When I was asked to write for this blog series, I got really excited! I've always been a big fan of looking back to see where I was at a particular point in my life and how far I've progressed. I'm one of those people that keeps a journal app syncing up to Evernote, always jotting down thoughts, books to read, quotes, etc. I'm fastidious about documenting the things I do, restaurants recommended by friends, things that happen in the community. To remind myself of what exactly was going on in my head back in 2003 when I joined Confirmit, I looked back at a few entries.
One of my entries is actually prior to arriving at Confirmit. I'd just returned from a vacation in Puerto Vallarta where I'd celebrated a birthday when I found a voicemail from the founder of the Confirmit San Francisco office, Tore Haggren. He'd seen my resume on Monster and wanted me to come down to his office and chat. In my journal, I wrote:
“I told him plainly NO, then added: thank you very much, but this is the kind of job I'm trying to get away from.”
Wow, did I really say that to him? Anyway, Tore is the coolest sales guy you'll ever meet and he managed to persuade me to at least come in and check things out. When I got to the office, there were all of six employees. I sat down with a Technical Account Manager who proceeded to demo the product for me. Tore spoke of the roadmap and all of the strides R&D had made just within the past year. I stayed for five hours and spoke with everyone individually, including one of the company founding members and even, the CEO who was visiting from Oslo. By that time, I was asking Tore: "How do I sign up?"
I was hired as the second Technical Account Manager in the San Francisco office. The training calendar was busy and I conducted just about all courses for our west coast office. For a while, I was making multiple trips in a week to various states around the country. I remember being on the road and before going to bed, I'd write my location on a piece of hotel stationery so I'd see it first thing in the morning and know where I was. It was that crazy of a travel schedule. But, I loved it. Over time, my job role broadened. I started creating tutorial videos and publishing them on YouTube and Vimeo. The process of writing scripts and recording videos was very exciting and I was immediately drawn to it. After a couple of years, I had the opportunity to transition to the Learning Academy, allowing me to pursue instructional design full-time.
Now, here we are in 2016 and this week, we launch our brand new Learning Management System (LMS). It's really exciting to create self-paced e-learning content and make it available on-demand to our customers. As we go live, we have e-learning courses for Survey Designer, Discovery Analytics and SmartHub and over the coming months, our goal is to create content for Active Dashboards, Model Builder and Action Management. The great thing about e-learning on an LMS is that you can consume it anywhere - while you're commuting or sitting at your desk. Content is being presented in videos of about seven minutes in length and each is followed by something interactive. The videos have very specific objectives and are presented using realistic scenarios that everyone should be able to relate to. I'm really looking forward to seeing how effective this way of knowledge acquisition will be for our learners.
Anyway, I'm really glad Tore got me to come down and speak with him 13 years ago. A lot has changed in this office since then. We're over 50 employees now and there are a lot of talented people here. This year is really shaping up to be a big one for Learning Academy and we have some big goals ahead of us. I'm glad I'm here to be a part of it.