I am a distance runner. As the saying goes, my journey of thousands of miles quite literally started with those first first steps fifteen years ago. Progressing from weekend 5Ks to marathon training has involved countless pairs of shoes, several iterations of running watches and unfathomable amounts of swear words shouted at drivers who don’t pay attention to pedestrians (share the road, y’all). While the aforementioned smartwatches have always tracked my pace, distances and other stats, I didn’t truly start to see improvements in my overall performance until I started using Strava and Peloton.
Both apps let you track your workout data while also, if you like, comparing yourself to your friends, connections and people in your area. Peloton is famous for its online spin classes, and its ever-energetic instructors remind riders at the beginning of each class that they have a leaderboard available to use, but riders can hide it if they don’t want to see how others are doing. Strava doesn’t have live courses like Peloton but athletes can look at their times compared to other athletes on “segments” throughout your activities or they can look at only their own specific times. In essence, both apps allow users to compete against others or themselves.
I love these apps for myriad reasons. They’ve helped me build a fitness community of my peers, they provide guide rails to keep my progression on track and they let me actually see that progression overtime in succinct and beneficial ways. Seeing data over time from a personal and community perspective is also why I love Pluralsight Flow. It enables software developers to see their personal growth as well as, if they like, how they’re tracking compared to their teammates. That’s right, folks, it’s a product tie-in. Let's get into it.
Data tracking and continual improvement
Just like how Strava lets me see my personal times on a certain running segment or Peloton shows me my personal records for specific class types, Flow shows developers their coding days per week, reaction time and responsiveness, and commit data in easily-digestible charts and graphs. These adjustable data inputs enable developers to see their own personal growth over time while also providing them details about where they rank in the broader team. Crucially, like Strava, Flow never compares individual contributors directly but enables them to see where they stand.
Time is always going to be a premium in all things. Much like I would rather spend my time running as opposed to trying to figure the historical data of my runs over time by diving into spreadsheets, technologists would rather be writing code and creating as opposed to trying to decipher where and how they’ve improved. Flow’s player cards are crucial to team leads as well, as they provide an instant snapshot of the work completed across the data insights that are key to product launches, organizational success and performance reviews.
It’s a running joke (pun intended) amongst my fitness friends that if our workouts aren’t tracked, they didn’t really happen. Of course we all know that the benefits of the workout remain but without seeing the data over time, we can’t measure long term success. We want our work to be noticed and tracked. By seeing personal growth over time, we’re better able to advocate for ourselves and our teams. Like Strava and Peloton, Pluralsight Flow provides the data you need to become a better version of yourself while also offering countless ways to use that data for good.
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