Midwest Dreamin’ 2016…Already??

Its still 2015, so why am I blogging about Midwest Dreamin’ 2016 already?

Two reasons:

1. If you are a Salesforce user, admin, or developer this is your chance to to see how others use the platform. It’s your chance to learn something that you can take back to your organization and implement to make a big impact!

2. If you are a Salesforce partner, this is your chance to get your name and product out in front of over 500 admins, developers and end users. It’s your chance to show the value that your product can bring to an organization in a very focused event with high quality attendees.

What’s Midwest Dreamin’, you ask? Think of it like this – take some of the best knowledge transfers you can find at Dreamforce, combine it with the community feeling of a user group meeting, throw in a keynote address by Peter Coffee, and mix it up with a Demo Jam from some of the Appexchange’s best partners in Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier…and that’s what you’ll get on July 21 & 22, 2016.

Be sure to follow Midwest Dreamin’ on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what’s happening, who is speaking, when you can register, how you can submit a session idea.

Get all the details about becoming a sponsor here.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing THE Chris Duarte

This is the thirteenth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the one and only, Chris Duarte.

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What’s your job title? Managing Editor of Trailhead, Salesforce.

What does that mean you do? I make sure the content on Trailhead is rad! (EFD – For those who don’t know what Trailhead is, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE PAST YEAR?  Oh, sorry.  I got carried away.  Check out Trailhead here.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Five years. (EFD – Five years?  Ha,ha!  I’ve got you beat!   What?  It’s not a competition?  Oh, so sorry.)

Bacon or sausage?  It’s bacon, or nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  So here’s the deal. I’m a big believer in lifelong learning, and I think every day presents a chance to learn something new. Just this morning (EFD November 11th, the date Chris gave me these details) I was in a meeting with Todd Enders, and I was about to launch into this deck I created. He stopped me and asked a few questions, which got the room talking and got us off on the right note. The meeting had a great outcome, by the way, and now I’ve learned a new way to communicate with impact (thanks, Todd!).

This is the thing I love about learning! One minute you’re doing things the same old way you’ve always done them, and the next you’ve completely changed your mind about something you were so sure about before. You learn, and then you transform. It’s rad when it happens! Ultimately, that’s the reason I work on Trailhead. Because I believe where we can go and who we can become is limitless, and Trailhead is an amazing way to help us get there.

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we met on Twitter in 2014. Our relationship solidified when you agreed to present in our success theater at Dreamforce 2014. Then I returned the favor by presenting at Midwest Dreamin’ 2015. Thanks again for having me! (EFD – I’ve got an idea…how about a Trailhead “thing” at Midwest Dreamin’ 2016?)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I’m related to Abraham Lincoln. (EFD – Wow, really?  I wish I would have know that, and you, back in early 1865 so I could have asked you to get me his autograph.  Oh wait….nevermind.)

You can find Chris on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Ryan Headley

This is the twelfth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Salesforce MVP, and musician, Ryan Headley.

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What’s your job title? Senior IT Consultant, Radial Web, Inc.

What does that mean you do? Radial Web does custom Salesforce development, implementations and integrations. My job is mainly all things development, but there are times when I do admin stuff as well. (EFD – So you start with customer requirements, do your magic and build a solution that meets their needs. Smoke & mirrors, that’s your secret, isn’t it?)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Just over 2 years. (EFD – Wow, dude! Only two years in the ecosystem and you’re already an MVP and you have been on stage at Dreamforce? What’s left to do? I know…plenty, right?)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Who. My old boss used to say: I don’t know, but I know YOU know. That’s all I need to know. (EFD – But what do you do if you don’t know anyone who knows what you need to know, you know? I know! Enter the Salesforce Success Community! There’s ALWAYS someone there in the know!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we first started following each other on Twitter sometime during early 2014. Then we met in person at the Community Keynote at Dreamforce 2014. (EFD – Ah yes, loved Erica Kuhl’s state of the community address.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I travelled the country as a young child while my parents toured in a bluegrass gospel band called The Pathfinders (EFD – That’s cool! So your musical abilities came naturally!)

You can find Ryan on Twitter and be sure to check out his blog: Sudo Vi.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Amber Boaz

This is the eleventh post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Salesforce MVP, Amber Boaz.

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What’s your job title? Project Manager, Code Science

What does that mean you do? I manage projects. I wrangle developers, designers, and clients. I keep projects on time and under budget while beating back scope creep. I schedule conference calls which I begin with “who just joined?” I nag about timecards and expense reports. I deliver value for my clients.  (EFD – “Who just joined?” – Three of the most often said words. “I deliver value” – Three words more people should say when describing what they do!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Since 2008. (EFD – That’s just a year longer than me.)

