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September Monthly Retro with Mike and Jennifer

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This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re joined by Jennifer Lee from the Admin Evangelist team for our monthly retro for September. In this episode, we celebrate all things Dreamforce as we go over the top Salesforce product, community, and career content for the month. 

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation.

Podcast highlights from September

Jennifer wanted to highlight our episode with Rebecca Saar to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the Admin Main Show. We put a fair amount of Easter eggs in the opening video. We’ll be sharing that video on social soon, so keep an eye out! 

Blog highlights from September

Jennifer, AKA, “The Blog Monster,” put out several great blog posts this month from her new home at admin.salesforce.com. She’s got one covering Winter ’22 for admins and what you should feature to your end users. There’s another one helping you get up to speed with Slack integrations and all the nifty things you can do since the acquisition. I had to give a shout-out to Ella’s blog post featuring our new YouTube video which highlights how admins all over the world define what it means to be an #AwesomeAdmin.

Video highlights from September

As always, you should check out the Salesforce Admins YouTube channel for “How I Solved This”, “Did You Know”, “Expert Corner”, “No Silly Questions”, and more. For Jennifer, J. Steadman’s guide to combining Slack and Workflow Builder was a major standout. There’s also a fresh video from Hayley Tuller about using Custom Metadata Types with a BANT model.

Dreamforce highlights from the admin team

The main takeaway from Dreamforce was that Flow is the future. There were tons of highlights throughout Dreamforce that showcased changes that will help us move off of Process Builder and Workflow Rules and step into a new world of automation.

“I know there’s a lot of admins out there who have not used Flow yet,” Jennifer says, “but know that we’ll be providing content to help you along the way—you’re not on this journey alone.” 

If you missed Dreamforce, you can catch up with content on-demand on Salesforce+. Some highlights:

  • The Admin Main Show
  • The Dev Main Show
  • The first Architect Main Show
  • True to the Core
  • The Platform Keynote: Create and Automate on the #1 Low-Code Platform
  • The IT Leader’s Guide to the Salesforce Platform Roadmap
  • Soledad O’Brien’s interview with Parker Harris

Podcast swag:

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Full Transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast and the September or should we say Dreamforce monthly retro for 2021. I’m your host Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we will review the top product community and career content for September. And of course, some Dreamforce stuff. And to help me do all of that, I am joined by Admin Evangelist, Jennifer Lee. Jennifer, how are you?

Jennifer Lee: Good. Awesome.

Mike Gerholdt: I feel like my post Dreamforce will be different this year. It won’t involve 36 hours of constant sleeping and rehydrating.

Jennifer Lee: It was, I have to say, it was kind of nice being able to attend the sessions virtually and then sleep in my own bed.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yep. That’s that’s the perk.

Jennifer Lee: And no travel time.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Well, you got to walk down the hallway or from the kitchen.

Jennifer Lee: Well, no going through TSA and all of that jazz.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Unless you have TSA in your house, which would be really weird. That’s like a whole insurance commercial. I do want to point out before we get started covering everything that we do have some really cool podcasts swag on the Trailhead store. I am having some soda out of my podcast mug and I’ve posted a picture of that on my Instagram and Twitter in the morning when I go out and have coffee on my back deck with my dog. You can get that. And there are some items that are available in EMEA. I know there’s people that want stuff over there too but a lot of the products are available in the AMER store. With that, let’s kick off Jennifer, with podcast highlights. What was a podcast that you felt people should listen to, to catch up on anything Dreamforce or was a highlight for September?

Jennifer Lee: Yeah. Think all your podcasts were around our Dreamforce episodes or main show so I would say the one that I would pick would be the behind the Dreamforce Admin main show with Rebecca Saar and hearing her message about the future of the success of the admin and learning more about that behind the scenes before actually going in and or reviewing the replay of the admin main show.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And we talk about Easter eggs in that. Hint, hint, wink, wink, there’s some Easter eggs in that opening film. I’m not sure, it went by pretty quick so you should go back and watch that opening film again for the keynote because we spent a lot of time as a team putting some fun stuff in there. I would agree. It’s kind of, I feel like it’s a little self serving to be like pick a podcast highlight to talk about on the podcast show. When all we talked about was Dreamforce stuff last month. I would agree. That was a fun podcast. We also took last week off so hopefully you used that week to catch up on any podcasts that you didn’t get downloaded but we also put out a ton of blog posts on admin.salesforce.com. Jennifer, you wrote a ton of blog posts. What are some that stood out to you that are definitely must reads?

