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September 20, 2012

Sramana Mitra Interviews Aaron Skonnard about Building Pluralsight


It’s taken more than four years to take Pluralsight from its original 10 online courses to becoming a world leader in online developer training which recently surpassed 300 courses and over 125,000 subscribers.  In an interview with Sramana Mitra, Co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard talks about that journey and how passion and courage have led to their success today.

Building on successful careers as software developers, Aaron and his cofounders created Pluralsight in 2004 with a passion for teaching professional developers.  After several years as a successful on-site instructor-led company, the founders took the courageous step to cease its instructor-led business in order to focus solely on online training.

In the beginning, the biggest challenge was convincing our instructors to buy into this. They felt that if they recorded the course, they would never get to teach it again in the classroom.

In 2008 Pluralsight released it’s first ten online courses focusing on Microsoft’s .NET technologies.  The timing as it turned out couldn’t have been better.

…just as the banking system collapsed. Training budgets were slashed, and Wall Street fell apart. We had an early adopter price of $699 for full access to the library of courses for a year. People would pay $2,500 for a five-day classroom course. Because of the business climate, we received a good response. Companies were slashing training budgets and saw us as a viable new option. The revenue started to come in.

The rest, as they say, is history and what a ride it’s been.  With revenues projected to double this year over last, it’s clear that their vision has paid off for staff and students alike.  If you’d like to read more about the origins of Pluralsight, you can read the entire interview.

About the Author

is a Chief Architect specializing in large scale distributed system development and enterprise software processes. Paul has more than twenty years of development experience including being a former Microsoft MVP, a speaker at technical conferences such as Microsoft Tech-Ed and VSLive, and a published author. Prior to working on the Windows platform, he built software using a vast array of technologies including Java, Unix, C, and even OS/2.