It’s not often you come across a platform as complex as Salesforce without a bit of a learning curve. The interface is overwhelming. The documentation is overflowing with content, challenging your Google-fu skills. Functionality can change dramatically each release, leaving community and forum posts irrelevant months later.
But over the course of the last year or two, Salesforce has invested a ton of effort into their “Trailhead” tool. Essentially it’s a free set of modules and curriculum on various platform features. Think of it like a niche Coursera, Treehouse, or Udacity.
On the Trailhead site you can find mini courses for nearly every feature of Salesforce. At the end of each module you’re asked to answer a few questions on the material. Occasionally, it’s a “hands on” portion to prove your comprehension and ability to work in a live environment. There’s a whole gamifaction element, and the experience is branded really well too!
Back to the “hands on” portion. This is where the tool really shines. After some of the modules you’ll be asked to log into a test environment and complete a simple task. For example, create an automation, or update some object/database schema etc. If you flub something, it’ll give you hints. This is what real learning looks like!
I’m proud to say that as of this date I’ve completed over 150 Modules/badges. That includes a “Superbadge” — which is essentially an extended hands on project. You spend a day or two solving a real world set of problems based on use cases defined at the beginning of the project. What better way to brush up on your skills or prove your merit?
Forget memorizing test banks for certifications. Hands-on work is a much better measure for skill.