Are you excited for Wir Sind Ohana?

We certainly are. Now that our Call For Speaker is almost closed, it is time to reveal some details about our exciting content.
Clap your hands, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to open the stage for our keynote speakers.

So here is our interview with René Winkelmeyer, Global Head of Developer Advocacy with Salesforce.

What is your name, please?
In a nutshell, what do you do?

René Winkelmeyer

My name is René, and I'm running the global Developer Advocate team here at Salesforce. My role is less about what I do - it's about what my team does every day: enabling developers to be successful with Salesforce technologies. We do that by sharing our technical knowledge at events, the Salesforce Developer blog and YouTube channel, shipping sample apps, and much more. 

What was the most memorable keynote you’ve attended - and why?

The Dreamforce 2017 Developer keynote. Because it was the first time for me being the demo lead and driver for that keynote. ;-)

Why did you decide to be a keynote speaker at Wir sind Ohana and what are you most looking forward to at the event?

Quite simple: finally Germany will have their own community conference. And there's no question that I want to support it. I'm looking forward to connect with some familiar faces from the German community, as well as meeting many new people. Building connections.

Demo Drivers Dreamforce 2017: Christophe Conraets and Réné Winkelmeyer
Demo Drivers Dreamforce 2017: Christophe Conraets and Réné Winkelmeyer

When and how did you get started with tech?

It was around the year 2000, when my employer (a local Volksbank) asked me to be their first sysadmin. At that point I was already kinda in tech, although more in a personal level. I guess starting with a C128D that my parents gave me for my 8th birthday set the foundation.

What did you do before Salesforce?

I was leading software development at a German startup that focuses on Mobile Device Management. Lots of J2EE, iOS, and other fun tech to work with. Before that... well, business process consultant, product manager, sysadmin, bank clerk (yup, correct, that's what I learned as apprentice).

"[D]evelopers can be very picky and opinionated about which technology works best"

What are some of the common misconceptions that you encounter about Salesforce technology? How do you handle those?

The most common misconception I encounter is that Salesforce has (largely) a proprietary stack, and that it's not attractive for developers because of that. Which I understand to some extent, because we developers can be very picky and opinionated about which technology works best for "us".

Now, here's the thing, which is also a bit related to the next question: Salesforce ships constantly new functionality. In my nearly 8 years it never was boring, it was (and is) constant learning. Plus, the Salesforce ecosystem is not only about the core cloud itself. There is also commerce, MuleSoft, Tableau, Slack. You can do so much, if only the time was there.

How do you cope with the constant innovation in the Salesforce platform and the wider technology landscape?

I'm very fortunate to work with passionate subject matter experts on my team. And for most part I rely on them for everything Salesforce. There's so much happening that I can't (and don't want) to know everything. And the wider technology landscape is kinda similar - there's so much happening, it's just hard to follow "everything".

EinsteinGPT ©Salesforce

What are some of the skills or technologies that you think are beneficial for Salesforce developers and admins to learn in 2024 and beyond?

Generative AI fundamentals and everything Data Cloud.

When I say "Generative AI fundamentals" I mean: What is an LLM? What is a vector database? What are prompts, and how to effectively write them? What are business problems that can (and can't) be solved with this technology. All of this is key, no matter which technology people work with.

Data Cloud becomes more and more integrated across everything Salesforce does. Having a solid understanding of what it solves, and how to utilize it, will also be critical for every implementation.

What are some of the opportunities of attending a Dreamin’ event besides your keynote and talks?

The most important element of a Dreamin' event is connecting with other like-minded people. The Dreamin' events are THE place where community is happening.

two soldiers holding USA flag standing
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Ever been to Berlin? What do you recommend?

I've been there a couple of times. I highly recommend some of the common tourist-y things, like visiting the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, or doing a Bunker tour. Important moments of history happened in the city, and you can still feel them.

For those who stay over the weekend... I'm a huge fan of the Berghain or Tresor clubs. They are not for everyone (and don't let everyone in ;-)).