Trailhead

  • Why you should love Trailhead Superbadges

    As someone who has worked across Salesforce roles, over the last 9 years, there are times where a Salesforce certification will only carry you so far.

    This isn’t an article second-guessing the value of certifications. They are great to ensure the certified admin/developer/consultant is aware of the specific features and options needed for their roles.

    But they need to cover a lot of topics broadly. With little or no guidance and experience on implementation.

    This means you end up understanding the theory, with little real world / hands on experience.

    Trailhead Superbadges, blend the theory and skills needed for specific roles with hands on experience.
    Trailhead Superbadges, grouped and assorted by Role.

    Enter Trailhead Superbadges

    This is the gap that Trailhead Superbadges addresses. Blending the theory of regular Trailhead modules with the hand-on experience.

    A Trailhead Superbadge delivers you into a simulated real-world example. Where you have to focus on user requirements and then setup, configure, develop your way to a workable solution.

    How do Superbadges they work?

    Starting off with a Trailhead Superbadge, still starts with learning the theory.

    Prerequisites:

    All Superbadges require you to complete a number of pre-requisite modules. This grounds you in the basics of the topic at hand and prepares you for what is coming next…

    You still have to complete the pre-requisite Trailhead modules, before you can start with the Superbadge.

    Preparation:

    This is an important section, so read through this section carefully.

    Normally, it contains information on preparing the Trailhead Playground for the Superbadge assessment. This often includes installing a package in the environment to setup pre-defined custom fields, custom objects and/or Apex triggers/classes.

    It will also include important information about dates / schema / etc. Let’s look again at the ‘Lightning Experience Specialist’ Superbadge:

    Pre-work contains important information about setup/initial config to prepare.

    Use case:

    Each Superbage gives you an overview of the use case / problem you are trying to solve (and in turn be assessed on).

    It often includes specifics, such as customisations and schema details required to meet the Business Requirements.

    Here is part of the Use Case and specifics of the ‘Lightning Experience Specialist’:

    Use case and details overview, which you’ll need to solve the Business Requirements…

    Business Requirements:

    This is is where we start get into the simulated real-world.

    Business Requirements are what have to be met in some fashion day in, day out for all admins, developers and consultants.

    These are involved and contain all the details you need to pass the Trailhead Superbadge. It is your job to translate all of this information and find the way that is required of you, to implement the solution.

    Business Requirements in action…

    Career Gold…

    This is the gold in the mountain – this is the reason that you should love Trailhead Superbadges.

    It is this very skill and experience of taking requirements, filtering out what is needed and finding a way to to implement it, which strengthens your capabilities as an Admin/Developer/Consultant.

    This is the skill that will set you up for your career within Salesforce.

    And Trailhead gives you a way to practice it repeatedly and for free!

    Over to you…

    Have you started with Superbadges? If so, which ones have you completed? What’s next on your Trailhead journey?

  • Salesforce Maintenance Exams are moving to Trailhead

    Waking this morning, I found an interesting email in my inbox. Salesforce have announced at TrailheadDX that Salesforce Maintenance Exams are moving to Trailhead!

    And best of all Maintenance Exams will become free after the Summer ’18 exam cycle.

    Salesforce Maintenance Exams are moving to Trailhead

    Here is the email if you didn’t see or receive it:

    Salesforce Certification Maintenance Exams are now moving to Trailhead and will be free...
    Salesforce Maintenance Exams are moving to Trailhead and will be free…

    Why is this good news?

    Well firstly, this move will remove the $100 charge for maintaining your ceritifications. So if you had your Admin and Dev certifications, that is $200 a year saved!

    Secondly Trailhead has become a lynch-pin for Salesforce and allows people to learn about the platform even without having access to a Salesforce org. This will no doubt be the start of an overall move to Trailhead platform. As we have already seen the Platform Dev II exam require certain Trailhead modules to be completed.

