The new standard for measuring & building tech skills

By Nate Walkingshaw    |    September 20, 2017

Today is the most exciting day to be a technologist. All the time there are new languages, frameworks, tools and processes changing and enhancing technology. This progress is helping us solve the world’s most complex problems and it’s impacting all of us. 

But even with daily discoveries and breakthroughs, the way we grow skills—the very skills that are driving this amazing revolution—is standing still.

The systems designed to measure knowledge are broken. Tests are static and one-size-fits-all. Endorsements and upvotes are empty accolades. It gets worse with resumes and recommendations. They’re boring and don’t tell the whole story. How could they? Skills are a complex combination of practical application, tireless study and experience. Up to this point, understanding where skills stand has been time consuming, expensive and subjective.

We want to change that.

It’s time for intelligent skill development—Meet Iris

Today at Pluralsight LIVE, our CEO Aaron Skonnard introduced the world to Iris. Iris is a scientific approach to measuring and developing technology skills—one that actually keeps pace with today’s modern age. She fuels a smarter learning journey on our platform by verifying competencies with unparalleled accuracy and making personalized learning recommendations.

As you get smarter, so does Iris. The technology behind Iris is built on Bayesian statistics and machine learning applied to decades of modern test theory. She collects feedback to adjust assessments in real time and make better predictions about proficiency. As she gathers information about technology trends, Iris acts as your strategy partner, guiding you to the skills you need in business-critical areas and building custom learning paths to help you close skills gaps. 

Verify knowledge with Pluralsight IQ

We also announced Pluralsight IQ, a single source of truth for measuring skill level. Learners can get their Iris Quotient—IQ for short—to verify their skills and see how they compare to their peers. Leaders can use IQ to see the strengths and weaknesses on their teams and put people on projects where they’ll be the most successful (more about that in a minute).

Here’s how IQ works…

Anyone, anywhere can choose from our free assessments on topics ranging from Angular to PowerShell. As you answer questions, Iris learns more about you and adjusts the assessment to drill down on your proficiency. When you’ve completed an assessment, Iris calculates your Skill IQ, which is a number out of 300 and your skill level: novice, proficient or expert. The whole process takes about five minutes. 

We know you’re proud of your hard work, so you can share your IQ with your team, your boss and post it to LinkedIn and Twitter.

Today we’re inviting everyone to get their Pluralsight IQ—for free—and share it with the world. Go here to get started.

Skill IQ is just the beginning. There’s a huge gap in a leader’s ability to verify if someone has the right skills for a specific job function. Certifications aren’t enough. Many of them are expensive, outdated and don’t capture true fit for a role. What if with Pluralsight, you could not only validate a specific technology skill but also the collection of skills that make up a role, like a front-end developer or sysadmin? That’s Role IQ, which is something we’re working on right now. 

Advanced skills analytics: Strengths and skills gaps quantified 

With Pluralsight IQ, skill measurement matches the pace of innovation—this changes the game for technology leaders. You don’t have to guess about where skills stand and you can use this information to make better decisions about your teams.

Pluralsight IQ data is part of a new offering released at LIVE. Advanced skills analytics gives leaders unprecedented visibility into an organization’s strengths and skills gaps. Now leaders have comprehensive insights into current team and individual performance. 

With advanced skills analytics, you can see average Skill IQs and levels across the team. And then drill down to individuals and see skill levels for each learner. With this data, leaders can discover hidden brilliance in their organization and put the right people on the right projects. 

Tie skills to business goals with advanced channels analytics

You may also spot some skills gaps on your team. In the face of important projects, you need to gain critical skills. Channels lets you map learning to strategic objectives by building custom lists of courses, paths and assessments aligned to your unique projects and teams. And advanced channels analytics, available today, give you the ability to measure progress against those objectives. 

Advanced channels analytics shows what channels are being followed by team members and how much individuals have completed of the content. Leaders gain confidence and foresight into how skills are trending and how their teams’ investment in learning is helping achieve business goals.

Create your Technology Strategy Plan with us

What if you know where you want your business to go, but you’re unsure how to get there? Or what if there are roles you know you need, but you can’t find the talent to fill them? The answers to these questions will be different for every company, making it hard to find relevant, credible guidance. That’s where our new service comes in. With our Technology Strategy Plan, we’ll guide you on a path to achieve your goals and fill your talent gaps. It’s a custom engagement with our experts to help you deliver on your major initiatives. 

For example, a roadmap for your company requires data science skills, but you're short on talent. We’ll partner with you to learn about the tools and technologies you need to adopt, study your team’s current proficiencies and find the skills gaps you need to close, so you can develop your existing employees. Our team turns this research into a custom technology strategy plan, mapping out the skills and Pluralsight content your organization needs to reach your goals.

The future of growing and measuring technology skills is here

After hours of talking to customers, refining the learning journey and gathering behavioral and event based data to improve the Pluralsight experience, today is a big milestone. Our new products, powered by Iris, are designed to take the guesswork out of skills and help leaders make data-driven decisions about talent and technology. 

Pluralsight IQ is the scientific measurement of skills we need in our fast-paced world. Businesses need advanced skills analytics to leverage the strengths of their people and place them where they’ll have the biggest impact. Advanced channels analytics helps makes sense of skills as they relate to mission-critical initiatives, and we’re here to help make your goals happen with our technology strategy plan service. This is what you need to manage skills at scale and drive disruption. This is the world’s most comprehensive technology learning platform. 

Find out what our platform can do for you.

About the author

Nate is the CXO (Chief Experience Officer) of Pluralsight. Obsessed with how products are built and the teamwork it takes to build them, Nate has had the opportunity to invent and build products that consumers love, all while working with some of the greatest people.