This time on Salesforce Trails and Trials, hosts Jon Cline and Erik Yewell cover the unforeseen consequences of changing a field’s data type. They also learn about UI design tools and second generation packaging, plus inspiration from the outdoors, middle-age sports, and Foster Care Awareness Month.

Jon Cline has been working in IT since 1998 and is a very curious person. Erik has been in IT for 23 years and done just about everything you can imagine. Together, they’re never bored.

Lately, Erik explored user interface (UI) design and was reminded of the power of an image. Jon learned about second generation packaging and the benefits for non-ISBs like SI partners, admins, and Salesforce users.

One small thing that might have big consequences is changing the data type of a field. It’s a bit hidden, so it doesn’t come up often, but that can be the worst type of mistake. You might change the data type from a number field to a text field or the size of a text field from 55 characters to 100 characters. But doing that can create a number of problems. It can chop off your data. It can stop you from making the change unless you delete all the data. If you have parent and child fields, it can mess up those connections and start deleting data. So quick public service announcement: Make sure you’re doing good backups. Weekly automatic backups for sure, but also do one before making an admin change.


  • As middle-aged folks, both Jon and Erik rediscovered mountain biking and outdoor sports tournaments.
  • There’s inspiration in the changing weather, finding the sweet spot at the changing of the seasons or the perfect light at the end of the day. Whatever climate you’re in, people find a way to enjoy it. Like the woman who teaches people how to ice fish on YouTube.
  • May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and there’s plenty of inspiration in the foster community. Jon also runs FounderKids to mentor and inspire foster kids through entrepreneurship.