So I was reading through this question and it made me wonder some more about what makes a Trailhead question off topic.

Trailhead Apex Superbadge || INVALID_FIELD_FOR_INSERT_UPDATE, cannot specify Id in an insert call: [Id]

I think it crosses the line in that it posts basically an end-to-end solution (that's not working) and then seeks feedback. From 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 Question are not acceptable and will be deleted.

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.

I think this question falls in a bit of a grey area based on the phrasing used above. But I do not think it clearly violates the spirit of the message: we should not interfere with our users' personal learning experience. Anyone googling about how to solve this Trailhead module will now find this mostly complete solution.

  • Worth noting that I think the answer is perfectly appropriate, but the question has serious issues.
    – Adrian Larson Mod
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 13:07

2 Answers 2


It's an unfortunate situation and I agree with you that it was a valid question that merited an answer to a specific problem the user was having with his code.

Perhaps the code in that question can be edited to remove the unnecessary details that provide the complete solution (including deletion of his test class since the issue was with his base code). Edited to add, that's exactly what I have done. I hope others agree with this solution. The user's issue is solved and the offending static variable is still visible. Only the framework of his solution remains.

With that having been said, complete or nearly complete solutions are frequently provided as answers in the Developer Forums; primarily to "buggy" or poorly written modules. However, with a "Super Badge", I'd really hate to see solutions to those posted anywhere and most definitely not on SF.SE.


I wanted to add that we had a very lengthy discussion in Responding to Trailhead Challenge Questions that led to the wording you've quoted in your OP after the first question or two was posted here asking for help with a trailhead challenge. It's a fine line to draw between excluding questions related to Trailhead and letting people know that we're not going provide complete solutions as answers.

What was unique about this particular question is that it was essentially already a nearly complete solution that just needed a minor tweak in order to "fix" it. With most questions that are asked, with a few exceptions, it's usually a case of where the user hasn't looked at the documentation that's referenced by the module. Perhaps this a "heads up" to us that we need to be watching for questions that are asked in general and editing them after resolution to remove irrelevant code that provides too much information.

I can think of a few modules that were very poorly written initially or were very buggy when released where that wasn't the case. That said, SF.SE really isn't the place to be asking about those when that's the situation. There's the Trailhead Group on the Success Community and of course the Developer Forum's Trailhead Section where the "right people" (like Jeff Douglass) are there watching to help address those issues.

Unless you've already gone through a particular module you wouldn't be aware these issues exist or know what the workaround for them is. What you've quoted was essentially a compromise that allowed Trailhead questions to be asked, but prevented complete solutions to challenges from being posted in answers. Perhaps what's currently written should be edited to include that "the best place to ask questions about Trailhead" is either of the two locations I've referred to above for precisely the reasons I've just cited?

  • 4
    I was fairly careful with my answer to just target the actual problem with the use of static. I think that removing the content that isn't specific to the problem should be sufficient. Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 0:01
  • @DanielBallinger Right I think you took appropriate action here. I think the asker was somewhat in error.
    – Adrian Larson Mod
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 4:22
  • 1
    Thanks, guys. I'm pleased you agree with my being proactive on this. That's part of what self-moderation of this forum is supposed to be about. No need to have to wait for Matt or Samuel to take action (apologies, but I don't know if @Metadaddy is still active or not since I've not seen him here in a very long time).
    – crmprogdev
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 13:18
  • good answer and worthy of our newest MVP :-)
    – cropredy
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 19:28
  • 2
    Does anyone else agree that we should take a harder line on questions related to superbadges? They're not certifications, but they are being treated as such and it's probably for people's own benefit to not have specific help with them. In this case it sounds like the question's specific issue was valid, but should have been reimagined.
    – Matt Lacey Mod
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 3:44
  • 1
    @LaceySnr I certainly do! You're very much on target about people viewing them as something just shy of a certification. In that context, it "cheapens" their value if solutions are posted. Some might even say one shouldn't need help at all, but I'm not going to go quite that far. I do agree though that if you're able to earn the badge, you would presumably have the skills & knowledge to "reimagine" the issue you're having & not need to post the specifics of the code from the challenge. Then again, that might imply you'd also have the skills to debug & solve the issue yourself. ;)
    – crmprogdev
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 17:02
  • @lacey Well now they are certifications, sort of!
    – Adrian Larson Mod
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 9:26

If you ask me, the appropriate thing to do is to remove mentioning of Trailhead and Superbadges from the question.

If it is a legitimate question about why a specific bit of code does not work, why does it matter that it came from Trailhead? Think of the way you would ask a question about a coding problem where the project was related to something sensitive in your company that you were not permitted to share. Same thing here, if you ask me.

The spirit of Superbadges is inspired by the same spirit that people use when taking the Advanced Developer programming assignment. As an early contributor to Superbadges (I wrote the POC for that scenario) and as a person who has been a judge for Adv Dev Cert, I would hate to see the solution being given away. Maybe the compromise is to take the mentioning of Trailhead and Superbadges completely out of it.

There is a lot of effort put into Superbadges, and giving enough information in the scenario, getting the wording right, making it difficult enough, but still attainable...all of those things are not trivial (as many have experienced it is easy to get wrong). So giving away the answer on SFSE is potentially throwing a lot of effort of the Trailhead team down the drain.

Still, if it is a legitimate problem, I hate the idea of standing in the way of helping someone learn from a mistake.

Could we add some language/guidance to the "How to ask" topic to the effect of:

If you have a legitimate problem with your code in Trailhead that otherwise fits in SFSE, please remove any reference to Trailhead (including specific custom object, class, and method names in your code), and ask it in the same way you would ask a question about code that is sensitive to your business.

Just a thought.

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    The only problem being how often the 'How to Ask' seems to be ignored by questioners and it will also need policing for the tags on the questions to avoid any 'trailhead' or 'superbadge' topics being added.
    – Dave Humm
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 15:28
  • 2
    Yes, but at least the guidance is there to point people to. Honestly I don't see that there will be many of these, but important to agree on the best way to address it when it does come up.
    – pchittum
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 6:58

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