Mastering Spring '18
It's been a few years now that this series of posts has started, where I'm begging you not to discard the release notes and instead do study the new features as you would to prepare a certification. It's important as a Salesforce professional to master what's in the new release and make the most of it.
You'll find below a selection of resources that should help you in becoming a "Spring '18 ninja".
Salesforce has now opened the doors to the certifications maintenance exam (until November 2, 2018) and I always recommend clearing your maintenance "before Salesforce starts talking about the next release". This will avoid unecessary confusion around feature availability. I also ask to consider the thickness of the release notes as a blessing rather than a pain...
My method to prepare for the release consists in enjoying the journey first (steps 1 to 4) so that when you get serious and drill down into the details (steps 5 and 6) the learning becomes easier. The maintenance exam (step 7) is just the red tape, not the actual objective.
- 📺 Watch some videos
- 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
- 🌍 Browse the best blogs
- 📘 Read Salesforce's resources
- 🍄 Learn the Release Notes
- ☁️ Play around with your DE org
- 🚀 Take the exam
New Release Study: It's not about the maintenance exam. It's about configuring Salesforce to its best in your next project. Your clients will thank you for that!
📺 Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you'll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study work.
In a different style, you may also want to have a look at the Release Readiness Videos videos. They're an hour long entertaining talk shows discussing the ins and out of each of the Salesforce modules.
🌲 You can now access the current and previous release trainings on Trailhead. So, go ahead and have fun learning the new features with the trail Prepare for Salesforce Releases.
🌍 I have handpicked the posts below from the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. They provide a different perspective and interesting use cases for the new features.
- Adam Olshansky: Favourite Features
- Ben McCarthy: Ben's Favourite Features
- Chris Edwards & Mike Gill: Release In Actions (Great Video!)
- Ekaterina Geta 9 new functions
- Gear CRM: Flow
- Jen Lee: Lightning Experience Only Highlights
- Mark Cane: Platform Highlights
- Megan Himan Admin’s Guide to the (new!) Salesforce Files
- Rakesh Gupta: Top 10 Features & Top 5 Components
📘 To start with, I strongly recommend that you join the Trailblazer Community group Release Readiness & Feature Adoption.
Salesforce's key resource when it comes to new releases is the one stop-shop Release Overview microsite. I like the posts from the Salesforce Developer evangelism team and there's always lot of useful links to discover on the partner release resource page.To finish, you may also like the refreshing layout used in the Release Preview document to present the new features.
🍄 I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours.
- PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded on my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted commute time.
- HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.
⚠️ Summer '18 will bring a change to the URL format and Spring '18 lets you test it via critical update that you can activate in a sandbox. Some custom code or AppExchange may stop working so it's important for you to test ASAP in a sandbox and fix accordingly before being hit by Summer '18.
For more information, check Salesforce's FAQ on the topic.
☁️ Now, get one of your DE orgs and try out what are, in your opinion, the most important features. When done, configure the feature which feels the more complex to you. I also like to run some keyword searches in the HTML version. For instance, if "Leads" are a current area of interest for you, search what's new for "Leads" in the new release. Play around, have fun, learn.
🚀 At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.
⚠️ Note that Salesforce announced at TrailheaDX '18 that certification maintenance will gradually move away from WebAssessor to the Trailhead platform.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Don't hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.