Trailhead: what it is and Trails to get you started
Whether you’re new to Salesforce or not, Trailhead is your mentor when it comes to learning the platform.
For those of you who’ve never used it before, Trailhead is a learning experience platform that teaches you how to use Salesforce. It pushes bite-sized, engaging content to gain new skills and improve on existing ones, with quizzes and practice tests to make sure you get to grips with each area of the system.
Trailhead works off badges and points. A trailblazer will work through modules and units to collect points. Then, these badges and points will continue to build upon your profile the more you work yourself through the trails.
There is a bit of a structure to it:
At the top is a Trail, which is a guided learning path that focuses on an area/topic. For example, Salesforce Basics could be a trail, walking you through the basics of the platform.
Each Trail is composed of multiple modules, and these modules cover a specific skill or area of knowledge. For example, within the Salesforce Basics Trail, there might be a Navigating Salesforce module.
Each module contains units, which is the bulk of what Trailhead is. Each unit begins with a set of learning objectives, and contains videos and text to help you understand that topic.
At the end of each unit, there will be a multiple-choice quiz or hands-on challenge, which will test your knowledge on what you’ve just learnt.
In a project, you’ll follow steps while building what you’re learning in a test Salesforce Environment. This means you’ll be able to get hands-on inside a test org. An example of this could be a step-by-step guide on how to create a new Opportunity.
A Superbadge is a large-scale project that gives you a chance to show off your expertise. Each one has prerequisites which need to be completed before unlocking the Superbadge. These prerequisites will be Projects and Modules, which are standalone and not part of a trail. They’re probably the hardest part of Trailhead and will require a fair bit of experience to be able to complete.
A Trailmix is a personalized Trail. You can combine it with modules, projects, Superbadges or other Trails. And these can be published for everybody to access, as well. For example, there are some really good Trailmixes on Trailhead where people have made a learning path of the best modules to learn a certain topic. In the rest of this blog, I’ll be showing off some of these, as well as some of the best Trails/projects/modules.
A quick note before going through the resources when you’re new to Salesforce — on Trailhead, you can find these by going to the search bar and searching for them.
One of the first Trails that I suggest is the ‘Admin Beginner’ Trail. Salesforce has a hashtag for admins in Salesforce, this is #AwesomeAdmin, which can be used on multiple social media platforms to see what admins are up to! Salesforce calls this trail the ‘start to your #AwesomeAdmin journey’.
This Trail takes you through various areas of Salesforce, from the platform basics to reports and dashboards.
Learn Admin Essentials in Lightning Experience
This one is a fairly large Trail for admins, but it’s important for starting off on Salesforce. Salesforce has two UI’s, an old and a new, called Classic and Lightning. This trail helps you master the fundamentals of administering a Salesforce org.
Taking you through modules from preparing users, to data management tools.
Salesforce User Basics
If you are going to be the end-user of Salesforce, this is a great course. It will take you through how to work with your admin, to learning the basics of Salesforce and how it works.
If you are looking to become a developer of Salesforce (write Apex Code and do customizations for Salesforce), then this Trail is a must! Leverage your existing development skills to build apps fast on the Salesforce Platform.
There are also some really key modules on here around the data structure and modelling of Salesforce, flows, formulas and validations. These are all key areas of Salesforce for both Admins and Developers. However, later on in this course, there will be some apex work which won’t be suited for Admins, so this Trail is best suited for Devs.
Once you have started to get to grips with Salesforce, and have completed the Admin beginner, this trail would be a good place to go to really start to build off of the foundations of your knowledge. ‘Supercharge your skills and apps by using point-and-click tools to solve common business needs’, which as an admin for a company, will be a frequent role of your job.
This app will take you through various parts of Salesforce including setting up the Mobile App, AppExchange Basics, Security etc.
‘Reach all-star admin status by tackling more advanced Salesforce features. This trail should be completed once you have done the Admin Intermediate, which will take you through Advanced Formulas, Salesforce Connect, Company-Wide Org Settings. This badge will really start to hone on your Salesforce skills.
Get Started with Sales Cloud
The chances are, your company will be using some feature of Sales Cloud. Sales Cloud is very wide, covering a large area of Salesforce capabilities. It will take you through how to roll out Sales Cloud managing Users and Data, and the basics of configuring Sales Cloud.
Service Cloud Essential Basics
If you’re an Admin who’s new to Service Cloud, this trail will be great for getting you up to speed with the basics. I’d take this trail followed by the ‘Get Started with Service Cloud for Lightning Experience’ trail, as this one is quite short, and talks about key terminology and other various things you will need to know to work in the Service industry.
If you’d like to find some more trails and modules to take on, from Trailhead, go to the ‘learn’ drop-down tab, and select what sort of level of the Salesforce Structure you want to learn from (Trailmix, Trail, Module or Project).
Once selected, you can filter the options down. For example, if you’re a new admin to Salesforce, you could select Beginner as one of the filters, and Admin as another, which would be perfect for you! You can also filter off of products (the different cloud offerings) and tags (Salesforce Topics, e.g. Apex).
Hope this brought some light onto how to start learning how to use Salesforce. Happy Trailblazing!