Mastering Summer ’18

Salesforce Summer ’18 introduces a new way to maintain certifications:

Free, same release cycle, Trailhead module.

Although my series of posts “Mastering Release X” is more about staying Salesforce-fit than ticking the certification box, Trailhead maintenance exams bring some food for thought:

  • Free for all
    Insourcing the exam enables Salesforce to absorb the associated costs and benefits the Ohana: If you’re committing yourself to the Salesforce ecosystem, going through the certification program, Salesforce takes the recurring costs to stay certified out of the conversation. It’s an incentive to join the Salesforce professionals community.
  • Same release cycle
    I’ve always advocated maintaining your certification before any information about the next release is made available: don’t get confused about ever-changing limits and learn the new cool features to do a better job as soon as they’re available, not 3 releases later. It’s now official, you need to maintain your certifications before the future release November 9th, 2018.
  • No pressure
    WebAssessor is typically associated with exam and stress. Trailhead is usually associated with learning and fun. Moving to a platform without clock ticking encourages us to dig deep into whichever question we may find difficult.

Right now, this only applies to the Administrator, Platform App Builder, Platform Developer I and Marketing Cloud certifications, but moving forward all others certifications maintenance will be done on Trailhead.

The Method

I like the idea of having a self-contained platform delivering both the business capabilities (the various Clouds) as well as the associated learning (Trailhead). So, to celebrate the change, I’ve tweaked my New Release Learning Plan. It’s simplified and ends on Trailhead:

  1. 🌺 Get a feel from the Ohana’s blogs
  2. πŸ“˜ Browse Salesforce’s resources
  3. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  4. ☁️ Refine your knowledge with your DE org
  5. 🐻 Do the Trailhead modules
  6. πŸš€ 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!


🌍 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.

Salesforce Resources

πŸ“˜ Once you’re done with the Ohana’s feedback, I suggest that you move to Salesforce authored information. To start with, I strongly recommend that you join the Trailblazer Community group Release Readiness Trailblazers. As far as new releases are concerned, this is where it all happens.

I like the New Release microsite which is always easy to navigate to focus your reading on what are the most important features to you. I’m sure you’ll also enjoy the Salesforce developers blog.

When you’re done with reading, let’s start watching videos on Salesforce YouTube Channel.

In a different style, the Release Readiness videos are an hour-long entertaining talk shows discussing the ins and out of each of the Salesforce modules.

Release Notes

πŸ„ As you know, the Release Notes come in two flavours:

Play Time

☁️ 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 research specific topics in the HTML version. For instance, if Lead Management is an area of interest for you, run a search on “Leads” in the release notes. Play around, have fun, learn.

Experimenting with your DE Org, is the most important part of the New Release Learning Plan, this is how your brain will remember the most…


🌲 It’s now time to release the pressure in preparation for the exam. Go through the Trailhead module, watch all the videos and check the links.

You can even show-off on Twitter once you get your new badge…


πŸš€ At this stage, you’re fully prepared to use the new features in future projects. Passing the exam should not be an issue!

Still, I like to be comfortable and here is my double screens setup:

My experience with this approach has been great so far and am sure that you’ll like it too!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter.

Fab 🐸