Jennifer Lee: I’m the blog monster here.

Mike Gerholdt: Monster. I wouldn’t say monster. Monster is scary. It’d be like, you need to be the blog Avenger or something.

Jennifer Lee: Oh, that sounds cool.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s got to be a positive attribute.

Jennifer Lee: Blog Avenger.

Mike Gerholdt: Blog Avenger.

Jennifer Lee: All right. The ones that I had fun putting together was my Jen’s Winter ’22 highlights for admins and users, really bringing forth with my animated gifs the highlights that admins should care about as well as promote to your end users. Check that out. And also you heard at Dreamforce, all things Slack. Worked on a blog post, Slack for admins and we go through how to connect Salesforce with Slack. There are two ways to do that so check out that post.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I threw the third post in there, the what being an awesome admin means to the admins around the world because I thought that was a really neat post. We put that right up after our admin keynote, that was something that Ella had worked on quite a lot. And I would agree. I also saw, so we’ll just kind of, while we’re talking blog, there’s a lot of people in chat, Jen, that were like, oh, I missed your blog posts. And I couldn’t respond fast enough to be like, they’re not going away. She just writes them over here now.

Jennifer Lee: I just moved addresses instead of my jenwlee.com, I’m now at admin.salesforce.com.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. And now she has all this power to make all these gifs and gets the release notes ahead of time. Ahead of being when she was an MVP. They’re not going away. Plus we really like the Jen’s mega Avenger highlight post. That’s going to be a thing. And the Slack post was really good. I love how you dove into that. That’s going to be, I have a feeling we’re going to do a lot of Slack posts in the upcoming year.

Let’s talk video. We had some videos come out. Of course we have our whole YouTube channel. Just go to YouTube, search Salesforce Admins. There’s a series called, how I solve this. There’s a series called, did you know? There’s a series called expert corner. There’s a series that I’m temporarily hosting for Gillian called, no silly questions, where I try not to answer a silly question. Sometimes the silly question, there’s no silly questions. What stood out to you this month, Jennifer? What were some of your favorite videos?

Jennifer Lee: My favorite would be Jay put out a great video for his did you know series. That’s supercharged Slack with Workflow Builder. Again, that Slack theme is coming back.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it’s not going anywhere.

Jennifer Lee: You’ll still keep seeing that. And then for how I solved this, Hayley Tuller had her on as a guest presenter and she talked about how she use Flow and custom metadata types to solve for her BANT model. I know custom metadata types is I see it as an admin super power but a lot of admins don’t know what custom metadata type is or they’ve heard of it but don’t really know how to use it. I really want our admins out there to go and watch the video and go and look at the post and learn how you can also use custom metadata type in your automation so that you’re building something that’s maintainable and not requires changes every time the business wants to make changes to something.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I feel like you have been on the custom metadata type path for a while now. And Hayley, I believe, just recall in my memory, I think I saw her in some of the Dreamforce keynotes, not as a part of it, but in the crowd.

Jennifer Lee: Yes. Yes, she was there.

Mike Gerholdt: That’s really cool. It was funny enough for those of us watching online, it was a game of where’s so-and-so.

Jennifer Lee: Who can I find in the crowd when they panned over?

Mike Gerholdt: Who can I find it in the crowd? More crowd shots. I already know the people on stage. Well anyway, that’s a great segue talking about Flow and Dreamforce to get into the part that everybody wanted to listen to, which is our Dreamforce highlights. And I think before we talk Dreamforce highlights, there was, whether it was true to the core and then your session came out and we were talking about Flow is the future. And oh my goodness people have questions because Flow is the future.

Jennifer Lee: Yes. I think the product management team has been talking about Flow being the future for several different forums now but I don’t think it really resonated to folks until with Winter ’22. And it started with the admin preview live, where we had Diana Jaffe on, she’s talking about Flow and she’s basically saying, “Nah, I’ve been saying Flow is the future, Flow is the present.” And I was like bomb dropped because with Winter ’22, they’re able to bridge the gap and bring in subflows with record triggered Flows. They’re also bringing in outbound messages, which you used to use just exclusively workflow rules for. And now they’re really switching. Here’s all my focus on Flow Builder and the investment is going in Flow Builder and not workflow rules and processes. And we’re looking to eventually retire them.

End of life has not been announced yet but in True to the Core, if you’ve watched it or you can watch it again, that’s on our admin channel on Salesforce Plus. But what was announced was the team will be creating migration tools for each. With the next release, there’ll be migration tool for workflow rules and then the following release for process builder. And then I think it’s winter 23, where they will stop the creation of net new workflow rules and processes.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. It’ll prevent the creation of new.

Jennifer Lee: Correct.

Mike Gerholdt: If you have them, they’ll still exist, they’ll still work, you just can’t create new.

Jennifer Lee: Correct. Correct.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s kind of like the evolution of the car. At one time a car came out and it was steam powered and then they just stopped making steam powered cars for gasoline powered cars. That doesn’t mean that steam powered cars stopped working, just means you couldn’t buy any new ones. And then now it’s like the transition we’re going through in the world where now there’s electric cars. You can still go out and buy a gas powered car. That’s fine. Just doesn’t have as long of a life is an electric powered car. How’s that for an analogy.

Jennifer Lee: No, that makes sense. I don’t want folks to panic because I know there’s a lot of people out there, admins who have not used Flow yet. You’re comfortable with workflow rules and processes and you’ve been working with that. But know that we’ll be providing content to help you along the way. That you’re not on this journey alone, we will do how to videos and we’re brainstorming all the content that we will deliver to you to help you on this journey. We’ll be there with you.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And I got to tell you, part of for me, part of being an admin was learning something new and now moving over to Flow and you’ve done this at other companies. Now you got the opportunity to question things. Why do we have this? I don’t know. Just always have it. Maybe we don’t need it. Maybe when this thing happens, we could have four other things happen because Flow is so much more powerful than this two step workflow and holy cow, you unlock a whole world.

Jennifer Lee: Oh yeah. Totally. Right before I came to Salesforce.

Mike Gerholdt: That’s okay, I say Dreamforce every now and again.

Jennifer Lee: I was working on a project on the side, I’m like, okay, well I’m converting people to Lightening. All right. My company still had classic. As part of that, I was like, okay, well, I’m going to take this opportunity to also look at my workflow rules and processes and move them over to Flow. Since we’re going to have users regression testing and doing all that. That gave me opportunity to look at workflow rules that were created five years ago or even more. And when I went to the SMEs, they’re like, oh, this did that? Oh, we don’t need it to do this. Well, that’s great. Because now I was able to get rid of some of these workflow rules that are no longer needed, that people didn’t even know it was doing these things in the system.

Mike Gerholdt: Retire your tech debt.

Jennifer Lee: Yeah. Or even refactor your automation because it might not work that way or the business doesn’t need it to work that way anymore.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep, I hear you.

Jennifer Lee: Don’t just move things over as is. Take the opportunity to also question and improve.

Mike Gerholdt: And I’ll tell you this. I know the architect team came out with their Lucidchart maps and stuff. I love the way that Flow gives me the ability to kind of get a diagram of what’s going on. I’m a very visual person. I like to be able to show that on screen. I never had that with workflows. Had a little bit with process builder but process builder was like those old games you had as a kid where you just shook the marbles and they all fell in one direction.

Jen, I know you didn’t get to attend Dreamforce much like a lot of us. I will say, absent last year, our Dreamforce-ish that we had was virtual. This was a little hybrid. This was a little in person. A lot of us were at home. What was some things that kind of stood out to you being first year with Salesforce and then experiencing Dreamforce on this side of the monitor?

Jennifer Lee: All right. I’m definitely biased and I’m going to promote our admin main show in and our two episodes that the team really worked very hard on. And so those would be at the very top. If you haven’t watched them, please do. A fan favorite of mine is also true to the core. I love hearing the questions that folks have and asking the hard questions of the PMs. That’s also great. And just a couple highlights from the things that I watched, the dev main show for admins, looking at Code Builder, that I believe is a replacement for Dev Console.

Mike Gerholdt: I think so, yeah.

Jennifer Lee: But it’s all web based. You could just do it in your browser now and you don’t need a client, which is super cool. And I played around with Visual Studio Code. That requires a client that you constantly need to upgrade. It’s cool that you could just access it via the browser and it has all these things. And then they also showed DevOps Center, which if all you’re doing is using chain sets, DevOps Center is many steps up from that and will help in your deployment of your components.

