35 Rockstar Developers You Should Meet at Dreamforce 2014!

Dreamforce1It’s precisely 35 days to go for the world’s biggest and the most innovative technology conference – Dreamforce 2014 to get underway! For somebody like me who’s an outright technology geek and loves meeting fellow developers, the Dreamforce conference is nothing short of the final frontier.

So, why should you attend Dreamforce 2014? Well, there are plenty of reasons to do so but if you’re a developer, this conference offers a rare opportunity to meet and interact with some of the world’s best developers out there.

So, without any further ado, here is the list of 35 rockstar developers (in no particular order) whom I’m looking forward to meet at Dreamforce 2014 (that is assuming I can find them in a gathering of more than 100,000 people). Some of the folks listed are not developers but I consider their contributions to the Salesforce developer community as invaluable. Also, a quick note that Salesforce developer community is awesome with hundreds (if not thousands) of rockstar developers all over the world, so I’m forced to pick a very small subset 😦

Here we go!

1. Reid Carlberg – The ‘Wearables’ man, he is the ‘Internet of Things’ guy at Salesforce. At last year’s Dreamforce, he was one of the most sought after guys at the IOT lab in the developer zone and I remember standing in a long queue even to get a glimpse of his experiments of integrating Salesforce with bananas and alligator clips. Given all the recent announcements on Wearables, I expect Reid’s celebrity quotient to go up by further notches at Dreamforce 2014 😉

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2. Adam Seligman – If you are a Force.com developer, Adam is one guy whom you can’t afford to miss at Dreamforce 2014. He heads the developer relations team at Salesforce and is your go-to guy for all things that developers like/ dislike. I first interacted with him while he held the reins at Heroku and since then, I’ve been an admirer how he marshals the developer relations team.

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3. April Kyle Nassi – The success of any developer community lies in the hands of the folks who manage day in and day out. In that sense, it’s heartening to have a tireless worker like April Kyle Nassi who manages several aspects of the Salesforce developer community including the Forums, Meetups, Developer Champions Programs and lots more. She was also instrumental in organizing the Hackathon at last year’s Dreamforce.

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4. Jeff Douglas – One of the veterans of the Force.com development community, he’s somebody whom I’ve always looked up to as a person as well as a developer. A foster father and a true gentleman who’s been associated with several noble causes, Jeff is a real life example of how to do good for others. As for his development skills, he says “His life is a hackathon” so I’ll just leave it at that. Just in case you didn’t know, he presented as many as six awesome sessions at #DF12.

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5. Narinder Singh – The co-founder of Appirio and the President of [topCoder] – the world’s biggest crowdsourcing community, but what’s he doing on the rockstar developers list? I’ve been fortunate to rub shoulders with Narinder as a developer for a short while and trust me, he could beat some of the best developers at their own game, especially when it comes to developing on the Google Apps platform.

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6. Josh Birk – He’s been around as an active member of the Developer Relations team for a long time now. If you are into Salesforce mobile development, you’d know his valuable contributions such as the Salesforce1 OneStarter pack and the Sencha Touch connector for Salesforce REST API. Besides, he’s the manager for one of my sessions so extra points for that 😉

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7. Raja Rao DV – If you have used Angular.js or Ionic.js for Salesforce mobile development, there’s a good chance that you’ve read some of his tutorials and blog posts. He’s the public face of Salesforce Dev Relations in India and features regularly at the various meetup groups in India. Strangely though, I’ve never met him at Dreamforce so I plan to make amends this year.

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8. Andrew Fawcett – With a reputation of 25.K and counting on Salesforce StackExchange, he’s a technical wizard on the platform. He works as the CTO at FinancialForce.com and I’m a loyal reader of his awesome blog. I am looking forward to reading his upcoming book on Advanced Apex Enterprise Patterns and to attending his sessions at Dreamforce 2014.

