Keith Sparkjoy is a Culture Coach at Pluralsight. As a cofounder, Keith was the Chief Technology Officer for many years, building and hosting the website and all things IT. These days there's a whole team of folks taking care of the tech, and Keith is focusing more on company culture, which is one of the most important aspects of a fast-growing business.
Giving up command and control in favor of trust and autonomy can be a scary thing, especially if you’re a manager steeped in traditional methods. Here’s why you should do it anyway.
Emotional hygiene plays a pivotal role in both our personal and professional lives. Here’s what it is and how you can start practicing it right now.
Not sure if you’re getting involved with the right company? Here’s a list of questions to consider before you jump on board.
One thing that’s struck me over the last year is that in so many different aspects of life, when you focus directly on what it is you want for yourself, often you end up with short term, shallow results. It seems that in order to get long term, meaningful results, you often need to focus […]
Titles aside, both Max Brown and I are playing the role of culture coaches at Pluralsight. This is an advisory role, and while we don’t make policy decisions, the leadership team seeks advice from us on a regular basis. Deming proposed a transformation of management away from command and control. He proposed substituting “leadership”. Managers are going to have […]
Recently a question came up around Deming’s philosophy – if the system is responsible for 96% of the output, why should the individual work hard if his performance doesn’t matter anyway? Individual performance absolutely matters – each of us are inputs to the system, and Deming was assuming that we are each giving our best efforts when […]
After watching Simon Sinek’s recent TED talk, “Why good leaders make you feel safe” I was inspired to read his book, Leaders Eat Last. In it, Simon explains that in order to create a safe environment free from fear, managers must put team members before themselves (see Leadership is a service role). But that’s only the […]
This question, along with a similar one, “How did you find Deming?” is one of the most common questions I get as a culture coach here at Pluralsight. Many roads lead to Deming – he was a thought leader in management throughout the latter half of the 20th century, first in Japan where his philosophy […]
We have three core values at Pluralsight: Truth Seeking, Entrepreneurship, and Eternal Optimism. Of the three, Truth seeking is probably the weirdest sounding, and I’ve often found that it resonates a bit more once I’ve shared some historical context. Aaron, Fritz, and I have been working together since the late ’90’s (that’s over 15 years […]
Stop for a moment and think about what a traditional job in management can be. More pay and perks, with less individual contribution in favor of “using” people to get work done. Set targets, hold your people accountable to those targets, motivate them with carrots and sticks. I suppose a lot of people aspire to […]
Our newest iOS player is now on the the iOS App Store and includes a first shot at ChromeCast support! Start playing any Pluralsight course and tap the cast button to select a local device to cast to. Not familiar with ChromeCast? It’s a $35.00 dongle that you plug into an HDMI port on your TV so that you can “cast” video to it over a local wireless network.
As part of my quest to really understand the Lean movement, I’m going back to its roots and reading Out of the Crisis, by W. Edwards Deming, originally published back in the 80′s. If you want to know where the idea of continuous improvement, or Kaizen came from, read this book.
What do Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, Neil Young, Santana, REO Speedwagon and Barry Manilow have in common? They all recorded at Sound City in Southern California. Recently I watched a great flick about this shop that was directed by Dave Grohl, leader of one of my favorite […]
At Pluralsight, we’ve been programming with immutable objects for a couple of years now, and I know some of the team is wondering why we bother. When you’re a traditional OO developer used to updating the state of objects in place, it sure feels weird to go to the trouble of building immutable objects using […]
This was a tough one – there’s no native support for variable speed on Android, but our rock star Android developer came through with a solution using our custom FFmpeg player. You’ll see a new speed setting in the upper-right corner of the screen that you can tap to bring up a speed control. Please […]
This new release includes a modern look and features you’ve asked for: Easier to use on tablets Recently watched courses at your fingertips Easy to find newly published courses Plus members can now queue entire courses for download All orientations supported on all form factors Improved stability Android player on the Google Play store – […]
This beta build includes a modern look and features you’ve asked for: Easier to use on tablets Recently watched courses at your fingertips Easy to find newly published courses Plus members can now queue entire courses for download All orientations supported on all form factors Improved stability Android player beta release – v1.1.151 Please leave […]
One thing my team has struggled with in enterprise C# development is the complexity of unit test setup. This is complicated by Domain Driven Design, which encourages the use of concrete classes for entities and values. Test setup often becomes nontrivial as you are often required to set up considerably more of the object graph […]
For many years we’ve had the ability to play back our courses at high speed, and that works great when you can understand the author very well. But what about that one course that you really want to watch, but the author speaks a little fast, or maybe English isn’t your first language? Now you […]
In my last blog post in this series, I pointed to 4clojure as a great tool to help you practice writing functions in Clojure. By its very nature, 4clojure only allows you to write pure functions. In this post, I’ll talk about the beauty that I see in pure functions, but also point out that you’ll typically […]