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Salesforce Trailhead Playground launches starter app to help users

The new starter app features tips for new Trailhead Playground users, along with an easier way to install packages from AppExchange and receive login credentials.

Salesforce has launched Trailhead Playground Starter, an application meant to ease users into Salesforce development environments and enable smoother integration to Trailhead Playground.

Salesforce Trailhead was launched in 2014, to provide online tutorials for beginner and intermediate Salesforce users. Users can complete challenges and test and customize Salesforce applications in Trailhead Playground.

The new Playground Starter app launches automatically when Salesforce Trailhead Playground is opened. It provides tips, best practices insights and walk-throughs to help users launch packages and applications in Trailhead, and easy access to login credentials.

"We really believe that learning has to be experiential and hands-on for it to really stick," said Sandeep Bhanot, senior vice president of Trailhead product. "It's great for you to read through text and watch a video, but passive learning can really only get you so far."

Conner Forrest, a senior analyst at 451 Research, said the new app could help fast-track training in Trailhead Playground. "A lot of times, new skills are learned in the downtime of a particular role," he said. "Often, that is not time that is consecutive or regular, so you had to take time off from investing in your own skill set or working on your developer prowess within Salesforce. To be able to come back and have a welcome tab and being able to be launched into some walk-throughs for Salesforce Trailhead Playground, I think is pretty helpful."

Forrest said that the launch was small, but it made a significant impact on how developer skills will be learned and practiced in the sandbox app.

"Anything that simplifies or streamlines the process for allowing users to put new skills into practice is a positive improvement," he said. "Our research shows that one of the main skill development challenges of organizations is the difficulty of putting newly learned skills into practice."

Salesforce has also launched the Trailhead mobile app, a mobile version of Trailhead that allows users to build skills on the go. There is also Trailhead Live, which allows users to sign up for live training. Trailhead Playground Starter is not a part of the mobile app.

Trailhead and Trailhead Playground are free for all users.

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