Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Blazing away with Trailhead Event Monitoring

If you work with, or within Salesforce - and you don't live under a rock - you must by now be familiar with the revolutionary interactive training tool called TRAILHEAD. This gamified, dynamic, challenging and rewarding tool provides chapters of training material and automated testing tools to lead developers and admins through the new (and core) features of the Salesforce platform.

We have recently used Trailhead to onboard some new starters at Desynit, and they have been absolutely blown away by the quality of the material - and you know the best thing? New material is being published ALL THE TIME so even veterans of the Force like myself can keep learning, and scoring on Trailhead.

For one, I have just this very minute finished writing up my own Trailhead content which I hope will be delivered at Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco, but besides myself and my fellow MVPs, the Trailhead team have just release three whole new modules for the world to complete.

These are:

Admin Trail - CRM

Dreamforce Trail with Get Ready for Dreamforce module

Event Monitoring module

I was personally particularly interested in the Event Monitoring module, a large part of my role these days is supporting and maintaining what are now considered large, and legacy Salesforce implementations, I spend a lot of time investigating and monitoring our client work for bugs and issues, and monitoring adoption and usage, so event monitoring is a big part of my life.

This module drew my attention to the fact that there are some cool new tools to assist me in this, and I am keen to get that "Sherlock Holmes" badge on my profile.

Here is the module overview - three lovely bitesize pieces of work to introduce me to this new world of sleuthing.

The first module "Getting Started" is exactly that - I immediately learnt a lot about the new logging features, and I'm immediately inspired to find out more about how I can use them in my day to day life. First though - I need to finish this module and pass the test. This is a multiple choice exam module (all the Event Monitoring modules are) so it's time to put my thinking hat on...

(if you are hoping for the answers here - think again!)

Boom. 100 points. This still gives me such a thrill as I stack up my score.

This module took me about 15 minutes, exactly as estimated on the dashboard.

Delving into the second module for Querying Event Log Files - you better be prepared for some slightly more hardcore questioning! (I'm not saying I got one wrong - but READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY!). I learnt about using SOQL and the REST API to tug on my event information, and find out how we can monitor Logout events in my developer edition. This was a bit more of a technical module, and it appealed greatly to my developer side... A slightly quieter boom goes off as I earn another 50 points.

Finally - Downloading and Visualizing logs, took me a little longer than the 15 minutes, as there is quite a lot of material, so overall I would say this module took me just under an hour. Not bad for 250 points though (ahem) - and I get that badge on my profile!!

Wondering how to get started on Trailhead?

If getting into Trailhead is proving difficult for you, or you find these more advanced modules difficult or daunting - make sure you look into finding your local Developer User Group there are over 130 of them around the world, most meeting 6 - 12 times a year to talk about Salesforce, and the development experience.

I run the Developer User Group in Bristol - down in the South West of England, and in July 2015 we held a Trailhead Developer night. A dozen of us got together, opened up our laptops (and opened up some beer and pizza) and had a 3 hours blast at Trailhead, earning over 35,000 points between us in the night.

It was a great way to earn some points and badges, and we even got a little competitive and awarded cool "Trailhead Hoodies" to the highest achieving users. find your local DG and sign up to their next meetup here.