TDX 2022 – Back Live and In-Person! 

In April 2022, I attended Salesforce’s TrailblazerDX (TDX) conference, and wow — TDX22 was unlike any previous conference I attended. There were no gimmicky marketing tactics, overwhelming vendors, or empty promises. The conference was designed to help enable, enlighten, and empower developers and architects. The people at the conference were the ones who fulfilled development requirements and deliver code. It was nice to finally have a live and in-person conference again!

For those that missed it, check out video content from TDX22 here.

The conference began with Parker Harris, Co-Founder of Salesforce. Parker gave a very enthusiastic high-level overview of the exciting things happening in the Salesforce / MuleSoft ecosystem. Watch his keynote speech. 

One of my highlights from this conference was getting to meet Co-CEO, Brett Taylor. Brett had on a one-of-a-kind pair of very sparkly shoes! 

(Brett Taylor, Manik Magar, Kevin King) 

 

A few exciting announcements were made including a showcase of the trailblazer platform and the new title ‘Double Ranger’ was unveiled. Double Ranger is now the highest title a developer can receive from Salesforce. The award was presented to a previous colleague of mine, Miguel Martinez! Time for me to earn some more badges! Follow me.

The conference followed standard conference formats, with both interactive booths and speaking sessions. This year, however, I learned just as much walking around the interactive booths as I did in the sessions. Below are just a few of my take-aways from this year’s TDX22 conference.

Campground Booths

With my concentration on MuleSoft and supporting technologies, I was initially drawn away from the heavily focused Salesforce booths and tried to find booths related more to MuleSoft. Salesforce made an interesting game out of engaging booths that you wouldn’t normally go to, using their ‘Quest’ feature and badges to earn some great swag. Check out some of the swag I took home!

(Salesforce swag) 

This quest inspired me to learn more about other Salesforce products. Although I don’t know that it would apply to any of the projects I’ve been a part of, I enjoyed listening in on predictive analysis using Einstein. Below are a few key features: 

  • Build custom predictions and recommendations with clicks
  • Embed predictive insights into any record or in any app
  • Operationalize AI by adding it to every workflow or business process

Additional information on Einstein can be found here.

The Tableau booth looked great for creating and displaying all sorts of data. Key features include: 

  • Analyze, explore, author reports
  • Intuitive, visual analytics for all every department

The AWS booth was super interesting as they have defined pre-built quick starts that could be super useful for quickly spinning up and building out RTF environments. Key features include: 

  • Sample CloudFormation scripts for RTF
  • Automated EKS Cluster environment configuration

More on the RTF environments soon, so in the meantime, check out Amazon QuickStart.

I had a great conversation with the Slack team and learned some great tips on keyword notifications. If you are not familiar with Slack, it’s a team communication tool. Additionally, they showed me how to integrate a REST endpoint with a Slack application. This could be very useful! See the documentation.

TDX22 Sessions

Brian Statkevicus, who coined the term POps (pronounced ‘Pe Ops’ and stands for Proactive-Operations), shared an interesting idea that you should always be the second person to know of a failure, the first being the user who discovered the issue. No waiting around for someone to submit a support request, or send out emails indicating failures. He went through and discussed the different built-in monitoring and alerting options and demoed the use case. Using the Slack connector, within the common error handling, Brian showed a Slack notification immediately indicating an action should be required.

Following up with a /ping and /health endpoints, he was able to infer that the API was up and responding, but that the database had become unreachable. The concept was well delivered and made me think about additional proactive ideas to implement in my next Mule flow utilizing Slack and its interactive capabilities. More on that soon!

(Brian Statkevicus)

A fellow colleague of mine, Manik Mager, presented a new observability concept utilizing Opentelemetry. See the code here. With very minimal configuration, your Mule flows can automatically publish traceability details, basically removing the need for INFO loggers that just say “Starting ABC Flow,” or “Finished executing ABC Flow.” Visually displaying all recorded data using Elastic gives detailed distributed tracing data across all of the APIs. A blog post on observability should be out soon!

(Manik Magar presenting on Distributed Tracing with MuleSoft APIs) 

 

I had heard news of the new VS code editor, but it was great to see Simone Geib able to give an actual demo walking through an API design, development, and deployment. It’ll be nice to have an alternative to Anypoint Studio. I look forward to seeing more when it gets officially released! 

Finally, I got to meet other Mentors and Ambassadors within the Mule Community Team whose job it was to corral us to specific seats at different sessions, not an easy task. An absolute pleasure to meet Sabrina H, Mariana, and Sabrina M! I can’t wait to work with you in the future.

Overall, a great conference, and I can’t wait to go back again next year!  

Special thanks for our tour of the Salesforce Tower, wow, what a site from the Ohana deck!

(Kevin King view from the Ohana Deck in Salesforce Tower)

(Kevin King view from the Ohana Deck in Salesforce Tower)