Tech Trends Digital Skills Brendan Dawes Art Data Visualization Virtual Reality consultancy Pluralsight
» » » Visualising Your Technology Skillset

Visualising Your Technology Skillset

 

Brendan Dawes uses art to show how we build digital skills in a surprisingly organic way.

Such a large proportion of any company’s value nowadays resides in intellectual property, that it is safe to say that keeping your workforce’s skills up to date has to be the cornerstone of any successful business strategy – especially for technology companies.

A large proportion of any company’s value nowadays resides in its intellectual property Click To Tweet

Letting those skills stagnate is the equivalent to not performing maintenance on essential equipment, and has arguably larger long-term impact on a modern company’s bottom line. The question then becomes how to make the process of constantly updating those skills as frictionless as possible?

Letting those skills stagnate is the equivalent to not performing maintenance on essential equipment Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Digital Skills Pluralsight Data Visualization Art Virtual Reality Consultancy

Companies like Oracle actively advocate that failure is an essential part of the product development process, and key to creating a learning culture Click To Tweet

The answer partly lies in the idea of Growth Mindset pioneered by Stanford Professor of Psychology Carol S. Dweck, which teaches us that people who realise how the brain changes as it learns don’t perceive failure as a permanent condition, but rather as an essential part of that learning process.

Companies like Oracle actively advocate that failure is an essential part of the product development process, and key to creating a learning culture within any organisation that aspires to innovate. This is part of a broader shift towards employers perceiving learning as a permanent and central part of employee’s roles.

The idea of Growth Mindset teaches us that people who realise how the brain changes as it learns don’t perceive failure as a permanent condition Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Digital Skills Pluralsight Data Visualization Art Virtual Reality Consultancy

At its annual conference in Salt Lake City last month Pluralsight unveiled a new tool called Role IQ Click To Tweet

To support learning in a way that’s coherent with overall business strategy, however, those companies need to quantify the talent and skills already in their organisation, and then align this with their plans and product roadmap by providing personalized learning paths for their employees.

Which is what Pluralsight – a platform that provides training to technology professionals at a host of Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Microsoft and T-Mobile – says it will do with its machine-learning algorithm called Iris.

At its annual conference in Salt Lake City last month, the company unveiled a new tool called Role IQ, which will provide science-driven assessment and real-time analytics to measure a collection of skills an individual needs to be successful in their role.

Companies need to quantify the talent and skills already in their organisation Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Digital Skills Pluralsight Data Visualization Art Virtual Reality Consultancy

An Angular web developer, for example, can use it to measure their knowledge across Angular, JavaScript, CSS, Typescript, Git, NPM, ES6, RxJS and HTML5. Based on the results of that assessment, the platform then offers a customized learning path to help fill existing skill gaps. That, as Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard put it, will help “turn chaos into clarity.”

Tech Trends Digital Skills Pluralsight Data Visualization Art Virtual Reality Consultancy

There are beautiful patterns to be found in seemingly chaotic data Click To Tweet

Because there are, in fact, patterns to be found in seemingly chaotic data, and that is something that Manchester-based artist Brendan Dawes has always been fascinated with. He took to the stage at the conference to show how he took some of the Role IQ data and rendered it into colourful visual representations of the skills clusters that made up various technology-related roles.

The reason why I’m a big fan of creative data visualization and often cover the intersection of art and technology is because it forces people – hopefully in a nice way – to look at familiar things from a different angle.

It’s actually helpful to visualize your skills in such an organic way, like cells in a petri dish, constantly evolving as they move and combine with one another.

It’s actually helpful to visualize your skills in such an organic way Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Digital Skills Pluralsight Data Visualization Art Virtual Reality Consultancy

What I love about this is that whether you’re a layperson or technically gifted, it allows you to take a step back and look at the big picture Click To Tweet

Building the future requires a mission-driven mind-set, and a softer focus on long-term goals rather than pinning too many expectations and KPI’s on any one individual product. What I love about this type of exercise is that whether you’re a layperson or technically gifted, it allows you to take a step back and look at the big picture, and to see your skillset as a living, evolving thing.

This article was originally published on The Next Web

 

Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.


Also published on Medium.