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5 tips to get the most out of Dreamforce

David Taber | Sept. 14, 2015
Two thousand sessions. 150,000 attendees. Noise everywhere. So much to see, so little time. Here’s what to do about it.

For example, Lightning really is flashy, it’s well-thought-out, it’s got a new component model, and users will probably be begging for it. It’s in place on Salesforce 1, but even though it’s not here quite yet for the Web UI there is documentation that will help you see things. The technologist’s dilemma is “when do I get serious about Lightning?” because in the not-so-long run you’re going to have to. So at Dreamforce, you need to get your head around issues like: 

  • If I have a ton of VisualForce, what do I need to do to make it Lightning-compatible?  When do I need to start moving my legacy VisualForce code off of that language, and which pages go first?
  • If I’m developing for both Salesforce1 and the Web UI, what do I need to do in my Lightning code so that it is (1) really, no kidding, 100 percent functionally equivalent on the two platforms and (2) tolerant of “compatibility drift” that happens when the SF1 code base does the inevitable update that isn’t exactly matched by the browser code base?
  • Lightning and Aura get their magical powers from JavaScript (and associated libraries like jQuery). What do I need to do to become a wizard with JavaScript?
  • What JavaScript tools and debuggers should I be using? 
  • Should I change my development browser from Firefox to Chrome (or the other way around)?
  • What UI design tricks and habits do I need to learn to create really cool user experiences on both mobile and web devices?
  • To what degree should my designs adhere to the strong MVC model in VisualForce when I’m re-thinking my app for Lightning components? 

The challenge with a show the size and scope of Dreamforce is prioritization and filtering, managing your energy level so you stay focused and enthusiastic. The parties don’t really help, but they’re a welcome distraction. The Foo Fighters will be a great concert (although it’ll be hard to top Bruno Mars from last year). So here comes Tip No. 5:  there’s almost sure to be a cappuccino cart somewhere on the show floor…so scan your badge for sustenance.


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