It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by the spectacle that is Dreamforce. This is Salesforce’s “super bowl” bringing in 120,000+ folks from around the world to the Moscone compounds in downtown San Francisco. Each year outdoes the previous, and this year brings the Dreamboat to Pier 27 which is an actual ship from Celebrity Cruises that helps accommodate the overflow of attendees.

Rather than get overwhelmed, let’s take a step back to the most fundamental decision – what to wear. Last year, there was an article in Forbes on what to wear to Dreamforce. However, I live in the DevZone (presenting Lightning Connect: Lessons Learned Tuesday 10:30am on how to get external data in “click-not-code” style) and cross over to the AdminZone, and want to write up an article on what to wear for all my geeks.

What is FashionForce?

FashionForce was the first ever Salesforce Developer Fashion Show organized with the Salesforce Raleigh User Group.  It featured real Salesforce Admins and Developers that, reluctantly, rocked the runway for a charitable cause raising money for local Salesforce Nonprofits as featured by the Salesforce Foundation. The theme of the event was “What to wear to the DevZone”.  The runway at FashionForce featured tees, hoodies, wearables from the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack, and selections for the Dreamforce gala.

What to wear to the DevZone

The Dreamforce DevZone and AdminZone are safe places for Salesforce professionals to wear whatever they want. It’s a diverse crowd that challenges the stereotypes for technology professionals highlighted by the social media buzz around the hashtag, #ILookLikeAnEngineer. While you should bring your own style, I do want to share some suggestions based on feedback from FashionForce.

Do Bring: Your Favorite Tees

Tees are techie favorites and easy to pack to Dreamforce and you don’t have to iron them. Most attendees are staying four nights from September 15-18 and to save space in your bag – consider packing a couple less than you normally would to make extra room in your bag. I guarantee you will easily score at least two free t-shirts in the vendor hall beneath Moscone West. My employer, Progress DataDirect, will be giving away fun tees and the booth actually has a developer fashion theme.

Do Bring: Hoodies

Hoodies are another techie favorite and highly recommended since they are easy to pack and can be worn multiple days over your tees when Moscone West gets a little chilly. I’ve presented in a couple of these rooms and found the odd number rooms on the right 2000-2012 to be consistently cooler than the even numbered rooms 2014-2024 on the opposite hallway.

Do Bring: Comfortable Shoes

You will walk way more than you expect in the DevZone. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a hotel room near Moscone, you will still want to attend a couple sessions offsite. For example, if you want to learn more about SAQL with Wave, you’ll need to walk over to Metreon AMC Theatre. There are even sessions at the Intercontinental or Hilton Union Square.

Do Bring: Accessories

Portable Cell Phone Chargers: You will run out of juice and it will be a disaster if you have to charge your phone instead of attending a technical session or hands-on workshop.  Everyone who attended the #StruckByLightning event should have a charger delivered any day now.

Messenger Bag: When you check-in, you usually get a back pack with some items from sponsors and it’s mostly used to export swag back home. Since there is no guarantee, it’s recommended to bring your own proven messenger bag or back pack to carry your laptop, devices, chargers, conference materials and snacks (which can be a lifesaver when you need to skip a meal to squeeze in an extra session). You’ll be on the go.

Optional to bring

Optional to bring: Tech Wearables

Google glasses and Apple Watches are really cool to bring, but not required to buy in advance for the DevZone. Salesforce has been showing off some really cool applications for the Apple Watch. If you’re planning to build or demo some of these applications on a wearable device, then you should absolutely bring them.

Optional to bring: Evening Attire

There is a wide range of attire in the DevZone, and it’s important to wear what you’re comfortable with ultimately. From my experience, I tend to pack at least one nice pair of dress shoes for the Gala and have never worn them, since the Gala is really an outdoor concert where comfort trumps style. This year, it’s at Pier 70 with music by the Foo Fighters and Gary Clark Jr. Personally, I might wear something fancier to the event, but definitely with comfortable shoes.

Do Not Bring

Do Not Bring: Laptop Bra

This laptop bra allows techies to use their laptop while walking. It was a joke around our office and predates mobile devices.

About the Author:

Chief Data Evangelist for Progress DataDirect, Speaker and leading expert on open data standards connectivity with Cloud Data. Sumit Sarkar has been working in the data connectivity field for 10 years with a recent focus on the Salesforce platform for real-time data connectivity across ODBC, JDBC and OData. He has presented related sessions at Dreamforce ‘12, ‘13, ‘14 and will be hosting a session at Dreamforce ’15 on DataDirect Cloud titled, Lightning Connect: Lessons Learned in the devzone.


To talk about Lightning Connect external objects, find me in the DevZone or near the Progress DataDirect booth W-837.

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