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5 highlights from TrailheaDX

Yesterday wrapped up the Breakouts and Super Sessions of Salesforce TrailheaDX and, even though developers and admins are diving into another two days of bootcamps, there’s so much big news to share. Here are our top five moments from the past week.

1. Keynote: Finding fam and looking to the future

The main keynote was a family reunion – Trailblazers including admins, developers, nearly 60 MPVs and a smattering of Golden Hoodies found each other with hugs and bright smiles.

Our fave music LT Smooth eased us into the day, before Parker Harris took to the stage celebrating our six million developers and 240 developer groups in more than 50 countries.

Salesforce Co-Founder and CTO Parker Harris kicks off TrailheaDX ’19

“Look at how big this community is. And together, we’re more than just a company. We’re more than just a community,” Harris said. “You’re taking the technology that we build at Salesforce, and you’re innovating in your communities and at your companies. And through that innovation you are leaders in your community and you’re paving a path to the future.”

2. Announcing Salesforce Blockchain – making secure data sharing easy

We launched Salesforce Blockchain, a new, low-code blockchain platform connected to CRM so organisations can securely collaborate and share data across third parties.

Blockchain is a foundational technology with a wide range of use cases. Think of any process today where data has to be authenticated and shared across multiple third parties. Chances are the experience is clunky and slow, and leaves you questioning why the process was built that way in the first place. That’s where blockchain can help. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that can streamline how transactions and documents are created and exchanged.

Senior Director of Trailhead Evangelism Leah McGowen-Hare showed us how Salesforce Blockchain works and how Arizona State University is using it to maintain the integrity of its data, authenticating courses and transcripts from high schools, community colleges and universities, making the transfer process for students and schools much easier.

So many processes that involve sharing data outside the walls of one organisation – real estate purchases, insurance claims and more – were cobbled together years ago. They weren’t built around users and they certainly weren’t built for our modern, technology-powered world.

Blockchain allows us to upend antiquated processes and rebuild them entirely, with customers at the centre and with processes that are faster, less labour-intensive and more secure.

Our customers can easily and declaratively build and maintain blockchain apps, networks and flows that are directly connected to customer records.

And there’s the potential to do even more than share data – blockchain can be used to validate the origin of food products and pharmaceutical drugs, confirm ethical supply chain practices, authenticate high-value items like art or jewelry, secure voting, or move healthcare records from one provider to another.

And while blockchain technology itself isn’t this week’s invention, we’re so excited about this announcement because it makes blockchain easy and accessible.

“In the same way that Salesforce democratised tech, we can do that for blockchain,” said Adam Caplan, Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies during the ‘Introduction to Blockchain for CRM’ session on day one.

Because Salesforce Blockchain is powered by Lightning, our customers can easily and declaratively build and maintain blockchain apps, networks and flows that are directly connected to customer records within Salesforce.

Partners and third parties can leverage Lightning’s intuitive UX and easily connect to your blockchain app or network – which helps with adoption, one of the most crucial pieces of the blockchain puzzle. And this also means you don’t have to recruit blockchain developers – any Salesforce admin or developer can use Salesforce Blockchain.

3. We’ve open sourced Lightning Web Components

Salesforce has been involved with open source since its earliest days, and contributes to hundreds of projects every year – because a healthy open source ecosystem is essential to a growing software industry.

So now, we’re open sourcing Lightning Web Components, our standards-based UI framework that makes it easy for millions of developers to build apps on the Lightning Platform.

Open sourcing Lightning Web Components empowers developers to build on the development stack of their choice. It is now available on GitHub so developers can explore the source code and help us define the future of development on Salesforce.

The TrailheaDX audience learned about creating AI-powered apps using Einstein Platform Services, which gives users the power to create custom predictions, to use Einstein Optical Character Recognition, and to translate text into any language using a single line of APEX code – online or off.

4. Closing tech’s gender gap

Talking about tech’s gender gap isn’t really a highlight – the day we never have reason to talk of it again will be a good one! – but chatting about ways that our amazing community of Trailblazers is working together to close it is pretty special.

“Women make up half the population of the world and only 18% of the population in tech,” Salesforce Executive Vice President of Developer Relations and General Manager of Trailhead Sarah Franklin told us.

And that’s a total – women from underrepresented minorities are even more underrepresented in tech.  

Franklin spoke with Angela Mahoney, co-founder of RAD Women, an organisation dedicated to helping women administrators upskill with Trailhead to become developers, about how each of us can help narrow the gap.

Sarah Franklin and Angela Mahoney discuss closing the gender gap in tech.

“See what you can do to amplify other people’s voices,” answered Mahoney. “Whether that’s volunteering in schools to help young people learn how to code or donating your time to an organisation like RAD Women to upskill women on the Salesforce platform, we can all help.”

And of course, building inclusive communities is key.

“The Trailblazer Community is incredibly kind. I see only people who are trying to lift each other up,” Mahoney said. “Coding is about falling down and getting up, falling down and getting up. It’s not too late to learn.”

5. We saw how to build an API ecosystem with ASICS

Trailblazer spotlights are our favourite moments – those rare opportunities to celebrate the success of people who are changing their organisations completely, who are examining and improving every aspect of their businesses and its interactions with customers.

This week, it was ASICS’s turn – Senior Director of Engineering Phillip Connaughton explained the challenge the company faced migrating to a new ecommerce platform. The move involved bringing in a lot of data – including product, pricing and customer data – and his story reinforced the importance of integration.

“We realised we didn’t have the time or the resources to build it from scratch,” he said. “We all decided we were going to learn MuleSoft to integrate all of the backend systems that ASICS has with Commerce Cloud.”

Salesforce Principal Developer Evangelist Zayne Turner explained how MuleSoft can integrate any app, data or device to help build amazing experiences for customers, and she showed the crowd how to build an API ecosystem using the new MuleSoft API Community Manager and deliver commerce experiences anywhere using Commerce Cloud.

And so much more

There’s always too much to cover! Other highlights included the launch of a fantastic new Trailhead module that’ll help anyone learn how to build responsible and fair AI solutions. With the Responsible Creation of Artificial Intelligence module, learners will be able to understand, recognise and remove bias in AI algorithms.

During an action-packed demo jam, AppExchange partners had only three minutes to pitch their companies’ apps to attendees. Each live demo combined creative storytelling with forefront solutions to impress the room full of judges.

“We only want to show the good stuff and how these demos are valuable to the audience,” said Joshua Hoskins from CRMified. In the end, the audience voted Jitterbit as the winner!

And last but certainly not least, Golden Hoodies. Ending the keynote with a bang, Harris and Franklin brought three Trailblazers who’ve made significant contributions to the community back on stage to surprise them with coveted Golden Hoodies. Congratulations to Angela Mahoney, Susannah St-Germain and Phillip Connaughton – we hope you’re loving #LifewithGoldie.

Learn more about new product announcements and catch up on all the TrailheaDX ’19 action with Salesforce Live.

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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