Effective upskilling stems from rigorous author vetting

Pluralsight’s author community is the heart of the technology skill development platform. We’ve built a network of more than 1,500 experts from around the world to guide technologists on their upskilling journeys. Before an author ever hits record on their first course or submits an assessment question for review, though, we make sure their passion and skill for delivering technical information is matched by a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise.

Why? We are committed to providing enterprise and individual customers alike with only the best, curated, relevant and personalized tools and resources to improve technology skill development efficiency.

Quality matters to us—and we know it matters to our customers—so we’re thorough in our search for expert authors. In fact, we accept only about 6% of those who apply. (That’s fewer than the percent of applicants who are accepted to MIT.)

Becoming an author

Building our upskilling programs is a continuous effort. Just as we’re constantly on the lookout for breakout technologies, tools and processes sure to impact the world around us, we’re also keyed into conferences, user groups, community groups and more to find the brightest minds to share their knowledge via our courses, labs, guides, assessments and more.

These movers and shakers possess both deep technical expertise and excellent communication skills. Our authors average 20 or more years of professional technology experience and 60% of them have helped build or guide the direction of the technology they teach.

After we identify someone who might make a great author, we invite them to learn more about us and ‘audition’ for the role if interested. They work with our acquisition editors to create a 10-minute or shorter video showcasing their ability to teach technology skills. The audition process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. When we assess the presenter’s skills and abilities, we look for a range of qualities such as charisma, good storytelling techniques and the ability to communicate challenging concepts effectively, for example.

It’s a rigorous process, and it’s not uncommon for candidates to choose to drop out—but that's how serious we are about quality; it’s something we don’t compromise on. That commitment makes a difference, and not just for our learners. Authors benefit in no small part from this opportunity to make an impact on the tech landscape. Author Christopher Rees says, “The best thing about being a Pluralsight author is being able to reach thousands of people, bring them a ‘lightbulb moment’ and positively impact their careers and, ultimately, their lives.”

How authors lend their expertise

Once an expert makes it through our auditioning process, they get straight to work.

While we often have very specific courses that need to be created, we also encourage authors to propose topics that are of interest to them. This collaborative approach helps us stay on the cutting edge—and keeps our authors engaged with topics they’re passionate about, whether they’re building courses, conducting workshops or otherwise creating new content for learners.

Ultimately, it’s an approach that makes sure the tech skills that matter—delivered by experts who set industry standards—are within reach of our customers in an unprecedented way.

Pluralsight author Elton Stoneman agrees, saying, “I value the ability to reach a wide audience of motivated learners and help them make the right technology choices to succeed in their projects and their careers.”

High standards produce quality content

Our quality check continues after authors clear the screening process. To make sure we maintain high standards in our coursework, we have 3 to 4 in-house production editors review each recording for quality, clarity and technical accuracy.

Courses are also assessed by several members of our peer review network, which consists of 24 published authors who are responsible for checking the teaching and presentation quality.

Authors follow a proven set of presentation standards rooted in learning theory and instructional design to make sure content is effective and learners will be able to apply what they’ve been taught.

At the same time, our authors constantly challenge themselves to bring technology topics to light in unique ways that might help people understand concepts better.

Perhaps best of all, a supportive environment is available across our network of authors, who are collaborative and insightful when a new author needs a helping hand as they get started.

What quality coursework looks like

For starters, content should be dynamic to keep learners engaged, and any visuals included need to be interesting and help tell the story. Text needs to be easy to read and understand and demos should replicate what learners will see. And of course, presentations must be original, inclusive of our global audience and copyright safe. Any software must be appropriately licensed.

To make sure learners can apply skills effectively in their work environment, courses must be presented in a clear, concise and consistent way that makes it easy to follow. That includes making sure course objectives are sufficiently defined and covered, materials are technically accurate and narratives and visuals work together to support a rich learning experience.

Applying this rigor to our course and content development is just one way we make sure we’re empowering people across the globe with efficient and effective technology know-how, and it shows in our reviews and feedback. Pluralsight author Richard Hicks says the best feedback he’s received came from a Pluralsight customer who said he saved them countless hours of frustration.

Author Stacey Vargas concurs, saying, “It’s quite rewarding to get messages from students who tell me how my content helped them not only advance their understanding of a topic, but also advance their career.”

Pluralsight is built on the quality content only our authors could provide combined with the personalization and adaptability only our platform can provide. This marriage of technology and human expertise is the most efficient path to the skills that will lead the future.


Learn more about our author network.