I often refer to Salesforce.com as “Access on Steroids, in the Cloud” to help communicate some of the underlying data structure abilities and technology. I know that’s not exactly fair, but to set some context, if you are not familiar with what a relational database is or how it works, check out these links:
- Intro to Relational Database Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-bvjtYgRVU
- Relational Databases on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database
- An introduction to cloud computing video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae_DKNwK_ms
- Cloud Computing on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
Getting up to Speed:
- Force.com Fundamentals – This self paced course/exercise guide will cover many important concepts for every Salesforce.com implementation. Data modeling, setting up objects, fields, security, workflow, reports and dashboards. Take your time and follow these exercises. It’ll fuel your thirst for knowledge! – http://wiki.developerforce.com/page/Force_Platform_Fundamentals
- Introduction Training Videos – This free series of training videos covers many of the basics of Salesforce.com Sales Cloud and general best practice (including Chatter and Reporting) – http://www.salesforce.com/services-training/training_certification/online/
- ADM-201 – Administration Essentials – This class builds upon basic platform knowledge to teach how to be a Salesforce Administrator (and covers much of the test content if you want to become certified). Worth it to try to get on your learning plan – http://www.salesforce.com/assets/pdf/datasheets/DS_ADM201.pdf
- Dreamforce – Are you able to go to Dreamforce? A 4-5 day immersion in Salesforce will definitely leave you primed up with hands on training and networking with your peers. This year it is September 18-21. http://www.dreamforce.com
- Premiere Support Onboarding – If your company purchased Premiere Support, you are entitled to use the onboarding video library resources. Talk to your admin or Salesforce Account Executive about using these resources.
Here are some resources to help get you thorough that first milestone Salesforce exam – ADM-201 to gain your certified administrator credential.
- Admin 201 Certification Quiz – http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=salesforce-administration-test-adm201
- ForceCertified.com – Additional links and resources to help pass the next test – http://www.forcecertified.com
- ADM 201 Flashcards – http://www.flashcardmachine.com/adm-201-testquestions.html
- Another Pretty Comprehensive Site – to help pass the test – http://www.adm201.info/
Leveraging the Salesforce Community will greatly accelerate your ability to learn and solve problems. Having connections outside of your company will help you be exposed to a greater number of solutions and Salesforce environments. Getting to know the community is a huge step in improving your mastry of Salesforce.
- All the Salesforce MVP’s on Twitter – You should go here and follow everyone on this list to get great exposure in your Twitter feed to everything Salesforce. If you’re not using Twitter yet, give it a try. Have a question, tweet it out with #Askforce as a hashtag and people will help you. – https://twitter.com/#!/salesforce/community-mvps/members
- Answers Board – Ask your questions here and get free answers by experts – http://success.salesforce.com/answers
- Local Users Groups – Most cities have a Salesforce users group to bring people together to share knowlege and discuss innovative solutions or industry news. http://success.salesforce.com/ideaHome?c=09a30000000D9xyAAC
- Monday AM Admin Blog – Lots of great articles here on how to be a great Salesforce administrator – http://buttonclickadmin.com/
- Salesforce Data Model – http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/api/Content/data_model.htm
- All the Dreamforce Videos from Dreamforce 2011 – http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF11/schedule/sessions/#showdesc=true&sort=a_z&tracks=All&products=All&themes=All&levels=All&cursor=0-
- All the rest of the Salesforce videos in the world – http://www.salesforcechannel.com/
- A search engine for everything Salesforce – http://www.findsf.info/
And there you have it…
These are my favorite resources to recommend to people who are up-and-coming on the platform. Please use these as you will to improve your knowledge of Salesforce and connections to the community. Please bookmark this page and share it with your friends, I will try to keep it updated as I am made aware of improved resources.
Also, if you have any that you’d like to add, please, please, please comment!