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Hiking the Trailhead Path – One Higher Ed Admin’s Journey

By October 14, 2015

By: Jace Bryan, Strategic Enrollment Analyst at Texas A&M University-Commerce, @JaceBryan_

TrailheadIf you’ve ever watched the movie Wild you will appreciate the importance of understanding your environment, having the necessary equipment to survive, and being able to document your progress so others can follow your path. You will also understand what it means to sit on the edge of your bed, crying your eyes out all while trying to find the remote under a pile of Kleenex. At least that was my experience watching this movie. I may have even suffered from Emotional Facebook Posting Syndrome (EFPS) 10 minutes after the movie ended telling the world that I was going to hike the Pacific Coast Trail just like Reese Witherspoon. I think I got 1 or 2 likes and 1 post saying I should go for it and another asking if I knew Reese Witherspoon had never hiked the PCT. Never involve social media when emotional – it just confuses people. But I digress…

Recently I had my own wilderness experience while hiking the Trailhead Path. While no crying was involved (at least not enough to induce EFPS) I will say that what I found I had been doing in regards to earning my Trailhead badges was enough for me to seek out knowledge and guidance from seasoned hikers. The responses I received from the Trailhead User Group Community (in both the Power of US Hub and Success Community) as well as from the Girlforce User Group Community (Power of US Hub) in order to overcome this obstacle was amazing.

But before I tell you my story I want to be sure I do a proper introduction to what Trailhead is and how I use it to support my knowledge of Salesforce within the arena of Higher Education.

Trailhead is an awesome interactive training initiative to drive user adoption and understanding of the Salesforce platform through the use of modules and projects and the awarding of badges. It’s like a pick your own adventure! You pick what you want to learn about. You test yourself through a hands-on challenge. And you earn badges based on what you’ve learned. The best part is there is an entire Trailhead Community surrounding the initiative!

Higher EducationI use Trailhead at Texas A&M University-Commerce not only for career path progression (Salesforce Admin to Developer Super Hero!) but also to support my users understanding of the platform. In fact – a few folks I know have begun using Trailhead to develop in-house training guides for use at their companies! What a great way to help your constituents continually invest in themselves!

Now to my story…

When I first began hiking the THP (Trailhead Path) I thought I knew everything I needed to know in order to earn badges. I even had a checklist:
Hiking the Trailhead Path

  1. Read the Trailhead FAQ,
  2. Create a Developer instance dedicated just to Trailhead activities,
  3. Use the Trailhead Forum when you run into issues, and
  4. Post to the Trailhead User Group(s) as needed. Piece of cake!

So far I had 19 badges on my sash and my eagerness and enthusiasm to make it over the next ridge and into the Developer Trail – Beginner module was awe-inspiring. Heck I had even journeyed into the caves of Lightning and came out the other side without being struck! I was on a roll.

Then one day I logged into Trailhead and noticed ALL MY BADGES WERE GONE!!! After about 15 minutes of FREAKING OUT I realized what had happened. I hadn’t signed into Trailhead using my Developer login – I had signed in using my Production login. Ok Whew!! Problem solved! But wait a minute, I asked myself…

Hiking the Trailhead Journey

  • How will others be able to see my progresses if my hard earned Badges are not tied to my production login? Crap!
  • I wonder if there is a way to migrate my badges from my dedicated Trailhead developer org to my Production org?

Quickly I sent out emergency flairs via posts to the Trailhead User Group and the Girlforce User Group as I knew this was a valid emergency and those trailblazers would have a solution – or at least a direction in which to point my compass. After all, Trailhead badges are a great way to demonstrate that you are dedicating time and energy to learning the Salesforce platform and also a great way to show off your skills to potential employers. And surely I couldn’t be the only one stuck… Could I?

FlaresA few moments after shooting off my emergency flairs I saw the flairs of several other THP hikers which signaled to me that they too had this issue. Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone and was joyful to have the support of other folks hiking the Trailhead Path. Solutions came pouring in through both Groups thus enabling those of us that were stuck to continue on with an interim solution tucked safely away in our rucksacks.

The solution provided was simple enough and I’ve documented the instructions that were given to me by Salesforce MVP Beth Breisnes in the Hub below:

  1. Log into with the account you want your badges associated with. (No badges will display, but stick with me…)
  2. Go to a challenge you know you’ve already completed in your Dev Org. (All challenges will look incomplete at this point, but stick with me…)
  3. Click the orange “Connect to your Developer Edition” button and enter the Dev Org credentials for the org where you ALREADY completed the challenge.
  4. Click the green “Check Challenge” button.
  5. Repeat 2-4 for each challenge on a badge that you already had.
  6. Voila! This Trailhead login now has the badge!

I have been informed by seasoned THP hikers that the steps above work with everything BUT the multiple choice check challenges (the 100 point ones). Additionally, THP hikers have indicated that this solution is not preferred as it is a very time consuming process but are hopeful that better ways of solving THP hiker’s problems will be put into place or prevented all together.

When you’re hiking the Trailhead Path there is no “I” – there is only “WE”. WE can make it to base camp! See you there.