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Modern App Dev @ Dreamforce 2018

Craig Langenfeld September 11, 2018

Photo by Edgar Chaparro
Photo by Edgar Chaparro

Every year, Dreamforce attendees hear Marc Benioff describe why this year’s event will be the biggest and best ever. But with this larger scale comes a larger challenge: sifting through all of the products (over 30), industries (over 18), and themes (over 41) to pinpoint the right places to be and people to see.*

This guide is for app developers leveraging Heroku

To help you plan your best four days at Dreamforce, I stepped into the shoes of a CIO or a VP of Engineering who wants to leverage his or her company’s Salesforce investment by building products on Heroku and delivering innovative, exceptional user experiences. By “products,” I mean customer, employee, or partner-facing web or mobile applications as well as APIs, Identity Management, Integrations, or customer transformation layers.

So just like the New York Times’ 36 HOURS travel column, I’m going to provide you with Trineo’s Four Days of Application Development @ Dreamforce 2018.

Photo by Brandon Nelson
Photo by Brandon Nelson


It’s your first day at Dreamforce and you are feeling the excitement alongside everyone else in the city, except for the locals who don’t work for Salesforce. You check your email, turn on your out-of-office autoreply, and head to the hotel lobby for your first cup of coffee. You are not alone. The lobby is full of badge wearing Dreamforce goers. Let’s get the week rolling!

App Development Park


Rather than rushing into a session, spend the first hour of the day grazing in the App Development Park area. All of the good swag will be stocked and ready for the earlybirds. Seriously though, this area will reveal some clues about which new ideas and products will be highlighted during the show.

After making the rounds, get ready for some sessions.

Successful Dev Teams: Balancing Collaboration, Isolation, & Security with Heroku

10:30 — 11:10am, Moscone West

Collaboration separates the good development teams from the great ones. Attend this session for a refresh on Heroku’s best tools and methods for collaboration.

T-Mobile Delivers a Better Retail Experience Using Sales, Service and Heroku

11:30am —12:10pm, Moscone West

They had me at B2B and B2C integrated customer experiences. It’s so valuable to focus on both sets of stakeholders; there should be some good nuggets shared here.

Lightning Platform Keynote - Now Building Apps is Everyone’s Business

1:00 — 2:00pm, Moscone West, Keynote Room - West Level 3

Keynote speakers typically make big announcements and share strategic directions in these talks, so don’t miss this one. Perhaps a new Salesforce feature or initiative will solve a strategic challenge you’re facing.

Opening Keynote with Marc Benioff and Special Guests

3:00 — 5:00 pm, Usually Moscone North or South

Get there early and get a seat in the main hall. The Benioff Keynote will be talked about throughout the week so make time for it.

Evening Activity

You choose. A great place to discover everything from free morning yoga to Conga’s silent disco is Anaplan's party planning website.

Photo by Amogh Manjunath
Photo by Amogh Manjunath


Pace yourself. Tonight is the big Metallica concert, so keep your morning light, catch up on email, and prepare for a dynamic afternoon and evening. If you’re inclined to jump right back into the conference, then use this morning to visit industry-focused, or role-specific events that you have chosen via a trail map. Then visit these sessions:

How Modern Dev Teams Build with Heroku and AWS

2:30— 3:10pm, Moscone West

Data flows between AWS and Salesforce, with Heroku as the connector. Learn more about this excellent stack for building modern apps.

Use Heroku, Pardot, & Amazon Redshift to Scale your Go-To-Market Operations

3:30— 3:50pm, Moscone West

See how Heroku products pair with other Salesforce products and Amazon Redshift for greater business impact.

Beyond Buzzwords: Microservices, Evented Architecture and Apache Kafka on Heroku

5:15— 5:35pm, Moscone West

Eventing and microservices can provide tremendous advantage if used in the right ways at the right times; they are more than new, hot buzzwords.

Dreamfest and Benefit for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals

7:00— 10:00pm, Civic Center Plaza and City Hall

Go rock out. It’s Metallica. Don’t forget your leather pants and your earplugs.

Photo by Aaron Kato
Photo by Aaron Kato


If you’re working with a Salesforce partner (like Trineo), make a plan to connect today. Also, use today to continue or wrap-up any great conversations you started earlier this week. Then, consider attending these sessions:

Salesforce for Developers Keynote

11:00 AM — 12:00 PM, Moscone West, Keynote Room - West Level 3

Big announcements and strategic directions are traditionally shared in this keynote, so don’t miss it! Again, you might discover something truly valuable on the roadmap that will directly benefit your organization.

Microservices and AI: How Toyota Built a Next-Generation Workflow on Heroku

2:30— 3:10pm, Moscone West

A cool-sounding case study featuring app build and deployment that runs in Heroku Private Spaces. I’m betting that there will be some great takeaways in this session.

Platform Party

Evening, Historically at the Four Seasons

If you can score a ticket, mix and mingle with the Salesforce platform team. Use this historically excellent event to meet other customers in your industry who may be trying similar things on the Salesforce platform.

Photo by Eduardo Santos
Photo by Eduardo Santos


After all of the education, parties, networking, and sleep deprivation, you’ll be getting ready to leave on Friday. Fortunately, you may find today’s talks to be the most personally interesting. Use today to unwind and treat yourself to some sessions like the personal empowerment keynote.

Navigate Salesforce Integration with Mulesoft and Heroku

9:00— 9:40am, Moscone West

It appears that this session will get into the details of Heroku Connect in comparison to MuleSoft and which use cases are appropriate for which application.

Personal Empowerment Keynote

9:30— 11:00am

No details are available yet, but this should be a great talk.

Manipulate and Integrate Salesforce Data with Heroku Connect & Postgres

12:00— 12:20pm, Moscone West

Data flow, synchronization, and manipulation are critical for so much of the work we take on building modern apps. This appears to be another highly relevant discussion focused on configuring Heroku Connect.

Now go home, relax, and sleep.

*Trineo is bringing a whole team to Dreamforce 2018 -- if you want to chat about modern app development, let’s meet up at the event. Contact me here: craig@trineo.com.

Craig Langenfeld

Craig Langenfeld