Salesforce Admins and Users Rejoice (5 Groovy Enhancements from the Summer ’18 Release)

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Summer ’18 release is here and many great enhancements have been delivered. Lightning continues to make improvements and is beginning to offer more and more features and customization to help keep admins from switching to Classic to make the changes they need. After skimming through the Summer Release Notes, here are my favorite enhancements that admins and their users will enjoy!

  • Customize Task List View in Lightning

Users can finally customize the task list views in lightning to include custom filters, custom fields, and sorting. This was a much needed enhancement and very, very popular on the Idea exchange!

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  • Create Copies of Tasks for Colleagues

Gone are the days of creating the same task multiple times so they could each be assigned to different users. Users can now create a copy of a task and assign to multiple people. Everyone gets a separate task that is assigned to them! This will hopefully increase collaboration between sales.

 

  • Mass Email Campaign Members

This is not so much as a functionality enhancement as it is a workflow enhancement. Now, marketing can send mass emails straight from the campaign where previously, the members had to be emailed by navigating to Account, Mass Email and selecting the campaign. Ok, ok, I know it might not sound like that big of a deal – but it has been highly desired for 9 years! Check out the idea on the idea exchange: https://success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=08730000000Br2YAAS

Mass Email

  • Set up Person Accounts in Lightning Experience

If you’re in the group that has encountered this issue – you’re either going to be grateful it’s here or upset it didn’t come sooner….Or both! Previously if an org utilized Person Accounts and you wanted to change the page layout or compact layout you could not access the page layouts from lightning. Even if you were on the page, and you wanted to make a change to the components – you’d have to wait and wait until you never saw your changes! Now, Salesforce has made it possible to select the Person Account customization right from lightning set up. Hurray!

  • Track Time with a Time Data Field

This feature is now generally available and allows an admin to create a field for capturing time. I have personally never encountered a use case where this is necessary but I can imagine it will be very helpful for multiple business scenarios that involve exact tracking or event management.

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Many great features are being delivered with the Summer 18’ release and not just for admins. Keep an eye out for my blog on enhancements for developers!

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How to Study for The Salesforce Platform Developer I Exam

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If you’re like me, the first thing you do when you decide to go for something is to peruse the internet for advice from people that have done it and that is exactly the first thing I did when it came to both my Salesforce Administrator and Salesforce Developer certification. When I was up late after work studying for the Platform Developer I exam, I would catch myself half thinking/half praying ‘God, if I pass this test I promise to help others!’ Part of the reason I’m writing this now is because although I found it difficult to find some of the answers I was looking for, I did find many valuable articles from people who had ‘blazed the trail’ before me. This is my attempt to give back.

I wouldn’t consider myself very technically experienced. I have my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and up until 2014, I’d never opened up an excel file. I do, however, possess a mindset that wants to solve problems and enjoys thinking through them – if you can keep that mindset, you’re on the way to passing the Developer Exam.

 

1.      Use the Salesforce Study Guide to plan

This is important. My first mistake was quickly veering off track from the study guide and down the rabbit hole of development documentation and YouTube videos of Dreamforce speakers. At one point I was attempting to actually read the entire Apex Development Workbook (now deprecated), making stacks of flash cards about Rest API, asynchronous callouts, and memory allocation limits. If you don’t know what most of that is, don’t worry you won’t need to for this exam. Use the Salesforce Study Guide, and what’s on the Salesforce Study Guide as the foundation of your studying. Download the guide here.

     Begin by reading the study guide over and over until you know what is in and out of the scope of the exam. Next, write down each section of the exam in order from least familiar to most familiar. Draw a line dividing the top half of the list from the bottom and apply an 80/20 rule – plan to spend 80% of your time studying in the top half (the less familiar) and 20% of your time on the remainder.

2.      Take the Developer Beginner Trail from Trailhead

Besides experience, Trailhead is the best resource out there for learning Salesforce. If you are unfamiliar with Trailhead, it’s a series of guided learning paths for business users to developers where you can earn badges, track progress and plan your learning curriculum. If you have not yet signed up, do yourself a favor and do it now! https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/trails. You will need a developer org if you want to follow along with most of the training. You can get one here.

3.      Track by Comprehension, Not by Time

Remember, quality over quantity! I would avoid planning in time chunks. Just because more time is spent studying, does not mean more is learned. Focus on what specific thing you want to know when you’re finished with a study session. For example, looking at section five of the Study Guide you might take ‘Describe how to use basic SOSL, SOQL, and DML statements when working with objects in Apex’ under the Logic and Process Automation and decide to learn the how to write three types of SOQL statements in one session and the limitations of SOSL statements in another. The best part about doing this is that you will hopefully leave every session feeling accomplished

4.      Utilize Different Methods of Learning

Spend time in Salesforce Documentation reading, Trailhead and YouTube learning, and a development org doing! I know I have learned something when I can explain it and when I can think of ways to use it. Take what you want to learn – Read about it, watch someone do it, and finally do it yourself.

5.      Know Why and When

Most of the exam consists of scenario based questions. You’ll never pass the exam if you only know terms and their definitions. After reading and learning about a functionality, I ask myself why I would need it and when I would use it. Why should one use process builder over a workflow? Come up for a scenario or use case for both!

6.      Utilize Salesforce Training

If your company has premier support, you have access to a hub of instructor led training videos! Navigate to ‘Help & Training’ in your org and look for the training section. Don’t sweat it if you do not have premier support, there is still plenty of other information out there.

7.      Salesforce Ben

Salesforceben.com is an awesome resource that I have used for both of my certification. There is a great article about the Platform Developer I certification here: http://www.salesforceben.com/platform-developer-certification-guide-tips/. They give an awesome breakdown of the exam.

8.      Answer and Ask Questions in the Support Forums

Even if you’re not an expert in Salesforce Development yet, try to help others with their problems. It is a great way to receive use cases and scenarios that can provide you with experience and hands on learning! You probably won’t receive the vote for the ‘Best Answer’ all the time, but it begins the process of actively thinking about how to implement development solutions .

9.      Don’t Burn Yourself Out

No need to pull an all-nighter! Give yourself plenty of time, you can only take in so much at a once. If you have accomplished your ‘learning goal’ for the session, take the rest of the day off! Go outside and enjoy some nature.

 

I hope this article has provided some good advice you can utilize to prepare for the Platform Developer I and other Salesforce exams. Good luck, you’ll do great!