Introducing the Trailblazer Community Group Salesforce App

As a long time leader of the London Developers’ Trailblazer group, and co-organiser of London’s Calling – the annual Salesforce Community Conference held in London – I’m only two aware of the features and benefits of the Salesforce platform (and ecosystem), and it therefore leaves a bitter taste in my mouth every time I open up a spreadsheet or other non-Salesforce tool to perform some management task for these events.

On speaking to other CGLs (community group leaders) I know that the London Developer group isn’t the only one to use a plethora of spreadsheets to help organise themselves, and I also know that a few folk/groups have built their own solutions on the Salesforce platform too. This bespoke and non-Salesforce tool-set only strengthens the bitter taste, especially when a platform like Salesforce is an obvious choice if you wanted to answer the requirements that are put forward CGLs.

And it’s the bitter taste that’s started me on the drive to create a Salesforce app targeted at helping community group leaders and community conference organisers alike in running their events.

I’m really looking forward to getting rid of this bitter taste, hopefully by drinking our own champagne

Tell me more

The vision I have for the app is based upon a few fundamental principles, which I hope promote and facilitate an inclusive and valuable project;

  1. Fully Open – Not just in terms of the finished project (code + declarative) but also in terms of how the project moves forward with regards to decision making, features, discussions etc
  2. Embrace the Platform – The project shall look to highlight the OOTB features and functions of the Salesforce platform (and keep up with it, as much as possible)
  3. Ease of Consumption – Distributed via a managed package(s) so as to reduce barriers of installation and support a known upgrade mechanism along with adhering to a strict backwards compatibility methodology
  4. Best Practices – This means testing all the things and following industry and platform specific best practices.

Where’s the project currently at?

Two answers to this… firstly the project has a github repo and the current thinking is that this can be used to also house documentation, issues etc, and maybe even use github’s discussion feature too.

Secondly, in terms of where the project is regards design/development, the answer is very young. As part of the desire to make this a community project I haven’t really started working on it until I get this post out, and get input from the wider community. As you can see there is a brief requirements listing on the git repo that comes from just my own thoughts, and I welcome github issues or PRs to add/edit this. I’m also wondering about creating a quip doc for this, to reduce any friction for folk who aren’t so familiar with github.

I’m absolutely sure that other CGLs have put together apps on dev orgs and the like, so it’d be great to get some input from them too.

How do I get involved?

If you have thoughts on the project please reach out to me on twitter (@toddhalfpenny) or raise an issue on the git repo.

What’s next?

I’m actually presenting the project as a data-model discussion case study at tonight’s London Admin’s Trailblazer group, where I’ll chat through some of the base requirements I’ve already put together and hopefully provoke some thoughtful conversations about how, and why, a data model in Salesforce might be designed in a particular way. RSVPs for this event are still open.

I’m also in the process of sharing the project within the CGL community to gather thoughts and hopefully expand and refine the project’s v0.0.1 requirements and a road-map going forward.

So yeah… I’m really looking forward to getting rid of this bitter taste, hopefully by drinking our own champagne.

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