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Behind the Scenes at Cactusforce 2024 with Red Argyle’s Tom Patros

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Trip Report: Cactusforce 2024

Last month, I took my first trip to Phoenix, Arizona.

My purpose: Cactusforce 2024.
My mission: gather some knowledge, meet interesting people, and present a session of my own.
The mission was a success.

Cactusforce boldly asserts itself as a Salesforce community conference specifically tailored for Salesforce developers and architects. With its “More Code. Less Fluff” tagline, Cactusforce is clear in its intentions to provide attendees with substantive, technical content that can be directly applied to their work.

I attended four insightful sessions, each providing a unique perspective on leveraging the Salesforce platform to solve complex problems and innovate across multiple domains.

Data Cloud Technical Architecture Deep Dive with Ryan Cox

Ryan Cox’s session was an enlightening exploration into the technical architecture of Salesforce’s Data Cloud. This deep dive provided a comprehensive understanding of how Salesforce’s Data Cloud works under the hood and how to effectively leverage it in real-world applications. Data Cloud was mysterious and overwhelming to me, and in just one hour, Ryan helped make sense of it for me, leaving me more grounded and confident in Data Cloud’s capabilities.

Architect a Resilient Salesforce Solution Workshop with Susannah Plaisted, Shoby Abdi, Tom Leddy

This workshop, led by Susannah Plaisted, Shoby Abdi, and Tom Leddy, was a hands-on experience in designing resilient solutions using Salesforce’s Well-Architected framework. It highlighted the importance of architectural best practices and resilience in building scalable and reliable Salesforce applications. The workshop was a great format to learn and practices within small teams alongside other peer architects. Playing off of each other’s ideas and experiences while working to solve challenges with aggressive time constraints embodied “Learn and Do Fast ” style of learning that I enjoy.

Developing Slack Apps for Business Benefits with Shiva Bhajekar

Shiva Bhajekar’s session on developing Slack apps showcased the capabilities of Slack as an application development platform. It demonstrated how to use the core features of the Slack API to deliver collaboration and productivity apps while allowing users to live solely in Slack. The session was a broader showcase of Slack itself and didn’t dive into the specifics of Slack apps built with the recently-released native Salesforce integrations, but the demos were presented in a logical, approachable, step-by-step format. All the attendees even got to interact with one of the demo apps together, which got everyone’s gears turning.

Org Strategy: Remediate or New? with Allison Park

Allison Park presented a compelling session on strategies to employ when assessing the current state of a Salesforce org and making a decision to remediate the existing org or consider starting fresh in a new org. The discussion centered on the critical decision-making process between remediating existing Salesforce setups or starting anew, providing a strategic framework to guide these decisions, including the trade-offs of each approach. Spoiler alert: neither approach is better than the other, and there are concessions with each direction relative to effort, cost, and risk.

Flow and Code. Living Together. Mass Hysteria! with Tom Patros

Hey, that’s my session! I shared my own reflections about the convergence of Flow and Apex within Salesforce in an attempt to demystify the coexistence of these two elements and demonstrate how they can work together harmoniously to create powerful and efficient solutions. I got great feedback from both the “Pro Code” and “Low Code” camps after the session, and hope to take the session on the road at future events.

As with other “Dreamin'” events I’ve attended, Cactusforce underscored the importance of community in the Salesforce ecosystem. The opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, share experiences, and learn from each other was invaluable, and there’s great power in community-driven learning and development. Cactusforce was a well-run event and I was grateful to be a part of it.

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