Monday, 4 May 2020

[#Blogged] -5 Lightning Trailhead Modules to Start Learning on Today

 Those of us fortunate enough to use Lightning can agree it packs a punch with both User Interface and ease of use.  As of late 2019, the Lightning framework was rolled out to the majority of Salesforce customers, and while most people are somewhat familiar, there is still a lot to learn. The good news is, Trailhead is updated monthly with modules, trails, and projects that you can do to further your knowledge of what Lightning has to offer. For those that don’t know, Trailhead is the awesome Learning Experience Platform that Salesforce created and maintains to continually release interactive materials for your professional gains!  
If you type “lightning” into the Trailhead search bar, you’ll see over 4,000 results, which is a lot. Luckily, I’m here to save you time and help you focus on the 5 Lightning Trailhead Modules to Start Learning on Today!

  • Lightning Experience Basics

This module is a great starting point for learning what exactly Lightning is, and how it differs from the Salesforce Classic framework.  It also goes into detail on how exactly to switch your instance over to start using Lightning (if this has not already happened from Salesforce automatically), as well as an outline of how different departments within your company can benefit from using Lightning. Even though the rollout has occurred, you should still be able to toggle back and forth between Classic and Lightning, however, we’re here to help you build that confidence and move forward with all that Lightning has to offer! I feel this module is worth a look, as well, because of the reminders for considerations of pieces that do not translate well between Classic and Lightning.  You may need to give some extra attention to your buttons and visualforce pages, for example, before they are fully functional in Lightning. This module can be done in about an hour, and only includes a few quizzes instead of hands-on practice, so it’s great for your morning commute or can be knocked out with a fresh cup of coffee.

  • Reports & Dashboards for Lightning Experience
This really is a great module for a few reasons - not only does it have a video in the first unit for visual learners, but also hands-on challenges for more kinaesthetic learners. Reports and Dashboards are the lifeblood in communicating metrics of your company to everyone from end-users such as Sales and Support team members to C-Level executives looking for a 360-degree view into the company health.  The more comfortable you become navigating through reporting, and understanding the stakeholder needs, the better you can present those metrics, thus aiding your company in their ability to analyze important data to make crucial decisions. This module walks you through step-by-step examples before presenting you with challenges to work independently and, in my opinion, is one of the most impactful modules to help you up your game.

  • Lightning App Builder
This module is a must-do! The Lightning App Builder walks you through the basics, as well as how to build a page for an app, a home page, or a record page. You may recall my post a few weeks back on the “5 Standard Lightning Components You can Use Today with Little Experience” - this module coincides perfectly with that! In under 2 hours, you can really up to your value in the ability to build pages that can really make a difference in your Salesforce org. This will teach you how to make information more organized and user friendly for your teams that just don’t have a lot of time to click around, all by creating a page. 

  • Lightning Experience Customization
In my opinion, the Lightning Experience Customization module packs as much of a punch as the Reporting & Dashboards module as far as intellectual gains are concerned.  Coming in at close to three hours, it is a bit longer than the other modules we’ve discussed, however, this is critical in learning how to make Lightning fit your business in a big way. It walks you through creating a Lightning App, customizing list views, record highlights, record details with page layouts, custom buttons and links, and quick actions. That’s a lot! One suggestion for learning more with this module would be to break it down over a week with a unit or two each day, practising how you can maximize the impact to your company.

  • Lightning Web Components Basics

This module is much more advanced but great for developers, or more seasoned admins who may be interested in development. Lightning Web Components Basics may only take a little more than an hour, but I’d recommend really taking your time with this, especially if you’re learning how to code, or new in a Developer role.  This is a great building block for walking you through how to build a component that maintains compatibility with Aura components, but it does require prior knowledge, like HTML, JavaScript and CSS in order to ensure success with the learning involved in this module.  It also lists out resources to assist with creating Lightning Web Components moving forward. 
Once you’ve done all of the above, don’t let your learning stop there! Focus on working through Superbadges, like the Lightning Experience Specialist or the Lightning Experience Reporting and Dashboard Specialist which builds on some of the above modules. Superbadges are a great way to work through real-life use cases of how to apply this newly obtained knowledge. Plus, they’re a great way to challenge yourself by tying in multiple areas of Lightning and building on what you’ve already learned.

There you have it! In just 9 hours of learning, you can build your skillset tremendously in the Lightning framework.  You can also gain 5 badges, and quite a few points to progress towards the next level in the Trailhead badge system. This is really useful in showcasing your newly gained skills and knowledge to employers or placing on your resume.  
Come back next week for another post on how you can grow with Lightning!

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