Bacon or sausage?  Eww…a pork product? No thank you!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Not sure that’s an “either/or” thing. It’s a combo. You have to know who to talk to, but then you’ve got to be competent in the conversation. (EFD – Ah…the combo! Is that kind of like the Progressive Insurance bundle?)

How did our relationship start, and when? I don’t remember, but I’m sure it was epic! (EFD – Hmmm…I don’t remember for sure either, which makes me wonder how epic it could have been. It could have been totally forgettable, or so awesomely EPIC that we have blocked it from our memory. Either way, I’m thrilled to know you!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Myers-Briggs says I’m an Introvert. (EFD – Wait, what? You just defined oxymoron! You know, things like Jumbo Shrimp, Honest Politician, Military Intelligence, Amber Introvert. And just in case any military people or politicians are reading this, settle down…its just a joke. I meant no harm!)

You can find Amber on Twitter. And when you tweet her, be sure to ask what the 9904 means. I’ve never gotten a straight answer, so please share yours with me!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Taylor Grimes

This is the tenth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Taylor Grimes.

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What’s your job title? Salesforce Consultant, Cheshire Impact

What does that mean you do?  I help clients engineer the lead to revenue lifecycle through Salesforce architecture and Marketing Automation enablement.  I help with marketing and sales processes during Salesforce implementations, managed services and custom projects tackling unique pain points. (EFD – I have some unique pain points, but that might just be from being old!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Five years. (EFD – So in ‘Salesforce years’ you are a relative rookie, but have seen some incredible improvements!)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Who you know, every leg up I’ve gotten throughout my career in Salesforce is because someone smarter than me took the time to explain an answer which then became knowledge I helped share too. It’s a grassroots community empowering everyone who has a desire to learn 🙂 (EFD – Ahhh…the community in action. That’s awesome!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I started following you when I read your blog on becoming an MVP.  (EFD – so that would have been in April, 2013. I found out that I became an MVP the day after my birthday. What a present, huh? Oh…and in case anyone missed that blog, here it is!

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I went to a college prep boarding school for athletes in Faribault, MN right outside the Twin Cities.  Shattuck St. Mary’s focused on building a competitive environment for nurturing student athletes.  Alumnus include the great Marlon Brando, Sydney Crosby from the Penguins, Johnny Toews of the Blackhawks, Derek Stephan of the NY Rangers, or the countless AMAZING women on Team USA and many more. (If the Shattuck St. Mary’s google alerts find this article, my apologies for those left out who are worthy of a shout out 😉 ).  I used to think the highlight of my life would be saying I went to high school with the best of the best as I humbly cheer on my friends while they made it to Olympic levels, until I found my Salesforce network.  Now I’m a part of a group so powerful and exciting that I don’t have to just look back fondly at my time in high school, I’m excited for my future and what I can do for Women in Technology paving my own trail.  It may not be as glorious as a Gold Medal or Stanley Cup, but for me the growth in my career with Salesforce is more than I could have ever hoped for as a girl from Nebraska with a dream to find my calling. (EFD – There are some people who will be more impressed at what this girl from Nebraska has done, compared to winning an Olympic Gold Medal or the Stanley Cup….I’m one of those people.)

You can find Taylor on Twitter.

Great Dates, Bad Dates and Salesforce.com Dates

Did you ever go out on a date with someone a friend said was perfect for you only to be wishing the date never started after just 5 minutes? That would be a bad date.

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Did you ever go out on a date with someone who you figured out was perfect for you after just 5 minutes? That would be a great date!

first sight

Did you ever wonder how you can filter a matrix report to compare this year versus last year in your production org? That would be a Salesforce date.  And when you use a Salesforce date in the right way, WOW!  The things you can do!

Salesforce dates come in all shapes and sizes…just like your personal good and bad dates. But unlike those dates, you have complete control over what your Salesforce dates will do. And that’s a good thing! Dates are one of the most important filters you can use on a report. They will not only make sure you get what you are looking for, but with a narrow focus, your reports will actually run faster.

Types of Salesforce Dates

There are many types of Salesforce dates. There’s the really important ones, the dates everyone wants to know – what date does Dreamforce start, and when is Midwest Dreamin’ next year?  While I admit those are important, they are really irrelevant to how you filter a report.

Everyone probably knows that you can use a fixed date range, simply by entering (or selecting from the calendar) the dates you want, and most people probably know that you can use a pre-defined date range such as “Current FQ” or “Last 90 Days”.

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But did you realize you can use mixed dates to give you a really cool filter?

mixed dates

In short, dates are awesome, and control what you see (or don’t see) in your reports and dashboards.

For some reason, when I think about the power dates give you in reports, I thought of this: https://youtu.be/NpWAlvWNZj0