The New Trailhead

A write-up on the latest way to learn Salesforce from Salesforce.com: Trailhead.
The New Trailhead

The New Trailhead

A new Salesforce training tool is now available called Trailhead. Basically, it’s an administrator and developer training platform that allows you to learn topics like Getting Started with the Force.com Platform and Intro to Visual App Development. The idea is that a new administrator could follow the various paths to learn the covered subject area. Everything you need to be successful in learning is provided along the “trail”. Along the way, the learning developer will collect points for the sections completed.

Getting an Introduction

As you begin, the steps walk you through getting a developer org and building an app through the quick-access menu. For non-technical, newbie administrators, terminology like “declarative”, “user interface”, and “programmatic” may be a little overwhelming but ultimately following the trail will lead to better understanding and a good basis for learning Salesforce customization. Each component of learning is usually 10-15 minutes, and each trail will take several hours to finish. Not bad, since they’ve worked hard to walk through the content logically.

The real winner is...

While helpful in providing overview to declarative configuration, the tools available today on Trailhead are especially helpful for budding developers. The Intro to Programmatic App Development provides some very good context around Apex and Visualforce. An experienced administrator or developer from another language like Java successfully completing the trail will be set up with a good basis for Salesforce development. The trail starts with learning terminology and data and method types, then moves to database basics like writing SOQL and SOSL queries and manipulating data. Following sections will teach how to write Apex triggers, execute unit tests, and write Visualforce.

Roadmap for Trailhead

It’s definitely only scratching the surface today in terms of the depth and breadth of Salesforce knowledge. However, there are lots of great modules to come indicated by the “Coming Soon” labels. For example, on the Developer learning path, Asynchronous Apex, Visualforce Mobile, and App Deployment are coming up and will be excellent content for the community. For more deeper-dive administrator topics under Intro to Visual App Development, there will be paths for Approvals, Reports & Dashboards and more. Eventually, there will be weeks and weeks worth of content available.

A step in the right direction, but I think it needs more content and some thought into audience since some developers and advanced admins will need to wade through quite a bit of likely repeat content to complete a path. Overall, more help is better on a complex solution like Salesforce.com.

Check out the Trailhead now, and come back and leave comments with your additional points or questions. Or find me on Twitter at @SeriouslyKyla, Arkus in the Success Community, find our Facebook page.

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