Opinion Salesforce

Microsoft’s Trailhead

Introducing Trailhead Learn by Microsoft. Am I allowed to say that?

It seems as though Microsoft has created their own version of Salesforce’s Trailhead! It is called Microsoft Learn.

Who cares?

Well, I do! I care because I am a Salesforce consultant and professional, and Trailhead has been an invaluable tool when it comes to learning about the Salesforce platform and about specific functions and features quickly and in a way that sticks. In fact, you have to know about and use Trailhead if you intend to participate in the Salesforce ecosystem for long. I’ve used Trailhead to

  • Solve quick problems on the fly when solutioning, developing and building
  • Learn about new and existing features or tools like Lightning Web Components, IoT Orchestrations, Sales Console, and so many more
  • Maintain my certifications
  • Make myself marketable as a consultant and Salesforce professional

The content that I’ve reviewed so far indicates that Microsoft intends to leverage their new Learn platform in much the same way Salesforce uses Trailhead to up-skill, train, and maintain professionals in their own ecosystem.

You should care too if you are a Salesforce, Microsoft, or cloud professional or you hope to become one.

What does this mean?

I think it means a more competitive space because access to educational resources often empowers the community. In this case, the community of developers and enterprise software professionals are being given the tools to educate and up-skill themselves in order to not only meet the demand in the marketplace, but also to drive demand for Microsoft tools and services.

To Salesforce (and other cloud) Professionals

Microsoft Learn means that Microsoft is here to play as a cloud competitor, and Microsoft intends to leverage its community of developers, partners, and users to strengthen its brand. Microsoft is not just attacking customers in the marketplace, but in a way, it’s going after professionals too by mimicking a tool (Trailhead) that has successfully been used to build a strong network of professionals that learn from one another and promote their platform (Salesforce).

If you are someone (like me) interested in furthering your knowledge of the Microsoft cloud platforms/tools, the Learn platform provides the perfect opportunity to get started on your own terms and at your own pace with engaging content that allows you to track your progress. It presents an opportunity for cloud professionals outside of the Microsoft ecosystem to become fluent about Microsoft’s capabilities to speak to (or against) them. Plus, it gives you the ability to be cross-functional, opening up the door to career transitions or advancements.

To Microsoft Professionals

Microsoft Learn also means an enhanced and more engaging learning experience for professionals within the Microsoft ecosystem. Plus, it could be a huge tool for those new to the space to learn about Microsoft’s platform, train themselves, and market themselves as Microsoft professionals.

The gamification of learning on the platform reinforces engagement with the platform and the content, and it allows users to track and measure their learning progress. The points system (as is the case with Trailhead), where points are awarded for learning modules and challenges completed, doubles as a marketing tool for professionals to market themselves to prospective employers. Employers familiar with Salesforce know that Trailhead is the go-to learning system supported by Salesforce itself, and employers place value in it. I anticipate the same will become true of Microsoft Learn if it isn’t true already.

What do I think?

I think it is great! Considering I personally have wanted to become more familiar with Microsoft’s Azure platform for a while, I’m definitely happy to be able to take advantage of Microsoft Learn.

Laying aside my personal desire to learn about Azure, as a consultant and technology professional, I believe it is important to stay abreast of the latest tools and tech. Any technology professional knows that the landscape is constantly evolving, and that there is no guarantee that a tool that is popular today will remain popular tomorrow. You need to be ready to pivot and learn new things quickly in order to stay relevant and in-demand. For these reasons alone, Microsoft Learn is a gift because the platform enables me and other professionals to quickly scale up our knowledge of Microsoft tools and services in a space where our progress is measured and in such a way that can be marketed to potential employers.

Ultimately, I’m excited because Microsoft Learn makes Azure accessible to me as a novice Microsoft professional eager to learn more and grow my skills set. Plus, Microsoft Learn is presenting content and engaging with me in a way that I’m already very familiar with through Trailhead. The discussion as to whether Microsoft Learn adopted its current framework because it was successful with Salesforce and Trailhead or because its simply an intuitive design for gamified learning is a discussion for another article…

What do you think?

I’m eager to know what you think! Leave your comments below.

Thanks for reading!