Summer ’17 Release Calendar

With each release Salesforce blogs, tweets, and sends smoke signals about important dates. That’s super helpful, but I need that info integrated into my work world. So, I created a Google Calendar for the dates! I can’t promise I’ll keep at it for every release, but I sure hope to!

Without further ado, here’s the calendar:

Feel free to add this to your Google world!

Would you rather have the ICS? Here it is:

Happy Summer ’17!



Coming Soon!!

My Idea is Coming In Winter '14

My Dreamforce ’11 Schedule

As soon as I found out when the Agenda Builder would be going live, I blocked off that hour in my calendar.  I had to make sure that I signed-up for all the sessions I wanted.  I also wanted to make sure I blocked off the session that I’ll be presenting (more on that later).

So, without further ado, here’s my schedule for Dreamforce ’11:

Tuesday, August 30
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Community Conference Keynote

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Community Tour
This is the session I’ll be presenting with my friend, and fellow North Carolinian, @eliz_beth.  Come see us!

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Under the Covers: IdeaExchange Exclusive

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Roadmap Sneak Peak: The Future of Analytics in Salesforce

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Service Cloud Roadmap: No Roads Needed on This Journey
Wednesday, August 31
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Hands-On: Extending Chatter

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Gamification of Salesforce

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Analytics Flashmob: Master Topics for Analytics Admins

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Hands-On: Introduction to Code (Apex) Patterns for Developers

Thursday, September 1
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How Uses the Service Cloud and Chatter

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Q&A with the Service Cloud Pros

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Hands-on: A Guide to the IDE for Non-Developers
Friday, September 2
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Service Cloud Console as a Platform: Intro to the New Service Cloud Console

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Q&A with Marc Benioff and Parker Harris

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Hands-On: Get the Most Out of the Salesforce CRM for Nonprofit Starter Pack

I can’t wait!!!

Webinars shouldn’t hurt

The Spring ’11 release preview webinars were today and I have a complaint.

First, some background.

The first hour is about the platform, and covers changes to Apex, governor limits, Visualforce etc.  I found it engaging, informative and yet not too in-the-weeds.  It made me want to go back and re-read the release notes!  Now, I won’t be able to use most of the new technology covered in this webinar, but it is good to know it exists.

The second hour is more about the “clouds” (Sales, Services, Collaboration, etc.).  It covers the new stuff that will be visible to your average Joe User and seems to be geared towards the least computer-savvy of audiences.

The tone of this second webinar was painfully simple.  There was an exchange that went something like this (a bad paraphrasing):

  • Presenter #1: New in Spring ’11 is the “Like” button in Chatter.
  • Presenter #2: You mean I don’t have to type an update, I can just click the “Like” button?
  • Presenter #1: Yep, and all your followers will see that you liked that post.

Now, I ask you, how long has Facebook had a “Like” button?  Years?  Heck, my 86-year-old grandfather has “liked” my Facebook status as recently as 2 weeks ago!  Am I supposed to believe that users are less sophisticated and less unable to grasp the concept of a “Like” button than my 86-year-old grandfather?  It came across as scripted and condescending.

At that point I knew the presentation had jumped the shark.  I continued to watch the slides but hung-up the phone in disgust.

So, I humbly ask that Salesforce consider a third release preview webinar.  A hybrid of the two. A webinar for the folks who are administrating Salesforce all day.  One for those of us who want to learn and evangelize.  Releases provide enormous value to our organizations and we want to be ready.  But please, for the love of the cloud, please don’t ask me to sit through scripted banter.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 3 times

In 2010, there were 15 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 554kb.

The busiest day of the year was August 5th with 70 views. The most popular post that day was Top 10 reasons to go to Dreamforce ’10.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for amber neill, dreamforce dress code, what to bring to dreamforce, salesforce admin questions, and dreamforce swag.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Top 10 reasons to go to Dreamforce ’10 August 2010


Packing list for Dreamforce ’10 September 2010


Documenting Custom Apps with ScreenSteps August 2010
1 comment


Code for Cookies August 2010


iContact for Salesforce September 2010
1 comment

Where on the org chart do Administrators fit?

I have lots of tweeps who are Salesforce Administrators.  In title, or job description or both.  We are a feisty lot with strong opinions.  I’m can’t wait to hear how they weigh in on this one.

In what department should a Salesforce Administrator work?

I suppose the quick, easy answer is “it depends”.  If the organization is large and only one or a few of the departments is using Salesforce, perhaps it makes sense for the Salesforce Admin to work for the department in question.

If, however, the organization has adopted Salesforce in many, if not all, departments, it probably makes more sense for the Administrator to report up through the IT organization.  Me and my teammates are in this category. (We each have our own specialities.  I came to my role from the Customer Service side of things.  Our Analyst comes from a Sales and Marketing background.  Finally, our Developer comes from an IT world.  Between the three of us, we can handle anything!)

Here’s where I get controversial! On some level, this type of decision comes down to corporate culture.  Is the IT team in your organization responsive to the needs of the business?  Can they leverage the flexibility and extensibility that Salesforce offers to meet the ever-changing needs of the business users?  If not, then the administrator role should probably live outside IT!

The only way a Salesforce Administrator can do right by the business is if they are unconstrained by titles and org charts.  They have to be able to push back on even the most hardened and crusty VP.

VP: “I want a checkbox on this page and I need it yesterday!”

Administrator: “No, I’m not going to put a checkbox there.  The process is broken and needs to be reworked.  Let’s do that instead.”

How does this work in your organization?  Please fill out this unscientific poll and weigh in via the Comments.

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