This September 1st, 2018 witnessed one of the major events in our Indian Salesforce ecosystem – The Community Summit 2K18. For starters, Community Summit is an event organized by the Salesforce Developer Relations Team (Salesforce HQ, Hyderabad). The attendees of the event include MVPs, selected DUG Leaders, UG Leaders and WIT Leaders from the Indian subcontinent. Around 50 to 60 attendees made the event glorious and an unforgettable experience. The main theme of this Community Summit was – “Inspire, Channelize & Multiply”. Let us walk through the day’s happenings and together cherish the moments and see how the #SalesforceOhana in India together upheld the true beliefs and values of a close-knit family.
Pillars of the #SalesforceOhana Addresses the Crowd
The curtain raiser was none other than our beloved leaders across the globe addressing the magnificent crowd. It all started with Sarah Joyce Franklin (EVP Dev Rel & GM Trailhead) sharing her visions for the #WIT in the upcoming years. That did send a chill down my spine. There are so many exciting things yet to happen. We then had our beloved Holly Firestone (Director of Community) talking how collaboration, passion and involvement forms the integral part of an Ohana. The discussions were then led forward by Kavindra Patel (Global Trailhead Strategic Events) who highlighted the tremendous growth in the Indian Salesforce Ecosystem and how the leaders of the #SalesforceOhana in India imbibed the true spirit of being a multiplier. We also had Jacob Lehrbaum (VP Salesforce Developer & Admin Relations) emphasizing how passion and love for what you do, could drive you miles ahead. One of most important things that he shared about Trailhead still resonates in my ears (thanks to WIT Leader Neetu Bansal who asked about it) – Trailhead is not a rat race for earning badges. Trailhead can be a lot of fun when you do it in groups too. When you do it in groups, you can collaborate and learn together. Do not just do it. Ask yourself why you are doing it and you will start seeing how this great learning platform can revolutionize your career. But wait that is not. Did we miss someone? Yes, the energetic (trust me it was like 1 AM US time), the enthusiastic – Leah McGowen Hare (Director, Trailhead T&P) or the lady behind the “Be A Multiplier” (#BAM) and #EqualityForAll initiative. Leah couldn’t stop speaking about BAM and its importance. She also spoke how an Inclusive Leadership practice can become a cornerstone for successful organizations.
This was a small trivia with a bunch of questions each of which was based on a major accomplishment that a trailblazer (or one among our Community Leader) has accomplished. For example, you would see a question that says – “Who among the community champs have spoken the most at Dreamforce?” The answer goes without saying – our own Gaurav Kheterpal. This not only enlightened each one of us with the true gems of the #SalesforceOhana but also portrayed a new way of doing trivia. The trivia used an app called Kahoot (https://kahoot.com) that made the trivia thrilling. Yup! I will keep the surprises and would leave it to you to go and learn more about the app. It could be a great asset to manage the cloud trivia that are hosted at your local DUGs/UGs/WITs.
Unravelling the V2MOM
The second highlight of the summit was the showcase of V2MOM app by Avinash Kotha (salesforce.com). Well, I too have heard about the app and I cannot deny I was also once mislead by its name. However, this Community Summit floor cleared all my quandaries. This is the app for the 99% of us. The name expands to – Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles & Measures. The app was built, released and maintained by Salesforce Labs. Now what is all the hype about V2MOM? The app has been successfully used by different teams @ salesforce.com to manage their visions. It helps you to identify the values a vision can add to an organization or a team. It helps to analyse the methods that we need to follow to reach the vision. Last but not the least, it helps you to assess the possible obstacles and measures while we trail towards the achievement of the vision. Well did that sound Greek and Latin? Well to simply put it, this is an app or all of us. It reminds how you need to have a vision for your own life and helps you to achieve the same. I honestly felt that this can be a great addition to your DUG/UG/WIT programs and it could be a game changer to help you as a leader to envision the next level for your group.
Introducing the Community Leaders
The next part of the event was a fun activity where each of the Community Leader/MVPs present introduced their friend and his or her accomplishments. So long story short – each of the 50 – 60 attendees were grouped into a pair and were allotted a name represented by an alphabet. So in short, there were teams starting from A to Z and each of which had two members. The team members were selected on a random basis (says Gaurav Kheterpal) and were informed about their friend well ahead of the event. This gave each team ample time to learn about their friend’s contribution to the #SalesforceOhana. I cannot resist myself from saying this – but I was so proud and felt extremely lucky enough to get Gaurav Kheterpal himself as my friend. Now each team would be called randomly (anchored by Vishwa Vikas) and one of the team member would come up on the stage and reveals his or her friend by giving hints about their accomplishments. One of the best things about the activity is that we made a friend and it feels so good to talk about one’s accomplishments. All the teams were allotted with a stipulated amount of four minutes to speak about one another. I was blown away to hear the achievements and contributions that people have made. At times, I felt that I was not even worth to be among such a coveted group of individuals.
The Laughter Challenge!
After a sumptuous lunch, I was afraid if we might get cosy and feel sleepy towards the later half of the afternoon session. However, the Developer Relations Team surprised us again! We had a laughter challenge, which was led by a trained tutor – Akash Mishra (do not take it serious). I realized that Akash is a great stand-up comedian too. Thank you Akash for making us laugh. You are awesome!
Congratulation India – What’s next in for us
Nah! Sorry not the end of the blog yet. I could not find a better title. This indeed was – “the must attend session” of the day. All though the session lasted for a couple of hours – it brought in tremendous amount of insight. Naga Kiran Manyala and Shashank Srivatsavaya took us through key achievements that the #SalesforceOhana (India) has accomplished over the past few years. Some of the slides was stunning! The slide that shook me was the statistics. Here are some excerpts –
- 2nd largest community in the world
- 30% of the total developer population
- 4 of the 6 largest DUGs on the globe
- 3 mega community conferences every year
- 7 MVPs and powerful WIT leaders
Those are some serious numbers out there. I think we are all so blessed to be a part of such a vibrant community.
Another great slide exemplified the expectations from our community – Inspire, Channelize and Multiply. Naga Kiran exemplified how these three words when inculcated could change the face of our community and push it beyond its boundaries.
Bringing the Artists in You
Wow! I cannot even remember the last time I picked up my paintbrush. I suppose I left it years and years ago. This was another “absolutely” fun activity. The whole crowd was grouped into teams of 6/7 members. Each team were given a portion of a big picture and a huge canvas. The team was responsible to draw and paint the portion on to the canvas. The stipulated amount of time was approximately 1 hour. At the end, all of the teams would assemble and join their canvases to form the bigger picture. The main goal of the event was to portray that – Together we stand, divided we fall. The activity aroused that spirit of leadership, collaboration and sharing among each of the teams and team members. It showed that together we all could make a big impact on the Community in India.
The curtains fell with a melodious song from our favorite trailblazer – Roshan Kotla and a zesty after party. What else would be the best way to wrap a great day!
I would love to take this opportunity to thank the #awesome Salesforce Developer Relations Team (Naga Kiran Manyala, Shashank Srivatsavaya, Vishwa Vikas and many others) at Hyderabad for organizing such a wonderful event. It would have been a real miss if you could not make it. It goes without saying that each time I/we attend a community event, I/we are being bound to this #SalesforceOhana where we care and strive hard for the growth of each other unconditionally.