Two years ago I walked into Moscone Center for my very first Dreamforce. I had just joined Salesforce.com and was fully prepared to attend 'yet another technology conference'. Little did I know. I was completely blown away by the size, scope, energy and general 'vibe' of Dreamforce. The community (developer and otherwise) was passionate and energized and you got the distinct sense of being part of something bigger; a movement really (cloud computing in the case of Dreamforce). I had had a similar feeling when I attended my first JavaOne a decade ago (back when they were cool!) and here it was again.
I also remember thinking to myself that it couldn't possibly get any better than this. Little did I know. Dreamforce has gotten bigger and better every year and the 2010 version was 'the best one yet' (to quote the Black Eyes Peas song that was the official 'anthem' for this year). Amazing product announcements (Database.com, Heroku and many others), packed sessions and a great Force.com Dev Zone experience. Personally, this was the first year that I got to truly participate in Dreamforce and not just attend it. I co-presented a couple of sessions and of course helped out in the Dev Zone. My highlights, in no particular order:
- The conversion of "Bernard" during Wednesday's Keynote. Impossible to describe – you just had to be there
- The Heroku announcement. I couldn't possibly articulate the significance of the Heroku acquisition better than Parker and I won't even presume to try. Just check out Heroku for yourself. Even if you're not a Ruby/Rails developer (such as myself), you can't help but be impressed with the elegance and power of the Heroku architecture. I can't wait to develop and deploy my first Heroku app!
- The Database.com announcement. Store you application data securely in the cloud and access it from any device, platform or language. Nuff said.
- Apex governor limits reduced by 70% . An early Christmas present from Taggart (PM for Apex).
- The Apex Fireside Chat with Taggart and other members of the Apex team. For a self-professed geek, there is nothing more fascinating than getting a behind-the-scenes peak at the Apex architecture.
- The VMforce workbook. It was the first time that most developers got a change to get their hands dirty with VMforce and I think they liked what they saw. Then again, #1 developer community + scale & agility of the cloud = what's not to like.