TrailheaDX Announcements and What's Coming Next

June 5, 2019 Mark Adcock

Salesforce's annual TrailheaDX conference brought with it several exciting product announcements, enhancements, and energized keynotes. Lots of special recognition was given to individuals and groups who have achieved major accomplishments in the Salesforce ecosystems.  

What is TrailheaDX?

Originally a developer conference, TrailheaDX has transformed into an event for all types of users. From people who use declarative tools like process builder and flow to developers who use code solutions like Apex and Lightning Web Components, today’s TrailheaDX includes a wide variety of attendees, ranging from administrators to consultants and now architects. 

The TrailheaDX sessions explore multiple facets of the Salesforce platform and how to empower different users to drive change across their organizations. 

Growth of the Salesforce Ecosystem

The Salesforce platform has been changing and growing over the years. Salesforce has acquired and adopted cutting-edge technologies and has found new ways to leverage their existing capabilities to empower customers to get the most value out of their transformative digital platform. 

Salesforce Roadmap Delivering Continuous Innovation through products and services

The Empowered Trailblazer keynote showcased the success of the platform and emphasized that Salesforce’s success is the result of focusing on what matters most: customer and employee success.

Salesforce Blockchain

Salesforce Blockchain is a huge announcement because it’s one of the missing links in the critical technologies driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the demo, Salesforce Blockchain technology enabled a Higher Ed organization to build secure, distributed, and trusted networks to manage student transcripts. 

Blockchain was quickly and easily built using declarative tools in Salesforce and created secure, trusted records for student transcripts, enabling distributed cross-organizational collaboration.  This showcase was a glimpse of what’s to come. Education is changing; in the future students will be able to learn across organizations long after they earn their degree. Through technologies like Salesforce and blockchain, learning will happen across a person’s lifetime. 

What is blockchain? 

There’s a lot that you can learn about blockchain, but as a brief description, blockchain is a technology that supports distributed secure data storage. In the blockchain model, everyone who uses the technology has a copy of all the data in the blockchain and each new item is added as a block. 

However, unlike a lot of traditional methods of distributed data, blockchain is based on cryptographic methods to make sure that each node, or item, connected to the data store can verify it has the right information without having to “talk” to the original source. This helps build a network of trust where each consumer of the blockchain data can ensure their data is accurate without expending effort on maintaining that with another data store.

Want to learn more about Blockchain? Check out this Trailhead module

Learning New Skills

TrailheaDX is very much a learning conference, there’s an emphasis on gaining new knowledge, skills, and abilities. This applies to people coming to work on the SalesforceSalesforce platform for the first time and to those already working on the platform who want to build up their skills and make the transition to becoming administrators, developers, architects, and consultants. 

The Equality Gap in Technology

The Equality Gap in Technology, or, the lack of diversity and representation,  was highlighted at TrailheaDX. While women account for 47 percent of the population, they make up only 18 percent of technology workers.  Hispanic, Latin, and African Americans have even lower representation in technology.  

Equality gap in technology percentages for women and minorities

These challenges are compounded by the cost of learning becoming increasingly high to large segments of the population. 

Graph illustrating the skyrocketing cost of education

Salesforce highlighted how their platform was built to flexible and offer no code, low code, and code solutions to its diverse user base. They helped make technology more accessible to a wider group of people by lowering the barrier of entry to those without a computer science background. 

The need for Salesforce skills is continuously increasing, with an expected 3.3 million new jobs by 2022.  

On the bright side, there is Trailhead, with over 14 million badges earned, 1 in 4 Trailhead learners have found a new job.  These jobs exist across every industry, in organizations of all types and sizes. 

A new offering, Trailblazer Connect, helps job seekers to connect with customers and partners to find new jobs that are aligned with their skills.  

RAD Women Code

RADWomen  (Radical Apex Developer Women) was one of the Trailblazer groups highlighted at the event. RAD Women seeks to address the gender equality gap in technology by enabling women who want to pursue technology careers and learn Apex. RAD Women is a fantastic example of Salesforce Ohana community, inclusion, and skilling up individuals to help them accomplish more.   

 

Susannah Kate St-Germain and Boston Scientific

Susannah is a Salesforce Architect for Boston Scientific and a leader of the Ladies Be Architects program.  She shared how Boston Scientific revolutionized the way they built their platform and accelerated their business processes with Salesforce.  Using a mix of technologies like Einstein, Lightning, and other platform tools, Boston Scientific accelerated some of their sales operational processes from an average of nine days to an average of one day.

Boston Scientific is also leveraging new Einstein platform features like Optical Character Recognition (OCR), business card scanning, and more to improve their business processes. While there have been services like these out there, they were typically cumbersome to integrate into Salesforce, but these new Einstein Platform Services make it easy for admins and developers to leverage these capabilities within their Salesforce Orgs.

 

Lightning Web Components and Einstein Services

One of the big announcements at TrailheaDX are the improvements made to Lightning Web Components (LWC). These upgrades create greater compatibility with web standards and more features. But most importantly, Lightning Web Components is open source and can be used almost anywhere, not just in Salesforce, making it easier to apply Salesforce-based development to Heroku and other platforms.  To find out more about the open source access and features of Lightning Web Components click here.

Phillip Connaughton / Asics

Asics needed to leverage the Mulesoft integration platform to pull together multiple data sources quickly to rapidly build and drive a brand new enterprise-scale e-commerce platform and extending it with data drawn from multiple sources.  With Mulesoft, Phillip, an avid runner was able to combine his love of running with technology to enable Asics customers to connect and interact with the Asics in brand exciting new ways right from the RunKeeper app.

 

Mulesoft - An Integration Platform

The announcement showcases Mulesoft as more than a simple middleware tool, but a way to create APIs to multiple types of data, including test and live data drawn from multiple sources. A new feature using Salesforce Communities enables customers to publish and rapidly build solutions that leverage these APIs, exposing Knowledge documentation, Chatter collaboration, and support and troubleshooting options from within a community.

These announcements might seem somewhat basic, but they give many companies and organizations an opportunity to leverage their data and systems in transformative ways while still keeping IT support and operational costs low.

Closing TrailheadDX Keynote with Mae C. Jemison and Peggy Whitson

Wrapping up two full days of learning, news and connecting was a keynote with two iconic Trailblazers - Mae C. Jemison who was the first African American woman in space, and Peggy Whitson, a record-breaking astronaut.

Both women are historic for helping break down the race and gender barriers in space travel and science and shared candid stories about discrimination and their experiences and challenges in the space program.  

 

Stay in the know

More exciting announcements are on their way. In case you missed it, watch the video replay of the TrailheaDX keynote session. Couldn't make it in person? Keep up with all the action TrailheaDX action here.

About the Author

Mark Adcock

Mark, a senior consultant at Appirio, has a background in Information Technology with over a decade of experience in Higher Education and Nonprofit technology. He is passionate about helping nonprofits and education organizations maximize their impact by accelerating their digital transformation, improving their business processes, and integrating their systems with Salesforce. Joining the Salesforce Lightning Champions program in 2019, Mark, a Salesforce MVP and Lightning Champion, takes pride in sharing his experience and knowledge of Salesforce Lightning with the broader community.

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