How Trailhead stays weird with Lauren Grau & Dana Hall
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking to a couple of original members of Team Trailhead: Lauren Grau and Dana Hall. Lauren does all of the fantastic marketing for bigger campaigns on Team Trailhead, and Dana is (as many of you know) the Twitter voice of Team Trailhead.
Join us as they give us an inside look into Team Trailhead: how they got to Salesforce, the things they work on and how the Trailhead community has changed their lives. We’ll also hear about “Trailheart” and what admins can do to “keep Trailhead weird.”
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Lauren Grau and Dana Hall.
The journey to Salesforce.
Both Dana and Lauren came from non-profit backgrounds before landing at Salesforce.
As Lauren explains, “a friend who worked at Salesforce told me about a job opportunity on the developer marketing team. A week later, I had a job at Salesforce. I ended up being part of the team that founded Trailhead in 2014.”
When asked to describe Trailhead to someone who’s never heard of it, Lauren says,
“Trailhead is the fun way to learn Salesforce. But first, you’d have to know a bit about what Salesforce is. Luckily we have a trail for that. Navigate the Salesforce Advantage is a great trail to teach people what Salesforce is. Basically, Trailhead is our e-learning platform that’s designed to teach everyone — whether you’re a developer, admin or end user — about the Salesforce culture, product, and company.”
Witnessing the love fest that is the Trailblazer community.
“The community helped get Trailhead to where it is today, with their energy and enthusiasm. We’re really proud of our Trailhead community. We call them Trailblazers because these are people who are carving out a path for themselves and reaching a hand back to help others,” says Lauren.
Dana agrees, adding that she sees “an amazing organic community that I’ve come into and that I’m happy to help foster online, especially on Twitter. It’s amazing to see people who have never met answer questions and supporting each other.”
The community aspect has had an enormous impact on Lauren. She shares, “I didn’t always feel that one-on-one connection with my work, but with Trailhead, every day we’re hearing stories from Trailblazers about how having access to education and tech skills has changed their lives.”
Keep Trailhead weird.
Trailhead is anything but a boring corporate training program, hence, the slogan, “keep Trailhead weird.” Dana says, “it’s the idea of keeping what makes Trailhead special, especially as you become more popular, you can lose what made you popular in the first place. Trailhead is so successful because it’s valuable content that is well written with hands-on elements that are fun and that people find addictive in the most positive way. As the team grew, we wanted to make sure we didn’t lose our special sauce.”
“It’s all about keeping that offbeat nature and the willingness to try something new, different and not settle for the status quo. Also, keeping it real. We have a saying: Trailheart,” says Lauren.
Tapping into Trailheart.
“Trailhead has really helped me learn the history and culture of Salesforce. It’s also really helped me feel like a better employee,” says Dana.
As Dana points out, “it’s not hard to get people to understand the value of Trailhead. The real kicker is figuring out how to help people find the time and motivation. This is something we really want to figure out.”
Changing the way people learn.
We asked Dana and Lauren: if they had a time machine and could go forward 20 years, what would they like to have accomplished? They hope to change the way people learn and access education. As Dana shares, “having Salesforce skills and literacy for the Salesforce platform is a necessary business skill, like knowing how to type or use email. In 20 years, I hope it will be taken for granted as something we had to endeavor to teach.”
We want to get your suggestions for guests on the podcast, and we need your help! So tweet your guest suggestions and support to @SalesforceAdmns to help us get more Awesome Admins on the podcast.
We want to remind you that if you love what you hear, or even if you don’t head on over to iTunes and give us a review. It’s super easy to do, and it really helps more Admins find the podcast. Plus, we would really appreciate it.