We’re in the midst of unprecedented technological change. By 2022, more than 120 million workers worldwide need to reskill just to keep pace with automation and AI. It’s a seismic undercurrent that will upend our modern workforce, threatening to leave more than a quarter of American workers behind.
Trailhead’s mission is to democratize education and make learning accessible to all. Today, more than 1.8 million people are skilling up on the free online learning platform and leapfrogging traditional barriers to entry — including time, cost and socioeconomic backgrounds – to land their dream job in technology.
Salesforce is further reducing barriers to learning with the launch of Trailhead GO: the free, first-ever mobile app for Trailhead, exclusive to iOS and iPadOS as part of our strategic partnership with Apple. Now Trailblazers can skill up on the go with over 700 modules covering business, technical and soft skills that unlock a world of career opportunities both within the Salesforce ecosystem and beyond.
We sat down with Reid Carlberg, VP of Trailhead Mobile, to learn more about Trailhead GO — exploring the app’s features, why it’s a game changer for learners everywhere, and what it was like building Salesforce’s first app exclusive to iOS and iPadOS.
Q. What’s Trailhead GO?
It’s the app to skill up anywhere for the jobs of today and tomorrow. It doesn’t matter who or where you are. If you have access to an iPhone or iPad, you can sign up, learn in-demand skills and fast-track your way to life changing jobs like Salesforce admin or iOS developer. Trailhead GO is perfect for anyone looking to reinvent their skill sets, expand their career or start a new one entirely. Trailhead GO also includes a brand new series of microbadges, content that is perfect for new users just discovering Salesforce.
Q. What does going mobile mean for the Trailhead platform?
When you look at “best practices” of successful people, a common theme is that they go out of their way to learn new things, and it doesn’t matter where or how they do it. With Trailhead GO, anything you can learn at your desk is now also available on the bus, in the park or by a campfire. (Yes, our Trailblazers told us that this last one was important to them.) Anyone with a few minutes to spare can for example, learn to build an iOS chatbot for service, about marketing strategies, or how to publish an app on the Salesforce AppExchange – and they can start that journey on an iPhone in the middle of a commute and pick up later on their Macbook wherever they left off. It’s a game changing, seamless addition to the Trailhead experience.
Q. Was a mobile app always part of the vision for Trailhead?
We’re constantly thinking of new ways to put Trailblazers at the center of an experience that enriches their lifelong learning journeys. Going mobile is a natural extension of that. And while Trailhead has offered a mobile responsive design from the beginning, we saw an opportunity to take mobile learning to another level by building a native app. The result, Trailhead GO, is a warm, rich and responsive experience that our Trailblazers are going to love.
Q. What’s special about experiencing Trailhead on mobile?
Trailhead GO makes it easy to incorporate learning into your everyday digital routine. With Trailhead’s bite-sized modules, many badges can be completed in as little as 10 or 15 minutes – which is far less time than the average user spends per day on Instagram.
And speaking of social networks, Trailhead GO takes full advantage of sharing functionalities in iOS and iPadOS to make learning in-demand skills a fun, connected experience. Trailblazers can now share badges, achievements and content (e.g., specific modules) via iMessage, Twitter and other platforms. Trailhead’s secret sauce has always been the community — more than 1.8 million people around the world motivating and encouraging each other to skill up, and mobile amplifies that.
Q. Does Trailhead GO retain all the features of Trailhead on desktop?
Learners can expect the same core experience they know and love. Trailhead is famous for its bite-sized lessons — modules and units — that empower anyone to skill up fast on specific topics; if anything, mobile is an even more perfect medium for that.
More than 700 modules will be available at launch, including a new group of what we’re calling microbadges, which are focused on content for brand new users — Quick Looks at things like Salesforce, the Customer 360 Platform, Fast App Development — and everything comes complete with multiple choice quizzes and on-device celebrations for badges earned. It’s a seamless transition from desktop to mobile. With support for Handoff, learners can count on picking up a trail on mobile exactly where they left off on desktop (and visa versa).
Q. How does being exclusive to iPhone and iPad enhance the Trailhead GO experience?
Before launch, we ran a beta program that encompassed more than 1,500 learners working in six languages. Many things stood out to testers, but accessibility features on iOS stood out as an extremely positive addition to the experience — things like VoiceOver, display customization and the ability to increase or decrease font size. By building Trailhead GO on Swift using Salesforce’s Mobile SDK, we were able to integrate those features seamlessly and ensure that Trailhead stays true to its mission of being a platform that’s open and accessible to all.
Other iOS and iPadOS features that enhance the Trailhead experience include Handoff and iPadOS picture-in-picture view for multi-tasking with video courses and live broadcasts from Trailhead Live. Shortly after launch we’ll also offer support for Haptic Touch, allowing learners to quickly preview details about modules and trails they may be interested in.
Q. What was it like building Salesforce’s first app exclusive to Apple devices?
We jumped at the chance to work with the experts at Apple as part of the strategic partnership between our companies. The combination of Swift and Salesforce’s Mobile SDK creates a very high fidelity output on iOS and iPadOS devices. As I mentioned, building natively on iOS and iPadOS also made it seamless to integrate Accessibility features — like VoiceOver and the ability to magnify text — that further reduce barriers to learning.
Q. How can learners get started on Trailhead GO?
Head over to the App Store and download it today. If you don’t have a Trailhead account, it’s easy to sign up and get started, all within the app. Let us know what you think.