Saturday 14 November 2015

Trailhead in the Wild

Trailhead in the Wild

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Available, generally 

Trailhead is out of beta and generally available, so if you’ve been holding back in case it disappeared (pretty unlikely given the dev zone at DF15 was built around it) you can now jump in with both feet. It also has an updated UI, which feels a lot faster to me, even on what passes for an internet connection to my home!

Find what you need faster

Its now easier to find the right content for you - after clicking on the ‘Learn Trailhead for Free’ button, you are presented with a popup dialog where you choose between Admin, Developer or Business User:

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of course the correct approach to Trailhead is to take everything, so this is really more a case of deciding the order in which you want to cover things!

Trailhead has also been incorporated into the search functionality, so if, for example, you search for ‘Lightning’ you’ll get details of the 30 trails with Lightning content - perfect if you are looking to learn about a specific feature of Salesforce.

Look mother, I’m dancing!

Its now even easier to seek and get the attention you deserve for your Trailhead accomplishments.

After passing a step you get some nicely styled flattery and the option to share this milestone with your social media followers.

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Gain a badge and the ante is upped considerably - not only can you ram this down the throat of the badge-poor on social media:

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but you can also post this to your LinkedIn profile and thus receive further connection requests and messages from recruiters desperate for Salesforce candidates:

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Here’s my latest badge on my LinkedIn profile (Look, there’s my Technical Architect cert, how did that get in there? Oh well, best leave it in for now!).

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At the moment it looks like you can only add new badges to LinkedIn, something that LinkedIn are probably okay with, given that they’d be looking at the flood of over 250,000 badges that have been earned to date!

All I want for Christmas

So what does the future hold for Trailhead? Even if I knew, one of the many NDAs that I’ve signed over the years would no doubt preclude me from talking about it. What’s the first rule of the future of Trailhead?

Given how successful and high profile Trailhead has been to date, I think it's safe to assume we’ll continue to see the content expanded and the experience improved. Here’s a few things that I’d really like to see, and be assured that I have given no thought to how expensive or difficult they might be to achieve:

  • Private trails
    I’d imagine that pretty much every Salesforce customer and partner would find this useful - the ability to create trails around your own custom processes and applications, along with exercises, verification and badges would be a great benefit when on-boarding new staff.
  • Groups of users
    Obviously I’d use this to pit my colleagues against each other to see who could upskill on a particular area the fastest. I think I’d have a lot of fun with this.
  • API Access to Trailhead Profiles
    I’d use this to build a leaderboard for my company, to shame the badge-poor give new hires something to aim for. Then I’d probably use it for evil, so oauth would be a good authorisation mechanism as users could easily revoke my access.
  • Fantasy Trailhead
    Team Managers would pick teams of community users and get points as they gained Trailhead badges. Maybe they would lose points if their team didn’t gain badges quickly enough. Gamification squared if you will. It would also open up Fantasy Fantasy Trailhead, where you would pick teams of Team Managers, and so on, for ever.

Still free, as in beer


Nothing down and nothing a month.

Saving the best until last

When you open the Trailhead home page and scroll down, you’ll see my face over the Developer Trails link, and I think we can all agree it doesn’t get any better than that.

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  1. I would love to have an API access to Trailhead Profiles too. I have some clients who love it (yes, business guys, not developers) and would enjoy to have them as a new tab on their Chatter Profile on their org !

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