Friday 22 March 2019

Pluralsight boss upbeat on growth

Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard says he is excited about its Dublin expansion
Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard says he is excited about its Dublin expansion

Ellie Donnellly

Despite the rise in global trade tension, Aaron Skonnard, CEO and co-founder of Pluralsight, is not concerned.

"When there is an economic crisis companies tend to turn to technology to become more efficient," Skonnard says.

The American adds that individuals turn to elearning, becoming more motivated to skill up.

All of which is of benefit to Pluralsight, an online education company that provides customers with access to learning tools, including adaptive skill tests, expert-authored courses, interactive labs and live mentoring.

The group, whose partners include Microsoft, Google, and Oracle, offers its services to both businesses and individuals.

Looking forward, Skonnard says he sees no real economic concerns.

"Obviously there is volatility in the financial markets, but we have lived through the 2008 financial crisis. We are not immune to downturns, but we are really well-positioned."

Founded in 2004 on the back of Skonnard's love of coding, today Pluralsight employs around 1,200 globally, including 80 in Ireland.

Over the next 12 months the group plans to increase its staff levels here in a number of areas including marketing and sales.

It currently has 20 vacant positions in Dublin. "We are excited about becoming more involved in the local community and ecosystem here," Skonnard says.

Despite concerns around Brexit, accommodation costs in Ireland, and a tightening of the labour market here, Skonnard is not worried.

"We choose to be in Ireland as we find it advantageous. The fact that there are lots of other tech firms here gives us access to very talented people in the industry," Skonnard says.

For Skonnard it was his dad's influence that set the wheels in motion for what would go on to become a global tech business.

"My journey started when really young, dad brought home one of the first Apple computers and taught me how to code," he says.

These days with Pluralsight, the computer scientist graduate says he is giving people the gift coding his dad gave to him.

"Pluralsight sells to both individuals and businesses, I want to give the opportunity to anyone, anywhere."

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