Meet Silverline’s Rangers! Becoming a Salesforce Ranger on Trailhead means that you have completed a total of 100 badges and at least 50,000 points on Trailhead. This is the highest Trailblazer rank you can receive. Hear from a few of our very own Rangers and learn how Trailhead has helped their everyday work and career.
What’s your name and role at Silverline?
Todd Sanford: Solution Architect CoE Lead
Julia Kolesnik: TPM/Technical Lead
Behzad Habibzai: Senior Business Analyst, Systems
Chris Hoffmeyer: Sales Solution Architect
Jason Terlizzi: Marketing Automation Technical Architect
Eschel Hamel: Solution Architect, Client Services
Louis Maldonado: Business Analyst
Brian Waterson: Director, Business Systems & Technology
Thomas Lentz: Director of Mortgage & Lending Solutions
What does it mean to be a Ranger?
Louis Maldonado: For me, it means that you know enough of the Salesforce platform to be dangerous! It’s so important to keep up with the changes that our platform of trade is releasing. I think it’s also useful to be able to point folks to a Trailhead badge/module (if they haven’t already) that can guide them to an answer for a particular question.
Brian Waterson: I think becoming a Ranger shows that you are committed to continuously learning on the Salesforce platform. Even once you have multiple certifications you need to stay up to date about what’s new. I think those of us who are Rangers show we want to find new ways to innovate within Salesforce.
How long did it take to reach Ranger status?
Behzad Habibzai: A month or so. I was really committed to getting 100.
Chris Hoffmeyer: Two years.
Jason Terlizzi: One and a half years.
Eschel Hamel: A few years.
Louis Maldonado: About two months, once I actually put some time and effort into it.
Brian Waterson: I started earning badges in August 2015, and I became a ranger in October 2019. Admittedly there were times when I was looking to learn something new and would really focus on it for a bit, and then I would get away from it for a while. Looking through the Trail Tracker app, my first few badges were about the Lightning Experience (brand new back then) and my last ones were all related to Einstein Analytics.
Thomas Lentz: About two and a half years.
What’s been your most difficult-to-earn badge?
Behzad Habibzai: Anything from the Apex Trail, since coding is not my domain.
Chris Hoffmeyer: Data Leak Prevention. I could not pass a particular challenge and spent hours on it… second-guessing my code. I didn’t have a developer background so I assumed I had an error in some line of my code, but later found it was a problem with the module. I have a deep understanding of this module because I had to re-work it four to five times. I eventually had a good laugh after finding I had the correct solution the whole time.
Eschel Hamel: Lightning Experience Rollout Specialist. The difficulty was tied to the fact that it requires a collection of other badges and then completing a complex project with high-level details.
Louis Maldonado: The Flow Builder Module. Anything Flow-related is my Achilles’ heel.
Brian Waterson: I have not finished it yet, but the Einstein Analytics Data Preparation Specialist super badge is definitely a tricky one. But it also helps you realize all the possibilities behind datasets.
What pushes you to keep going on Trailhead?
Todd Sanford: I love the format, organization, and breadth of topics in Trailheads. They force me to look into corners of the platform that I might not otherwise look into and are extremely helpful in preparing for additional certifications.
Behzad Habibzai: The gamification aspect and the way learning is designed.
Eschel Hamel: There’s always something new to learn there; it’s my go-to if there is something I need to educate myself about for a given client or project.
Louis Maldonado: All the things I don’t know yet! I have a decent grasp on Salesforce capabilities, but I know that I have so much more to learn.
What is your favorite badge?
Julia Kolesnik: I’m a big fan of super badges! I like to review business needs and technical requirements and try to imagine the whole solution, and this is what actually happens when you do a super badge. My favorite one was Data Integration Specialist; it included various techniques all in the same place.
Chris Hoffmeyer: Lightning Flow had some great hands-on exercises and provided opportunities to dig deeper into the most powerful declarative automation tool on the platform.
Eschel Hamel: Build a Battle Station App, because it’s got an X-Wing Fighter!
Brian Waterson: The Einstein Prediction Builder, which I took recently. It was a favorite because it lets me explore a part of Einstein I had never seen. It got me really excited about how we might start to use it within our own Salesforce Org!
Why is Trailhead important to you?
Chris Hoffmeyer: It’s a great platform for training and has well thought out material. There are clear paths to check my knowledge when working on a new certification.
Eschel Hamel: It’s an essential tool for anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem to be able to train themselves in just about anything related to Salesforce (and a number of things that aren’t!).
Brian Waterson: Trailhead is a tremendous learning tool. There are hundreds of modules available to anyone who wants to learn more about Salesforce. Between quizzes and hands-on exercises, it teaches skills without needing to sit through training, and you can do it at your own pace. I’ve used it to really focus on an area or to get a quick overview of something that I had not seen before.
How has training on Trailhead helped you in your everyday work?
Todd Sanford: They help me think and present in more focused ways. I’m reminded of the clean Trailhead presentation and try to model my delivery in similar ways.
Jason Terlizzi: It helped me better understand the Force.com platform and assisted in me getting my Platform Developer I certification.
Eschel Hamel: It’s provided guidance and education for how to use important tools, resources, new capabilities, and Clouds within Salesforce.
What advice would you give to those trying to achieve Ranger status?
Julia Kolesnik: It could be boring to go through random badges just because you want to get a Ranger status. Try to find the badges you would love to gain! There are a ton of them in Trailhead, so you can definitely find something up to your taste.
Behzad Habibzai: Understand when you’re logging into which playground or developer org so you don’t get bogged down by not having completed a challenge because you’re not logged in or linked to the right org.
Chris Hoffmeyer: Keep at it! Book a little time each week to spend on Trailhead. Don’t short change yourself by rushing through the modules, only focusing on getting the badge… Slow down and take the opportunity to really learn the content. The real value of Ranger is the increased knowledge on the platform, not just the Ranger designation.
Jason Terlizzi: Set a dedicated time each week to focus only on Trailhead. Once you start one trail or badge, stick with it until finished.
Eschel Hamel: Find areas of interest and take the time to finish out all the related badges. It helps to focus on specific areas as they generally relate and you can build on what you already learned.
What’s next in your Salesforce journey?
Behzad Habibzai: Passing the Platform Developer I exam, which will involve taking a very long and challenging Trailmix.
Chris Hoffmeyer: Continue learning, and share what I have learned at local user groups and online with our local Success Community, as well as pursuing the Systems Architect domain certification.
Jason Terlizzi: To keep working toward the Application Architect certification.
Eschel Hamel: I plan to tackle some of the more recent Health Cloud and Community Cloud badges that have been released.
Thomas Lentz: I’m excited to tackle more Einstein capabilities within Trailhead and in my Salesforce Journey.