Dan Moyer uses Pluralsight to step up his Sharepoint game
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Dan Moyer’s been programming for 40 years—back when it was done with punch cards. He’s worked on the back end for point-of-sale systems, done web-based development for a small startup, worked at Microsoft, been a consultant and more. He now hangs his hat at the University of Findlay doing SharePoint development on the Web Searches team. “The big thing is it’s a challenge,” Dan said about his new job. “I hadn’t touched SharePoint in about seven years and now I’m in the thick of doing a migration of SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013.”
Dan is half of a two-person team, working on both infrastructure and development. He and his teammate are basically DevOps.
“Pluralsight is actually saving me a lot – it's amazing. Pluralsight's given me the insight in the SharePoint administration and into SharePoint software development.”
Dan & Pluralsight
In the early 2000s, Dan was hit with some career burnout. That caught up with him in 2009 during the recession when the company he worked for had to make some cuts.
“I was working on software that was limited to .NET 2.0 and using ASP.NET 2.0, no MVC,” Dan explained. “That's what our clients were using, so I had no motivation to look beyond what I needed to use week after week. I couldn’t use newer technology anywhere.”
Dan soon realized he’d let his skillset slide. He knew.NET 2.0, but the world was soon to jump into .NET 4.0 since most people were already working at .NET 3.5 – something he had no knowledge of.
“When I was laid off I realized: oh wait a minute, everybody else, except where I'm working, appears to be looking for people with experience in LINQ, .NET Framework 3.5, AJAX, and Microsoft MVC Framework,” said Dan. Basically, I found that I didn’t know a lot of stuff.”
Training with Pluralsight got Dan back on track. He started learning with Pluralsight because he’d heard of some of the authors before, like founders Fritz Onion and Aaron Skonnard. Plus, he desperately needed to learn newer technologies.
“The courses were matching into what I was wanting to learn more about. So I signed up and I've never been happier.”
Pluralsight’s acquisition of TrainSignal in 2013 brought more courses that Dan has found to be invaluable in the work he’s doing.
“The courses are helping me understand how to administer Windows 2012 servers, how to do networking, how to use tools like Wireshark and Fiddler effectively. “Those courses are ramping me up more rapidly than trying to learn through a book, website, or wherever,” Dan elaborated.
Training whenever he can
Dan listens to training whenever he can, whether it’s at the gym on the treadmill, or on the road. His in-laws live in South Carolina, a 12-hour drive from his home in Ohio. He’ll often listen with his headphones on while his wife is driving.
“Sometimes I'll sit through an entire course and other times I'll narrow in on courses,” said Dan. “I might be only looking at one or two modules out of a course, but that’s OK; I still find that valuable.”
Through Pluralsight’s training, Dan’s been able to attend less conferences and user groups – which works better for him. While attending user groups and conferences are great for networking and getting involved in the community, he’d have to take off time from work and be away from his family. Whereas with Pluralsight, Dan can go to Pluralsight and get what he wants instead of traveling somewhere to get an introductory one-hour talk on some topic at a user group.
“As an example, I want to learn about Angular. I'm not going to go to a user group that's an hour and a half away to listen to an introductory one-hour talk when Pluralsight has in-depth content.”
There’s a lot of talk about how half of everything a developer knows today could be obsolete within two years. Dan explained that if a developer’s knowledge is based on language skills within a specific library, a lot of what they know today will be unnecessary within a few years.
“However, if their skill sets are in software patterns, like the course by Julie Lerman and Steve Smith on Domain-Driven Design Fundamentals or something like the Agile Development Process, those skills are timeless.”
With Pluralsight on his side, Dan can rest assured that his skills will remain sharp whether or not a job change is on the horizon again.
Read more stories like Dan’s here.