Ask any developer who has been to Dreamforce before and they will tell you the Developer Keynote is not to be missed. Last year the session was so popular the Moscone Center Fire Wardens had us close the doors to avoid over crowding. This year is going to be even bigger, badder, and more awesome!
Behind the scenes, a lot of work and preparation is put into all of the keynotes. Careful planning on what features to highlight, the killer demos, customer stories, and more all get discussed, brainstormed, and reworked dozens of times. As an attendee, sometimes it’s hard to hone in on what are the most important things to take away from a 60-90 minute keynote session filled with so much amazing new information. For Developers, it can be often be even harder as the hottest languages, frameworks, and projects can change in a heartbeat.
So how does a developer get the most out of this years developer keynote? Here’s a few pragmatic pieces of advice.
1. Register for the Developer keynote now!
No really, do it now! Registration is filling up fast. You don’t want to miss being in the crowd and networking with other developers. It’s the side conversations you over hear, new contacts you meet, and up close vibe that lets you focus in on where the buzz is. Who knows – you might even meet another developer that eventually becomes your co-founder in the next hottest cloud startup!
2. Look for the frame
Any good keynote will be built around a frame – a sort of gravity point that everything pivots back to. Watch any Steve Jobs or Marc Benioff presentation and you see them constantly come back to a key theme that frames the entire presentation. The developer keynote is no different. We use this frame to make sure that every feature or technology that we discuss makes it easier for developers to build apps and deliver on the strategy defined in the frame.
Here’s an example of a frame, and subsections, or blocks as they are often called.
3. Don’t miss half the keynote writing notes.
Write down the frame – it always comes early in the presentation – and use it as a sort of mind map. Whenever you hear something that is interesting, sketch that idea down and draw a line back to the frame. Using this approach will help you write the minimal amount of notes that let you remember the context of the technology/discussion point. Then, post keynote, when you have more time to dig into the details without spending time writing a bunch of notes and missing what else is going on in the keynote.
Using our frame from above, here is a quick mind map of the topics for later reference.
4. The Call To Action
Let’s face it – there is only so much you can cover in a keynote. The call to action is the speaker’s last opportunity to grab your attention. When done well, the call to action should be a few very tactical steps that attendees can go and do right after the keynote, and when you get home from Dreamforce. For the developer keynote, the call to action will help you immediately get hands on back in the devzone, and give you a great idea on what to dig into when you get home. If you are going to take just one picture during the keynote to add to your notes, take it of the call to action. It’s like having a roadmap on how to build your next awesome app using the latest features Salesforce provides developers.
5. Pay it forward: Support the Developer Community
One of the greatest things about being a Salesforce developer is the amazingly supportive community. If you are fortunate enough to attend Dreamforce, help the rest of the community benefit as much as you did from the keynote. Blog, tweet, share, and talk about your experience at the keynote using the #devzone hashtag. From all of us in developer relations team, platform management, and everyone else that helps put the Developer keynote together, our goal is to build solutions to make every developer amazingly successful. The more we share the content, the more we are all part of the developer community.