One Year at Pluralsight: A Retrospective

Wow. I can’t believe it has been a year to the day that I started working with the best product team I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. There isn’t a single person that I haven’t learned from. To me, they are more than just my coworkers, they are my friends. I have learned so much from all of them. If I could sum up everything I have learned at Pluralsight it is that I have learned how to learn.

Learning From The Best

Where to begin… I remember hearing that an old friend, Nate Walkingshaw had joined Pluralsight as the CPO. I was really excited for him and thought it was really cool that a tech company in Utah even had that role in their leadership team. At the time I was working for Qualtrics in a very engineering-centric environment, but enjoying it nonetheless. There were a lot of really talented people there and I was always excited to go to work. I would probably still be there if Nate hadn’t asked me to grab some lunch with Gilbert Lee one day. The way Gil spoke about the user-centric culture of Pluralsight was really interesting to me. After kicking the tires a bit it seemed like the right place for me. Turns out it was the best place for me to learn and grow.

Nate and Gil are just a couple of examples of the people I get to work with that are the best at what they do. I am blown away at the talent that has been brought together on this team. I realize more and more every day that I am out of my league here. But rather than be intimidated, I try to learn from the smart people that I am surrounded by.

Arriving at Pluralsight I was immediately thrown in to the world of Directed Discovery, possibly the best method for building products that people actually want. I can’t imagine going back to any other method now. I don’t have nightmares anymore about building the wrong thing. Learning this process has changed the way I approach life. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

Learning From Users

One of the best things about the way we build product experiences at Pluralsight is how much we interact with our users. Each team is with a user in some form of user test at least five times a week. All of this interaction with users adds up and creates a level of empathy that I have never felt before for a group of users. We know who are users are, what they want, what they need. This is a powerful tool when it comes to building a product for a specific group.

Learning From Mistakes

Some of my favorite moments in the discovery process is when users point out something we designed that is just plain stupid or wrong. For me it is so definitive and powerful. It actually makes me happy when our users help us realize we were wrong. From there, we can start to move in the right direction by knowing what the wrong direction is.

All in all this year has been amazing. I have grown so much as a designer, but more than anything I feel like I have grown as a person. And it is all thanks to the amazing team that I get to work with. They teach me more than I think they will ever know.