Getting the Most From the #Salesforce Community

I’m often asked in comments or through my contact me page how to learn more about Salesforce. My number one recommendation is to get involved in the community. The Salesforce community is one of the most active I’ve ever experienced in all my years in IT. Salesforce users are passionate about the product, and are willing to help others get the most of it. This post shares some of the ways I’ve been involved.

Asking Questions: There are a lot of places you can ask for help. You get the best results when you ask the questions correctly. Here are my tips for writing a question that will get a good answer:

  1. Do your research first. Use the custom Google search at findsf.info to search blogs, help docs and other Salesforce resources. Chances are you’re not the first person to come across the problem.
  2. Show the research you’ve done in the question. For example, you might say, “I found this blog post at www.awesomesalesforcestuff.com, and it is close, but is missing a couple of points.” People are more willing to answer your question if you show you’ve done your homework and aren’t just trying to get someone else to do your work for you.
  3. Include screen shots whenever possible. Screen shots provide context that is hard to convey with words. If you have an error message, include the entire message and the steps you took to duplicate the error.
  4. Write in complete sentences. I can’t tell you how hard it is to read some of the questions out there!

Answering Questions: Once you’ve gained a bit of experience, start answering some of the questions. Again, make sure your answers are high quality. Don’t go for quantity. Select a few ones you are really comfortable with answering and provide a great answer. Your reputation will grow as you continue to provide really good answers. If you don’t know the answer, try to do some research of your own. You can learn a lot by trying to figure things out.

Answers: This is the official community at https://success.salesforce.com/answers. This is one of the best places to get your configuration, formulas, and other “button-click” questions answered.

StackExchange: This Q&A site at http://salesforce.stackexchange.com/ is less than a year old, but has some great answers

Twitter: Perhaps my favorite for quick questions. Use the #askforce hashtag to get in front of a bunch of people ready to answer your questions. Twitter also provides some great interactions with other Salesforce users. Start out by following the Salesforce MVPs. They are a great group if I do say so myself!

There are plenty of other places to participate, but those would be my top three haunts. Hope to see you out there!