Certification on Trailhead “joke that got out of hand”

Yes this was an April Fool’s post, I never went to TrailheaDX — on the day of the keynote I was hosting the London Salesforce Developers at Code Node. As an aside, one of the challenges of the modern world is when to fess up that it’s a joke. In the UK the tradition is that you own up around midday, but that doesn’t work so well when you are intentionally involving the West coast of the US.

While at TrailheaDX earlier this week I had a chance to talk to a number of insiders about the big announcement that maintenance certifications were moving from Webassessor to Trailhead. One off the record conversation with a couple of former members of SalesforceU really took my breath away, when I found out that Certification on Trailhead was intended as a joke on the community that somehow became reality

“We were sick of all the attention that Trailhead was getting on social media” source number one told me. “We decided to announce something that would get a negative reaction, even from the cheerleaders, and hopefully turn a few people against it. After a few beers we came up with the idea that certifications were moving to Trailhead and went ahead and announced it”

“We couldn’t believe people fell for it” said my second source. “While we felt the concept was just within the bounds of possibility, which is what separates the good jokes from the bad, we were sure that announcing Platform Developer II as the first certification to move would give the game away. In hindsight we should have done it on April Fool’s day, but we felt that would be too obvious.”

Both sources agree that the reaction across the Salesforce community was as bad as they hoped it would be, but what they didn’t realise that it had made its way up the food chain and received a positive reaction.

“Once the executives heard about it, the whole plan went to hell” both sources agreed. “Before we knew it they’d commissioned a bunch of Superbadges, the whole certification team had moved over to Trailhead and the PDII numbers were skyrocketing”.

A lesson, if ever there was one, in thinking before posting on the internet, just in case everyone starts to believe it. As source number one told me, just before we went our separate ways, “It started out as a bit of fun, but we created a monster. Now we know how the Lightning team felt when they suggested the locker service after five rounds of shots”.

I’m better known in the Salesforce community as Bob Buzzard — Umpteen Certifications, including Technical Architect, 6 x MVP and CTO of BrightGen, a Platinum Cloud Alliance Partner in the United Kingdom who are hiring the best people, but not to carry out Trigger Driven Development.

You can find my (usually) more technical thoughts at the Bob Buzzard Blog

CTO at BrightGen, author Visualforce Development Cookbook, multi Salesforce Developer MVP. Salesforce Certified Technical Architect. I am the one who codes.

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