New Trailhead Modules (and a badge!)

trailhead-bannerHave you checked out Trailhead lately?  Have you seen the new Star Wars movie?  The answer SHOULD be “yes” to both!


You like imaginary internet points right?  You also like BADGES too, right?

Again, the answer SHOULD be “yes” to both!

CaptureI just went through the new “Build a Battle Station App” Trailhead project and I have to admit it’s one of the best “learn the basics of Salesforce declarative setup” projects that I’ve seen so far.  This one takes you all the way from basic object setup to reporting and SF1 all within about 30-45 minutes of your afternoon.


Don’t stop there!  There’s a whole NEW TRAIL called “Admin Advanced” that yours truly actually helped shape via the “Advanced Formula” module.  Careful – SteveMo was a big one on here too, so you know you’re in for some learning…and owing him a beer when you’re done.

CaptureHungry for some hardcore Apex REST/SOAP callout magic?  There’s a module for you too!  A wonderful post that walks you through the crazy language of Apex callouts and how to master them!

Are you yeti to earn new badges?!


Discover Lightning on Trailhead!

Lightning-1024x512Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately in the Salesforce community, you’ve heard about the new Lightning Experience (“LEX”) due out in Winter ’16!  (queue elated yet half-scared applause and amazement)

Also, unless you’ve been living under a rock or have not read my previous posts, I’m a pretty rabid fan of Salesforce Trailhead as well – and they have come through with bright shiny colors on delivering FOUR NEW TRAILS all around migrating, administering, and developing around the initial release of LEX.  If you are a developer, administrator, or even end-user – there are trails for you!

My biggest questions have been around “what works and what doesn’t so I can accurately advise my clients”.  I’m slowly digesting the new Winter ’16 pre-release notes that dropped at the end of last week, but as I’ve said before – Trailhead content is written in a way to cut right to the quick; give me contextually-appropriate major chunks of information and test me to ensure I comprehended it right.  There are many times where a Trailhead challenge has given me information in JUST SLIGHTLY a different light that (full pun intended) sets off the light bulb in my brain.

Without further ado, I wanted to introduce you to the four new Trailhead trails and my take on each.  You’ll see some overlap between some of the trails – some modules and challenges cross trails to ensure maximum contextual assistance.

Trail 1:  “Admin Trail – Migrating to Lightning Experience”


Who:  Admins and Developers

What:  Four modules walk you through topics such as:

  • What is LEX and is it right for your organization?
    • Yes!  There are things that work and don’t work – this is “version 1” ya know…
  • How to enable LEX for discovery and testing
  • Navigating setup and new LEX-exclusive enhancements
  • Customizing the LEX UI and a re-introduction to Actions
    • Bye-bye URL hacks!
    • Bye-bye Javascript buttons!
    • Bye-bye raw URL navigation!
  • Setting yourself up for a successful deployment

When:  Do this one first.

Why:  Unless your users are a group of supermen and superwomen that can handle any blip that comes their way, LEX is going to be a tough rollout – specifically in user training and “Salesforce Classic” feature parity.  Start your education here.

Trail 2:  “Admin Trail – Starting with Lightning Experience”


Who:  Admins and Developers

What:  Three modules walk you through topics such as:

  • Introduction to Salesforce and Lightning
  • Diving into the new Opportunity Workspace
  • Customizing Layouts, Actions, Objects, and Fields
  • Executing a LEX education plan and strategy for your company
  • Dropping the hammer:  LEX Rollout

When:  Do this one second.

Why:  LEX is the #1 largest UI-based change in over a decade.  The underlying administration concepts and foundational abilities aren’t changing, but how you and your users access them are.  You need to learn the gaps that do exist in LEX v1 and how to appropriately mitigate or delay each area so you aren’t left high and dry.

NOTE!  This trail was originally designed for brand new admins who are walking into a Winter ’16 org with LEX enabled, but EVERYONE can learn from this module.

