My entire Trailhead journey started because I wanted to write a couple of custom integrations for work. I made a working POC hacking together various bits and pieces of information that I found online, but taking a step back to actually learn how Salesforce works has been really great.
I am ready to make a non-hacky solution to the problem that I initially set out to solve. In order to get this to work though, I need some way to manage secrets within Salesforce so that I can securely store my API authentication token for the third party service that I am integrating with.
Luckily, there is Trailhead module on Secure Secret Storage in Salesforce.
Salesforce offers a feature called Named Credentials which offers a very straightforward way to manage secrets. Specifically those involving authenticating against a third party API.
Rather than hard-coding the value into your code, you can leverage named credentials to store secrets, allowing you to refer to the named credential to access the secret value, as if it were any other variable in your code.
Sadly, this did not seem to work for me because the API I was using expects a token in the URL rather than allowing for basic authentication.
There are a couple other strategies in place for storing secrets, but they seem like overkill for my specific project.