Sri Lanka Salesforce Platform Developer User Group First Meetup - My Experience
Recently Salesforce initiated Salesforce developer user groups in Sri Lanka. The goal of the user group is to build an enthusiastic, self-sustaining Sri Lankan community that enables members to be more successful with Salesforce and helps to connect with other developers of Sri Lanka Salesforce community. Developer User Group Meetups are a great opportunity to share the knowledge with community members, meet industry leaders, exchange views and ideas, socialize with peers, and network with others.
Journey begins after I completed one year with Salesforce Platform. I started to work on Salesforce.com technologies since April 2011. I have notice that there are Salesforce Platform Developer User groups from various regions. But there were not a group in Sri Lanka. I have searched for importance to having a Salesforce Developer User Group in Sri Lanka.
Even Salesforce.com has founded in 1999, Salesforce.com cloud platform is new technology for Sri Lanka. There are few companies doing Salesforce.com/Force.com Developments. Therefore, if we need to success with Salesforce platform, we need to grow the Salesforce community in Sri Lanka. We need to build the connection among Sri Lankan Salesforce developers. Software development Companies need to believe Salesforce.com/Force.com technologies. Software developers need to believe this leading cloud computing platform. All the Salesforce developers in Sri Lanka need to connect with each other and share the knowledge to the Sri Lankan community. There were only one thing to do for achieve all above things. That is initiating a Salesforce Platform Developer User Group in Sri Lanka.
First, I initiated a LinkedIn group for Sri Lankan Salesforce Professionals in April 2012. Initially, few developers have joined with Sri Lankan Salesforce Professionals Group. While I’m trying to promote the group and increase the number of members using the social networking channels, I got contact with Nick Tran who is the Senior Director, Developer Marketing at Salesforce.com. He has directed me to the process of adding Sri Lankan Salesforce Professionals group to official Force.com Developer User Group List. Nick has introduced me to Kavindra Patel who is the Developer Programs Director at salesforce.com. He called me and asked about current situation of Sri Lankan Salesforce Professionals Group. He was exciting about Sri Lankan group and he asked me to hold the first meetup. As the Developer relation manager of Asia pacific region at that time Kavindra has leaded to identify local developer community leaders from Sri Lanka, Bangalore, New Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Kochi, and Chennai. With cloud computing being top of mind for developers in the Indian subcontinent , they were seeing large groups of developers jumping on board to learn about building next generation apps on the Salesforce Platform. Then Salesforce.com has launched these Nine India Sub-Continent Salesforce Platform Developer User Groups and named community leaders from above groups. After that I had a chance to contact with April Kyle who is the Developer Program Manager at salesforce.com.
Support from Salesforce.com
Kavindra and April have helped me to successfully organize the first meetup of Sri Lanka Salesforce Platform Developer User Group. They have clear idea about developer use groups and how to increase the salesforce community in various countries and regions. They have proved that by number of developer user groups which has vastly increased in last two three months. Here is the complete list of current Salesforce developer user groups. You can join the group which is near to your place. April has setup a meetup account for Sri Lanka Salesforce Platform Developer User Group. Meetup account is easy to handle meetup activities. Thanks to Kavindra and April, we got awesome goodies (T-shirts, caps, Books, etc.) for cloud Trivia.
The Event Day
With the hand of Salesforce.com & Sabre Salesforce Team which is my current company, the first Salesforce Developer User group meetup has organized to help on 20th November, 2012 at Savsiripaya, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka. That day is a historical date of Sri Lankan Salesforce community. Luckily, I’m the leader of this group and happy to be a part of this historical event. There was a great participation. There were 53 attendees. I was expected 50 or below number of participants. But I’m happy to say that there was a fully crowded meetup room. There were experienced as well as newbies for Salesforce. There were participants from CRM consulting partner companies as well as Force.com development companies. There were few undergraduates and cloud computing being top of their mind. As a result of chat with undergraduates, I’m hoping to initiate a Salesforce Student Group in Sri Lanka as a sub group of Sri Lanka Salesforce Platform Developer User Group. I have already discussed with April about Salesforce Student Group and it will be come into live soon. We had three sessions. First one was Welcome & Introduction to Force.com Community by me. Second one was Introduction to Force.com Sites by Thushara. Third one was Hybrid mobile app development by Tuan. I would like to thanks my speakers in inaugural meetup Thushara & Tuan. Their speeches were helped for success this event and their contribution is appreciable. We had spent awesome time and valuable sessions and good feedback from the attendees.
See more photos of Inaugural Meetup of Sri Lanka Salesforce Platform Developer User Group in Facebook page and Meetup account.
As I said before Salesforce Student group will be established in near future and it will spread out to universities in Sri Lanka. One of my goals of the Student group is every IT undergraduate will know about Salesforce.com/Force.com like he/she knows about Java/.Net now. Sri Lanka Salesforce Community is growing. With this growing, number of companies who are doing Salesforce developments will be increased. Join with u to grow the Sri Lankan Salesforce community. We will have more great meetups in future.