Trail 3:  “Developer Trail – Lightning Experience”


Who:  Developers primarily, but Admins can learn a LOT from this as well

What:  Five modules walk you through topics such as:

  • What is LEX and is it right for your organization?
    • Yes!  There are things that work and don’t work – this is “version 1” ya know…
  • How to enable LEX for discovery and testing
  • UI framework and approach
  • How LEX impacts Visualforce overall
  • How LEX impacts ISVs, Packaging, and the AppExchange
    • How to tell if your 3rd party packages are ready for LEX
  • What else is changing with development tools?
  • How to use Visualforce within the LEX framework
    • Overall expectations
    • Navigation
    • Styling
    • What NOT to do in LEX
  • How to use Lightning Components with the LEX framework
    • Components and Attributes
    • Standard and Components
    • Events and JavaScript handling
  • Lightning Design System (LDS)
    • Salesforce has released a Salesforce bootstrap framework
    • How to use it
    • How NOT to use it…

When:  Do this one third overall, or if you’re a dev – do it first just for LDS.

Why:  Because you’re a developer and have questions about how your knowledge will convert into the LEX world – flat out.  Salesforce does not have any delusions that LEX will be perfect on “day 1”, nor do they expect that everyone will be able to transition over even within the next few releases.  What they do expect is that you will take the lessons learned here and start making smart design decisions so that when you are ready to move, you can.

Trail 4:  “Sales Rep Trail – Using Lightning Experience”


Who:  Admins, Developers, and END USERS (yes!  I said END USERS!)

What:  Two modules walk you through concepts such as:

  • What is Salesforce?
  • What is LEX?
  • Working with your Admins
  • Working with Leads and Opportunities in LEX
  • Leveraging Reports & Dashboards (and more) in LEX

When:  This is a great follow-up to the other trails, or a must for your users as part of your rollout strategy – even if you have seasoned veteran users.

Why:  One thing that admins and devs often skip over is the user experience – or how users will be introduced and trained on the system.  We’re so often mired in the details of fields, triggers, and workflow that we completely space that someone will have to advance their Opportunity through the new Sales Path in LEX.  This module is KEY for getting some good ol’ fashioned context.  =)

IN SUMMARY!  (Yes, I’m finally done!)

  • LEX is BIG.  Not like DF keynote/Benioff’s shoes big – like impacting your career big.
  • Trailhead = awesome.  I can’t pick a better word for it.
  • Salesforce has gifted you a fast-track with Trailhead.  Use it.
  • If you want a Winter ’16 LEX org before your sandbox window – you have to do these modules
    • Pre-release org activation is queued and prioritized based on your Trailhead progress
  • Sound off on Twitter!  Mention me (@andyboettcher) when you complete a badge!  I want to hear from all of you!

MS150 – Help me reach my goal!

I will be participating in the C.H. Robinson Worldwide MS 150 Ride 2012.  The ride covers 150 miles over two days, starting in Duluth MN on June 9th, and arriving in White Bear Lake MN on June 10th.  I participated in this event last year and was able to raise over $600 – I am looking to reach and hopefully exceed that amount this year!
As you may have guessed, my post here is seeking donations from you to help support both my participation in this event (very small percentage) and to help fund MS research around the world (major percentage).  If you can spare $5, $50, or anything between or greater, please visit my donation site (  If you cannot donate at this time, please support me in spirit by sharing this email with your friends and family, or posting words of support on my Facebook ( or Twitter (@andyboettcher).
New this year, the MS Society takes advantage of “donation matching” that is offered by a lot of businesses lately.  If your company has registered with the MS Society, you can use the “Company Finder” at the bottom of the donation page as well.  (if they’re not registered, sign them up!  *smile*)
Thank you for your time, I hope I can count on your support.  Have a great day!

Five-Minute Bicycle Maintenance

One of the most critical things that you need to know when you’re out biking around is how to perform some basic maintenance tasks.  You don’t need to be one of those crazy bike shop techs by any means (no disrespect to you fine ladies and gentlemen – YOU ROCK!) to do any of this – my view of shop techs are that they are CRITICAL to use for those once-a-year bike tuneups.  (They’re also awesome for telling me that I should buy “this” brand of shorts over “that” brand even though they’re $10 more expensive – because they won’t make my rear end look like two pigs wrestling over a milk-dud…)

This was a GREAT article that was sent to me by Bicycling Magazine.  (for the original article, click on this link)  I’m going to cut / paste some of the meaty bits into my post here, but I strongly encourage everyone to head to the source website for more details and to sign up for a subscription!

