My Dream Journey to Dreamforce ’16 – An Unforgettable Episode of My Life
I still cannot hold my surprise back; the day when my mailbox received the most prestigious mail from Salesforce. Titled “We can’t wait to see you at Dreamforce 16”, the mail was an invitation from Salesforce to attend the world’s largest software event Dreamforce 2016 held at San Francisco, California, US. In fact, I was literally impatient from the day I submitted my topic which I wished to present at Dreamforce ’16. And when I received the invitation mail, my mind was mixed with excitement and nervousness. Because I had to present to a great audience, something beyond the abstract that my Team Lead Abhishek Sivasubramanian and I had mailed to the Dreamforce speakers selection panel. I still remember how both of us decided the topic (“SOQL Performance Tuning and the Multi-Tenant Query Optimizer”) and sent the abstract to Dreamforce.
The moment I received the invitation mail from Dreamforce ’16, Abhishek called me up for a quick discussion to plan the presentation agenda. Abhishek looked at my frightened face and inspired me to take up this responsibility as a challenge. Being a previous speaker at Dreamforce ’14, he had a clear picture of the event. Standing on the Dreamforce podium as a speaker is not a very easy thing to do as we need to excel at the many levels of selection criteria stipulated by Dreamforce.
As soon as the topic got shortlisted, Abhishek and I started preparing the presentation content and queries for the demo. We had to perform many dry runs in front of our session coach Shashank Srivastavaya, a Developer Evangelist in Salesforce. We were supposed to submit the draft slides to him within the given deadline. We had less time and more things to do. I am really grateful to our client Author Solutions Inc. for completely understanding our situation and allowing us to work in flexible timings so that we could dedicate a few hours for our daily Dreamforce session practice.
Practice… Practice… Practice…
Finally, we were all set to go for a formal demo and we gained enough confidence for that. Initially, we had to perform a mock run in front of the Suyati Salesforce Team, which consists of seasoned veterans and certified developers. The reason to choose such an audience was that we were expecting a group of listeners who will also have equal or high standard during our live session at Dreamforce ‘16. We are very thankful to our Salesforce Team because they bombarded us with many good questions from every nook and corner during the Q&A session. It was really a great opportunity for us to prepare well. We managed to clarify their queries during the Q&A. After the internal mock sessions, we gathered momentum and boosted our confidence for the live session. When we gave the first dry run to Shashank from Salesforce, he got impressed in first shot itself and suggested some minor corrections to be carried out for the next dry run. That was our green signal to Dreamforce ’16. We also got enough tips from Suyati’s Sales and Marketing Team and Management Board which helped us a lot. This was an example of how Suyatians contribute to everyone’s achievement in the organization. Everything went in favor of us and we formally submitted our presentation collaterals to Dreamforce, got our registration approved and received the free pass to the conference.
Yes, we flew to the Dreamland!
The admin team gave us a pleasant travel itinerary so that we got enough time to have some city tour around San Francisco. Our session was on the first day of Dreamforce between 12:00 and 12.30 pm. Abhishek and I reached much early in order to familiarize with the conventions and did some amount of practice prior to our session. When I reached there, I was really amazed by the arrangements made by Dreamforce organizers. They have turned a whole city to a conference venue comprising 16 locations where keynotes and breakout sessions were going to be conducted. We went around and found our location arranged like a developers’ forest which was jam-packed. For a moment, I felt that I am going to have a stage phobia, but I was sure that I could withstand that. Thanks to my active participation in Suyati’s cultural programs like Onam, Christmas, Anniversary celebrations etc. At the back stage, I again practiced, but Abhishek was as cool as MSD who bats with all his might at the tensed last overs of a critical match.
Yes, the golden moment has arrived! Both of us stood on the stage with all set to go for a start, the countdown timer started ticking and we commenced our session. The hall was crowded and some of the spectators even clicked photographs of our session slides for their reference. Finally, the timer stopped at 0:00 and we were quite happy to realize that the session went well. We faced a lot of queries during the Q&A session and we braved to answer those without any hesitation. At last, I had a great sigh of relief when the audience gave us a loud applause acknowledging our session. Were we all the more excited when Jim and Jay from Author Solutions appreciated our efforts towards this session.
Thank God for such a pleasant session
When we flew to Dreamforce, our buddies from Suyati conducted the Dreamflash event and tweeted throughout the event to support us. I am very much surprised and happy to see that people still recognize us even after our session at Dreamforce. Post our session, we attended mini hacks, quiz and other interesting programs and hurried to collect all goodies and books. On the following days of Dreamforce, we attended many technical sessions, U2 concert, keynotes etc. that gave me a lot of information and experiences to remember forever in my life.
Later, we flew to Indianapolis Author Solutions office and we got stunned by their hospitality. Though they were busy on their schedules, they dedicated their precious time to spend with us and also accompanied us for a short city tour and food. It was a token of Suyati’s long and strong bond with Author Solutions. We also got a chance to enjoy the live musical concert, Opera, IU Home coming event and more.
Suyati calls back
After the two colorful and eventful weeks in the US, we flew back to Kochi. I owe a lot to Suyati because today I can say that all the achievements and appreciations that I received and my opportunity to participate in Dreamforce as a speaker, happened because of Suyati. Simply said, Suyati is the back bone that supports my professional growth. A special thanks to Mukund and Vincent for this great opportunity and making my dream come true. Thanks to each and every Suyatian for the infinite support that they have given us for Dreamforce ‘16. Undoubtedly, I can say Suyati is a most cherished part of my life because Suyati provides me a platform to learn a lot in terms of technical, cultural and personal skills, worth for my life. Let me conclude, Suyati taught me to DREAM high, DARE the challenges and DO the best.
You can read more about our session in Abhishek’s blog: Suyati’s session at Dreamforce 2016- Major extracts.
Also explore our Dreamforce blogs:
- Tips to Leverage Salesforce AppExchange: Dreamforce 2016 Session Excerpts
- Developers turn Trailblazers with Salesforce
- Takeaways from Dreamforce Sessions
- Salesforce Advantage for SMBs: Keynote Extracts
- Dreamtalk- Day 1 in a Nutshell
About the Author:
ARUNRAJ PAZHERICKAL is a Senior Software developer at Suyati Technologies. He has been associated with Suyati for 3.5 years and has a total experience of 5 years. At Suyati, he manages the software development projects in Salesforce, particularly focused on Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud. Arunraj also has an extensive experience in .NET technology especially in MVC and Web Services. He also spearheads the R&D activities at Suyati where he works on enterprise architecture & product development.