Losing a mentor

In mid-February I left my employer of 5 1/2 years for greener pastures.  It was really hard to leave but the decision was best for me and the organization.

One short week later, the colleague I had sat next to for 18 months passed away very suddenly.  He was 1/3 of our Salesforce team and our only Force.com developer.  To the extent we had time, he was teaching me how to code in Apex and Visualforce.  He was my sounding board for ideas. Travis was more than a colleague, he was a friend.

When he passed away I was impacted in ways I am still struggling to describe.  I lost my mojo.  I stopped engaging in the Twitter community.  It was hard to talk to my Salesforce buddies.  I didn’t know how to tell folks that my colleague had passed away.  That’s not something you put on Twitter!

As I prepared for Dreamforce, I was determined to be as engaged as I had been the year before.  It was harder than I expected. I spent a lot of time navel gazing.  Wondering what Travis would have thought about this session or that hallway conversation.

What I finally came to is that Travis would have loved every minute of the event.  He would have laughed at my navel gazing and told me to “Get on with it!” in his best Monty Python voice.  So, I’m getting on with it.  My mojo is slowly returning and I’m reengaging.  I’m remembering why I was a part of this amazing community in the first place.  I missed it. And I miss Travis.

SMS Notifications for Salesforce Outages

Admins have asked for a way to get notifications if/when there is a Salesforce outage (I can’t find the Idea right now.  If you happen to have the URL, please put it in the comments.)  Until now, I had to wait until a user encountered an error, go to http://trust.salesforce.com/trust/status/ and find NA7 in the loooong list.  This works ok for business hours (not ideal), but is horrible at 3am!  I want to be notified if my instance is either in outage or has a degradation.  At last I have a way!

ifttt.com is a new online service that lets you set-up rules for automating your internet life.  Since Salesforce is a HUGE part of my internet life, I use ifttt to let me know if my instance (NA7) is in an outage or has a degradation.

Here’s my recipe: If outage then SMS me.

All I had to do was set-up my cell phone to accept SMS messages from ifttt and tell it which RSS feed to use.  It took all of 5 minutes.

When you sign-up for ifttt, you can use my recipe and/or create your own!  There’s lots of other non-Salesforce stuff you can do with ifttt, but this one is the one that’ll make my work-life easier!

UPDATE: With this weekend’s Winter ’12 upgrade, this recipe didn’t work! 😦  I’ve updated it to remove the “, degradation”.  I think the comma is what broke it.  We’ll know more next weekend as there is another outage on NA7!  Sorry for any confusion!

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