Adam Mico
4 min readSep 27, 2022

Blending #DataFam and #Trailblazers from the Golden Hoodie Mayor Dude

Photo Credit: Francois Ajenstat (Salesforce/Tableau)

I woke up super early and had a chance to collect my thoughts on the #TheDreamForce experience, and wanted to share my lasting thoughts with others who are curious about the #DataFam and #Trailblazer communities and how we can appreciate each other and ultimately work together while holding on what is special to us.

My #DataFam journey is well documented. But over one year ago, my #Trailhead journey began when Keyrus tasked me with learning CRMA. This led to me falling in love with Trailhead, getting certified as a CRM and Einstein Analytics Consultant, combining Salesforce and Tableau in several visualizations (the one linked was with Brandi Locker), writing a couple of articles for Salesforce Ben, blogging about it, providing partner webinars with Keyrus/Tableau on Tableau CRM (at the time) and Tableau, adding demoing it to dozens of sales verticals with Tableau and Salesforce, and talking to many Salesforce/Tableau leaders (community and internal).

My certification info

Please remember that not all in the #DataFam or #Trailblazer communities will have the same thoughts as I represent here, but this is my perspective.

1. Tableau and Salesforce communities are remarkably similar.

Tableau and Salesforce communities, to an outsider, would not appear any different. However, those that are within those communities without interacting with their counterparts have many perceptions that their communities are very different — they are not. Each community celebrates diversity, inclusion, and each other. They have conferences, are global, are passionate about their extended families, and celebrate each other's success. The main differences are product pride and unique skillsets required for their product's mastery — that gap is not too big for our communities to overcome.

2. We need each other to thrive.

Salesforce has resources that Tableau alone cannot compete. The Tableau community is a little more grassroots and connects very powerfully over social networks. We must talk to each other to share ideas and pursue a stronger path to inclusion and diversity. There is no "them" in this calculation — it's "us."

3. After the initial shock of scale and mascots/characters representing Salesforce (and its greater platform), you learn to appreciate it a little more

At 1st, when I saw "Rockstar Astro" and the other mascots and characters of the Salesforce forest, I thought it was childish and a weird misrepresentation of our core values — especially from a #DataFam perspective as our tools are meant for making an impact on the world and providing value to our stakeholders. However, seeing how inclusive they are, the sheer joy it brings to many, and how it brings awareness to the product from an external marketing scale, they grew on me.

When you dig deep enough, you realize that Salesforce markets and celebrates its community, much like Tableau does.

4. Salesforce really knows how to celebrate #Trailblazers

The Golden Hoodie tradition is very foreign to our #DataFam. Here is Salesforce's explanation of the tradition.

Long story short, it's not an official title like a Salesforce MVP or Tableau Visionary/Ambassador; it's an appreciation from the company for a community member’s remarkable story and contributions made. They try to make them a surprise — it was a huge surprise to me as the 1st person from the #DataFam to get one — but maybe less so to others. It's an eyeful to look at and quite warm to wear, but just a point of pride to those that earn them. If you see #LifeWithGoldie on Twitter or LinkedIn — that generally comes from or about those that previously received one.

5. Change is hard but can be wonderful.

Salesforce legitimately cares about all of its communities in addition to the core #Trailblazer community. The executives extended specific time and money to hear us out and provide tangible solutions to its core issues. They were clear during the pandemic they had trouble between acquisitions and new employees, and the loss of 'in-person' communities hurt the family vibe of Salesforce.

This was clearly felt by employees too. Many Tableau employees I worked with in some capacity left during the pandemic for riskier ventures. Much of this, I believe, had to do with the lack of a 'start-up' feel and very different business models.

It will never be the same as it was pre-acquisition, but with change comes some benefits too. I mean, by being part of a greater community, we have more people to collaborate with, get to learn of additional resources we never knew we had and will have greater support from one of the most successful companies in the world.

I am optimistic that we all will benefit from working together as #OneCommunity.

To watch my part of the Tableau Keynote at Dreamforce 2022, please follow this link (skipped to my part) and create a free account to watch (along with many other great sessions.

Golden Hoodie Mayor Dude comes from Dennis Kao. A cute alternate from Allen Hillary is "The Mayor with the Golden Hoodie."



Adam Mico

Data Visualization and Enablement Leader | Data Leadership Collaborative Advisory Board Member | Tableau Visionary + Ambassador | Views are my own