Mike Gerholdt: Chain sets are like workflows. They were built around the same period of time. I got to agree. I watched that dev main show. We had been highlighting DevOps Center for a long time. And you can go to admin.salesforce.com and read a ton of blogs. I feel like we were a little too far ahead of the curve because they’re getting closer. As it gets closer to GA for DevOps Center, we’re getting to see more of that functionality. And man, just the ability to push changes from sandbox to sandbox or sandbox to production and know that it’s backed up somewhere. The amount of stuff that I built that was just randomly architected, I’ll say in a dev org that’s dead somewhere. It’s baffling to me now.

Jennifer Lee: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely looking forward to playing around with DevOps Center when it’s available.

Mike Gerholdt: That architects, I think you wrote down the architects main show. I would agree. That was really cool to see an architect main show. Of course Parker was there. And I would agree with you that Lucidcharts, they call it partnership integration. The fact that you can pull in Salesforce symbols to Lucidcharts. I’ve used Lucidcharts for a few things. I’m by no means an architect, but that’s definitely super cool to me.

Jennifer Lee: And then towards the end of Zane’s segment, where she showed the Salesforce product roadmaps being available, that is super cool too, for customers to be able to access.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s everybody. Admins need to go look at that stuff too.

Jennifer Lee: Yeah. Just because you’re an admin, you’re also an architect too.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Absolutely.

Jennifer Lee: Right. And then yesterday there was the platform keynote. A lot of cool things were mentioned there but they also announced that Salesforce is coming out with a native backup and restore tool and that will be GA in October. I was the watching the demo of that. And you’re able to compare at the record level and be able to restore data back. That’s pretty cool.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Jennifer Lee: Yeah. And they also noted Einstein data the tech. That’s part of Shield. Shield can monitor data for sensitive data that’s found in other fields that shouldn’t be there. For example, it would be able to detect data that someone put in a comment field or a description field and flag that. That’s huge for customers who have PII data all over the place.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Oh, that’d be neat. I’d be curious to see what it detects and what it doesn’t because you and I, I’ve ran reports before where those comments fields are full of phone numbers and birth dates and oh God.

Jennifer Lee: SSNs.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh just come on. It’s the first field they found, they just populate it with everything in my brain.

Jennifer Lee: Yeah. And then a follow up to that, was the platform roadmap. It’s called IT Leader’s Guide to Salesforce Platform Roadmap, but it had sections in there for if your admin. I definitely recommend watching that as well because it talked about app builder for Slack, an admin filterable related list. You can have two related lists on a record page. And then they talked about multi-object pages, which will be in pilot. Definitely go and watch that for all the upcoming things that you’ll see later on.

Mike Gerholdt: Multi-object pages. Multi object pages. Just trying to wrap my head around that. And that’s going to be different than an app page. Oh, well that won’t be confusing. You mentioned some luminaries and I’ll get back to soon. I recognize Jason Sudeikis. I watched a lot of Ted Lasso and if you haven’t, holy cow, is that just the most perfect show right now?

Jennifer Lee: Just a real feel good. Feel good show.

Mike Gerholdt: It is. It is like chocolate milk and apple pie and a cuddly bear and everything you want right now. And I recognize Will Smith and Wanda Sykes. I’ll be honest, did you see the luminaries? I don’t know the two other people that you have listed.

Jennifer Lee: Part of my past Dreamforces as a customer, I would attend the keynotes, the roadmap sessions, the admin track because I want to learn from my colleagues. But also, so I like celebrities and all that.

Mike Gerholdt: Imagine that. A lot of people do.

Jennifer Lee: I’ve been to Comicons in years past, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Comicons but I used to go to the San Diego Comicon for years. And I did not go for the comic books. I want to make it clear I’m not a comic books person. I went for the celebrities and going in the panels and watching them. Anytime we’re in Dreamforce, I’m like, okay, who’s here? And who can see? I’ve seen Michelle and Barack and Taraji P. Henson. But so Aly Raisman and Blake Leeper, it was, oh, I forget the name of it. I think it was gold medal mindset and it was facilitated by Sarah Franklin. And so Aly Raisman is an Olympic gold gymnast. And Blake Leeper is track and field.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow. Olympian as well.

Jennifer Lee: Yes. Yes.

Mike Gerholdt: Cool.

