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Takeaways From Northeast Dreamin’ 2022

As a seasoned Salesforce event attendee, I have to admit that I’ve never had the opportunity to venture to a Dreamin’ event. So finally, I got the chance to head to Providence, RI, for the Northeast Dreamin’ 2022 conference (and add another Salesforce event tag to my collection). As a first-time attendee, I didn’t know what to expect. Well, let me say, it was fantastic!

New England Salesforce user group leaders and Salesforce users lead this annual event. The volunteer-driven nature and high caliber of speakers hooked me. I have to call out that it felt like home because everyone there is Salesforce superfan with a desire to learn, grow, and solve challenges.

Stevemo and Charlie Issacs selfie with Garry and another event attendee giving a thumbs up in the background
Photobombing a Stevemo shot with the infamous Charlie Isaacs from Salesforce.

With over 40 sessions to choose from, I set my sites on a few specific topics: User Experience (UX), Architecture, and Security. Below is a quick breakdown of my takeaways from the conference.

The Evolution of Understanding UX

I attended two sessions in the UX realm, primarily because I was interested to see how the “meta-conversation” about UX has evolved over the past few years. Well, it has! The flexibility of the Salesforce platform, and growing bodies of knowledge and awareness of what UX means, are light years ahead of where it was a few years ago.

Key points about UX reinforced:

  • UX doesn’t always mean custom. Salesforce can be optimized to support user journeys without a line of code. Yes, really!
  • The “U” in UX is critical. We can’t lose sight of what the user is trying to do, which is easy to forget when knee-deep in technical design. The results will mean happier teams and more productivity.
  • Multitudes of features can improve UX. These features include In-App Guidance, customized help, and other usual candidates (page layouts & the like).

Take a look at our recent blog series on UX to dive deeper into this!

Salesforce Architecture

I spent a few sessions on Salesforce Architecture. The concept of “Architect” in Salesforce used to be a zero or a one. You were a Certified Technical Architect (CTA), or you weren’t. However, Salesforce has done a great job enabling the entire architecture journey from start to TA status over the past few years. My takeaways:

  • There are a lot of resources available to help move from new to Architect.
  • There are options to become a Salesforce Solution Architect in the certification journey to support a desired career outcome. Here’s a great comparison of Salesforce Solutions Architects vs. Technical Architects.
  • Architecture is a lot more than just thinking about tech. It considers overall business needs, budgets, staffing levels, and many other factors when designing solutions. Holistic in the true sense of the word.
  • Architecture doesn’t mean you have to be a developer. Of course, you have to understand development practices to a degree, but anyone can learn it.

Learn more about Salesforce Architect.

Salesforce Security

The final sessions I attended were on security, notably one on becoming a Data Security Champion. We’ve been passionate about security at Red Argyle for a while, but there’s always something to learn.

Prag from Cloud Kettle presenting on Security best practices
Prag from Cloud Kettle presenting on Security best practices

If you haven’t given serious thought to security within your Salesforce instance, now’s the time to start! With increasing threats across the internet and growing compliance needs, security is something to take seriously and invest in. As a colleague of mine likes to say, “your organization is not boring enough to not be a target.”

A few takeaways on Salesforce security:

  • Basics go a long way in helping improve your security. Two easy tactics come to mind: Health Check and enforcing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
  • Security is more multi-faceted than simply checking boxes in setup. It’s necessary to consider everything from policy to understanding your risk profile to apply the right technical solution.
  • Security is never one and done. It’s ongoing and requires regular care and feeding. Red Argyle offers services to help with this, including audits, remediation work, to incident response assistance.

The Wheels are Turning

Northeast Dreamin’ got the wheels turning for me, and it was great to see the community in action. The conference left me feeling proud and excited that Red Argyle is continuing to make strides in essential areas, and we’re in a great spot to assist if someone needs help in these domains.

Massive thanks to Northeast Dreamin’s sponsors and the volunteers and attendees. EVERYONE there was super friendly and welcoming and embodied the community in the truest sense. I can’t wait to attend future Northeast Dreamin’ conferences in the future!

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