    And finally in my personal opinion the WebAssessor site is a little date and clunky. Especially as the number of certifications + Maintenance Exams have started to expand in recent years.

    What can we expect to see moving forward?

    As mentioned above, there is already a number of Trailheads which relate to certifications/accredidation. So we can expect to see the tighter integration of Trailhead & Salesofrce Certifications moving forward.

    The future really is, Trailhead.

    Where can I get more information?

    Here is a Frequently Asked Questions section on the Certification site, which explains the timelines and changes in more detail.

  • Salesforce Briefs: The week in review (Trailhead Tracker, Magic Quadrant & SF AI Breakthrough)

    With Salesforce Briefs: Week in Review, we jump into the launch of the new Trailhead Tracker app.  Also saw Salesforce celebrating their Leadership position in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for an astonishing nine consecutive years!  And finally there was a research paper published from Salesforce Metamind team, relating to Artificial Intelligence and how it may be able to start improving our productivity by creating summaries of text heavy documents and emails.

     

    Salesforce launches Trailhead Tracker

    Trailhead Tracker now on App ExchangeThis week Salesforce released a new app called Trailhead Tracker on the App Exchange.  With this app, you can now link Trailhead directly to your org.  Why would you want to do this?

    You can now assign badges and track employees progress on what they complete in Trailhead.  This signals a move for Trailhead towards a Learning Management System (LMS).

    Remember Trailhead isn’t just a tool for Admins/Developers, there are some great trails for end users too.  Imagine creating an onboarding plan for new employees, where users can work through self paced learning and get recognised within Salesforce for the modules they have completed.

    Find the app here on the AppExchange.   Additionally Trailhead also received a small update, allowing users to add content to a ‘favourite’ list.

     

    Salesforce maintains position in ‘Leaders Quadrant’ of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for ninth consecutive year

    This month has seen Salesforce named in the ‘Leaders Quadrant’ of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

    https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/05/salesforce-gartner-crm-customer-engagement.html
    Click to view – source: Gartner 2017

    What is the ‘Magic Quadrant’?  Gartner rate vendors in various fields based on two metrics, Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execution.  This narrows a vendor down into one of four quadrants:  Leader, Challenger, Visionary, Niche.  You can read more about the Magic Quadrant here at Wikipedia.

    It isn’t a foolproof grading system.  In addition it does give potential buyers an added dimension to support the buying process.  By showing the potential future roadmap of the system and how likely the vendor is to actually deliver on that vision.

    You know all those ‘Safe Harbour/Forward Looking Statement’ slides from Salesforce?  They are there for a reason. 🙂  As we all know Salesforce is a great innovator and this is one way they prove it.

    And on to the great news, Salesforce has achieved a Leadership position for the 9th year in a row in the CRM Customer Engagement, outperforming the likes of Oracle (and Microsoft which isn’t even rate in this category)!

    Earlier in the month, they were also named as a ‘Leader’ in the catchily named category ‘high productivity aPaaS’ Magic Quadrant, you can read about that here.

     

    Future direction of Einstein?  Breakthrough in Salesforce AI research allows the generation of long, coherent and relevant text summaries.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very recent development in the CRM arena.  The future potential excites me (and hopefully things don’t go the Terminator way) and I am excited in seeing how it benefit end users of Salesforce.

    Salesforce Einstein, ready for takeoff?
    Salesforce Einstein, ready for takeoff?

    But we are a little way of seeing the full power of AI, as I mentioned in the Deep Dive article.  We are only just starting to see the potential of Salesforce Einstein and what it can do for users.

    This week Salesforce Metamind published a research paper on how AI could be used in the future to increase productivity.  They have trained AI to provide a summary of long text blocks.  Ultimately this will be leveraged to produce an accurate summary of large unstructured text (like email or documents).

    For more you can read the TechCrunch article about the announcement here.  Alternatively Forbes also had a write up about this announcement.

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