Not to be missed Developer Content on Trailhead

THLogoOk, I know I work for Trailhead and so I am a little bit biased, but I just have to say that we released some incredibly awesome developer-based content in September. If you are a serious Salesforce developer that has been waiting for some juicy content from Trailhead, I think you will really like what we have out right now. This post highlights my favorites.

Got Slack?

A lot of teams do and they love it. If your team does, wouldn’t it be cool if you could integrate Slack with systems in your own company? Well you can. Using webhooks, you can bring notifications and data in from other systems and build your very own Slack app. You can even use AI services to create your own intelligent Slack bot.

To get started, check out this beginner module, Slack Development Basics. Once you know the basics, you can move on to working through the Build a Welcome Bot for Slack. In that hands-on project, you will use Node SDK’s and the Slack API’s to build a welcome bot that interacts with users that signup to your channel.

What about Heroku?

If you have not been playing around with Heroku, then you are missing out. Seriously! Heroku is such an incredible platform and EVERY Salesforce developer should be looking at how they can work with it to deliver incredible online experiences.

We have two new projects that you need to check out. If you are new to Heroku, then look at Quick Start: Build a Java App on Heroku, which is a simple three step project that will get your feet wet with creating, deploying and scaling a simple Java app on Heroku.

More experienced developers wanting to see a rich end-to-end solution will want to move straight to Develop a Heroku App that Integrates with Salesforce, which walks you through installing the Dreamhouse App to Heroku and then setting up Heroku Connect so that property data is synced both ways between your Salesforce org and Heroku app. You will even see how to implement continuous delivery through Heroku Pipelines and Flow.

Need to know more about JavaScript?

Every Salesforce developer should be trying to enhance their JavaScript skills since the Lightning platform is all about JavaScript. JavaScript Skills for Salesforce Developers is just what you need to learn the key JavaScript skills that you need to take your Visualforce pages and Lightning Components to the next level.

Think you know enough about Unit Testing?

I bet you could learn some more and I know just the module to help. This new module called Unit Testing on the Lightning Platform dives deep into topics such as positive and negative testing, using a mock and a stub, as well as permission-based testing. It even covers testing JavaScript with the Lightning Testing Service.

Finish it all off with Alexa

Ready for some fun? We have a super fun project that uses a new voice platform called Violet to build an Alexa-based app that links back to your Salesforce org. Quick Start: Violet will walk you through setting up an Alexa Skill that lets you plan a game night for your friends.

Have fun!!!




Salesforce Play By Plays on Pluralsight

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 11.24.33 AMMy good friend Don Robins has been hard at work putting together a new series of Play by Play Pluralsight courses that are all about Salesforce development. This is all part of a deliberate attempt by Pluralsight to greatly expand the Salesforce portion of their library. Which, in case you have not noticed, has grown quite a lot in just the past year – with lot’s more good stuff to come.

If you are not familiar with them, courses in the Play by Play series are not your typical Pluralsight courses. They are more of a dialogue or open-end discussion in which the host, Don Robins interviews Salesforce MVP’s about topics they are the most knowledgeable and passionate about. Don does a great job of channeling all the best talk show hosts, as he playfully challenges each MVP, asking all the questions the viewer themself might ask. It is not so much of a “watch me do this” as it is a “so this is why I am thinking of doing this particular thing and here are a few ways I might do it”.

There are currently 4 Play by Play videos available and they cover the following topics:

Moving Visualforce Code to the Lightning UI in Salesforce

Featuring non-profit guru and certified developer and administrator Bonny Hinners, this Play by Play walks you through things to consider when moving your legacy Visualforce code to the new Lightning Experience. This is a topic I also cover in my course and is one that I think many Salesforce developers will be pondering over for years to come.

Managing Data in Salesforce Using Apex

In this Play by Play, Don sits down with Dan Appleman, Salesforce MVP and author of Advanced Apex Programming, to discuss all the gotchas you need to consider when working with data in your org. He will alert you to the common pitfalls that most developers make and lead you towards a better way of approaching your trigger code and unit tests.

Knowing When to Code in Salesforce

This is perhaps one of the most important topics for Salesforce Developers and one that is covered in depth by Don and Salesforce MVP and new Pluralsight superstar, David Liu. David introduces a common scenario and then talks through all the different ways the solution could be achieved. Beginning with custom fields and then moving on to Workflow Rules, Process Builder, Flows, and finally when there are no other options, Apex code.

How to Mobilize Your Salesforce App

Featuring mobile expert and Salesforce MVP, Gaurav Kheterpal, you will learn about all the different ways you can approach mobilizing your Salesforce apps. Starting with the easiest but least flexible alternative, Salesforce1 and then moving on to the more complex, but robust alternatives of going hybrid with the Android or iPhone mobile SDK’s, you will learn the pros and cons of each. Finally, you will learn how to build Hybrid apps, where you get some of the best of native, without all the complexity native brings.

And if you do not already have a Pluralsight subscription, now is the best time to get one (but make sure you hurry): Get up to a $30 Visa gift card when you sign up for Pluralsight by June 30!

Initial Impressions of SalesforceDX

Last year at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s Wade Wegner unveiled a new initiative called SalesforceDX, in which Salesforce promised to make the Version Control System the source of truth and NOT the Salesforce org, as it is now.

SalesforceDX represents a VERY different way of development.

As a former .NET developer, who has long considered the Salesforce tooling to be anything but robust and not in line with some of the more modern development tooling, I was VERY happy to see this new development. I waited anxiously to hear more, and early this year, Salesforce announced it was ready to go into the pilot phase. I immediately signed myself and my company, SynapticAP up and was graciously accepted.

This post represents a summary of some of my initial impressions while being part of the pilot:

  • The team has done a GREAT job of putting together a set of streamlined tools that I think were well thought out and elegantly designed.
  • I see this as something of great interest to ISV partners and large enterprises, but not sure how valuable it would be to small/medium sized orgs with low or simplistic code bases, especially since it will likely be an extra service they will have to pay for.
  • Even though the IDE uses the CLI, or Command Line Interface, it seems to me that the design team intended for you to use the CLI as your primary method of managing your scratch orgs. When SalesforceDX is released, I am sure other third-party IDE’s will jump on to supporting it, and perhaps the visual tooling will get better, but as it is, the IDE does not seem to do everything that the IDE does and I suspect it may always be that way.
  • SalesforceDX represents a VERY different way of development. To be quite frank, Salesforce has been doing things wrong for many years (in terms of modern development standards), but SalesforceDX represents an attempt to remedy that. If you are a developer that has only worked with Salesforce, or you started your career as an Admin and then transitioned to development, you may find SalesforceDX kind of strange at first. This does not mean it is bad, it just may take you longer to adjust to the way things are done with the version control being the source of truth and not the org itself. It represents a shift in thinking about your org, so don’t expect to make this transition overnight. Give yourself some time and eventually things will start to make sense.

I look forward to the eventual release of this product as I am sure it will really help to propel Salesforce development into the next whatever. If you have a chance to work with the pilot or the eventual beta release, feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments.