Pluralsight and USAF: leveraging technology for Digital U

By William Smith
Pluralsight’s Sam Pena on the company’s partnership with the United States Airforce to upskill airmen through the Digital University program...

Tech workforce development company Pluralsight offers a way for organisations to upskill their teams to respond to technological changes in the modern workplace. Sam Pena is VP, North America Presales at the company. “We have created an ecosystem to provide technology leaders visibility into their workforce.” He emphasises that this is achieved through three distinct ways, the first being its tech skills platform, which allows leaders to index the skills present in their workforce and adjust their strategies accordingly.

“The second way we enable tech leaders is through our engineering analytics platform,” says Pena. “Our Flow product is intended to help engineering leaders understand how developers are working and to remove bottlenecks. Then, coupling that with the tech skills platform, you can understand whether there is an area of opportunity to enable developers to work more efficiently.” The final piece of the puzzle lies in its comprehensive professional services offering, which assists tech leaders with an implementation strategy for their ecosystems.

The company’s mission to educate individuals with technical skills has only become more vital as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the pace of digital transformation. “As transformation accelerates, one of the most important questions is how do you enable the workforce to leverage new tools? That's where Pluralsight comes in, helping to align our customers with the skills they need.”

Since 2019 the company has been working closely with the United States Air Force as part of its Digital University initiative. “We’ve helped them launch their vision of recoding and retraining the Air Force, which they call Digital University or Digital U,” says Pena. “One of the nice things about Digital U is that because it's leveraging commercial products like Pluralsight, it's providing the Air Force the same type of training and skill development that you’d find at the tech giants.” 

The ongoing project involves a first phase of indexing airmen and discovering the different competencies and roles that airmen need to be most effective in future missions, while the second phase will see a wider rollout of Digital U across the Air Force. “Helping the Air Force with their mission to upscale their entire workforce is something that we're really proud of here at Pluralsight. We’ve had close collaboration with the Air Force to make this project successful, with our professional services involved in helping them build out their skills strategies and embrace a culture of continuous learning, assessment and communication.”

As technology redefines and recreates roles in the modern workforce, Pluralsight will continue to work with the Air Force and others to help people best leverage that technology. “One of the new areas of focus in our partnership is in developing product engineers that are focused on human-centric design or full stack and mobile development,” says Pena. “This partnership with Digital U has helped us both learn from each other. It's been great to understand the Air Force’s mission and how we can best align to that, while on the flip side they’ve received an outsider perspective with a commercial partner that’s able to bring in its own expertise.”

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