Johnson Controls and Pluralsight

Nasdaq moving at warp speed to out-innovate the competition.

Nasdaq’s story is all about innovation. Founded in 1971 as primarily a U.S.-based equities exchange, Nasdaq set a new standard with its invention of electronic trading and the modern IPO. More than 40 years later, Nasdaq is still a disruptor. It’s recognized as a global leader in diversified worldwide financial technology, trading and information services.

With a presence in every capital market on the planet, and more than 3,500 employees on six continents, Nasdaq prides itself in setting revolutionary precedents in business technology—and moving fast.

The biggest part of the digital transformation to me is acceleration. Pluralsight is a key part of how Nasdaq is trying to keep up and be ahead. We’re only as good as our teams are.


Heather found when Nasdaq needed to update applications, her colleagues didn't have the skills they needed to make it happen. Instead, they'd revert to their comfort zones, sticking with older versions of applications.

“We have to maintain speed just like any organization,” says Heather Abbott, “But we also have the drag of so many older applications that are harder to modernize. The challenge is keeping up to date and doing that at the right price.”

When she explored why this happened, she realized they needed more active learning time to drive business outcomes. Passive learning wasn’t cutting it.

Nasdaq at a glance





  • More than 3,500 Nasdaq colleagues serve businesses and investors from over 50 offices in 26 countries across six continents
  • Offers four complementary business segments – Tech, Trade, Intel and List
  • First in the world to launch a financial website,
  • Nasdaq’s portfolio offers business development, technological processes and public relations products

“Nasdaq moves at a million miles an hour,” says Heather. “Things were just moving so quickly it caused a skills gap, and this made teams pump the brakes because they weren’t fully comfortable with a particular technology.”

But how to insert active learning into an already full workday, with flexibility to match Nasdaq’s signature pace?


Keeping teams current

Heather started experimenting with learning options. She discovered Pluralsight as a tool to stay current on new technologies. “I need to stay current just like everybody else,” Heather says, “and I found Pluralsight was a great platform to get quick hits, understand what’s relevant and then have the opportunity to dive deeper on most every technology that is current today.”

She quickly realized Pluralsight was the perfect platform to help her team members keep pace and was surprised to learn several teams were already using it.

Nasdaq's challenge

  • Slowed progress
  • Limited innovation
  • No space for thinking, learning and experimentation

Pluralsight's solution

  • Thousands of high-quality courses
  • Flexible training that allows colleagues to train on their schedule
  • Skills Assessments to match colleagues with projects they're passionate about

“I began asking myself and asking these teams, ‘How can we use this more strategically across our organization?’ That led to an evolution that we’re still on,” she says.

To date, Nasdaq has hundreds of technologists using Pluralsight, and the number is growing. With positive results that are easy to see, other teams are catching on.

Setting the pace of innovation

Having a learning solution that helps employees innovate with confidence ensures Nasdaq stays ahead of the competition.

A lot of the innovation we are seeing at Nasdaq has happened naturally because of the Pluralsight courses people chose based on what’s emerging and hot at any given time.


Take ReactJS. Recently, several teams started taking React courses on Pluralsight. Around the same time, the company launched a new platform that relied heavily on JavaScript. When the platform experienced performance issues, the employees could quickly use the skills they learned on Pluralsight to apply React.


    Foster and enable innovation
    Empower employees to keep up and ahead of new technologies
    Navigate new growth by smoothing acquisition integration
    Support and encourage career education

Staying ahead means Nasdaq employees need agile tools available at their fingertips. Rather than waiting for a live training every few months, or approaching a team leader, employees can jump in and out of Pluralsight for answers they need at crucial moments. They also have the option of developing a new skill from beginning to end, and learning on their own schedule and at their own pace.


Retaining, recruiting and maximizing talent

Using Pluralsight has also allowed Nasdaq to enhance its hiring and employee development processes to attract and retain top talent, which is essential in such a competitive market. Having Pluralsight helps Nasdaq build the best teams to position it for long-term success.

Nasdaq new hires get introduced to Pluralsight right away via required learning during onboarding. By offering an opportunity to continue learning new skills through Pluralsight, Nasdaq is able to show — not just tell — new hires and prospective employees that the company provides space for developing new skills and supports their professional curiosity. Using Pluralsight, Nasdaq has cut their time from onboarding devs to code commit in half.