I’ve never shied away from admitting that I’m a complete bookworm. In fact, I find it difficult to sleep until I’ve read a few pages every day. In that sense, I consider myself fortunate that since reading is one of my passions, it helps me keep up to date with a number of things without making a conscious effort to do so.
However, over the last decade or so, the Internet has changed how most people read and I’m no exception. Whether it’s PluralSight, Lynda.com (now LinkedIn) or doing courses on online learning sites such as Khan Academy, edX or others I spend a lot of time on ‘e-Learning’ and I believe it’s the future of education.
Since I’ve been an active evangelist for Salesforce development (mobile, in particular), I’ve often come across newbies who’d often ask the golden question – “Where do I start?” While it’s easy to point them to a Developer Guide or a manual, it’s not really everybody’s cup of tea to read through tons of pages to learn something new.
Thankfully, the team at Salesforce realised this gap quickly and built ‘Trailhead‘ – an innovative learn with fun series to help developers and admins come up to speed with various aspects of the Salesforce1 platform.
So, what is Trailhead?
By my own honest admission, the Salesforce1 platform is so vast that it can often be intimidating & confusing to learn something new via manuals. Trailhead uses the top-down approach and splits everything into modules (aka trails) which you can completely at your leisurely pace.
For example, if you’ve just started off your Force.com journey, the first module ‘Getting Started with the Force.com platform’ is a great starting point.
Where’s the fun aspect?
The best part of Trailhead is that you get a badge (and points) for every module that you complete. So, the more modules you complete, the more badges (and bragging rights) you earn.
Of course, you also get to a realisation that there are the been there, done that folks who’re killing it with an envious collection of badges.
And if the badges are not enough, there’s also a swanky T-shirt up for grabs!
My Favourite Modules
Coming from a mobile background, I found the mobile-oriented modules to be the most interesting and appealing.
If you want to understand Salesforce1 mobile concepts, I strongly recommend you attempt this module first.
The other module which I particularly enjoyed doing was the ‘Visualforce Mobile’ module. Since most Force.com developers have a good understanding of VisualForce, this module teaches them key concepts of how to mobilise their Visualforce pages and integrate them within Salesforce1.
The Trailhead Team
While Salesforce Trailhead is quiet well publicized in the community, I’ve simply not found any mention of the team that has made this a resounding success. Giving credit where due, I believe Chris Duarte, Sandeep Bhanot, Josh Birk (and others whom I may not know) have done an awesome job of gamifying Salesforce1 learning for developers & administrators.
If you haven’t already explored Salesforce Trailhead, give it a shot – “Happy Trailing!”