In mid July, for the first time since 2019, the Tython team met in Portland for the annual Forcelandia conference to learn about “APIs and IPAs”. Forcelandia has always been one of the team’s favorite conferences since it has a specific focus on software engineering in the Salesforce space with content geared toward developers and architects. As usual, this year’s conference did not disappoint!
Our trip to Portland was filled with great Salesforce knowledge sharing and some delicious local brews, but a key highlight for Tython was meeting in person with our newest team member — Chuck Ross — who had just started the week prior to the conference.
Back to School
In true Portland style, even the venue for Forcelandia is unique as the conference is held in the Kennedy Elementary School, which has been repurposed into a hotel and event space. Although we managed to stay out of trouble, it was very tempting to check out the “Detention Bar” and then hide out in the “Boiler Room” to avoid the heat.
Eclectic watering holes aside, the team did find time to sit in on some fantastic sessions as well; here are a few of our favorite talks from the conference.
Apex: Past, Present, and Future
It was great to hear about the development of the Apex language from someone with such deep knowledge on the subject. Christian Carter gave some insight on how things work behind the scenes and some of the new features that are on the horizon (safe-harbor of course).
One of the things that caught my attention was adding support for generics in Apex - beyond the builtin types
set, etc.. I’ve found myself wishing Apex had this feature on a few projects we’ve worked on, and it’s great to see they are planning on adding support for it.
Another future feature that I found very interesting was the ability to calculate formulas directly in Apex, without needing to access the database or even have the formula saved as a formula field. At Tython, we’ve actually already done this as part of one of the projects we’ve worked on. Ours isn’t 100% feature complete (yet), but it’s a powerful tool, and I know the Salesforce community will appreciate having it once Salesforce adds this as an official part of the Apex language.
Planning and executing your migration to Salesforce DX
Kevin Poorman gave a great talk on migrating development to Salesforce Developer Experience, known colloquially as SFDX. Speaking about the failed migration he experienced at Chief, Kevin shared the lessons he learned, many of which apply to any large project.
Two solid insights he offered that are applicable beyond migrating to SFDX-based development were to ensure management buy-in and having a development culture that encourages education and discovery. Development is difficult enough without the support of management for both the project and the continuing education of the team.
Last, but certainly not least, the closing keynote for Forcelandia was delivered by Rafael Hernandez. None of us had the joy of knowing Rafa before the conference, but he was a very dynamic speaker and we enjoyed hearing about topics not often discussed openly in a professional setting.
Rafa shared his personal and professional journey with the crowd and how he’s battled with anxiety and burnout during his Salesforce career. An antidote he found worked well in his life is helping others; specifically through his nonprofit, the Kerrnandez Foundation, which provides educational opportunities to Mexican students interested in becoming Salesforce professionals.
During the close of his talk, Rafa challenged the crowd to explore how we could all help our own communities over the next year and then come back to Forcelandia 2K24 with a story to share - very inspiring!
Saying Goodbye to The City of Roses
Our time in Portland came to an end all too soon, but we really enjoyed Forcelandia and were happy to make new connections with other members of the Salesforce community. A big thank you to all the sponsors and organizers that put everything together - looking forward to coming back for Forcelandia 2K24.
If you couldn’t attend Forcelandia this year and would like to hear more about the conference, please reach out!