Ah, Kevin: These are sage words indeed.

And they come at an interesting time: we are ~13 calendar days away from Dreamforce, epicenter of all things shiny: Metallica, Cake, The Open Source Lab, killer announcements, surprise guests and a whole lot more.

How are you, my developer friend, going to make the most of all the opportunities in front of you? Here are my top 5 tips.

5. Prepare your personal elevator pitch. It should include the basics of who you, what you do and why someone should care. If you practice it, you’ll be ready to pull it out when that unexpected opportunity arises. At different times, I have found myself suddenly with CIO’s and CEO’s, and one time even right behind Benioff in line at Starbucks. Use those serendipitous moments to your advantage.

4. Make definite plans to meet people. These could be people you know from Twitter, the developer boards or blogs, Cloudspokes or maybe someone whose Salesforce success story you’ve read. And you should start making those plans today. Personal connections are as important of an outcome as technical know how. Use the Dreamforce app. It works.

3. Visit the expo and talk to the vendors. I know, I know: vendors. I have to admit I share the average developer’s disdain for sales pitches. So here’s how you make it work: preview the expo, find the vendors who look interesting, and connect with them in the Dreamforce org ahead of time. Figure out the hard questions and ask them.

2. Plan some downtime. Dreamforce can be a 24 hour a day event if you want it to be, but that comes with a price. Recharge time is critical if you’re going to get the most value out of the event. Maybe this is spending some time in a beanbag chair, maybe it’s skipping a party to get a little extra sleep, who knows. Just make time for it.

1. Plan your sessions, plan back up sessions, and find a few extra things to check out between sessions. Maybe this is the lightning theater, maybe it’s the Open Source Lab, maybe it’s that all important downtime mentioned above. Whatever it is, have a plan. The more you plan your week, the more you’ll get out of it, even if you end up not following your original plan to the letter.

I remember walking up to Moscone last year, the day before everything kicked off. The whole thing was decked out in Dreamforce colors. It was without a doubt the calm before the storm. The next day was thousand and thousands of people, new friends and old. It was a great experience.

This year is going to be even better. It’s almost here and it will be over before you know it.

Make the most of it.

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