20 Most Interesting Salesforce Related Articles and Interviews of 2015

Whoa! 2015 has truly been a great year! I had a hectic work schedule that kept on building up until it literally exploded at Dreamforce, where I didn’t have a chance to meet more than half of the people I wanted to. The ones I did get to meet this year, however, be it online or at the WalkMe booth at DF, were all great people who could inspire me to do more and become better at what I do. It was also a very important year for Salesforce users in general, as the platform has made some drastic changes to its UI when it launched Lightning earlier this fall- a topic that will be addressed in some of the following posts. I had the pleasure of reading many great posts this year, and discover a lot of talented, sharp and inspiring Salesforce bloggers: some of them are admins, some developers, consultants or self-taught users who focus on writing helpful tips. So, I have collected the very best from 2015- blog posts, tips, hacks, walkthrough videos- it’s all here and it’s great. Check them out!  

1.  9 Reasons Dreamforce 2015 Was the Worst, and the #1 Reason We’ll Keep Going Back

Funny, sad, and mostly very true, this sharply written article by Mindtouch’s Matt B. has a great point- there are many things about Dreamforce that still make no sense (do we really need to receive so many emails?), but we still can’t wait for next year’s event. I believe most DF attendees (if not all of them!) will feel like Matt has taken the words right out of their mouths.  

2. Just Do It! : Tips for Passing a Salesforce Certification Exam

Besides being a “quality stamp” in your resume’, a Salesforce certification can open many doors for you- and in many fields. But all of this goodness can’t come too easy, and the internet is full of hysterical posts from people who are about to take the exam. To give you a little heads up, Cloud for Good’s Zeina Saad has written a great, comprehensive guide that’ll help you prepare and boost your results.  

3. Power of One: The Most Brilliant Analytics Trick of All Time

If you’re using analytics, you’ve probably heard of an analytics ‘hack’ called The Power of One. The Power of One lets you view reports of all opportunities, from all of the accounts you have. This Brent Downey (Adminhero.com) article is just a small, insightful and cleverly written guide that is bound to save you a great deal of time.

4. A Salesforce Encryption Guide for The Paranoid

In the world of cloud-based platforms, a large portion of a company’s data is stored online. Some of it might be sensitive information. In these cases, security measures should definitely be taken- and this great post by Algoworks’ Pratyush Kumar covers everything you need to know on data encryption in the Salesforce platform.  

5. Security 101: When in Doubt, Lock It Down

Still on the topic of online security, this post by Salesforce Saint is by far the most detail-rich Salesforce security guide I’ve encountered in 2015. Comprehensive, fast paced and packed with information, this post is everything you need to show your employees- both newbies and experienced.  

6. 5 Salesforce Career Lessons From Ron Burgundy

Brilliantly written, funny and surprisingly very inspiring – this article by Ben McCarthy (Salesforce Ben) offers some good tips that are truly worthy of your attention, as we don’t always take them in count. For instance, that you need to make sure people notice and know you.  Besides, who’s even capable of saying “no” to Ron Burgundy – the man and the moustache? giphy

7. So you’re a Salesforce Admin…What’s next?

While many of my blog posts are meant for beginners, I usually try to incorporate more advanced material from time to time- if only in the more theoretical, philosophical aspects of being an admin, a manager, or a leader in a company. This guest post by Cheryl Feldman on the ButtonClickAdmin blog provides a personal experience as a case study to the possibilities you have when you’re starting to feel a little too big for the admin shoes.  

8. Tell Us The Rumor Isn’t True, Salesforce

Remember when all we could talk about was the acquisition rumors? This Forbes post, by Erika Morphy, is one of the best ones from that time, discussing the shocking news. Like many of us, Morphy had some difficulties accepting the news, as she stressed that it’s never a pleasant event for a customer, as such integration can be messy and oftentimes wind up being partial failures.  Written simply, and in a way that’s very easy to read, this article expresses what we all felt at the time.  

9. Debate: With Salesforce.com up for sale, will the new guard in SaaS dominate incumbents?

And more on the acquisition news that rattled the community: The speculations and suggestions basically broke the SaaS internet. The 2015 Silicon Valley Innovation Summit had a panel, or better yet – a debate, on the future of SaaS, following the purchase. The debate, hosted by Jai Das, Co-Founder & Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures, featured Chris Beall, CEO at ConnectAndSell, Robert Reid, CEO at Intacct, and David Brunner, CEO at ModuleQ, and also featured real-time polls with some interesting insights.  

