Success story: How Leon used Pluralsight to learn skills on the job

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Leon Dragan Leon has been a software developer for more than a decade and understands how difficult it is to keep up with job responsibilities while staying on top of an ever-changing industry. Leon turned to Pluralsight as a way to stay current on new technology and keep his skills competitive.
Leon’s story
Around 2010-2011, I became an independent contractor as a software developer, and I ended up with a client (and this hasn’t happened in a while) where I was asked to provide a solution with a technology that I knew absolutely nothing about. So, I took the Pluralsight course on Coded UI Testing by Marcel de Vries—that’s a five-hour course. Within a week, I more or less became the expert there on Coded UI Testing. This client (a very large and important client) mentioned specifically that they were very surprised at how quickly I became familiar with their terminology and domain model, and the solution that I was able to provide—this was a big deal. This was a framework they were going to use for years to come, and it felt really empowering to be able to offer that to them. Additionally, I found myself in a role where I had to provide Team Foundation Server guidance—again, something I’ve used but by no means am an expert.  I found at least three in-depth courses on Pluralsight talking about Customization and working with TFS. With the site's search function and table of contents, I was able to narrow my search down to specific areas of interest. Having watched the videos and then doing a bit more research, I was able to put together a user guide for the rest of the team, which was well received by both team members and leaders. As of right now, I’m kind of the defacto expert. Even though I’ve just learned the stuff, the level of instruction and quality of the materials made me confident with the information I was providing, and that it was valuable and correct.
What do you love most about Pluralsight?
I’ve been a software developer for the past 14 years, so I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. During my career, I’ve found that it is difficult to stay on top of the latest developments and find good quality, timely material. Books are often outdated fairly quickly and they also provide a very dry, passive learning style. A lot of companies talk about offering training to their employees, but in my experience, not many actually do. And since I’m so busy in my 9-to-5 efforts, finding extra time to learn new technologies and understand them in-depth can be virtually impossible. However, this is where I found Pluralsight to be absolutely invaluable—providing timely materials that are authored by industry leaders. I found that the quality of the materials was superb; other than just giving a sliver of information on a given technology, the authors typically give a holistic view of how the technology fits in in the broader picture of the application. I always tell people that Pluralsight should adopt a tag-along that says, “Pluralsight: Never lie on your resume again.” Because I’ve found this to be absolutely true; Pluralsight pretty much bumps you up into the desirable category where you know the latest trends and how the latest patterns are applied.  
How long do you plan on using Pluralsight?
I actually inquired about a lifetime membership; I see this [Pluralsight] as a part of my permanent toolbox. I’m probably going to be doing this [software development] for the rest of my career, and hopefully Pluralsight is going to be there along with me to keep me up-to-date without having to take college credits or huge online courses that nobody wants to pay for or arrange. It’s good to know that I can just log on anytime and look at stuff that’s coming out right now.

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Contributor

Whitney Larsen

is the Dev/IT Content Marketing Manager at Pluralsight. With a background in communication and writing, she has a strong affinity for the written word and all things content marketing. Follow her on Twitter @whitney_larsen.