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9. Pat Patterson – His Twitter handle metadaddy says it all – I consider him to be the Big Daddy of all things related to Salesforce development. His blog topics are equally interesting – whether it’s using Visualforce with Minecraft or on devices such as Chromecast. I’m sure he’ll be camping in the Devzone and I hope to have some interesting discussions with him at Dreamforce 2014 this year.

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10. Don Robins – If you’ve attended an official SalesforceU developer training class in the United States, you know whom I am talking about. He’s one of the most widely known and respected trainers in the Salesforce fraternity. His Hands-on Training sessions at Dreamforce typically sell out faster than Marc Benioff’s keynote. He’s the “Been there, done that and let me teach you how it’s done” guy in Salesforce development.

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11. Samantha Ready – A part of the Salesforce Dev Relations team, Samantha is your go to expert for Salesforce1 development queries. She has published a number of blog posts and delivered webinars on various aspects of Salesforce1 and I’ve had the good fortune of meeting her at several leading conferences including SenchaCon 2013. I hope to meet her again at this year’s Dreamforce.

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12. Dan Appleman – Unofficially regarded as the ‘Father of Apex programming language’. In my opinion, his book on ‘Advanced Apex Programming‘ is the best ever Force.com book on any topic. I’m short of words here. #Respect

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13. Christophe CoenraetsHe came, he saw, he conquered. He may be new to the Salesforce Developer Evangelist team but he’s already made his mark. His tutorial for newbie developers is widely regarded as one of the best starting points for ramping up on the platform. Coming from Adobe, he’s one of the most well known experts on PhoneGap/ Cordova. To say that I am in awe of him would be a huge understatement.

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14. Dave Carroll – He’s the Senior Director of Developer Evangelism at Salesforce. He’s been around since 2003 and his knowledge of all aspects of the platform is unparalleled. I had the good fortune of meeting him at Dreamforce two years back and I hope to be lucky again this year.

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15. Kyle Roche – He’s the CEO of 2lemetry and an expert on how to leverage the ‘Internet of Things’ in Salesforce world. He was a finalist during the hackathon at Dreamforce 2012 and I was very impressed what he built. His mastery on wearable devices makes me believe that he’s the next Reid Carlberg in making 🙂

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16. Kevin Poorman – ‘Amazing’ is the first word that comes to my mind when I think of him. We’ve crossed paths several times as competitors on several challenges/ hackathons, he’s answered a number of my queries on comunity forums and I’ve utmost respect for him. No surprise, he’s one of the most popular Force.com MVPs.

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17. Mike Gerholdt – The man behind buttonclickadmin.com – one of the most popular Salesforce administration websites, he’s the go-to guy for all aspiring and existing Salesforce admins. If you not following his site, then you are missing out on a lot of cool tips and tricks.

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18. Harshit Pandey – He works as a Technical Program Manager at Salesforce and I follow his blog regularly. He’s very active in social media circles evangelizing Salesforce application development. I’ve never met him person so I hope to do so at Dreamforce 2014.

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19. Keir Bowden – Popularly known as Bob Buzzard, he’s one of the most knowledgeable and respected developers in the community. He’s very active on Developer Discussion Boards as well as on Salesforce Stack Exchange. I found his Visualforce Development cookbook very insightful. I hope to meet him and attend his session at Dreamforce 2014.

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20. Sandeep Bhanot – Did amazing work on evangelizing the Salesforce Mobile SDKs and is widely considered as a guru in native/ hybrid Salesforce development. Since then, he’s switched tracks from one amazing thing to the other and is now focusing on the next big thing – Salesforce Wear Developer Pack.

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21. Matt Lacey – He’s the rare combo of being a Salesforce.com MVP as well as Force.com MVP. My first interaction with him was at the hackathon at Dreamforce last year when we both were expected (by quiet a few folks) to make to the finals. Neither of us did but all credit to him, he turned his hackathon idea into a successful product. He’s also one of the co-hosts for the popular Code Coverage talk show which showcases the who’s who in the Salesforce fraternity.

