On Monday, Yahoo! Developer Network participated in Salesforce's inaugural Cloudstock event, a developer-centric prelude to Dreamforce, Salesforce.com's annual customer gathering. The one-day conference brought thousands of developers to San Francisco's Moscone Center to learn from Adobe, Amazon, Box, eBay, Force.com, Google, Heroku, Joyent, Kynetx, LinkedIn, PayPal, Simple Geo, and many other cloud tool and technology providers.
YDN evangelists staffed a partner pod and answered questions about YQL, the SQL-like query language that lets you query, filter and join data from a variety of sources. Tom Hughes-Croucher gave a talk called "Select * From Internet How to Make the Most of the Web of Data Using YQL." Much as Salesforce simplifies and enhances the tasks associated with CRM, YQL piques developer interest because it simplifies the task of calling multiple APIs to manipulate and present data.
In addition to the day's array of sessions, Cloudstock featured a Hackathon, where dozens of developers worked all day to build apps that included at least two Cloudstock Partners APIs or services. Eighteen finalists demoed before a panel of industry judges and an audience of their peers. We saw a clever collection of tools and toys for Salesforce platform users, produced with handy APIs from Twilio (which put the 'rang' in the Boomerang event reminder app), Simple Geo, PayPal, LinkedIn, and others.
- Best in Show: Blaine Schanfeldt's Tic Tac Toe game made with the Twilio API.
- Best Enterprise: Sales Prediction with eBay Integration app by Shamil Arsunukayev and team
- Best Non-Profit: CloudGuide by Eiein Valdez
- Best Commercial: Ryan Panchadsaram and teams Boomerang application
- Best Mobile:The Contacts Near Me app allows you to search your LinkedIn and Salesforce contacts by your location. Created by Andrew Mager and Chris Hutchins of Simple Geo.
After Cloudstock ended, the DreamForce event kicked into high gear with the arrival of thousands of Salesforce customers from around the world, a welcome keynote by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and guest appearances by Stevie Wonder and former President Bill Clinton. YDN event manager Stacy Milman (@stacymilman) went to Moscone Wednesday to catch the presidential keynote. When Clintons plane was delayed due to weather, special guest Stevie Wonder took some time to talk to the crowd about philanthropy, a Salesforce corporate value, and how he gives back. Then the 42nd president arrived. Here's Stacy's report:
"Clinton's speech focused on three key problems in the world: inequality, instability, and unsustainability; and how technology can be used to help level these playing fields. He also briefly mentioned Wikileaks as an example of instability in the realm of cyber-security. Clinton touched on how his foundations uses Salesforces technologies. For example, Salesforce provides tools for real-time monitoring of mining areas of South America.
The president reflected on how fast technology changes: When Clinton first took office his cell phone weighed 5 pounds. In 2010, people around the globe used cell phones to donate money for relief efforts like the Haiti earthquake response. When Clinton first took office there were only 50 websites on the Internet, now 50 websites were probably created while he was talking. The president made a memorable observation: 'the key to innovation? ...It's a lot easier if you believe in something bigger than yourself...'"
Whether you attended Cloudstock as a Salesforce.com customer, developer, or hacker, or as a curious first-timer at the Woodstock of cloud computing, there was plenty of room to dream big.