Learning Latin with Summer ’18

I bet you never thought that a Salesforce release would help you brush up on your Latin skills. But, with just a light sprinkling of creative licence, I hope to set out to prove that to be the case today.

Let’s give you a bit of context. If you’re a proud holder of any Salesforce certification, then it’s worth you knowing that the Summer ’18 release exams are now out.

Riiiiight… OK… Big deal, huh? That’s not the kind of exciting, thought-provoking exclusive splash which usually graces the pages of this esteemed and highly-professional blog (ha!). So why is this round of release exams worthy of note? Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. There doesn’t appear to have been (or at least I haven’t seen) an email announcement that this round of release exams are out. So, if you didn’t already know, you do now.
  2. Summer ’18 is the first release where the maintenance exams for the ‘mass-market’ certs (Admin, Platform App Builder, Platform Developer I) have moved from Webassessor to Trailhead.
  3. That move to Trailhead has brought something a bit different to the release exams this time around.

It’s that last point that I want to focus on, and which will (eventually – trust me) lead us to learning a little Latin.

Take a look at this image of the Platform App Builder maintenance module on Trailhead, and see if you can spot it…

If you didn’t see it immediately, here’s a clue – look in the lower left corner of the image. “Get Hands-on with Flows”. “Hands-on”. Yes! Finally we have a Salesforce release exam that includes in-org challenges to test we can actually make use of features, rather than just testing our ability to search the release notes and read about them.

And while there is some debate about the effects of moving certification to Trailhead, and while we share some of the concerns that you hear out there in the real world, we definitely see this change as being a big benefit. And it’s a benefit to all of us. Now I get to genuinely learn more from my release exams, from experimenting with features and enhancements that I may not have ever encountered in my day job. I get hands-on experience just by maintaining my credential. And surely that means that my credential is more meaningful too.

OK, let’s pause for a little lesson in Latin, to explain what the hell I mean about Summer ’18 helping us to learn this classical language.

Another name for these release exams is ‘maintenance exams’. Think about what that word ‘maintenance’ means in everyday usage. Fixing things, checking things, getting your hands dirty and working on things – in practice, not just in theory.

We can flex our etymological muscles a little bit further here, and with the help of Google, we can see that the verb ‘maintain’ derives from the Old French word ‘maintenir’, which in turn comes from the Latin ‘manu tenere’, meaning ‘hold in the hand’.

Finally, maintenance exams do what they sound like they should do – allow us to get ‘hands-on’ with new Salesforce features.

So there you have it. QED, or quod erat demonstrandum. Summer ’18 helps us not just to learn about new features, but also to practice our Latin at the same time!

Until next time, classical etymology fans!

2 thoughts on “Learning Latin with Summer ’18

  • I agree about Hands-On…but have you gone through the Hands-On for Platform App Builder? In order to pragmatically check the challenge, thing must be named correctly. The bullets for building the Flow are in an particular order that vaguely mentions naming of objects. The first statement is Create a Flow with an sObject Collection variable, name & type…. well is that the name and type of the first component or the sObject variable?

    I have had problems with other hands on challenges due to the wording or even bugs in the names that are being checked. I only worry my credentials will be lost due to similar writing/interpretation/challenge checking scripts.

    Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!

    • Hi Aubrey – thanks for the comment!

      I definitely wouldn’t pay too much attention to the ordering of the bullet points in the challenge description. They are, I believe, deliberately vague in order to make the challenge more…. erm, challenging.

      My advice would be to get the flow working in terms of the user experience first (do you see the expected message when the account does and doesn’t meet the criteria?). When that’s done, you can worry about the minor point about naming conventions.

      Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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