Here are seven (7) simple checks that you can – I should say SHOULD – perform on your bike after each and every ride.  Your safety and the safety of those you ride with depend on it!

Your Wheels

CHECK FOR: Trueness

HOW?: While spinning the wheel, watch the distance between the rim and the brake pad. It should be uniform for the entire rotation. If it wobbles, the wheel needs truing.

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: Your wobbly wheel won’t lead to more serious problems, such as a shudder while descending or brake pads rubbing.

Your Quick-Release Wheel Clamps

CHECK FOR: Side-to-side play in the wheel; QRs or skewers that aren’t tight or secure

HOW?: Make sure quick-releases are closed all the way, and that bolt-on skewers are securely fastened.

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: Your wheel won’t come loose and detach from your bike midride.

Your Brakes

CHECK FOR: Grit on the pads, caliper alignment

HOW?: If your brakes feel gritty, clean the pads with a rag and degreaser; replace pads if the grooves are worn more than 50 percent compared with new pads. Calipers are aligned if the pads are equidistant from the rim.

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: You won’t go to grab the levers only to roll right through the stop sign at the bottom of the hill.

Your Tires

CHECK FOR: Low tire pressure, embedded glass, slices in the tire or sidewall

HOW?: Inflate tires to proper pressure, and carefully remove embedded debris with tweezers. A cut tire or sidewall is prone to a blowout and shouldn’t be ridden; replace it.

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: Your chances of flatting will greatly decrease, and you may have prevented a nasty midride blowout.

**This one I can’t stress enough!  Of anything that will go wrong with your bike, you’ll blow a tire first.  Learn how to change your tire – both front and back.  At the beginning of the ride year, I’ll replace my tubes both to just get fresh ones in there as well for a refresher course in changing them out.  Your rear wheel has all of that fun stuff that looks complicated to work around, but really it can pop out pretty easily.  Invest in a cheap 3-part plastic wheel change kit, a fresh tube, and a CO2 canister!

Your Seat bag

CHECK FOR: Supplies you may have depleted on your ride

HOW?: If you used something during a ride, replace it so it’s there for the next ride. If your spare tube has been in there for a while, give it a quick inspection to make sure it’s still intact.

***I would even say to recycle any tube that has been in your bag for a year – tubes are cheap compared to the frustration of an old tube popping on you!

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: You’ll have a spare tube and CO2 cartridge to lend to the guy who didn’t follow this postride checklist.

Your Cleats (if you use Cycling Shoes)

CHECK FOR: Loose bolts and overall wear

HOW?: Worn-out cleats won’t engage as crisply. You’ll know when they’ve just plain quit on you, then it’s time for new cleats. Bolts can loosen over time. If your cleat isn’t secure to your shoe, tighten the bolts.

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: Your foot won’t pop out without warning, and you won’t tumble to the ground because you couldn’t disengage your cleat.

Your Frame

CHECK FOR: Cracks, especially at the joints

HOW?: Using a rag and bike polish, wipe dirt and moisture from your frame. Look for cracks, flaking paint and other irregularities.

ON YOUR NEXT RIDE: You’ll either be on your bike because you didn’t find a crack, or you’ll be on your way to the shop for a pro evaluation. If your carbon frame is cracked, don’t mess around. Failure could be catastrophic.

Stay safe out there!

MS150 – Help me reach my goal!

Well here we go – cycling season is starting to ramp up!  I have just signed up for the 2011 MS150 Bike Tour, which starts in Duluth MN and ends up in White Bear Lake MN.

I need to raise a minimum of $300 – can you help me out?  Please visit and donate if you can!  $10 or $100 – or anything inbetween – every little bit helps the MS Society!  (Thanks if you can help!!)

As for the route, we’ll pretty much be following the Interstate 35 corridor all the way – stopping mid-way in Hinckley, MN for an overnight rest.

If you’re along the route – swing out and cheer me on!