Why You Should Be Using Trailhead
In a number of our recent blog posts, we’ve discussed common but important questions a lot of people interested in Salesforce careers ask such as “Can I work in Salesforce if I have a different background?” or “If I’m a Salesforce Administrator, how difficult is it to become a Developer?” Will Coleman, the head of part of Salesforce’s developer relations team in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said about the company: “We are very much in the enterprise, so we want to make sure our customers can create apps.”
Wanting companies to be able to create Salesforce apps translates into wanting the companies to have individuals who know how to do this, which is why Salesforce Trailhead was created. “Everyone can learn Salesforce,” the homepage reads, and users of any kind are encouraged to sign up and follow “trails” of learning. If you haven’t started using Trailhead yet, you’re missing out for a number of reasons.
Trailhead is not part of any of Salesforce’s paid offerings, so it is not something that is only “free” to people who already pay for the system, nor are there user levels that start out free but begin to cost more as you want more features. It is completely and unequivocally free, so no matter who you are, what company you work for, or what CRM that company uses, the training is available to you. Free training is great for the budgets of businesses looking to get some supplementary training for their Salesforce professionals, and for the wallets of individuals wanting to brush up on skills, or even learn Salesforce from scratch.
The content is actually worthwhile
One concern you might have at this point is around whether or not free training will actually be of any value to you. In this case, the content is great, it can really teach you to use Salesforce. One Salesforce Blogger noted that she used Trailhead to supplement her studying for a Salesforce Certification (something we recommended a few blogs ago), and noted that while the Trailhead training was not exhaustive it goes over best practices and “the stuff you really need to know.”
Badges might be the next big thing
In Trailhead, you earn points and badges whenever you complete training trails and modules, and recently they released “Superbadges” which will designate an even higher level of training and expertise. You can display these badges on your LinkedIn profile, not unlike your Certifications, and let potential employers know that you’ve made the effort to keep your skills sharp and learn ones you didn’t have before. Also, it’s worth noting that these badges aren’t bogus, you can’t just click through all of the training and get recognized for completing it, there are challenges and tests you have to complete. The challenges are actual tasks in Salesforce that you have to complete, and once you’ve finished them Salesforce will check your work.
Someone has to say it: it’s a pretty awesome idea
The purpose of Trailhead is to bring not just Salesforce training, but coding training, to the masses. As we said in our last blog, Salesforce runs on Apex which is a coding language exclusive to Salesforce, but which works according to similar rules as those used in outside languages such as Java or C++. Salesforce wants people to create apps that run on top of Salesforce, but they are also creating a gateway to coding in an attempt to fill that technological skills gap that you’ve probably read about in the news. In case you forgot, we’ll mention it one more time, they’re doing all of this for free.
Sara Has No Limits blog: “Why Every Salesforce Developer should be using Trailhead”
Ron Miller for TechCrunch: “Salesforce expands Trailhead training as it envisions a world of citizen developers”
Clare McDonald for ComputerWeekly.com: “How Salesforce is encouraging people into coding”