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I've noticed that we're beginning to get questions asking for help on solving Trailhead Challenges. I'm more than a bit uncomfortable giving the solutions to those questions for two reasons:

  1. There are links to resources that provide the material needed for people to solve those problems on their own. Most don't seem to have even bothered to follow any of those links to look at them before posting here. In that sense, I don't feel as though they meet our criteria.

  2. There's also a new Forum in the Salesforce Community that's dedicated to supporting Trailhead, both with technical issues and solutions with the challenges.

  3. Finally, because these Challenges are somewhat akin to taking an unmonitored certification test, it somehow seems inappropriate to me for us to post answers to the Challenge questions here on SF.SE.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue. As a final thought, do we want to create a Trailhead Tag for these questions?

  • 2
    btw. I've won a t-shirt for completing some modules. That was a nice motivation :) – Sergej Utko Feb 16 '15 at 13:51
  • I saw the incentive but had other priorities. As it is now, I have plenty of SF T-shirts that I can't say I wear. – crmprogdev Feb 16 '15 at 16:10
  • Not all of us have gone through Trailhead. I personally would not be likely to recognize a question as such and may answer it anyway. – Adrian Larson Mar 26 '15 at 16:29
  • @AdrianLarson I've not gone through a lot of Trailhead myself (2 badges at most). Most of the questions seem to generally refer to Trailhead and the specific challenge. I doubt you'll find yourself answering questions about Trailhead where it wasn't obvious that's what you were being asked about. In fact, if it's phrased in such a way that it's not related to a specific TH challenge, I have no issues with it being asked and answered. – crmprogdev Mar 26 '15 at 16:53
25

I think these need to be treated like other homework questions; I'd be happy to explain the concepts behind the questions (the "Why does it work like this?") but would downvote/close any looking posts for a quick solution.

  • 4
    I'm familiar with the concept of homework. For some, Trailhead may become a new means of establishing themselves as having some competency on the platform, so providing direct answers to homework rather than helping them figure out how to solve it themselves, doesn't benefit the community. – crmprogdev Feb 16 '15 at 16:07
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    Agreed. We need to be careful since some companies are already using it for internal training/qualifying. – Mike Chale Feb 16 '15 at 17:56
  • Mike, since this could turn into an extended discussion before it gets resolved, I think it would definitely be helpful to explain the concept of homework and with "homework" that relates to what we know are standard test exam questions. – crmprogdev Feb 17 '15 at 14:08
18

What's below are my suggestions for language to use to deter inappropriate Trailhead questions that we can include in some form in our Help Center section on asking questions which makes it clear to users not to expect direct answers to Trailhead content questions.

I would propose we establish a policy with regard to Trailhead Questions to be added to our Help Center > Asking sections as follows.

Specifically, under the section "What topics can I ask about here?"

Trailhead: Questions asking for assistance with finding resources to answer specific Trailhead Questions or for help resolving issues with Trailhead DE Orgs are welcome. Questions asking for a direct answer to a Trailhead Challenge are not acceptable and will be deleted.

Under "What types of questions should I avoid asking?"

Questions directly asking for the solution to specific Trailhead Challenges are not permitted and will be deleted.

Although I can't say exactly where (someplace in Asking I'd expect), I think we should also state the following in the Help Center:

Trailhead is intended to demonstrate your capabilities on an independent basis. As a Community SF.SE wants to demonstrate its support for the purity of that cause by not interfering with your personal learning experience.

Note: I didn't see where anything could easily be incorporated into a Help Center > Answering section, however, if questions are quickly killed when asked, that would seem to be a moot issue.

