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Through a Software Manager's eyes: Salesforce hits the SOMA neighborhood. Big time.

If occupied real estate is a good analogy for business success, then we sure picked the right platform. It is a very exciting time to be in SOMA.

The South of Market Area (SOMA) is under construction in a way that San Francisco hasn’t seen in a century. There are more than 15 large buildings going in at once, and the huge 4 block long Transbay Terminal is under active construction.  Not to mention the new subway extension with light rail and high speed rail tunnels is being added at the same time. Salesforce is a big driver for all of that construction. 

SoMa SFDC buildings

Here’s a quick construction overview: 

Salesforce purchased 50 Fremont Street last month (800k square feet). They’re going to be leasing 350 Mission Street (420k sq ft) when it completes construction. See those cranes in the foreground? That will be the 61 story (1m sq ft) Salesforce tower, the tallest tower west of the Mississippi when done. Plus, Salesforce has about another million square feet in various buildings within a few blocks, including their massive facility at 1 Market St.

I grew up in the Bay Area, and used to drive into SOMA as a kid to buy cheap photo supplies. Unbelievably, Adolph Gasser’s photo supply is still there on 3rd St, but almost nothing else is recognizable. Where there used to be dusty, industrial one story buildings and empty lots, there is now something that looks like a section out of Manhattan or Shenzhen — unbelievable changes for “slow-growth” San Francisco.

The Platform:

It is great being down the street from the main Salesforce offices, it makes technical meetings and collaboration much easier and I’ve learned a lot from my friends at Salesforce.  I’m actually new to the platform and appreciate the simplicity of the software environment, and am definitely not missing the pain of dealing with thousands of dodgy old servers located on every continent.

The Salesforce platform’s strength at developing business application pages with an easily extensible database are pretty self evident. Those basic application pages are perfect for custom internal-use business apps, but customers who purchase enterprise software expect rich graphical interfaces with the sophistication that they are used to in off-platform software. Fortunately, FinancialForce.com has a growing collection of top notch technical people in San Francisco, and with other great engineers overseas — many with Salesforce Developer, MVP and Architect certifications. We’re definitely up to the task, and making some amazing software.

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