Wednesday 29 December 2021

2021 Year in Review - Part 1

London's Calling Caricatures - 1 year and zero haircuts apart

London's Calling Caricatures - 1 year and zero haircuts apart

2021 began in the UK as we spent quite a bit of 2020, in lockdown (Lockdown 3, just when you thought it was safe to go inside someone else's house again) and doing everything over videoconference, which was starting to get a bit samey. 


Those of us that had submitted London's Calling presentations heard back, and I was relieved to see that I'd made the cut. 

The London Salesforce Developers held two events in January - the first for the graduation of another round of Speaker Academy candidates, and the second for Apex Trigger Essentials courtesy of my fellow co-organiser Erika McEvilly. The combination of Erika and starting from the ground up with triggers clearly resonated, as we had a record 163 signups for this event. 

I made a bold, and incorrect, prediction that there wouldn't be an in person Dreamforce in 2021. I got it right that Salesforce wouldn't bring 100k+ people to San Francisco from all over the world, but got it wrong that they'd be happy with a 5k event.


The Spring 21 release of Salesforce went live, including an update that corrected the CPU tracking for flows - this is enforced in the Summer 22 release, so if you haven't tested with the new behaviour the clock is ticking. As as the tradition, here at BrightGen we ran our release webinar and gave everyone a chance to spend more time in front of a screen, but at least not on camera. Yay!

London's Calling ticked ever closer, and session recording got underway. In keeping with the scale of the thing I was accompanied by a member of the content team and an AV specialist to keep things on track. I have to say I still prefer the adrenaline rush of doing everything live - there's nothing like wondering if the wifi will hold up to get the heart racing. That said, from the point of view of the organisers I can see that trying to co-ordinate a ton of speakers to present live from around the would be a total nightmare.

The London Salesforce Developers were treated to a session on respecting data protection laws in Salesforce - a dry topic, but also an important one that isn't going away.

I also launched a Substack in February, which is proving invaluable for reminding me what was going on back then!


The wait was finally over and London's Calling was here - another chance to spend a whole day in front of a screen! As always it felt like the hardest thing to recreate online was the expo, but at least we at BrightGen had the caricatures which do translate pretty well, as you can see at the start of this post. My session was on Org Dependent Packages, which I still think are pretty awesome, especially for large enterprises with mature orgs. You can find recordings of all of the sessions on the youtube channel, and there is some great stuff there, so it's well worth a few hours digging around. 

When it's London's Calling month, we at the London Salesforce Developers try to keep our event lightweight as we feel like there's plenty of learning around already. To this end we decided to crowd-source our member's favourite Spring 21 features, which didn't get a huge take-up. To punish them, I did most of the presenting on my favourite features, which should motivate people to either get more involved or not show up in the future!

In an unexpected turn of events, the data recovery service came back from the dead, having been retired in July 2020. A fine example of listening to your customers. There were also rumours that Marc Benioff was considering stepping down and handing over to Bret Taylor. Not entirely wrong as it turned out, but not exactly correct either.

March also marked a whole year fully remote - little did I realise that there was plenty more of this to come.

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