If Salesforce University & Trailhead had a baby, this would be it

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David Giller from Brainiate. Online or In Person?

David Giller from Brainiate. Online or In Person?

When David Giller from Brainate asked “Salesforce Training… Online or In Person?” on LinkedIn I couldn’t stop myself from replying.


I very much believe training is just one part of being at brilliant at your job:

  1. Training; You have had training in the subject and have an understanding of all the capabilities available to you. Maybe you have completed your Salesforce training, and you have the certifications.
  2. Knowledge; This you can only gain while on the job, through experience. Do you want to update a field on a record when the user does something? You know you can do it using a Workflow, Process Builder, Flow, Button, or Code, based on your training. They can all update a field on a record but which one SHOULD you use for your particular Salesforce org?
  3. Talent; I’m very much of the belief you can be talented at anything but its the hardest thing to get. You either have it, or you don’t. You just love it when the process you created works flawlessly. You get a kick out of finding ways of implementing Salesforce that your company hasn’t thought about and spending your lunchtimes finding better ways to help your users, and you just love doing it.
    I like to understand why people they do what they do, and if they have that spark of talent in their eyes. I remember speaking to a talented hotel room cleaner once. The last thing she did before she left the room was to lie on the bed and switch the ceiling fan on. She knew the first thing that a weary business person would do was lie on the bed and look up at the ceiling fan, and that would be their first impression of the room. Was it written down in training? no. Did she learn this from other cleaners? no, she just had a talent for cleaning.


I love what Salesforce Trailhead has done to eLearning. The ability to learn and have your work validated is priceless, but it still has some of the common problems with eLearning.

Salesforce have done an excellent job with the badges and points to get people motivated to do the modules, even the “Cloak of Invincibility” competition. But generally, motivating yourself to do eLearning is harder.

People skip to the end and try and answer the questions first before going through the learning.
But this could miss valuable information as the questions can’t include everything you should have learned in the training. Completing the tasks in a Salesforce org does reduce this problem which is a great advantage over traditional eLearning.

Classroom teaching is focused but maybe not relevant… yet
What I love about eLearning is you can dip in when you need to know the subject matter. Salesforce is now HUGE and it’s just not possible to know it all. Being able to do a module in Salesforce Analytics when you need to use it is invaluable. Going on a training course that could cover a vast amount of subjects you might not use immediately after you leave the training room.

Classrooms only have one-speed setting
The bigger the class the worst it gets. Having a “split group” is the curse of the trainer. Different people with different abilities and learn in different ways.

Blended Learning

blended learning

“If Salesforce University & Trailhead had a baby it would be Blended Learning”

When I worked at Escape Studios (An excellent Visual Effects training at production company) some ten years ago (ugh), we started experimenting on Blended Learning. Taking the best bits of online learning & classroom learning and bringing them together. People learn in different ways and at different speeds and some complex concepts really benefit by having someone going through the steps in front of you. Having a blended approach reduces the usually very high cost for classroom training but also allows those people who work at different speeds to go into more depth in the eLearning or for the slower students to re-cap their classroom training using the eLearning.

My wish is to see a blended integrated version of Salesforce training combining the best bits of Trailhead, online videos & webinars with the best bits of classroom and class collaboration.


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