Trailhead: fun, free, fabulous Salesforce making

When I first heard the concept of using Salesforce for a custom program management build (nonprofit use case) I had no idea–absolutely no clue–what that would look like. Fairly soon I had the aha! moment: when I thought about “selling” a GED program to a single mom, or a “selling” a visit to the free health clinic for a teen girl, or “selling” a personalized brick to a donor (okay that one’s pretty straightforward) … Salesforce made perfect sense.

But how? I had a strong background in dealing with big data (thanks MS in Applied Psychology!) and had dabbled in MS Access. But 1) getting a Salesforce product donation is like getting a free puppy and 2) firing up a new Salesforce org is like landing in China.

My solution was to write a small grant request (capacity building grant from our community foundation) and hop on a plane to San Francisco for Dreamforce! I was exceedingly fortunate to meet a brilliant Salesforce guru whose significant other overheard me asking some specific questions in a Circles of Success session. I had no idea what I was doing, and it was pretty clear. They took me in under their wing and I had a crash course in Salesforce making.

Fast forward just one year, and Salesforce rolled out Trailhead! So now, a newbie can start off on a facilitated journey in learning how to make Salesforce–it’s amazing.

All you need to use Trailhead like a maker is to fire up a “developer org”–your own, personal, FREE and fully functional version of Salesforce. Create one or more to try your hand at making Salesforce.

Some cool things to know about Trailhead:

  • It’s free
  • You get points for completing challenges
  • Trailhead checks your challenge work by connecting to your developer org and looking to see if you actually did the challenge correctly (so cool!)
  • You can earen badges and certificates and much more
  • Sometimes Trailhead runs fun contests and incentives–check them out on Twitter (they’re someone you should know!)
  • You can add your badges to your LinkedIn profile

Tons more details here, but really–just dive in!



Someone You Should Know

Quick and evolving list, most are Twitter handles. Follow them! 

Marc Benioff is the big guy at CEO

Benioff’s Shoes for a different kind of insight

Jen W. Lee posts great blog content

Steve Molis is brilliant, hilarious, and shoots very straight

Summer 2016 MVPs

Brilliant Partners

Cloud for Good and their CEO, Tal Frankfurt lend a lot of support to the Salesforce Success Community

Appirio offers insightful content

The Mothership

Salesforce Trailhead inspires, and sometimes has cool incentives (Chris Duarte is Editor in Chief of Trailhead–definitely someone to know!)

Salesforce Support will answer questions

Salesforce Developers send out great nuggets of info

Salesforce Careers–where you can find your #dreamjob