Measuring Technology Skills: How Pluralsight is Changing the Game

Nov 21, 2017
 Go to the profile of Aaron Skonnard Aaron Skonnard Democratizing technology. CEO of @Pluralsight. Nov 21, 2017 Measuring technology skills: How Pluralsight is changing the game


Imagine going into Game 7 of the World Series and not having any idea of your batters’ on-base or slugging percentages. Or, not having any information on the opposing pitchers. It’s just not how you the play the game.

Yet, this is how technology leaders operate today: In the dark, with little-to-no objective, quantifiable information about the talent that exists — or doesn’t exist — on their teams. It’s unprepared. It’s ineffective. It’s a losing game. And this is true even for leaders at some of the most forward-thinking companies in the world.

A few months ago, I spoke with the head of technology at one of the world’s largest banks. He’s responsible for a $9B budget. His biggest challenge, like 80% of other tech leaders, is the “availability of key skills,” or the technology skills gap.

Leaders are expected to align their people to these massive, business-critical projects like moving from on-prem to the cloud, creating a mobile strategy, revamping their security framework and so on. But they don’t know who the best people are to work on these projects. How can we expect progress to happen when leaders are relying on outdated ways to gauge ability? Take resumes for example. They’re subjective, giving a one-sided view of experience that’s open to interpretation and hard to validate. Certifications also fall short. The knowledge needed to pass an exam isn’t always applicable on-the-job, and information becomes outdated quickly. And degrees? Too often they’re focused on the theoretical vs. the practical and students don’t learn the most relevant technologies and practices.

To truly disrupt entire industries and drive innovation for the world, we need to rethink the way we quantify and communicate technology skills. Pluralsight has set out to do just that.

Introducing Iris, intelligent skill development

Recently at Pluralsight LIVE, we unveiled Iris. Iris is the science behind our technology learning platform, and it’s unlike anything else out there.

Iris adapts and collects data about what people are learning and which technologies are trending to help your teams keep pace with change. She brings together the power of our assessment algorithm and recommendation engine to help you quantify and develop skills across technologies and within your organization. She’s your single source of truth for evaluating skill level and competency. She’s your technology strategy partner. She’s the future of tech skills.

How Iris works: The brains behind Pluralsight IQ

How can Iris work for you right now? When we looked at the existing ways to measure skills, we found that a lot of them are broken. So, we took modern testing theories based on more than 50 years of research and added machine learning to create a statistical model for skill levels. During the last three years, we’ve gathered a lot of data around how to validate and define these tech skills.

As a result of this data, we’re now empowering learners and leaders around the world to accurately measure skills, validate current proficiencies and make strategic business decisions to move faster.

Diving into Pluralsight IQ

People who complete our assessments get an “Iris Quotient,” or Pluralsight IQ, in five minutes or less. It’s a hard number from 0 to 300 that tells the learner exactly where they stand. This Skill IQ benchmarks their skill level against the workforce and gives them a novice, proficient or expert status. And it’s completely free — for anyone, anywhere. Here are the free skill assessmentstechnologists can take right now.

For technology leaders, the data behind Pluralsight IQ can help you accomplish your business-critical objectives with the players on your team. You need to know if your team members are playing the right positions and understand where you need to coach them. It’s about identifying the knowledge gaps on your team to set your players up for success. Just imagine how Skill IQ could impact your organization.

Why Pluralsight is at the center of the tech skills ecosystem

Technology skills are the superpower of the future. And your business needs these skills to drive its strategy — because your tech strategy is your business strategy. But, if your technology learning strategy isn’t technology driven, you’re dead in the water. It simply can’t come from a classroom. Only technology itself can unlock better ways for learning technology. To compete in the future, you need a reliable and predictable way to create technology skills at scale. This sits at the heart of what we as an industry need to do — move faster to close the tech skills gap. And it starts with the ability to measure skills.

Pluralsight can give you this superpower. Our platform will disrupt how you retain and grow talent, accelerate the creation of innovative products and improve operational efficiencies. It’s not just about learning. It’s about what learning creates.

Take a deeper dive on our new product experiences with our Chief Experience Officer, Nate Walkingshaw here.

About Pluralsight 

Pluralsight is the leading technology workforce development company that helps companies and teams build better products by developing critical skills, improving processes and gaining insights through data, and providing strategic skills consulting. Trusted by forward-thinking companies of every size in every industry, Pluralsight helps individuals and businesses transform with technology. Pluralsight Skills helps enterprises build technology skills at scale with expert-authored courses on today’s most important technologies, including cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data science, and security, among others. Skills also includes tools to align skill development with business objectives, virtual instructor-led training, hands-on labs, skill assessments and one-of-a-kind analytics. Flow complements Skills by providing engineering teams with actionable data and visibility into workflow patterns to accelerate the delivery of products and services. For more information about Pluralsight, visit