Dreamforce 2016

If you’re in the Salesforce ecosystem, you know what a big deal Dreamforce is. I’ve been working on Saleforce’s B2B Marketing Automation product Pardot for almost 2 years and I’d heard the hype, but didn’t really get how big of a deal it was. Last year I was building new teams and my teams didn’t yet have things for announcing at Dreamforce, but this year we were building software and had a lot to show off.

Announcing “Wave for B2B Marketing”

First up, the reason Salesforce shipped me over to California for Dreamforce: A year’s effort by one of my engineering teams culminated in our product launch at Dreamforce, “Wave for B2B Marketing”

This small bunch of people (plus one remote person, and the 20+ people in Marketing, Pricing, Licensing, etc) worked together over the year to build and ship Pardot’s 3rd unique product, a powerful analytics tool for marketing data from Pardot, built on the Salesforce Analytics Cloud platform. Here’s some links to find out more:

While Danielle (product manager) and Michael (UX) got most of the on-stage time doing announcements and roadmap sessions, I spoke at 3 different ‘hands on sessions’ to introduce people to the product and answer questions. Thats me!


Further up the orgchart, screenshots and demos of Wave for B2B Marketing were presented in rooms with 400+ people:


As well as during the “Salesforce for Marketing” keynote with 1000s of people in attendance and lots more watching online. Neat!


Being an Engineering Manager at Dreamforce

My speaking sessions were during some of the big keynotes so I didn’t get to most of them, and a lot of the content is really a lot more relevant to customers and Salesforce users than it is to me. I was able to fit in some roadmap sessions for other parts of the company which is a great way to find out some of the things that are coming down the pipe (especially in Analytics Cloud).

Pardot hosts a Customer Advisory Board summit on the first day of Dreamforce, where I got to sit down at a table with a handful of Pardot customers and find out what is working well and working poorly with them without it going through several layers of filters. This was extremely helpful and re-enforced the importance of making sure we (in engineering) know what we are building and that we are building the right thing.

After the CAB and after my talks, I got to speak with a lot of customers. They all had tons of questions, and not a single one of the questions was new to me. This is great because it means we (Pardot, and especially our Product Managers) have been doing their homework. The things we’ve build do things our customers need, and they’re excited about the things on our roadmap. More reporting, more Sales+Marketing alignment, more Account Based Marketing, Campaign Influence Multitouch Attribution, and more reporting. It’s all happening and, as we’ve seen from the first few weeks following the Wave for B2B Marketing launch, people will be lining up to buy what we are creating.


The last day of Dreamforce is always a ‘weird one’. While the tech things are still going on, the primary track for the day is on something different. I was free Friday so I sat in the entire “Mindfulness” keynote track. No individual specific moment was life changing, but just sitting and absorbing for a few hours was pretty impactful: From Monks encouraging us all to slow down, to Larry Brilliant (helped lead Smallpox eradication) and Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) chatting on stage for a bit about being Mindful and doing good in the world, to Nadine Burke talking about her work around neurodevelopmental results of toxic stress that mirror toxic environmental exposure.

Larry Brilliant and Daniel Goleman

Larry Beilliant and Daniel Goleman on stage talking about using compassion and doing good. #df16

A photo posted by Chris Kelly (@ckdake) on

And of course, some Bicycles

No trip would be complete without sneaking in a few bike rides. I did miss the U2 Concert and the Flo-rid-a Concert for these, and that’s okay.

Hawk Hill Sunrise

First things first, at 6am Monday I convinced a few co-workers to rent road bikes and head across the Golden Gate bridge and up Hawk Hill for Sunrise. This worked out pretty well and of course, photos don’t do it justice.

Gooooooood morning #dreamforce #df16

A photo posted by Chris Kelly (@ckdake) on

Butter Lap Sunset

Wednesday evening is time for Butter Lap with a spread of people from San Francisco and an occasional person I can convince to join me. Caleb recently moved from Atlanta to SF and it didn’t take much convincing to get him to join in on his new bike.

#butterlap sunset

A photo posted by Chris Kelly (@ckdake) on

Night Mountain Biking

Lastly, I heard though an internal Salesforce group about a night mountain bike ride in-town. Given that I do something similar in Atlanta every week, I pretty much had to do this. Thursday evening after only getting a little bit lost, on the side of a random looking road I met up with two other mountain bikers: a fellow Salesforce person and one that used to work at Salesforce and now works at Strava. This is a bit more on-the-down-low than Butter lap, as it requires the right bike and lights, and some of the trails may not be quite bike-legal. Shh. Lots of climbing and lots of pretty nice singletrack descending, as well as some views that beat anything we get riding at night in Atlanta. And they brought me a beer. Awesome.

Night mountain biking in SF has better views than ATL

A photo posted by Chris Kelly (@ckdake) on

Lots More

I walked around town a lot, caught up with old and new friends for food and drink, and ate a lot. If I missed you, sorry and I’ll be back soon!

Fleet Week Air Show

Friday afternoon was practice for the Fleet Week Air Show, and I think is the first air show I’ve actually made it to. Sean D. Tucker flying for Oracle was pretty amazing to watch, and the Blue Angels and Breitling both put on a really good show.

#fleetweek air show practice to finish up a long week at #df16

A photo posted by Chris Kelly (@ckdake) on

Autumn approves

People say I don’t post enough baby photos so here’s one of Autumn with her (RED) Astro from Dreamforce that pitched in to the $3M that Dreamforce raised for cancer research:

Autumn seems pretty stoked with her #df16 (red) edition Astro

A photo posted by Chris Kelly (@ckdake) on

comments powered by Disqus