From Day 1, ServiceNow has really been at the forefront of making it easy for users to access information and learn about the platform. Remember when it was a radical idea to put your product documentation online for the whole world to see? Yet, open, online documentation like the Wiki has been a hallmark of ServiceNow’s user-first philosophy from the very beginning.
As the user-base has grown, many more corners of the Internet have appeared where anyone can find great information about the platform, both technical, process-related, and business-centric.
Here’s a list we compiled at Stave recently to serve as one of the feeders of our internal knowledge base. In the true spirit of a user-first philosophy, we’re sharing it with all of you.
1. Slack ServiceNow Dev Channel
Slack has taken the world by storm with its mission to cut back on our email usage and get us to “inbox zero.” It’s a highly-scalable chat application that’s incredibly enjoyable to use. You can use it internally in your organization (like we do at Stave) and you can have public or semi-public channels to communicate with anyone.
The sndevs channel is a popular place for developers to hang out — probably while building things in an instance — and chat. The community there is very receptive to answering quick questions about everything from Glide scripting to finding the appropriate sys_id for a lookup. One caution; this is a highly technical group and you might find the conversations to be confusing if you are a beginner with the platform.
The channel requires an invitation, which you can request by going to http://snowslack.herokuapp.com/.
Once you’re in, either use one of the native Slack clients, or point your browser to sndevs.slack.com
2. ServiceNow Subreddit
Reddit is a massively popular online forum with thousands of communities, called “subreddits”, that each revolve around a given topic. Users can add to the forum by making “posts” and other users can contribute to the conversation by commenting on each post’s threaded comments section. Reddit has also game-ified their experience by allowing users to “up vote” or “down vote” posts. This affects the list ranking of the posts and comments, but also provides the author with artificial Internet points known as “karma”.
Of course, there’s a subreddit for ServiceNow at www.reddit.com/r/servicenow. You’ll find the content here is great for beginners and those just starting out as ServiceNow users. You’ll need to register for a Reddit account to post or comment, and be wary of venturing outside this subreddit while you’re at work due to some of the other content in the forums.
Github is a popular hosted code repository — a place where coders can upload, store, track, and share their code. It’s really a SaaS offering around the version control application, “Git”, which was developed by the same hacker who created the Linux operating system. With Github, anyone can upload and store open-source code to share with the world. Starting with the Helsinki release in 2016, ServiceNow even has a built-in Git source-control integration.
Being able to view and download other people’s code is a great way to learn and there’s a bunch of ServiceNow projects available, both from the company and members of the community.
Simply visit https://github.com/servicenow in the browser to get starting navigating through the projects and source code.
Since Github is a community, you can reach out to the original developers with questions, and even ask to “fork” their project and contribute some code yourself.
If you know where the name of this site comes from, you probably have already visited it. StackOverflow is a site dedicated to asking and answering questions about coding. Users post snippets of their code and ask others where the problems lie. Other users answer for both true altruism purposes and to gain a reputation as a knowledgeable professional. Any computer-related topic and programming language you can think of is represented on the site, as are whole solutions such as Android and ServiceNow.
There’s no single landing page for everything related to the platform on StackOverflow, so you’ll have to search for specifics on what you’re looking for, or look for “tags” matching your topic.
Start out with: http://stackoverflow.com/search?q=servicenow and http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/servicenow to see what others have already asked and answered.
4. LinkedIn Groups
If you’re looking for ServiceNow resources that are less-technical and more business-oriented, the professional networking site, LinkedIn, is a great place to start. There are currently nearly 80 specialty groups related to ServiceNow where you can join, ask questions, and network with other professionals.
I recommend investigating “ServiceNow” and “ServiceNow Professionals” as they have combined about 15,000 members. But don’t stop there; there are groups specific to geographic location that are often very helpful as you might actually work with and know the members.
ServiceNow Professionals (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2645236)
5. The Official Community Site
ServiceNow has an official community site that’s run and curated by a dedicated corporate team. On the Community, you first define your profile and set preferences based on what aspects of ServiceNow interest you. This can range from the most in-depth technical discussions to C-level strategy on how your organization is transforming service delivery for your enterprise.
I find the best and most-active areas of the Community are the Fors and the Blog areas, and there’s some great information in each.
As you get more-involved, there are special programs available to community members, like the Advocate and Experts Programs, and the ability to write guest blog posts.
Visit: https://community.servicenow.com to register with a ServiceNow Account.
6. The Developer Site
It turns out there are many ServiceNow users out there who want to actually work in the platform and build things when they’re not at work — they genuinely enjoy using this enterprise software solution so much, they do so on the their own accord. Can you even imagine this happening with another enterprise tool?
In order to give the people what they wanted, ServiceNow introduced a citizen developer program and dedicated site. Not only does this site provide training and documentation materials to learn ServiceNow, for free, if you’re enrolled in the developer program, you can get your own personal ServiceNow instance to use, for free.
Check out the tutorials, lessons, and API documentation and use them all as reference material as you work in your private developer instance.
Apply at https://developer.servicenow.com and register using your ServiceNow Account.
7. ServiceNow’s Champion Enablement Program
Remember that scene in, “The Matrix”, where the technician that worked with the artificial virtual world so much that all he saw was “1’s” and “0’s” and understood intuitively what was happening under the hood to render what the average person saw? That happened to me with ServiceNow. I didn’t see “Incident forms” or “Change Requests”, I saw the data, workflows, Business Rules, and Client Scripts that were making it happen. I realized then that everything IT flavored in the tool could just as easily be anything else to manage data-centric applications, and do everything any other CRM, HRIS, or ERP could do…but better.
Has that happened to you? Do you totally “get” ServiceNow as a platform and realize how it much more the platform could do for you and your enterprise? Does it sometimes frustrate you that other people in your company don’t “get” it the same way?
Turns out,ServiceNow can help. There’s a complete Champion Enablement program available to advocates to help spread the word. The program provides free materials like guides, templates, and posters to champions at a company that are invested in the success of their use of ServiceNow.
There are over 80 free resources available from this self-service center ranging from topics from go-live communication, to running ServiceNow as a program, to getting help on communicating your ServiceNow success to the enterprise. Both users at a customer account and partners are eligible.
Visit the Champion Center at https://community.servicenow.com/community/champion-enablementto get started, and if you need help email email@example.com.
8. The Wiki
I would be remiss to not talk about the Wiki — ServiceNow’s original home for all online documentation. (While it’s currently being replaced by the new docs.servicenow.com, the Wiki will always be near and dear to me and remains a powerhouse of knowledge.)
Powered by the same platform as the actual Wikipedia online encyclopedia, the Wiki includes articles and images about ServiceNow made by both the company and the community. Articles could be linked to one another, edits could be suggested, and whole pages could be exported for print. The Wiki is where many of us cut our teeth learning this platform and I fathom to contemplate how many collective hours have been spent on that site.
I always felt ServiceNow and YouTube have been on a similar path. They both were released at roughly the same time, are terrific examples of great SaaS applications, and absolutely changed the way we work. (Remember when we writing AR System code while watching a VHS movie rented from Blockbuster?)
From the early days of each platform there have been ServiceNow videos on YouTube. These have ranged from live demos, to HOWTO instructions, to discussions about implementation.
Obviously, YouTube has a huge volume of videos, so you’re going to want to search through “Channels” first: https://www.youtube.com/channels?q=servicenow
I have my favorite video publishers and channels, but what are the ones that you like? Let me know in the comments below this blog.
That’s Not All
There are more resources out there, but I think this list is a good place to start. Did I omit anything that you find incredibly helpful as you work with the ServiceNow platform? Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.