Attending Dreamforce for the first time is an overwhelming experience. From the moment you enter the Dreamforce ‘zone,’ you are enveloped in a world that is full of energy, noise, excitement and extraordinary people….
On Day 1 from the instant I stepped out of the hotel lift into the Lobby I was swept away by a constantly moving tide of people flowing through the city of San Francisco to and from hotels and venues. The talk in the street was Salesforce, the talk in the coffee queue was Salesforce, everywhere people were talking the same language – a language I could speak fluently. Now, I’m definitely no ‘brainiac’ but as a un-repentant ‘nerd’ I’ve often seen that glazed look that comes into the eyes of family and friends whenever I talk work so to have the opportunity to pick the brains of an endless supply of System Admin’s, Consultants, Devs and Salesforce MVP’s was just priceless.
So at the end of an incredible 4 days of Dreamforce, I’ve compiled a list of my top takeaways for System Admins.
My Top 10 Dreamforce Tips for System Admins:
- Use your sandbox – for teaching, for training, for testing. Use it!
- Use Cases to manage internal helpdesk and change requests. Not only will it highlight processes that may need reviewing, but you can also generate some pretty awesome analytics to show where you spend your time
- When it comes to Dashboards, less is more. Dashboards should only be for key data so don’t over-dashboard
- Use Chatter Actions – instead of creating a new custom button, see if a Chatter Action will do the same job
- Create a process to manage change control so a new feature here doesn’t break something there
- Document – document – document: for your successor, for your users, for yourself. Document What was done, and Why it was done.
- Know when to say NO. Question a request for a new field or feature. Is this really needed? Is this going to add value?
- Use the Community. There are answers out there! Success Community, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.
- Get certified – not only does it look great on your resume but you’ll be required to pass 3 maintenance exams per year after each Salesforce release. This is a great way to ensure you’re kept up to date with new features and functionality
- Read the Release Notes – ok so if you don’t want to read through 300+ pages of stuff, at least read the overview.
As a System Administrator in Dreamforce surrounded by thousands upon thousands of customers, users, admins, developers & partners as well as attending some of the hundreds of break-out session, keynotes and hands-on-training on offer, there were definitely times when I felt completely overwhelmed with information.
However, if I took away anything from Dreamforce it was this – your Salesforce instance is a living, breathing organism that is constantly growing and evolving – and as System Administrator, you need to grow and evolve along with it.