Jennifer Lee: They’re both Olympians and they had some pretty cool, I took some notes as I was watching their session and Blake talked about being born and not having feet. And then, early on he was just feeling sorry for himself. There was this one story he talked about where he wanted to hit a home run and show people that he’s able to knock it out of the park and then run all the bases with his legs. And in running, one of his legs fell off and then he fell to the floor and he wasn’t able to, even though he hit it out of the park and he couldn’t make his way around to home plate and he started feeling sorry for himself. Why me? Why don’t I have these two legs that everybody else has? Why me? And he ended up turning it into instead, why not me? And being able to really show how strong you really can be. Just figure it out and see that you were meant for this. This happened to you for a reason and then show how strong you are out of that.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Jennifer Lee: And then Aly talked about how important having a community and support when she went through the abuse of several gymnasts went through and she had to go and testify but really having that community and the support behind you is really important. And to have that superpower and to be able to give that support to someone else and make that person feel seen is very important. And I just think about that in terms of our Salesforce community and how the Ohana is so supportive of one another. When someone’s down, we’re always here to lift each other up. And so that really resonated with me as well.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow, that’s very cool. I skipped past. Some of those luminary speakers unfortunately, if you’re not on West Coast time kind of fall later in the day. It makes me, I took a note and I forget where I got this from but a lot of what you were talking about, I was watching a show and somebody mentioned, you want a get to job versus a got to job. And a get to job means you get to do this versus a got to job means I’ve got to do this. And I wrote that you have to remind me of that so I had to look it up because it’s some of what you were talking about around Blake was very much that way. Why not me? I’m perfect person to show why this can be a thing that anybody can overcome. I think that’s very inspiring. Well that’s great. Anything else that stood out for you outside of not having to get up at 4:00 AM every morning, drink hotel coffee, run around for swag, sit on a packed plane.

Jennifer Lee: I was talking to Leanne earlier and we had serious FOMO for not being onsite. And I miss out on whatever was happening in the community campfire.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah. I saw that only via pictures on Twitter.

Jennifer Lee: And I was like, I wish I was there to see what was going on there.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. The whole Howard Street set up looked really cool. And I think truth be told, the one day, was it a Wednesday, maybe Wednesday afternoon, it got super windy. Or was that Tuesday.

Jennifer Lee: You could hear the wind.

Mike Gerholdt: Well and a few presenters even remarked, “Well, I hope these trees don’t fall over.” You forget that it’s kind of all a set out there as well. Crazy, crazy. But for sure, we would love if you tweet us your Dreamforce highlights or if you got really cool pictures too. Make sure you include the @salesforceadmns Twitter handle on there so that Brittany on our team can pass that along and highlight that in our social feed.

Jennifer Lee: Oh, while you’re speaking of Brittany, let’s give her kudos for all the social stuff that she had going on at Dreamforce. That was awesome.

Mike Gerholdt: I don’t know, you should just take a few minutes and go to the admin’s Twitter feed and just scroll through it. There’s a ton of stuff on there. I will say, selfishly, the cool thing that I nerded out about was how the tweets are going out during our main show, to the second. Rebecca mentioned, we have this Twitter poll and I literally look over at my tweet deck.

Jennifer Lee: Boom.

Mike Gerholdt: And there’s the tweet? And I’m like, oh my God, it’s so cool. Shout out to Brittany for doing a phenomenal job on that. And she also did a really great job of re-tweeting other people that had some fun stuff to share as well. There we go. Well, outside of that, if you want to learn more about all things admin or whatever we just talked about in today’s episode, minus Will Smith, Jason Sudeikis and Wanda Sykes. I’ll just be honest with you, there’s no blog articles on admin.salesforce.com about them. But Flow and Slack and all kinds of stuff coming up. That’s where you go.
And we’ll also include links and resources in the show notes. You can stay up to date with us on social for all things admin. As we mentioned, Brittney runs our Twitter handle. You can find us @salesforceadmns, no I on Twitter. Of course, I’m on Twitter @mikegerholdt and my regular cohost Jillian is @gilliankbruce. You can give her a shout out. And of course my guest host today was Jennifer Lee. I bet you probably follow her because she’s probably got more followers than I do based on just the applause during the admin main show. But if by chance you don’t, it’s @jenwlee. With that, stay safe, stay awesome. Boy, October is right around the corner and stay tuned for the next episode. We’ll see you in the cloud.

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