Trailhead + Formulas = Admin Love


I’ve been a huge fan of Trailhead since its early days, and I’m a really big nerd about formulas. I believe that formulas are an admin’s true superpower. Simple ones are approachable for even the most beginner admin, but you can also solve complex business needs if you get a bit fancier. Want to know a contact’s next birthday so you can automatically send them a greeting? Want to prevent edits to a record only under certain circumstances? You can do all of these and more with some complex formulas!

Salesforce loves to invite involved community members to contribute to new projects and content, so when I got the chance to help craft a new Trailhead module to help admins level up their formula superpowers, of course I said YES! With several years of formula-building adventures under my belt, I got together with some other MVPs, community rockstars, and the Salesforce Docs team to brainstorm all our best practices and top tips.

We talked about our common (and not-so-common) uses for basic business logic and formula fields, tricks for making formula compile size shorter, how to approach doing complex math in formula fields, how best to apply formula knowledge to Validation Rules, how to use spacing and line breaks to make your formulas easier to read, and more.

We also had a great discussion sharing our most common formula blunders: battling with nested parentheses, mixing up Date and DateTime data types, dealing with leap years, parsing picklists, forgetting that final “else” argument in a CASE() function…nobody’s perfect! We all struggle to get to that magical green “No Syntax Errors” message some days!

The biggest debate? AND() vs &&, of course! (Team && all the way!)

This nerd-tastic meeting of the minds was the first step toward a new Trailhead badge for Advanced Formulas! Special thanks to Brian Trimboli from Salesforce Docs for writing an incredible module.

Here are my top three reasons you should go get this new badge RIGHT NOW:

Flex your Superpowers at Work

How often do you get a request that you think could be solved by a formula, but it seems too complicated to tackle? Don’t give up! You’re an #AwesomeAdmin! You’re a superhero! Superheroes don’t back down! Level up your skills so you can confidently address complex business requirements with formulas.

Peek into the Programming Rabbit Hole

Complex formulas are a great way to learn programmatic thinking without actually coding. Sussing out the logic behind a formula field or Validation Rule is exactly the kind of thinking developers use to write code. If this or this, then that, but if not, this other thing and this other thing. Being comfortable with these kind of statements is a great step toward understanding the basics of programmatic thinking you’ll need if you ever decide to tackle code. And even if you don’t ever tackle code, you’ll be more comfortable and confident talking to your Developer Friend. (You do have one, right?)

Channel Your Inner SteveMo

Have you seen some of the amazing formulas Steve Molis (SteveMo) comes up with on the Success Community? Steve has a true talent for taking business requirements and turning them into powerful, complex, elegant formulas. Now with the skills you’ll learn in this new Advanced Formulas badge, you’ll be able to write complex formulas too! Impress yourself! Slay those nested parentheses!

Check out the Advanced Formulas badge on Trailhead today!


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