Hello everyone! Let me introduce myself. I’m Evaldas Zaranka, a Salesforce Administrator at Just Eat Takeaway.com. I’m a 12x Trailhead Ranger and have 5 Salesforce certifications.
Recently I achieved one of the most significant accomplishments of my life – I completed all publicly available Trailhead badges in less than two years. My goal is to help new and existing Trailblazers unleash the full potential of the Trailhead learning platform by sharing my lessons learned and strategy!
What is Trailhead?
Trailhead is a virtual resource that provides online courses and tutorials for Salesforce admins, developers, business analysts, consultants, architects, and end users.
Launched at Dreamforce 2014, Trailhead and has since become an enormous library of Salesforce courses for all levels of learners. Courses are self-paced and categorized, so users can choose the skills they want to learn at their preferred time and speed. In addition, rather than static user documentation, Trailhead takes training to a different level by offering an interactive element, continuously testing your understanding. As a result, you can learn the technology while performing tasks in a controlled environment.
The entire experience is gamified, so Trailblazers can track progress by earning points and badges. In addition, Trailhead accomplishments can be added to your LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills to potential employers.
- Trail – A guided learning path containing several modules and projects.
- Trailmix – A custom-created trail designed by a user.
- Module – A specific unit of learning mapped to a particular skill or topic.
- Project – Step by step instructions to perform a particular Salesforce use case.
You can search and filter through the available items by your role, your level, Salesforce products, or tags for all of the above learning units.
- Points – Every exercise on Trailhead has a point value attached to it. You can increase your points by completing trails, modules, projects and superbadges.
- Badge – Completing modules and projects will help you earn badges! Badges indicate knowledge in particular areas. By earning badges, Trailblazers can increase their rank.
- Rank – Your rank is determined by how many points you have acquired and how many badges you have earned.
- Superbadge – Show your expertise by becoming a specialist related to a business case. Superbadges show that you not only have learned a topic, but you can also apply this knowledge in practical situations.
- Certifications – Earn a credential by scheduling a proctored exam and passing. These credentials show that you are a Salesforce-approved specialist in your business area.
What did I learn on Trailhead during my journey?
Make a plan and set time aside to study
In May 2019, I started my journey on Trailhead without any experience in Salesforce. I became a Trailhead Ranger in seven days. Many people ask how is that possible? My circumstances lent themselves to helping me study. I worked a job with four days on and four days off shift pattern, so I had plenty of time for studying during my days off.
During my days off, I spent around 4 hours studying, and on average, I was completing 45 badges per week. When I started my first Salesforce Administrator job, I always arrived in the office at 8am to have an extra hour to study before my actual workday began. I found I was more productive in the morning, so my commitment to arrive 1 hour early and spend that time studying helped me to gain new skills and learn something new every day.
Don’t dip in and out of random topics
During my first few months, I was completing random modules and projects and learned the hard way that trying a bit of everything with no specific focus is not a strategy for success. The challenging part is to select the most suitable materials on Trailhead to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
My goal at that time was to obtain the Salesforce Administrator certification. So I asked myself, why am I completing badges and projects not related to my goal? From that moment, I became much more structured and learned how to use the Trailhead search function and filters to find relevant trails and modules. I would suggest everyone start with Prepare for Your Salesforce Administrator Credential Trailmix. Even developers need to know how to use declarative Salesforce tools!
What to do if you get stuck?
I felt stuck many times, especially at the beginning of my journey and trust me, the Salesforce Trailblazer community and Google will become your best friends. 9 out of 10 times, someone else will have had a similar issue, so by typing an error message in Google, there’s a high chance that you will find the answer you are looking for. In addition, Trailblazers can get help by asking questions and collaborating with other skilled users on the ‘Answers’ section of the Trailblazer community.
Test your knowledge with Superbadges
I always liked challenging myself, and Trailhead Superbadges were the perfect way to test my knowledge and learn something new. My favourite Superbadge is Process Automation Specialist. Learning automation tools, in my opinion, is the most crucial part of the Salesforce Administrator role. Developers can also benefit from using automation tools like Process Builder or Flow to reduce unnecessary code.
Trailhead Superbadges are challenging, usually multi-day exercises that test your knowledge, research skills, tenacity, and patience. They are hard but so rewarding to complete!
My top tip for Trailhead Superbadges is that if you feel stuck, to try to verify the challenge. The error message can give a good hint of which step Superbadge is trying to verify and where the problem lies. As always, search Google and the Answers community in case other users have experienced similar issues.
Win prizes with Trailhead Quests
I would highly recommend participating in monthly Trailhead quests. You can participate in as many quests as you like, just as long as you complete the challenge within the allotted time. It’s not just fun, but also possible to win amazing prizes like a Trailblazer jumper, certification vouchers and gain rare community badges. I was lucky once and won a 200 USD certification voucher. It’s always exciting when you win something, right?!
If you are interested in Trailhead Quests click the link and get ready to have some fun!
Can Trailhead help me pass the Salesforce Administrator exam?
Many Trailblazers asked me if Trailhead training is enough to pass the Salesforce Administrator exam? I would say no. To achieve the best results, I would advise combining Trailhead with Salesforce Certification Days, and either Mike Wheeler’s or Francis Pindar’s Udemy courses.
Trailhead is a fantastic learning platform for new Trailblazers coming into the Salesforce ecosystem and existing Salesforce professionals who want to improve their skills and knowledge.
I played basketball for 15 years, and I could compare my journey with a rookie basketball player who was learning how to dribble and shoot two years ago and can now do an excellent 360-degree dunk. With the right mindset and motivation, Trailblazers can achieve amazing results!