10. Salesforce Marketing Cloud Gets Predictive

In this article, Information Week’s Doug Henschen analyzes the Predictive Decisions feature, announced by Salesforce back in March: “Personalization is the key to one-to-one marketing, but that requires an understanding of what’s most relevant to individual customers. More than a third (36%) of marketers struggle to apply customer insights to improve customer experience, according to a 2104 Forrester study commissioned by Salesforce, and 42% say it’s difficult to analyze data from customer interactions.”  

11. Salesforce CEO Gave an Employee $50,000 To Help Leave Indiana

Not only was Salesforce leading the charge of a corporate boycott against Indiana, following the passage of the controversial religious freedom law, but it paid employees to relocate from the state, some to the tune of $50,000. This article details one of the most memorable stories of the year, as Marc Benioff gave an employee a $50,000 relocation package. Following the passage of the initial legislation last week, Benioff tweeted, “We are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination.”  

12.  Chrome Extensions Every Salesforce Developer Should Have

Nearly every living organism on this planet uses google Chrome… but most people never even scratch the surface of what you can do with it. Even I, an old time Firefox User, have come to acknowledge the greatness of some Chrome extensions- especially when it comes to working with Salesforce. So if you’re a Salesforce developer, here’s a great list of extensions that’ll save you tons of precious time!   208

 13.  10 Excel Features Every Salesforce Admin Should Know

Ryan Lorenzen’s blog is full of great content, combining awesome Salesforce tips with thoughts, motivational posts and interviews. This relatively new post however has an appeal that’s similar to the article at no.11- it takes you through some super helpful features of a tool that you’re used to take for granted. And as pretty much every Salesforce user also uses Excel, these 10 features will definitely upgrade your experience.  

14. Five Salesforce Data Cleaning Tips

The amount of trouble bad data can get you into is almost infinite… yet it seems to be one of the most neglected aspects of CRM work. How’s that possible? Well, probably because people don’t really like doing repetitive, sisyphic work that has no immediately noticeable benefit. So to raise awareness to the importance of good, clean and well written data- here’s a great guide for data cleaning in Salesforce.  

15. Video: Introduction to Salesforce Lightning

Still pretty much relevant as Lightning presented a lot of changes in how we experience Slaesforce, this recording of an internal presentation led by my colleague and Salesforce Guru, Mr. Roy Gilad walks you through the new features and also shows us how to switch from Salesforce Classic to the new Lightning Experience. Check it out!  

16. Taylor Swift + Salesforce

This is one of these Salesforce motivational posts that just hits the right spot and has a great point to it. This short yet very insightful post by David Liu, addressing a common question in the tech world- ‘Should I learn to code? Is it possible to catch up with people who not only code better than you, but also more often than you? Well it seems that the answer is that it doesn’t matter. Because Taylor Swift. YUP.

17. How do you know you are a Salesforce Admin? Jenny’s Admin Tips #44

Jenny Bamber’s blog is full of spot-on Salesforce tips, but the best part about her blog is her sense of humor. This post has very little to offer you knowledge-wise, but it’s so darn funny (and true) that I just had to include it. Just to give you a taste of this brilliant post: Number 4: You’re not so secret best friends with Developers; Number 8: You know the difference between UGs and UGGS!  

18. Add the Power of SOQL to Your Salesforce Arsenal – In Less than a Day (probably)

“If you think SOQL = For Developers, you may want to reconsider.” Salesforce consultant Ashish Agarwal guides you on how to use Salesforce Object Query Language to get the absolute best out of your data. His post, he answers some important questions to help excel the process, like how many records are there in Account object, how many Contacts exist for an Account, what is the count of Opportunities by stages.  

19. Poof! Your Admin Has Disappeared! What Now?

Whether you’re a manager or a fellow team member, a Salesforce admin leaving the team can be quite a blow. Where do you even begin? Luckily, Salesforce wizard Brian Kwong is here to guide you through the rough times.  

20. 5 Common Mistakes in the Salesforce Implementation Process

Almost done! But before we finish, it’s time to go back to the start; implementing Salesforce can be a grueling experience, dragged on and even fail eventually, if not approached with the right mindset for change. To better prep you for what’s coming- here’s a list of the most common mistakes made during a Salseforce integration process.  
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.