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The Big Idea of Trailhead: Free Training and Upskilling for All

The Big Idea of Trailhead: Fun, Free Learning for All

Ever wonder how we came up with Trailhead, Salesforce's free, self-led learning platform? Check out this post and find out how we wanted to enable anyone to develop in-demand skills.

We’re posting a series of vignettes to celebrate Salesforce’s 20th birthday. Follow our digital scrapbook to get a behind the scenes glimpse of our history.

Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Salesforce. Trailhead is no exception. Before it became the learning platform that we know and love today — it was just an idea. A big idea sparked by the need to scale Salesforce learning and make it accessible to all.

trailhead medals

But a big idea needs awesome people to make it work. We quickly learned to harness the power of teamwork. A scrappy, cross-functional, highly collaborative group all driven by the same mission to shake up the status quo.

Trailhead DF14
We launched Trailhead at Dreamforce ’14 with 11 badges and 3 trails

We acted with intention in everything we did. We made Trailhead for everyone — free, self-led learning enabling anyone to develop in-demand skills. And thereby pushing the needle of diversity in tech.

The big idea behind Trailhead?

  • Accessible learning — make it free and available to anyone regardless of background, age, gender, ability, learning style, or belief
  • Gamified learning — make it engaging, hands-on, motivational and fun, help people to reach their learning goals.

The 2015 April Fool’s

Catter badge was the purr-fect hit

  • Short, bite-sized content — make it easy to consume wherever, whenever and remove the intimidation of learning a new skill.
  • Life-long learning — make it continuous with fresh content that keeps up with the latest technology trends.
  • Foster the Ohana spirit — help mold the best professionals by adding Salesforce values and soft-skills content.

  • Create Trailblazers — the pioneers, the innovators, the leaders who leave a path for others to follow. And most importantly, a person who builds a better world for others.

The Trailblazer hoodie was originally designed in gray!

Fun fact: The Trailblazer hoodie was originally designed in gray! A happy accident with the first shipment gave us the iconic black one we have today.

We kept our Ohana in our #Trailhearts—putting our users at the center of everything, daring ourselves to challenge the norm by reinventing learning. But more than that, Trailhead was also developed to help connect the community. To share ideas and solutions, network, and support each other.


And Trailhead was embraced whole-trail-heartedly. In four short years, we reached . And the team has grown too!

Trailhead team

What’s next for Trailhead? Even MOAR learning. As we continue to empower you, our community of Trailblazers, to blaze your own trail to the career of your dreams.

keep trailhead weird shortened

Keeping Trailhead weird (and in confetti) since 2014!

Discover more about the big idea that fundamentally changed how Trailblazers learn. Ready to jump in? Check out Getting started with Trailhead.

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