Meet John Lay, Dreamforce Golden Hoodie recipient, November 2017

Screen Shot 2019 11 18 at 4.13.26 PM - Alternative Solutions Consulting
Do you remember when you first heard about Salesforce? How did you get started with Salesforce?
My Trailblazer story started slowly but quickly spiked. I first heard of Salesforce when looking for a CRM solution. A few years later, I got the opportunity to license Service Cloud and attended my first Dreamforce along with our CIO and enterprise architect. The scope and options with Salesforce were hard to comprehend. Within 2 months, we increased our license from a simple Service Cloud license to a full Enterprise license and added more than 2,400 users. I then was tasked with deploying Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
How has Trailhead helped you succeed?
Trailhead is my story! Ok, so remember what I said about getting started? I really knew zilch about Salesforce when I was handed a full org with 2,400 enterprise licenses and tasked with a full deployment. We had a great Success Manager who walked me through all of the resources, and I even took a class, but it still wasn’t what I needed to be successful. Luckily, Trailhead was launched soon after and I became addicted! I’ve found it to be the resource I’ve been looking for throughout my entire career in technology. Trailhead has such a wealth of information and is easy to consume, and its gamification makes it fun. Now, I not only study Trailhead to learn all I can about Salesforce but also reference it from time to time for a quick refresher.
Are you the only person learning on Trailhead at your company, or does your whole team or company embrace it?
My entire team uses Trailhead at some level. We have more than five Rangers and are always looking to grow more.
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
To me, a Trailblazer is someone who actively seeks out more knowledge and is always curious about what’s around the corner. Trailblazers aren’t just always learning—they also seek to share and help others along the trail.
What impact has the Trailblazer Community had on your Salesforce experience?
I find the Trailblazer Community to be extremely helpful and supportive.
What message do you have for new Trailblazers?
Don’t be afraid. Create an account and get started. Trailhead has more for you than just Salesforce-specific information.
What’s your favorite aspect of Trailhead?
Superbadges—I love them. The real-life example of being handed a problem and solving it using learnings from other modules is great.
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Learn more about the Golden Hoodie!

Salesforce Answers Built on Ohana

Ohana - Alternative Solutions Consulting

Working as a Salesforce consultant provides incredible insight into how companies use the platform.  Regardless of our experience with Salesforce, we sometimes come across a question or use case that we need a bit more direction.


Fortunately for us, Salesforce realized in order to be profitable they had to have a purpose.   Building around the spirit of Ohana, Salesforce has made its ecosystem of customers and employees personally responsible to ensure no one is left behind.   Yes, it may sound hokie or like I’ve drank the “Kool Aid” but in reality, regardless of profit, Salesforce has created something more powerful than money can buy……community.


Let’s take a look at some of the best areas and communities to find answers and join in Ohana.


My first stop typically takes me to Salesforce Help where I can review documentation, download user guides and access video.   This is the best starting point.


If I need to dig deeper or research a more unique or custom request, I typically make the Salesforce Trailblazer Community my next stop.  Here I can find answers to questions from other users.


To stay up-to-date with the constant enhancements and new products, there is no better place than

Trailhead.  Trailhead offers complete tutorials and hands-on exercises to help you become an expert in all things Salesforce.   Follow them on Trailhead on Twitter and Trailhead on Medium.


Salesforce Stack Exchange is Q&A site for anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem.  Lots of great questions and expert answers.


Finally, visit Salesforce on YouTube.  Browse through playlists or catch-up on Dreamforce.  Create notifications to be reminded of new videos that get uploaded.


There is a plethora of resources to utilize and assist you with questions and Salesforce learning.  Use them when needed and in the spirit of Ohana, help others along your Salesforce journey.

-Danny Raines, Alternative Solutions Senior Salesforce Consultant