If you haven’t heard about Salesforce Trailhead by now, allow me to help you out from underneath that rock (I kid because I care).
Salesforce Trailhead was launched at Dreamforce ’14 and if you haven’t tried it out yet, its incredibly cool. I’ve been in a number of different communities and aside from Python/Django (who gets an A for effort), nobody has such a great intro to a platform. Salesforce Trailhead is heads and tails above any “tutorial” for a learning a platform anywhere. Its professionally put together, it quizzes you on what you’ve learned, it connects to your development org (it helps you set that up too) and keeps track of your progress, and actually rewards your progress along the way with fancy badges.
You can start at the beginning and work your way through the platform or you can pick and choose modules at will. Originally I was going to walk through module by module but since I have the attention span of a gold fish and like to jump right into shiny things, I quickly finished my first module so that I could jump into Lightning Components. I’m not quite finished with it yet, but I’ve made it through 69% of the exercises and already have greatly improved my initial grasp of the concepts. (Three more to go and I get my badge!)
Back to trailhead: The Lightning Components module starts out with your basic Hello World application and gets you on the ground running right away. The challenges aren’t so difficult that one wants to just toss it out, but they also leave you with plenty of room to stretch your own ideas and play some “what if” scenarios. (Actually my last unit was on the event handling and when I was done I tried to run the example and had some unexpected results, but with a little poking I was able to figure out how to get it functioning. As it turns out, the next chapter was going to cover what I’d just done (…its like they read my mind!)
The module moves on to creating a “reservations” type application where you create a form where users can “register for an event.” So its an completely relatable topic as well. Often times some examples on other sites are so out there, and so “basic” that you really don’t learn much. Not the case here. I’m not sure how they did it, but whatever it is they did, they did it right.
Trailhead itself keeps you coming back as well. The gamification concept with the badges makes you feel like you are getting somewhere. While I haven’t scored by Lightning Components badge yet (I do have a job ya know…), its the desire to have that little logo on my profile and the ability to tweet my achievement out to the world that keeps me driving forward, all the while tricking me into learning something. How dare they teach this old dog new tricks! :)
In a world that is quickly going mobile, Salesforce is poised to lead the way and learning Lightning Components will put you at the forefront of this tidal wave. So grab a surfboard and paddle over to Trailhead and prepare yourself for the future.
I’d love to help you along the way if I can, so if there is something you’d like me to try and/or talk about or do a “deep dive” on, let me know in the comments.