Reflecting on Appirio’s Summer ‘17 Salesforce Technical Architect Summit

October 13, 2017 Joe Castro


This summer’s summit was amazing. It’s certainly invigorating to be surrounded by 30 of our top Salesforce Technical Architects, all gathered in Indianapolis for Appirio’s Summer ‘17 Technical Architect Summit. Even though we had one of the Great Ballrooms at the Omni Severin Hotel, it could barely contain the brainpower we crammed into it. Anyone would be impressed by these Salesforce Certification statistics from our TA attendees:


As a group, we took turns facilitating discussions on the biggest challenges we’ve encountered on client projects. A couple of standout sessions (for me) included “Introduction to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”, and also the “Marketing Cloud Technical Primer”. And TA experts continued providing even more excellent sessions, like “Single Sign-on (SSO) with an OpenID twist”, and “Large Data Volumes (LDV) – Practical Approaches from the trenches”. We had great discussions on DevOps, Integrations, Classic versus Lightning, and Technical Strategy Engagements. (Look for a follow-up post with links that highlight a few of the sessions covered.)

Focus Area

One of the most important moments of the summit was determining, defining, and outlining next steps for the fall TA Focus area — the Appirio Technical Health Check. We chose to target health because of a jump in requests to assess existing technical environments. These assessments can include code complexity review, organization strategy and design, technical governance strategies, architecture and enterprise pattern usage, and fit-for-purpose analysis. With these assessments, our new fall goal is to re-interpret our current offerings, improve the process and tools to deliver a technical health check, and standardize the communications and deliverables we produce.

Mock Review Board

Getting certified with Salesforce in Technical Architecture is an arduous process, as many TA’s can already guess. You must face an intimidating Salesforce Review Board who administer the certification exam — and it’s very difficult to pass. In response, we’ve created an Appirio Mock Review Board, to simulate the extreme pressure of the “real” review board for a TA. (We spend hours training our TA’s for it.) And as if our summit schedule wasn’t already jam-packed, we took five of our top-performing architects (all of which are scheduled to sit for the Salesforce CTA Oral Board exam) and ran them through our Mock Review Board.

As a judge on the mock panel, I was impressed by the effort each candidate put forth and the ingenuity of the solutions presented. I am looking forward to working with each of these individuals in the coming months, and to learn from this experience to better prepare them for their orals.

Looking forward to more successes

We sorely missed a few of our Texan TA’s, who weren’t able to extricate themselves from Hurricane Harvey for this year’s summit. And they were fortunate to join us remotely as much as they could, but that just means we should all prepare harder for the next gathering. As we move forward in preparation of our TA Spring Summit, I can’t help but look back and reflect on how much we learned from the numerous off-the-cuff discussions, wide variety of sessions, and countless opportunities to network and enjoy time together.

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