Where I live in New Jersey, i’m right outside of Philadelphia with 2 official Salesforce groups nearby. One user group and one developer group. They are relatively close, by miles. However, heading to meetings after work going into or through Philadelphia to reach either of them, I think i’d rather be in the 7th layer of hell than fighting that dangerous traffic. Not wanting to make the stressful trips after work, I looked into starting my own user group in Southern NJ to capture those folks who didnt want to make the trip like me, but due to proximity to the other groups (again, by miles), I wouldn’t be able to create an “official” Salesforce user group, so I gave the idea up.
As time went on, I had more and more people outside of the Salesforce ecosystem ask about what Salesforce was, and seeking tips on how to get started, training, and so on. Based on the trend in interest, I took it as a calling that I NEEDED to do what I could to start my own user group to cover my area, so I followed the lead of the Salesforce Saturday empress herself, Stephanie Herrera, and started the first ever South Jersey Salesforce Saturday group. I’m glad I went that route because we are free to hold whatever types of events we want, whenever we want, wherever we want.
When I was new to the ecosystem and attended my first user group meeting, my head was spinning. It was very structured with a lot of education, and a little bit of networking It went through code, admin tools, automation, apps, everything from start to finish. I didn’t know where to start. My goal with South Jersey Salesforce Saturday was to have a more open agenda and a variety of high level content that would not only be welcome to those new within the Salesforce ecosystem, but enough to keep interest of the veterans as well.
Update: June 2019
We started NJ Salesforce Saturday in January of 2017, and became an official Salesforce Trailblazer Community Group in December of 2018!