October 30, 2019

Q&A: What’s Next for Trailhead with Salesforce SVP Sandeep Bhanot

 

Salesforce launched Trailhead in 2014 to empower anyone, in any walk of life, to skill up for the future. And since then, more than 1.7 million Trailblazers have used the free online learning platform to learn the skills necessary to transform their careers, regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. 

Today, Trailhead is announcing its next generation of innovations that further reduce barriers to entry for the jobs of today and tomorrow - making it easier than ever for anyone to learn in-demand skills, earn resume-worthy credentials and land their dream job: 

  • Trailhead Live is reinventing the classroom experience by bringing a visual element to Trailhead through live broadcast and on-demand videos that empower Trailblazers to learn from and connect with experts in the community; and 
  • Trailblazer.me, a reinvented digital resume for Trailhead learners that gives current and future employers a trusted and verified view of an individual’s skills, experience and accomplishments 

Sandeep Bhanot, SVP of Trailhead Product at Salesforce, took some time ahead of Dreamforce to sit down with us and discuss the news. 

What are you announcing with Trailhead Live and Trailblazer.me? 

With Trailhead Live, learners will have access to free live and on-demand videos - featuring experts in their field - covering topics including live coding and Salesforce certification prep. These tutorials are designed to complement the bite-sized modules and projects that Trailhead is already known for. We think of it as a Peloton-like experience for Trailhead - leveraging the power of live broadcast and community interaction - through Q&A’s and discussions - to create new levels of engagement on our platform. 

Trailblazer.me is the resume of the future. There’s a world of opportunity out there, powered by technology - some 4.2 million jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem alone - yet both job seekers and recruiters continue to rely on a medium that hasn’t changed since Da Vinci. Trailblazer.me empowers job seekers with a unified profile that automatically updates with their badges, skills and accomplishments; and since Trailhead badges can only be earned after passing assessments, current and future employers can rest assured knowing potential hires actually possess the skills they claim. It’s a win-win for both sides of the equation and just the tip of the iceberg as we look for new ways to integrate Trailhead with the modern job economy. 

 

 

What’s special about bringing live broadcast video learning to Trailhead?

Two things. 

One, the fit and finish of Trailhead Live is on par with anything found in the consumer space. We spent a lot of time making sure live and on-demand video would be a seamless and positive addition to Trailhead, in ways ranging from how the upcoming course schedule greets learners at login to how the videos themselves appear. 

But beyond that lies the secret sauce of Trailhead Live: the magic of live broadcast led by a world-class experts drawn from the Trailblazer Community. Because any platform can add video; what differentiates Trailhead Live is this feeling of belonging, group accomplishment and shared desire to push each other further. 

Consider how empowering and motivating it is to log onto a live broadcast and have leading experts acknowledge you by name - “Logan from San Francisco,” or “Sarah from Danville.” Putting the community at the center of a new kind of workout experience is what sets Peloton apart in a world full of at-home workout services; and it’s that same ethos that will keep learners coming back for more with Trailhead Live, making it a gamechanging new addition to their journey of continuous learning. 

How many video courses will be live at launch? Will they cover a range of both hard and soft skills? 

Within two months of launch, we expect Trailhead Live to feature a diverse schedule of more than 100 live and on-demand courses. In addition to covering “hard” skills like prep for Salesforce certification, we’re also excited to bring video learning to areas like interview skills and public speaking. 

 

 

What are some features that distinguish Trailblazer.me from mainstream networking sites? 

Just like Trailhead created a new paradigm for online learning, Trailblazer.me is the first step in our journey to reinvent how Trailblazers market their skills. It comes down to one thing: trust. 

For example, on LinkedIn, there’s currently no way for recruiters to know if a new hire has every skill he or she claims; it’s a leap of faith. On Trailblazer.me, all skills are verified and trusted; no skill appears unless earned. For example, companies hiring for a Salesforce Developer role can trust that any learner with the “Build an iOS App that Uses Chatbots” badge knows how to build an iOS chat app with Xcode - because he or she completed a hands-on project that required doing so. 

We see that as the great equalizer for any job seeker, regardless of socioeconomic status or ethnic background: the ability to put your skills on the table in a fair and open way. Bringing that mindset to how learners market their skills is key if we’re truly set on changing the ratios in tech hiring. 

How can a learner sign up for a Trailblazer.me profile? 

All you need to do is sign up for Trailhead. As part of this launch, we’re proud to offer a unified login and signup experience through Trailblazer Identity, which offers Trailblazers the ability to use one login and one password across the apps they use most - including Trailhead, the Trailblazer Community and AppExchange. And with support for personal email accounts and social logins, you don’t even need a Salesforce login to use these services.  

How much will these new services cost and when will they become available? 

Both Trailhead Live and Trailblazer.me will be free when they launch later this year. 

Where can we go to learn more? 

For a closer look at Trailhead Live and Trailblazer.me, head over to the Trailhead Medium Blog.

If you’re attending Dreamforce, join us live for the Trailhead keynote Wednesday, November 20 at 11 a.m. PT in Moscone West (3rd Floor). A livestream will be available. 

 

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