Salesforce have been organising Trailhead Academy Bootcamp events for a while now, usually along with another big event like Dreamforce. It’s several days of focused workshops and training seminars split into tracks targeting a specific group of Salesforce professionals. In the Trailhead branding theme these are knowns as “tracks”. As part of the event there is also usually a chance to take a few exams to earn some certifications.
This time there were a few firsts: bootcamp came to Europe for the first time and there were also tracks available for Architects. I picked both, taking the System Architect track at the event, but attempting exams from the Application Architect track. That means I had to prepare for both the exams ahead of time. I planned to take the bootcamp itself as help with preparing for the remaining exams on my #journeyToCTA.
The full event programme started on Sunday afternoon with the first certification opportunity. I arrived just after lunchtime and since I’ve been to Barcelona a few times before I headed straight to La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou. Bootcamp took place there in Hotel Arts right by the Port Olímpic. My accommodation was just round the corner. Not by chance, I wanted to be very close so that I didn’t have to spend much time getting there each day. Even the 5 minutes proved to be too far in the end. I big thunderstorm with torrential rain came just as I was walking to the hotel and I arrived completely soaked.
My childlike giddiness from all the goodies I got and the general atmosphere of the Salesforce themed decorations helped me relax a bit before the exam itself. It went rather well - Data Architecture and Management Designer - check.
It’s not even 8 am and I’m on site already. Nice breakfast is provided and the hall is starting to fill up with people. Everyone is here today, with those that didn’t join on Sunday altogether about 350 delegates. I even met up with Guiseppe, who I met at Czech Dreamin’ the month before.
Sessions started at 9 and we met our instructor for the next 4 days. Amit Malik has been running various trainings for a very long time, our System Architect was in good hands. His main motto for the week: “I don’t care if you pass your exam, that’s not why we are here. I’ll teach you to think like an architect”.
The first day’s sessions were all about integration terminology and how important common language is. At first it may have seemed a bit superficial, but soon all started to fall into place and the gaps started to fill. Amit really knows what he’s doing.
In the evening we also had an opportunity to get some on-demand advice for exam preparation from various experts in Study Hall. There were not only Salesforce people but also a number of experts from the Trailblazer Community.
Second day we continued in a very similar fashion. In the morning we continued with the topic of integration, really getting into the details various capabilities and patterns at this point. Amit had done a good job making sure everyone was involved, so we ended up discussing various real life examples brought up by us, the students or reinforcing the different concepts with various activities and games.
After lunch we changed focus to the second major topic - identity. Everything started anew, terminology, basic concepts, .. this time without any doubts whatsoever about where it was all going.
Instead of Study Hall the plan was Tuesday night was letting the hair down a little. And in order to do that a whole club was booked up with lots of great food and drinks.
No change again, In the morning we continued with identity and after lunch finally switched to the last topic of the System Architect track: Development Lifecycle.
Salesforce know how to take good care of their delegates. Lunch was always great and served in a fantastic setting.
In the evening the Study Hall was planned again, even if much less crowded this time. I just waiting for Chuck Liddell, who led the Application Architect course and gave me a 10 minute run-down of all things sharing and visibility along with a few more tips for the exam. That gave me peace of mind that my preparations were going in the right direction and I gave myself the rest of the evening off.
It was Catalan National Day and the city was full of people rallying for independence. By the time I was out it died down a lot, but in front of the parliament building there were still going on.
Last day, last two hours of preparations. As expected, many people chose not to attend the morning class and chose to study for different exams on their own. I was getting ready for exams from a different track, but still decided to come to the session and take part in the discussions.
That proved to be quite fruitful. We had a little competition with questions from CTAs, Amit and other students that I managed to win. As prize I got some company for the journey home in the form of Cloudy the Goat mascot.
Then if was finally time for the second exam. After preparing carefully I managed that one without any issues as well, Sharing and Visibility Designer - check. And with that I achieved all that I planned for myself at the bootcamp:
I enjoyed the unique atmosphere and hospitality of a Salesforce Salesforce event, met many interesting people from my industry, got a lot more comfortable with my knowledge and confident about further preparations for the role of System Architect and successfully certified as Application Architect.
All in all a great few days, thank you very much Trailhead Academy.