First things first, I’m a huge fan of Salesforce Trailhead. A while back, I wrote a post about how Trailhead is revolutionising the learning paths to Salesforce development and administration. I then had the good fortune of helping aspirant developers and admins at the Salesforce World Tour in New York city where I was volunteering at the Quick Start Spaces for most of the day.
Trailhead at Salesforce World Tour, New York City
While Trailhead has been around for some time, I believe using it as a stepping stone for newbie developers and admins for a large event such as Salesforce World Tour was a bit of an experiment – and how wonderfully it worked!
I’ve always loved evangelising new technologies and helping developers on-board new journeys. In that sense, it was immensely fulfilling to see people spend a few minutes at the quick start spaces, get some help and feel that they’ve learned and accomplished something. Nothing like reducing the entry barrier to learning something new.
Bringing Trailhead to the Masses
Buoyed by what I saw at the World Tour, I reached out to the Trailhead team to conduct a meetup for my local Developer User Group to help newbie developers and admins cross their first hurdles. I was pleasantly surprised to know about the plans for ‘Summer of Trailhead’ – a series of worldwide meetups devoted to fun-filled learning using Trailhead.
And, so the day finally arrived when the pink city of Jaipur officially welcomed ‘Summer of Trailhead’. An irony of sorts in terms of naming conventions, because it’s more monsoon than summer here, but as a wise old man once said “What’s in a name?”
We got a record number of registrations and even our waitlist was max’d out 3 days before the event. The event was officially supposed to start at 10:30 in the morning but people started showing up as early as 9:30 AM. And they just kept coming – we’d to arrange for extra chairs – once, twice and then I lost count of how many times that cycle repeated. The best part was that more than 50% of the audience were folks who’d never attended a Jaipur DUG meetup earlier – half the battle won, considering we really wanted to use Trailhead as a means to onboard newbies.
It would be unfair to start any Trailhead meetup without giving a shoutout to the team who built this program, most notably, Chris Duarte and Sandeep Bhanot (and a bunch of other awesome folks!).
Following our usual tradition, the meetup kickstarted with a pep talk from Ankit Arora (Force.com MVP). He is an iconic figure in the Indian Salesforce developer community and heartening to see someone so young become a role model for others to follow. He was so busy running around and ensuring everything goes well that I realise we don’t even have a photo of him speaking at the event.
This was followed by yours truly presenting a deep dive into Salesforce Trailhead and getting hands dirty.
We did this session with a single objective – everybody present at the meetup to be able to complete one trail and we were not disappointed.
While some people went solo, others did trails as a group – the common denominator in both cases was fun and learning.
We then moved on to the next session which was presented by team Concertio on how they use Trailhead as an internal training tool. It’s remarkable to see how they’ve revamped their internal Salesforce developer/ admin training using Trailhead as the primary learning tool.
This was followed up by a first-time speaker – Durgesh Dhoot from Appirio. He presented an enlightening session on how to use community-driven tools to make your Salesforce development more effective.
All in all, we couldn’t be happier that Trailhead provided us an opportunity to learn together at our biggest Developer User Group meetup till date.
So, what’s next?
I come across a lot of people who’ve attained all badges on Trailhead and it’s no surprise that they keep the Trailhead team on their toes for creating new ones.
And before you blink, the Trailhead team delivers! I’ve myself been in the situation where I completed all available badges and while I was feeling a sense of invincibility, I saw some really interesting ones show up the very next day.
With Dreamforce 2015 less than 50 days away, what better than a badge to show that you’re ready for the largest tech conference in the world.
And that’s not all – there are more developer/ admin badges and trails for you to conquer before you get to Dreamforce.
And just in case you’re wondering what would make Trailhead even bigger & better at Dreamforce, check out this video.
Walk the trail if you haven’t done so already – the ‘Summer of Trailhead’ is bigger and better than ever before and an experience you don’t want to miss!