Learning List – 8/6/2017

This is my weekly learning list. Life is a never ending journey of educating yourself and learning something new each day. Trying to share some of the articles, podcasts, books, videos, or training that I am finding interesting

Weekly Learning

  • SaaS Metrics 2.0 – A Guide to Measuring and Improving what Matters – If you have ever worked at a SaaS based company this article will really hit home. I really enjoyed reading this article because not only did it go into what the important numbers are, but also how they impact the company. In addition, it also highlighted the scenarios in which focusing on one number will most likely have a negative impact in another part of the business. It is an interesting balance and thought this article covered everything well.
  • I Joined Airbnb at 52, and Here’s What I Learned About Age, Wisdom, and the Tech Industry — This would be an interesting person to hear more from. There is a lot to think about here from a culture perspective to ensure that you can build a diverse team that supports getting the best from everyone. Everyone has something to give and the key is figuring out how to best tap into people’s skills.
  • The ‘Last Mile’ in Education – Interesting article about the education gap between colleges and employers. I experienced this with my first job right out of school. The company that hired me sent the whole recruiting class (12 or so) to four weeks of in-person training. The goal was to ensure that all new employees had the skills they were looking for. I did not even see the office for those first four weeks. Obviously, I think training and education to fill the gap (of which Pluralsight) is one the fundamental challenges in our country.

Quote for the Week

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Carpe Diem and Learn Something New Today!

Learning List – Week Ending – 5/21/2017

This is my weekly learning list. Life is a never ending journey of educating yourself and learning something new each day. Trying to share some of the articles, podcasts, books, videos, or training that I am doing each week.

  • Democratizing Data at AirBnB – Thought this was an interesting article about the internal data portal tool that they built at AirBnB. This has a lot of great features and it will be interesting to see if they open source this tool. A lot of the features of their platform are things that we are looking to build at Pluralsight in our Data Platform so it gave me a lot to think about. https://medium.com/airbnb-engineering/democratizing-data-at-airbnb-852d76c51770
  • My Journey as a Technical Program Manager at LinkedIn – I don’t sit in this role at Pluralsight, but I trying to push some attributes of product management on our data engineering team so I am always interested to read articles on this. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-journey-technical-program-manager-linkedin-prapti-sen
  •  What makes a great Product Manager – There are a few things that I really liked about this blog post on Medium. First, I love that he really describes them as “Product People” and that these people can be anyone in an organization, not just someone in a Product Role. He also describes that almost all product people are not going to have all of these traits and will be stronger in some than others. For me personally, #13 and #14 really hit home for me as two traits that I think I am strong in. https://medium.com/@ripsher/what-makes-a-great-product-manager-3c1d03b90356
  • Intelligence Squared – I blogged about this in my “What I am listening to” blog, but wanted to highlight again as I listened to a couple episodes recently and really enjoy how it makes me think about differently about really important topics. It challenges me to listen to arguments from other sides of an argument and also think about my own beleifs and why I hold them. This is a super intelligent postcast and I really enjoy listening to them.

Carpe Diem and Learn Something New Today!

What am I listening to?

So I have a little bit of a commute and I love to listen to podcasts in the car when I am driving.  I also have a tendency to listen to podcasts when I am doing stuff around the house like cleaning or cooking. My listening falls into a few categories: Technology, Political and Blues (Hockey). As my podcast application I enjoy using Overcast (link). These are the podcasts that listen to religiously.

Blues (Hockey)

I grew up in St. Louis and for some reason latched onto Blues Hockey as a kid and always loved going to hockey games. Having moved away from St. Louis, podcasts have been a great source of information and commentary about Blues Hockey.

  • Blues NHL Podcast (iTunes | Website) – Great podcast with former players Jamie Rivers and Darin Kimble. They also recently added Garry Henson, the D2 Head Coach at McKendree University. They really get into the behind the scenes and the why of things happening on the ice. Bonus, they talk about the local hockey scene as well.
  • St. Louis Blues “The Drop” Podcast (iTunes | Website) – Cool podcast that has a ~20 minute podcast recapping each game. Good listen to get a little deeper into each game and some of the performances in each of the games.
  • Blues Hockey Podcast (Website) – I like this podcast because the hosts have more of a fan perspective.
  • Let’s Go Blues Radio (Website | iTunes) – Another good fan focused podcast.

Politics/Current Affairs

  • The Axe Files with David Axelrod (Website | iTunes) – Obviously, the host is democratic leaning and was a part of the Obama administration, but his guest list has included some people that would not be democrats. Found the conversations to be insightful and informative.
  • Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates (Website | iTunes) – I really love this podcast and how they debate issues. Sometimes the guests are better than others, but for the most past the debaters really work on their arguments and stay out of petty arguments. It really challenges me to think about my beliefs on certain subjects.
  • Slate Plus Podcasts (Website) – I am a Slate Plus subscriber so I listen to a few Slate Podcasts.  My favorites are Political Gabfest (Website), Amicus (Website) and Working (Website). I listen to the others depending on the topic that they are discussing.
  • Common Sense with Dan Carlin (Website | iTunes) – This podcast probably stretches my thinking the most. I really enjoy getting Dan’s take on things and my thinking on some things has really been enhanced by some of his episodes.
  • Voice of San Diego Podcast (Website | iTunes) – Ran across this website in the run up to the November elections.  That had a great run down of all the local initiatives and what I thought we pretty unbiased opinions on the ballot measures. If you live in San Diego, I think this is a must listen. So much so that I am not an official supporter of VOSD.
  • Good Schools For All by Voice of San Diego (Website | iTunes) – With three young kids, education is obviously a priority for my family. I enjoy the balanced approach that this podcast takes on important topics affecting education in San Diego and beyond. One recent episode was very educational on charter schools and how they work.


  • Data Engineering Podcast (Website | iTunes) – This is a new podcast, so the jury is still out on this podcast, but I will be watching very closely to see how this one evolves.
  • Software Engineering Daily (Website | iTunes) – I do not listen to every episode of this podcast, but they have a few good data focused discussions as well.
  • Data Skeptic (Website | iTunes) – Another data focused podcast that covers a number of different areas in the data world. Really enjoying the data discussions on this podcast.


Just a few other miscellaneous podcasts that fall into categories all their own.

  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (Website | iTunes) – A fair warning that some of these are long, but they are super interesting. The episodes on World War I (Blueprint for Armageddon) are awesome and explain a lot of what happened in the world later. His latest episode “The Destroyer of Worlds” about the nuclear age is similarly awesome.
  • NPR Fresh Air (Website | iTunes) – I really enjoy the long interviews when they feature someone that piques my interest.

So, I think that about does it for my list.  What are you listening to? Any podcasts that are missing on my list that you think I should be listening to? Let me know in the comments.