The Salesforce Development world can seem gigantic, especially when you first start out with little or no coding experience. It can be daunting to try to figure out how to get started, what you’re doing wrong, or even what can you be doing with the Force.com platform.Enter the Salesforce Developer Evangelists. These are some of my favorite people working at Salesforce.com. These fantastic folks speak at User Group meetings, share code, help developers through problems, write blogs, and most importantly provide encouragement and inspiration.
Getting To Know Your Developer Evangelists
Everyone should be checking out the blogs on http://blogs.developerforce.com/ You may never try to develop something based on their blogs, but it is amazing some of the crazy and wacky things they come up with.
Developer Evangelist Examples
It’s no secret that my journey to be a developer has been largely self-taught. This doesn’t mean I haven’t had help. The Salesforce Community has been a huge part of helping me learn to develop Visualforce and Apex. Many of the Developer Evangelists have helped me as well. So to all you out there – Thank you.
Here are some examples of how the Developer Evangelists have helped inspire and help me grow as a Salesforce professional.
Josh is one of the first Developer Evangelists I met. He presented a Wisconsin User Group meeting. I don’t remember what the subject was, but it was probably canvas… or streaming API… or something that was way above my head at the time. What I do remember was after the meeting I introduced myself and told Josh how I was trying to become a developer. Josh reached into his bag and handed me first Salesforce Developer book. That book has been heavily used and is current full of dog ears and strips of post-it notes.
Most recently, Josh released some free code called OneStarter for helping developer style their visualforce pages in Salesforce1 more easily. You can see my blog post about it here: Salesforce1: Getting Started with OneStarter I used OneStarter in my first non-declarative Salesforce1 App. The App is almost completed and I owe a lot of thanks for Josh for helping me through some confusing issues that made my apprentice code brain spin.
I have a difficult time thinking of Pat as anything other than MetaDaddy. Pat is a cool guy for many reasons. His older brother in Monty Python’s Holy Grail That’s pretty cool. What’s cooler is Metadaddy released code that allows you to visualize your Salesforce data within Minecraft – one of my favorite games. ForceCraft is a great example of how Developer Evangelists can inspire us. Plus, I’m hoping it gives me an excuse in the future to play a little minecraft while exploring the integration setup.
I first met Peter Chittum at Dreamforce 2012. He was hosting my first Hands-On Training session for that year. If you have Dreamforce access you can see the session details here Visualforce Pages in Disguise for Developers.
Peter recognized me and introduced himself… and even asked to wear the hat. I was touch. It was before I had become a Salesforce MVP and I didn’t think maybe people would know who I was. Of course, by this point I’ve lost track the number of times Peter had helped me out on Twitter. If you ever have a chance to attend a session led by Peter, do it! Not only is Peter an excellent trainer, but there’s something about that accent of his that just lets the information absorb into the brain nicely.
Finally, there’s Reid Carlberg. You may have met Reid during Dreamforce 2013 doing the Connected Devices Lab over in Moscone West. It was pretty awesome. Where else could you play music with bananas or set off an alarm with Salesforce1. Reid is a fantastic guy with a good sense of humor, which is why I know he’ll forgive me for using his Movember photo.
He’s a fantastic presenter and a great friend for any Salesforce Developer or Developer Wannabe to have. He is a little bit scary at times. For instance his post on ReidCarlberg.com was how to control your quadcopter drone fleet with Salesforce1. I’m pretty sure when the dust settles we’ll find Reid was the creator of Skynet.
Reid shared with me a couple of books when I was considering launching my first AppExchange app and debating if I should leave my job and go into business for myself. They’re great books which I highly recommend anyone even thinking about it checking it out.
There are many other great Developer Evangelists I didn’t mention here. Go out on twitters and the community and find them. Engage with them. They are great people to know and are willing and excited to help you grow as a developer.