05 October 2015

Event Monitoring Trailhead Module

Last march, I wrote a blog post on how to get started with Event Monitoring.  It was a huge help to many of my customers because it got them up and running quickly with Event Monitoring.

Recently, our fantastic documentation writer, Justine Heritage created an incredible trailhead module that surpasses my blog posting and provides a great experience for learning about Event Monitoring. It's divided into three units: Get Started with Event Monitoring, Query Event Log Files, and Download and Visualize Event Log Files. It even has a fictitious character named Rob Burgle who burgled intellectual property before leaving his company.

But what exactly is trailhead?

Trailhead is an e-learning system created by the Salesforce developer marketing team with content generated from the documentation writers in research and development (R&D). Trailhead's mission is to help people learn more about the Salesforce platform and applications in fun and rewarding self-paced learning environment. Each learning module has units of content. Each unit has some kind of challenge such as a quiz or an interactive exercise. And upon successful completion of the challenge, the learner is presented a badge.

Why is the team make up important?

Because the developer marketing team has long had the mission of evangelizing the Salesforce platform. As a result, they have the background and experience to help people understand how to build apps on the platform. And the documentation team has direct access to the latest and greatest features and changes because they're integrated into the R&D scrum process. As a result, they are in the best position to generate and update content about products.

E-learning has been around for a long time at Salesforce. I used to help write e-learning modules when I was on the training team. Salesforce University has had various levels of e-learning for years. Nonetheless, trailhead is something different. If you came to Dreamforce 2015, you would have seen the buzz in the developer and administrator zone around trailhead. You might have even seen a bear walking around evangelizing the learning platform.

What's the big deal if e-learning has been around for a long time? Why is this time different?

For a couple of reasons:
  1. The generation of content is a somewhat disruptive model organizationally. It's not instructional designers from training creating content, it's doc writers - the same people who write the online help users use every day. 
  2. The delivery of the content is done outside of the traditional Learning Management Systems that training typically uses which provides some flexibility to custom design a system to deliver content. And the content is fast - few modules have units longer than ~15 minutes. 
  3. Each module has a challenge. Whether that challenge is a quiz or a hands-on activity in a developer edition org, it forces a level of interactivity that is typically higher than what traditional e-learning systems can provide. 
  4. Learners earn badges that they can promote on social media. Gamificiation isn't new, nor is it new in e-learning. But it's the icing on the cake and a motivator for people to finish modules rather than abandon them mid-way. 
  5. It's free to sign up and use.
Since we unveiled the Event Monitoring trailhead module, we've had @mentions in over a dozen blogs and many twitter posts just on this one module. Below is a short list of just some of them:
Trailhead is a phenomenon. It's different than traditional e-learning. And it's an incredible way to learn about Event Monitoring. Give it a try. Who knows, you might even earn your first badge!

To start your new learning adventure with Event Monitoring and trailhead, click here.

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