  • 2
    Sounds good to me. Will wait for a bit more consensus before I go edit it in. – metadaddy Mar 3 '15 at 4:39
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    I like it, one thing to be wary of is killing questions too quickly for people who are obviously new to the platform, but as always that's a tricky topic in itself. I like the wording and am happy to go with this. – Matt Lacey Mar 3 '15 at 4:46
  • Thank you gentlemen. As I hope you can see, I put some time and thought into it before posting it as my answer to the question. – crmprogdev Mar 3 '15 at 4:59
  • Yes, definitely a well thought-through and constructed question and answer. I think yours and the other answers clearly show the balance we can persue when it comes to trailhead and supporting it in our community. – Samuel De Rycke Mar 3 '15 at 8:42
  • Please note the edit I've made changing "Trailhead Question" to "Trailhead Challenge" to be consistent with the terminology used by Trailhead. I discovered that recently while completing 2 badges and have started working on a 3rd module. ;) – crmprogdev Mar 3 '15 at 19:22
  • Looks like What topics can I ask about here? is the only page that is editable on a site-by-site basis, so I updated it with your first and last paragraphs. Job done? – metadaddy Mar 6 '15 at 3:57
  • @metadaddy, Looks great to me! I think it spells out the Forum's policy on Trailhead questions clearly and succinctly. Thank you for the support. – crmprogdev Mar 6 '15 at 17:26
15

I was surprised recently when my first attempt at passing the Manipulating Records with DML challenge failed. Not meaning to blow my own trumpet, but I thought I was more than capable of creating a static method to insert a new Account with a given name and return null if there was a problem.

The only message I got back from the challenge was:

Challenge not yet complete... here's what's wrong: Executing the 'insertNewAccount' method failed. Either the method does not exist, is not static, or does not insert the proper account.

After a bit of investigation, I found that my Dev org had hit the storage limit and was throwing STORAGE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED DmlExceptions.

I've put some notes about the experience together in Troubleshooting Salesforces Trialheads execution of Developer Edition org code.

I suspect that a person just starting out with Salesforce would have struggled to find the cause of such a failure. They would need to know how to capture the debug log and then find the applicable line.

Would we be able to help with these sort of technical problems here? Maybe.

I totally agree that we shouldn't be posting answers to Trialhead challenges. It kind of defeats the purpose of the user learning Salesforce.

  • I think that will be useful, but suspect it doesn't compare with the kind of database that SF Support already has on hand to refer to help with these issues which aren't available to us. – crmprogdev Feb 18 '15 at 23:07
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    For sure. Still, sometimes it's good to have some options to help yourself while you are waiting for support. – Daniel Ballinger Feb 19 '15 at 1:31
7

I agree with others here - I think providing direct answers somewhat defeats the purpose of the questions and trailhead badges. Instead maybe just pointing the user to where they can get more info on the topic would be useful. Learning where to find the info/how-to for your salesforce questions is part of becoming a better salesforce developer/admin.

  • That in itself can be part of what's so aggravating about many of the questions I see! Each section of Trailhead has an area labeled "Resources". The question that led to my posting this, referenced one of those links which actually held the answer to his question and there were two more references he could have looked at too! I quoted the part of the page that should have worked for him and haven't heard from him since. – crmprogdev Feb 18 '15 at 23:16
7

I think we should not provide direct answers however, if a user is stuck somewhere we should be able to help him/her.

  • And Yes we should need a tag trailhead for this – C0DEPirate Mar 18 '15 at 12:21
4

Apart from general guidance on not giving explicit answers, which I fully support, I would ask that folks encourage others to offer up feedback in the developer forums for Trailhead. I have already made a few fixes to existing challenges based on feedback I have had there.

So if it is a question of the wording of the challenge not being clear or helpful, please help us make it better.

  • Excellent point Peter! Thanks for sharing it. Too bad there isn't a mechanism for doing the same on the certification exams. ;) – crmprogdev Mar 13 '15 at 12:36
  • There is always a feedback field in certification exams...it is just hard to remember after you click submit. ;-) – pchittum Mar 13 '15 at 17:32
  • Yes, I know there's the feedback, but it doesn't necessarily get the question thrown out of your exam. Some are incredibly obtuse and in my opinion don't really test one's knowledge of the platform but instead their ability to take tests. But, I'm wandering rather far off-topic. – crmprogdev Mar 13 '15 at 17:58
  • Having been a reviewer several times, of both Dev and Adv Dev, I take that to heart...and have been responsible for getting a few of those obtuse questions changed or removed. But you're right...veering off topic. :-) – pchittum Mar 13 '15 at 22:42

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