Thursday, 29 August 2019 06:00

Pluralsight expands cloud skills content, adds integration

Pluralsight co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard Pluralsight co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard Stephen Withers

Technology skills platform provider Pluralsight has ramped up its offerings relating to hyperscale clouds, as well as integrating Pluralsight Flow (formerly GitPrime) with Pluralsight Skills.

Pluralsight's announcements include a Skill IQ assessment for associate cloud engineers on Google Cloud Platform plus new courses on topics including data analytics, machine learning, Kubernetes, and cloud infrastructure, as well as a significant expansion of Microsoft Azure related Skill IQs, Role IQs and courses

Skill IQ is designed to help technology leaders determine their teams' skills and then create a development strategy to close the gaps.

The new Associate Cloud Engineer on GCP Skill IQ measures skills in a number of technical areas, including application development services, data services, Kubernetes, network design, managing virtual machines, logging and monitoring, and configuring access and security measures.

"Google Cloud has seen tremendous growth as enterprises are accelerating cloud adoption to implement business-critical IT projects," said Google Cloud vice president of professional services Jason Martin.

The IT skills gap is one of the biggest challenges, he said, and it is even wider in cloud environments.

The entire Google Cloud course library will be available on the Pluralsight platform over the course of the year, and Google Cloud courses on the Pluralsight Skills platform have been integrated with the Google-related Qwiklabs environment, allowing hands-on practice.

Meeting developers and other practitioners "where they're at" through the partnership with Pluralsight will help, he suggested.

The Microsoft Azure skills expansion includes five new Role IQs, 22 new Skill IQs and 98 courses that map to the new Role IQs.

The new Role IQs include Microsoft Azure AI Engineer, Microsoft Azure Data Engineer, Microsoft Azure Data Scientist, Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer, and Microsoft Azure Security Engineer.

"Azure is a customer-driven cloud platform that enables organisations to tackle their biggest technology challenges. We see Pluralsight as a core partner to help our customers drive project success," said Microsoft general manager of partner and developer relations Jeff Sandquist.

"Pluralsight provides technology leaders the necessary means to measure skills across their teams and to skill up people on the Azure roles needed to successfully drive cloud adoption."

According to Microsoft Azure general manager of partner developer relations Erin Rifkin, tech skills are "really critical" for jobs that did not exist three years ago. Specific skills typically last about five years, and keeping a team's skills current leads to a more innovative culture.

"We need to think ten steps ahead" in order to avoid future skills gaps, she suggested.

Pluralsight chief experience officer Nate Walkingshaw said "The rapid expansion of cloud computing in the enterprise is one of the core drivers that power business today. However, technology leaders must be able to ensure that their teams have the necessary skills to take advantage of the cloud. Pluralsight is a key enabling partner for these technology leaders to help them as they drive toward cloud maturity."

Pluralsight co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard said organisations are increasingly "polynimbus" (following a multi-cloud strategy), so offering cloud content is "a super-high priority for us."

Pluralsight is working with the three largest cloud providers – Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services – and some smaller ones, he said.

Other announcements made at the Pluralsight Live conference include the renaming of Pluralsight's core skill development platform as Pluralsight Skills, the initial integration of GitPrime (recently acquired by Pluralsight and now renamed Flow) with Skills, and additional skills development courses in areas including artificial intelligence and machine learning, data, and security.

"Skills sit at the heart of everything," said Skonnard. "We are your skills transformation platform."

The first integration of Flow and Skills is language analytics, which allows leaders to visualisation course view time with code commits, helping to align skill development with software development initiatives.

"With Pluralsight Skills we are able to continuously upskill our engineers. The added visibility into our engineering workflow I now get from Pluralsight Flow allows me to be a more effective leader with minimal time investment. And now, with the introduction of language analytics, we'll have the ability to see how our teams learning aligns with code commits. This important integration will help us drive a stronger connection between skill development and engineering excellence," said WSECU director of software engineering Nathan Reitz.

Pluralsight's Skonnard said "Enterprises worldwide are turning to Pluralsight as their partner to help their teams develop and maintain the technology skills they need to accelerate revenue growth, acquire customers, expand into new markets, and reduce development cycles.

"We are keeping pace with the acceleration of advancements in new technologies for developers and IT practitioners by rapidly expanding the availability of fresh content in core technology areas that matter to our customers, giving tech leaders the fastest path to transform tech skills at scale."

Disclosure: The writer attended Pluralsight Live as a guest of the company.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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