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22. Steven Herod – A Salesforce MVP and certified Technical Architect, he’s the other half of the popular Code Coverage talk show which showcases the who’s who in the Salesforce fraternity. I’ve heard his voice and seen his pics, hope to combine the audio and video when I meet him in person at Dreamforce 2014.

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23. Jesse Altman – He holds all certifications that exists in the Salesforce fraternity. If you’ve heard about ApexMocks, you know whom I am talking about. I hope he’s presenting a few sessions at Dreamforce 2014 and I’ll be among the first ones to show up there.

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24. Abhinav Gupta – He’s an ex-colleague but I will always rue the fact that we never got an opportunity to work together. He was the first ever Force.com MVP from India and his blog is a immensely popular among the Salesforce dev fraternity in India. I’ve hardly met him in recent times so I hope to bump into him among the Dreamforce crowd.

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25. Peter Chittum – Works as a developer evangelist at Salesforce and has been helping out developers at various avenues such as Salesforce Stack Exchange, Discussion Board forums. He was a great helping hand for all participants during the hackathon at Dreamforce last year.

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26. Michael Floyd – He single handedly transformed the Developer Force portal into a one-stop resource for all Salesforce development needs. He’s the man responsible for ensuring the quality of content on the portal. He keeps a low profile on social media circles but if you are in Salesforce learning & training circles, you know he’s a guy you can’t miss at Dreamforce 2014.

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27. Ankit Arora – Popularly known as the Forceguru, he was chosen as the youngest ever Force.com MVP. He’s a moderator on the Force.com Developer Discussion Boards and a super helpful guy when it comes to solving problems. He’s also doing an incredible job as moderator for the Jaipur User DUG successfully organizing developer meetups.

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28. Nick Tran – He’s the Senior Director for Developer Marketing  at Salesforce and I’ve been fortunate to meet him in person on a couple of occasions. He’s very helpful and supportive so if you see him in the Devzone, do not hesitate to say Hello and initiate a conversation with him.

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29. Kartik Viswanadha – I first met him at the hackathon  at Dreamforce last year. He’s the moderator for the Force.com Boston User Group and also a newly crowned Force.com MVP. I look forward to attending his session at Dreamforce 2014.

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30. Eugene Oksman – He’s one of the key members of the Salesforce Mobile SDK team. If you are curious about native or hybrid Salesforce mobile development, catch hold of Eugene at the Dev Zone – you won’t find a better-suited person than him for guidance.

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31. Mary Scotton – She’s a Developer Evangliest at Salesforce and I met her on Twitter a while back. She publishes the very popular ‘Women in Tech’ series of  posts on the Salesforce Developer blog. I look forward to meeting her in person at Dreamforce 2014.

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32. Dave Messinger – He’s the man in charge of [topcoder] – the world’s largest developer crowd-sourcing community. Imagine the scenario of somebody managing a global pool of 600,000+ developers – that’s Dave for you! He’s a veteran in the Salesforce fraternity as well.

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33. Robert Duffner – As his Twitter profile mentions, he is the “S1 Platform dude for Salesforce”. He’s the director of Salesforce1 platform mobile strategy at Salesforce and one of the key influences in shaping up the overall platform.

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34. Quinton Wall – I first interacted with him in 2012 after I came in as the runner up in Salesforce Mobile Developer Challenge. He’s wore many hats at Salesforce over the years and is one of the most visible proponents of open source technology in the community.

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35. Jacob Lehrbaum – The Salesforce Developers Discussion Forums is the area where most newbie developers turn to for help and seeking guidance. Jacob works as the Director of Developer Marketing at Salesforce and he is the man who’s led the transformation of the Discussion Forums from its erstwhile mundane technology stack to using the Salesforce Communities platform.

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Of course, I’m tempted to put my and Marc Benioff’s name on this list but A) I will resist being a shameless pug for once B) I need to review Benioff’s code first 🙂

See you at Dreamforce 2014!

Disclaimer – All information provided above is based solely on my personal opinion. All thumbnails have been sourced from LinkedIn/ Twitter public profiles.

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