I’ve been using Salesforce as a system admin for over 14 years. Let me tell you, it has changed drastically in that time. Although I’m happy with my personal Salesforce journey, it is much easier to grow and learn Salesforce now than it was when I started.
If you’re thinking about learning Salesforce, there is a lot of advice out there. I’ll narrow this post down to six tips.
- Start Now! There is no better time to start learning Salesforce than right now. If you have not already been thrown into a Salesforce system admin or user role, you don’t have to wait. Salesforce offers free developer orgs for anyone. A developer org is a full-featured copy of the Salesforce Lightning Platform. This is your own test environment where you can build, practice your skills, and test your knowledge of Salesforce as you learn.
- Take Advantage of Free Learning. Check out Salesforce Trailhead. It is a free learning community where you can basically learn everything you need to know about working in Salesforce. Through Trailhead, you can complete learning modules on topics specific to your role or level, on Salesforce products, or on just about anything related to Salesforce. Trailhead offers guided learning paths called “trails” which take you through a set of grouped modules. For example, “Get Started with Trailhead” is a great place for beginner admins to start. Trailhead also offers “trailmixes” which they refer to as “custom learning playlists.” You can create your own trailmix or find some already created. Trailhead is a fun way to learn. The content is written in a casual voice that’s easy to follow, modules have quizzes and challenges to complete, and you can earn badges and points to reach different ranks. Trailhead offers a lot, so I recommend you take some time to not only learn through Trailhead but also learn more about Trailhead.
- Work Toward Certification Sooner Than Later. You don’t pass a Salesforce certification exam simply by having common sense or even by being extremely intelligent. You have to learn Salesforce and its functionality. Even after you use it for a while, or even a long time, there is likely so much you don’t know yet. Going through the certification process gives you an opportunity to really learn about Salesforce. When getting certified, don’t just do the minimum to get that certification. Embrace the learning process to build true knowledge of how it works. Besides learning, certification also opens up more doors for a career in Salesforce. Trailhead has the modules and trails you need to get started with your certification journey.
- Get Active in the Salesforce Trailblazer Community. The Trailblazer Community offers a lot of opportunities to get answers, learn from others, and to stay in the loop with things going on with Salesforce. If you have a question about how to do something, chances are someone else had that same question. The community allows users to post questions for help so other community members can answer. This is different than submitting a case to Salesforce Support. The community tracks history, so even if the question was asked a few years ago, you can still see it and all the suggested solutions. If you don’t see your question already posted in the community, you can post it yourself. My personal experience is that questions are answered quickly. There are thousands of people active in the community who want to help others. As you gain more experience, you can be one of those helpful people. And as you start answering others’ questions, Salesforce will increase your engagement score which will pull you higher in the ranks. Also, as part of the community, there are many Chatter groups that you can join to collaborate with others on what’s happening and what they’re doing. I would suggest you go through the Trailblazer Community to learn more about it.
- Pay Attention to New Releases. Salesforce is constantly improving. Three times each year, they push out a new release. Releases are their way of introducing new functionality and improvements. The improvements and enhancements they make are based on known issues and ideas from users in the community. Since the Salesforce ecosystem and client base are both huge, there are a lot of ideas shared and issues reported. They look at those ideas and issues and move forward based on importance and demand. The IdeaExchange is where community members can suggest ideas. Others vote on those ideas. Once the votes reach a certain level, the Salesforce team reviews and considers the idea for a future release.
- Never Stop Learning. Like life, Salesforce moves fast. Things are always improving, and there’s always something about it that you don’t know. As you learn and gain more experience, don’t become complacent with your knowledge. If you’re not continuing to learn, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities to improve your Salesforce functionality and growth.
Salesforce provides amazing opportunities for people and companies, and it can be overwhelming to get started. I hope this helps. Best of luck!