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How to Be a Trailhead Rockstar

Garrett Samuels | September 28, 2020 

Skills, Badges and Rock n Roll

October 2014 marks a paradigm shift in the landscape of online learning. That fateful time when we were busy welcoming the seasonal worship of pumpkin spice everything, little did we know Salesforce was on the cusp of disrupting learning management software (LMS) as we knew it. Bon voyage LMS. Hello Learning EXPERIENCE.

Trailhead is a learning experience platform that combines gamification and a choose your own adventure approach. Endorphins flow freely as you rack up points, badges, even ranks. Another badge! Must earn more!

I speak of learning Salesforce like an addict, but this is the life of a Trailhead Rockstar. Seriously though, Salesforce has found the secret sauce for making learning Salesforce fun – even addicting. There could be worse habits to succumb to, right?

Trailhead Will Rock You

Trailhead content is structured like a matryoshka doll. Several units make up a module. Many modules make up a Trail. One module equals one badge. Lastly, you can create your own or find public Trailmixes, a grouping of Modules, Trails, and other training resources bundled together.

Salesforce is a “cloudy” ecosystem – with Sales, Service, Community, Marketing, Commerce, Health, Financial Services “Clouds” to name a few. Throw in a little lightning and the weather might have the neophyte adventurer inclined to stay indoors. Trailhead makes it easy for you to navigate the storm by applying filters to display content by:

  • Role: Admin, Business User, Developer
  • Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Product: 20 different product categories!
  • Tag: 16 different tags i.e., “reporting,” “security,” “data management”

Access these filters to carve out your learning path by navigating to the “Learn” tab, then clicking either “Trails,” “Modules,” or “Projects.”

These Go to Eleven

A guitar amp volume goes up to a scale of 10, but Nigel Tufnel’s goes to 11. Trailhead gives you up to 10 Playground orgs, well, because 11 would just be ludicrous. A playground org is like a Developer org, but more like a scratch org. You can have up to 10 playgrounds at once, and as soon as you hit your limit and need a new playground, you can simply delete one and create a new one within minutes.

Playgrounds are used for challenge-based Units, Superbadges and Projects. Units are finished by completing either a multiple-choice quiz, or, a hands-on challenge in your Playground org.  

Looking for a bigger challenge? Pursue Superbadges to earn a “resume-worthy” credential around a subject area. Superbadges have a handful of prerequisite modules which when complete open up a super-sized challenge. Similarly, complete realistic scenario-based Projects to test your new skills and prove to the world you are a Trailhead Rockstar. Remember, practice makes perfect. Jimmy Page didn’t just wake up one day and decide to shred his axe bare-chested with a violin bow.

Stairway to (Ranger) Heaven

Trailhead is a marathon and a sprint. Completing all (at time of writing but always growing) 711 Modules, 185 Trails, 106 Projects, 11 Superbadges is the proverbial marathon. It is like climbing the 7 highest summits. It is like the Rolling Stones completing a farewell tour. That said, the learning journey is never really over, just like the Rolling Stones never really stop touring. You can navigate Trailhead with the long-term goal of doing it all – but really it’s the smaller sprints that keep you motivated day after day.

Milestones are an important part of every pursuit. Like a rock star going platinum, Trailhead keeps motivation high by ranking users based on modules completed and points earned per the following:

  • Scout: Badges 0 | Points 0
  • Hiker: Badges 1 | Points 200
  • Explorer: Badges 5 | Points 3,000
  • Adventurer: Badges 10 | Points 9,000
  • Mountaineer: Badges 25 | Points 18,000
  • Expeditioner: Badges 50 | Points 35,000
  • Ranger: Badges 100 | Points 50,000

What happens after you attain Ranger status, yet you are only 1/7th through all Modules? Easy, you become “Double Ranger,” “Triple Ranger,” all the way up to “Septuple Ranger,” of course. By this point you are probably tempted to quit reading and start your race to Ranger, but before you do, please read on for some final pro tips.

It’s Only Trailhead But I Like It

Trailhead is free. That’s right – you don’t even need to be a Salesforce customer. What better time to skill up than now and become an expert in a highly sought-after career path. Simply sign up here and click the orange button that says “Get Started for Free.” 

Throughout Trailhead, Modules, Trails, Trailmixes, Superbadges and Projects are displayed as tiles, with a heart icon and plus sign icon at the bottom-left of the tile. Use these liberally. Heart the ones you want to complete or return to in the future and they’ll be found in the Favorites section of the Home tab. Click the plus sign to add them to your personal Trailmix.

Learn on the go. With the new Trailhead GO iOS mobile app introduced, skilling up on the go has never been easier.

Get Certified. Badges and ranks are nice, but Salesforce certifications are the holy grail of credentials. Use Trailhead as a certification study tool. There are Trails and Trailmixes for whatever certification you are targeting. Be sure to Link your Trailhead account with your Webassessor account. Lastly, maintain your certifications with each seasonal release cycle using Trailhead.

Did you know? Trailhead has been so successful for Salesforce as a company that they are offering it as a new product? Your company can deploy its own corporate branded learning experience platform with myTrailhead. ListEngage is an official myTrailhead implementation partner. Contact us today to learn more!

Keep on rocking in the free world!

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Garrett Samuels

Garrett Samuels | Solutions Architect

Garrett is an 11x certified Solutions Architect who is passionate about scaling business operations with the power of the Salesforce platform. A Salesforce ecosystem veteran of over ten years, he most recently became a certified Application Architect on his journey to Technical Architect. When he is not blazing digital trails, he enjoys hiking, skiing, surfing and spending time with his family.