Opinion-piece: Not all sources of knowledge are equal

Disclaimer: My personal opinion at the time of writing. Not in any way scientific. Your experience might be different, I might change my opinion in the future, things might change.


I see my job as a Salesforce expert to gather knowledge and apply it. Judging sources of knowledge is one of my key skills. For most of our careers, we are told experience is the most important source of knowledge. During our day to day work, we all rely heavily on it. What we don’t know from experience we try to quickly scan from documentation, some trial, and error, maybe a forum or ask a friend. Time is always an issue, therefore as soon as we get information that works, we move on.

In my opinion, as a Salesforce Architect, you need to change your approach. As an Architect, you are expected to be better than a combination of experience and skimmed documentation. You are expected to be a real master of every topic.

But this means the effort for getting knowledge is considerably higher for an Architect than what you are used to.

In my opinion, there are five elements helpful to become a master for a topic: Experience, Community-Knowledge, Experiments, Documentation, and top 1% of experts.

My ranking of sources of knowledge:

  1. Experience: Weakest
  2. Community knowledge: Weak
  3. Experiment: Strong
  4. Documentation: Stronger
  5. Top 1% experts: Strongest

You might be surprised that I ranked experience the weakest and documentation together with experts the strongest. Following I will show how I came to my conclusion for each source of knowledge.


Experience is in my opinion the weakest form of knowledge since it might be wrong based on many reasons. Community knowledge is slightly stronger but still flawed, outdated, or misleading. Experiments are better but usually take a long time to be done properly. One of the strongest forms is the Salesforce documentation since Salesforce itself makes sure the documentation is accurate. The strongest form is finding a top 1% expert for that particular topic.


Example question:

What Licensed do you need to use Work Orders?


The experience from a project last year is that the Work Order object is part of the Field Service Lightning package. Outside of Field Service Lighting you never saw the Work Order Object

Your conclusion from your experience is that Work Order is part of Field Service Lightning.

Experience is weakest because your sources of knowledge are limited, the information might be outdated or it was done wrong in the past. The value of your experience can vary widely from “I guess” to “I’m pretty sure”. For certain areas, your experience might be higher than average community knowledge

Community knowledge

You check the Salesforce forums with your question around Work Orders and find conflicting information. Some people tell you it’s part of Field Service Lighting, some say it’s available for every License.

You conclude that the community is not sure about it. This didn’t help you much.

Community knowledge is weak for the same reason as experience, it can be old or plain wrong. It’s slightly stronger than experience since the sources of knowledge are from a bigger group of people. 


You create a new Service-Cloud 30-day trial org, enterprise edition. In the org, you enable Work Orders and create a Standard user. Logged in as the Standard user you are able to access the Work Order object.

You conclude that the Work Order object is also available for Service Cloud users. You need to repeat that experiment with a few more editions to be completely sure.

Experiment knowledge is strong since you can try and see yourself. Be aware that your experiments can be flawed especially when done in Dev Orgs.


You check the documentation on the Work Order. You find the sentence “If you don’t have a Field Service add-on license, you just see an option to enable work orders, which is on by default.”

This allows you to conclude that Work Orders are part of every Salesforce Edition.

Documentation is stronger than most other sources since the Salesforce documentation is almost always right. Salesforce spends a lot of time and effort on creating great documentation. But not all documentation is equal. Trailhead and help.salesforce.com are very reliable, blog posts or official but old documents might be outdated. There are rare cases where even the official help documentation is wrong or outdated. In doubt, combine documentation with experiments

Top 1% experts:

After long research, you contact the product owner of Service-Cloud herself. She confirms that the Work Order object itself is part of the Service-Cloud license.

For certain areas, there are certain “Top 1% experts”. This knowledge is the strongest since they usually combine all other areas of expertise. These experts are rare and often only experts for certain areas. This is the strongest but also hardest to get by source of knowledge.