Looking to expand the appeal of its Trailhead learning system, Salesforce.com now offers users and trainers a way to customize the learning experience by creating a kind of mixtape or Spotify-type playlist of selected modules. So, for example, if a user was interested in specific aspects of becoming a Salesforce admin, they could create a “Trailmix” of what the company calls Trailhead trails and other modules they’re interested in.
The free Trailhead system that lets users learn at their own pace offers micro-credentials in specific areas of Salesforce, including “Superbadges” that users can highlight on their resume or bring to the attention of managers come review time.
“Trailhead is growing quickly, and we don’t see it slowing down,” Sarah Franklin, general manager of Trailhead at Salesforce, told eWEEK. She notes that a year ago Trailhead hit the 1 million mark for total badges earned, but has now reached 3 million among 450,000 Trailhead users worldwide.
Analyst Rebecca Wettemann said the addition of Trailmix is a good step in helping to make Trailhead content more consumable to individual learners.
“We’re seeing a lot more nontraditional developers take advantage of the accessibility of Trailhead to advance their skills and careers,” Wettemann, analyst at Nucleus Research, told eWEEK in an email. “This [Trailmix] makes the training potentially more focused for their particular job or industry. Looking forward I expect to see an AppExchange-esque growth of mixes available in the community.” (Salesforce AppExchange is an online store of business apps.)
Franklin said Trailmix was also developed with employers and managers in mind by giving them the ability to create their own “things you need to know” Trailmixes for particular jobs within their company.
“Employers need to listen up to what their employees need as the pace of innovation accelerates because new employees might not have the skills to succeed,” said Franklin. “Managers can create their own Trailmix and share it with employees. It also sets a standard within the company that one of the most important things you can do is learn.”
In a ranking by jobsite Indeed.com, two of the top 10 best jobs in 2017 are Salesforce-related—Salesforce admin and Salesforce developer.
Users can also share Trailmixes they’ve created on social media or Salesforce Chatter and follow those who post them to be aware of when new ones are released.
In a demo for eWEEK, Salesforce created a Trailmix in less than a few minutes, using a template to give it a name and a custom URL and then selecting a couple of learning modules to complete the cloud-based Trailmix.
There are currently 219 modules on specific topics within the Trailhead system. As users work to complete different parts of a trail or to earn a badge certification, the system shows them how many parts they still need to learn and how long it should take to finish. One course, or trail, might be for becoming a Salesforce administrator, beginner level, followed by intermediate and advanced.
Salesforce released Trailhead almost two years ago in November 2015. The company has since added an annual Trailhead conference; at last June’s conference it announced Trailhead Superbadges, a new level of skills-based credentials where users are challenged to complete a test designed to show their ability to solve real-world business challenges.