill later. Also, some booths have multiple shirt designs.
I estimate you’ll receive 25% more swag by making multiple runs.
8. Follow Twitter like a hawk
Many of the best swag giveaways happen online in Twitter. Photo contests, scavenger hunts, etc.
Carve out some time to check your Twitter feed for the latest contests. I recommend following all the official Salesforce accounts as well as the major sponsors.
Most people are too busy finding swag in person to realize how much treasure there is online – take advantage of the reduced competition while you can!
9. Skip sessions
They’re all recorded and posted online anyway =)
Just don’t skip mine!
10. Bring a big empty backpack
You’ll easily pull 20+ shirts a day using these secrets and you’ll somehow need to carry all of them.
Minimize your non-swag backpack inventory. Planning to bring your favorite water bottle? You can hit the water fountain instead. That’s precious space and weight you’ll be using.
Very important: do not forget to empty your backpack at the end of each day!
And with that, I now retire from the swag industry. It’s too dangerous for me to continue after revealing a tell-all of this magnitude. T-shirt donations greatly appreciated (size L)!!
P.S. I’m giving out 500 free t-shirts this Dreamforce!
That’s not a typo =)
And I’m not talking about my personal stash either.
I’m GIVING AWAY 500 t-shirts. Yes, to YOU!!
Find me at Dreamforce, and get a shirt! Or, stop by the Pluralsight booth in the Moscone West Dev Zone. Tell them David sent you. We’ll both be giving out shirts throughout the week!
More details coming soon. HUGE thank you to Pluralsight for sponsoring these shirts! Yes, these are official SFDC99 t-shirts sponsored by the one and only Pluralsight, my partners in crime for publishing the Apex Academy!
If you’ve always wanted an SFDC99 t-shirt, this might be the best chance you’ll ever have in your entire lifetime to get one. I’m not even kidding. MUST!!
People often say the key to success is to “follow your passion”.
I’ve always felt conflicted about this. The saying almost makes it seem like you don’t have control over your paths to success. What if your passions don’t have realistic ways of supporting yourself?
And how do you even find your passion? Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the time or opportunities to experiment with a buffet of jobs.
Are you just destined to be mediocre?
I believe passion must be developed. You can will yourself to become passionate about something. The first time I drank beer, I hated it. Yet now, I love it!
Did I fall in love the very first time I used Salesforce? Certainly not. Did I loathe it? Definitely not. But I stuck with the platform, found areas of it I especially enjoyed (like coding), and built on that. Over time, my love for Salesforce grew.
But there will be times where your love plateaus or even wanes. Love can be so fickle. These are the times that truly test you. Stick with it. Make a concentrated effort to find ways to fall in love again. Rekindle that relationship with a spicy new date. You could say it’s not that different from supporting a long-term relationship with a friend or loved one. It takes work.
In short, sometimes I believe it’s better to approach work with the philosophy of the “arranged marriage” instead of the western “romantic” marriage =)
Give it a shot!
Once again the JVS is offering a Salesforce admin course for FREE! WOW!
This is an in-person course that meets 6 hours a day, 5 times a week in San Francisco, California.
More info on the course and how to apply. Deadline is Wednesday, September 14th!
I’d loveeeee to meet you and hear your Salesforce stories, successes or not!
…book your seat before the slots run out!
This is something I’ve always wanted to do!! YES!!!
Help me make a great admin certification course for the world!
Post your favorite ADM201 certification resources in the comments!
Secretly, I’ve always wanted to teach admin principles – this is something I strongly believe too many developers overlook! This prevents good developers from becoming great!
This course will do two things:
And yes, if you are brand new to Salesforce this is exactly the course you need!
Don’t worry, we’ll continue to offer scholarships to those in need (email email@example.com). Plus, stay tuned for a massive free t-shirt announcement!