2022 in Review
2022 was the year that we got back together in person - London’s Calling, World Tour, TrailblazerDX, Dreamforce were once again in the three-dimensional world and all the better for it. There were fewer attendees, more health attestations, more masks and less hugging than before, but those were all a small price to pay for many of us. In more efforts to get people together, Trailblazer Ranch was opened, but I’m still waiting for my invite - there have been a few postal strikes in the UK, so it’s entirely possible its been held up in a sorting office.
Early in the year, NFT Cloud was launched to a less than positive reaction pretty much across the board - it was due to go into pilot in June with wider availability in October, but seems to have gone a little quiet of late.
After over a decade of being Salesforce.com (aka SFDC), the inevitable change came and the company rebranded to Salesforce, Inc. 8 months later I’d imagine there are still thousands of items to be updated with the new name! Around the same time there was a major renaming of most of the marketing products, which received a near-universal negative reception - for some reason, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement didn’t trip as neatly off the tongue as Pardot. As I’ve always said, it’s easier to rebrand existing products than develop new ones, so I doubt this will be the last time that names are changed and we all get annoyed about it.
A theme at Salesforce towards the middle/end of the year was executive upheaval - sometimes instigated by the company, sometimes by the executive. Bret Taylor announcing his departure was the biggest surprise, but there were lots of other changes too - Gavin Patterson moving up to Chief Strategy Officer and then out, Brian Millham becoming President and COO. Steven Tamm, Stewart Butterfield and Mark Nelson announcing their exits around the same time as Taylor made it a tough end of year for Marc Benioff. It will be interesting to see if there is an attempt in 2023 to acqui-hire a potential successor - given that it took 5 years for Bret Taylor to make co-CEO, it feels like succession planning is something the board might be asking Marc Benioff to focus on.
From a technology perspective, the big story of the year for Salesforce was Genie - while this was announced at Dreamforce, it feels like outside of the Sales and Product teams the rest of Salesforce is still catching up - Trailhead still only has the quick look module that I can find, and demos still need to be carried out in short-lived trial orgs, leading to a lot of effort to continually recreate the same setup. There was also sadness, as Heroku ended their free tiers and a lot of us headed off to Render.com, Fly.io and others for free hosting for our community efforts.
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Two areas really dominated the technology space for me this year - a slowing economy causing big (and other) tech to make unprecedented layoffs, and the never ending circus that is Elon Musk and Twitter. For great analysis on the former, head over to Gergely Orosz’s Pragmatic Engineer site. To read about the latter, just look at tech news at pretty much any point in time and there’s be a new drama unfolding!
A mixed year for me - at least a quarter was radio silence as I onboarded BrightGen to the tech stack mandated by our new owners. I managed 18 posts on the Bob Buzzard Blog, a couple of new versions of the Org Documentor, including some integration with the Order of Execution diagram from the Salesforce Architects team. This Substack saw 10 new posts - typically I aim for one a month as I use it more to comment on the news rather than explain interesting technical challenges I’ve encountered.
The blog received another 108k views this year, while Substack saw a 60% increase in subscribers, so as always I’d like to say a big thanks to my loyal readers - I’d probably still write a lot of this even if nobody was reading it, but it’s defintely easier to motivate yourself when you see the numbers ticking up!
Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to a great 2023!