I’m taking a short break from the Cooking with Code program for a quick Trailhead Public Service Announcement.
If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Salesforce Trailhead, the online learning platform for all things Force.com. I’ve written a few blog posts on my experience with Trailhead including a comprehensive review “Elevation Gain: A review of Salesforce Trailhead”
The reason for my break from Cooking with Code is that last week the Salesforce Developer Relations Group released two fab new modules:
- Data Security (in the Getting Started with the Force.com Platform trail)
- Change Management (in the Intro to Visual App Development trail)
Below is a quick summary of these modules, including who might find them most helpful.
This is probably one of my favorite modules, somewhat for selfish reasons. I’m currently studying for my 401 Force.com Developer Certification, and this module fits in extremely well with that work. It offers a perfect overview of the Salesforce Security Model, and incorporates some of my favorite Salesforce videos, the Who Sees What series.
These videos were of tremendous value when I was preparing a Girlforce Certification Study group presentation on the Salesforce Security model. The Trailhead module enabled me to test my new-found knowledge. (Shout out to all my study group buddies!) I now feel pretty confident that I can kick security’s butt with: Organizational Settings, User Profiles, Permissions Sets, Org-wide Defaults (OWD), Role Hierarchies, Sharing Rules, and Manual Sharing.
For the same reasons, this module would also be perfect for anyone studying for the Salesforce Admin Certification (that’s next on my list).
And lastly, this is a great way for all Salesforce Admins to get to know their security tools. I hate to admit it (but I will ‘cause we’re all friends here, right?), but before I presented on security for my Dev Cert study group, I wasn’t clear what OWD and Sharing Rules were, let alone how I could use them. You live and you learn…and learn…and learn. Which is great, because learning is fun.
Don’t take my word for it, check out Trailhead and see for yourself!
The Change Management module focuses on protecting your production data while customizing Salesforce. This includes using sandboxes and change sets, not only during the programmatic development process (where it is required) but also when making changes using the declarative (point-and-click) tools.
I’m a solo admin (“Heeey” to all the solo admins in the house!) and so I have to admit (why is this suddenly my confessional?) that I don’t always take the time to develop in my sandbox where I can test before deploying to production. Yep, I admit it…and I feel so much better! These modules make me think, at least when I’m working with a change that will affect a decent chunk of my users, that I should be using a sandbox.
I also liked their point that you can use sandboxes as a safe place for user training. It never occurred to me (perhaps it should have), but I think that’s a great idea!
This module is a basic playbook, not only for how to set up sandboxes and change sets, but also has a good unit on how to set up a governance framework to help manage all those darn wonderful change requests.
New Types of Challenges!
Along with these two new modules, the Trailhead team has implemented a great addition to the hands-on challenges that are a staple of the rest of the Trailhead units. We now have quizzes (who doesn’t love a good test with instant gratification!).
Back in the “old days” (yep…waaay back in October 2014), when a unit didn’t have a practical challenge, you were awarded 100 points just for saying you read it… yes I always did read them, because I want the knowledge, not just the points (although I do love me some good points and badges).
Now, you have to pass a short multiple choice quiz to get points. If you don’t get all the answers right, you can try again, but you’ll get less points. TIP: Really read the questions carefully because you’ll kick yourself if you get something wrong because you didn’t take the time to read the question fully.
The good news is the answers are all in the material you’ve read (or seen). And again, for those of us working on certifications, the quizzes help us prepare for the main event.
It’s feels like it’s been a pretty long wait for new modules, but these are well worth it and are fine additions to the existing trails. I have it on good authority (a little Twitter birdie told me) that there are more coming soon (and there were no air quotes around soon, so I think it really does mean in the very near future). I can’t wait!