The first week of April I went to spend a week recording content for LinkedIn Learning in Carpinteria, California. While there I recorded a new course on Terraform. I’m not sure exactly when the release date will be, but I’ll be sure to make a post here and on LinkedIn when it gets released.
Currently I’m also working on a subsequent course, on more advanced Terraform and also a Go course focused around site reliability work and the usage of Go to write CLIs and related uses. I’ve got a little bit of the curriculum outline done and am chomping at the bit to get going. This post however is for future new authors or those interested, about the experience of the workflow when going into the LinkedIn Learning Studio down in Carpinteria. To summarize real quick, it was awesome. So if you just wanted to know that then you’re done with this post. Otherwise, read on for the details!
Travel: Getting to Carpinteria
I rarely travel based on standard US convention of herd onto plane at point A and go quickly to point B, reverse process for return and be done. I make my travel to and from almost everything an experience, and this trip down to Carpinteria afforded me some really great experiences. For some of the experience check out the post I wrote for the trip down “California to Carpinteria” and “Carpinteria and Santa Barbara“.
Once in Carpinteria, the commute everyday involved either a ~28 minute walk, a ~12 minute bike ride, or a ~5 minute bus ride. Whatever the case, it was super relaxed. This always put me in a good head space to work on the course. During these commutes I got to enjoy the beach front, parks, and other amenities along the way. It was only about 2 miles, but that 2 miles had a lot of beauty and pleasantness packed into it.
The next step right after the commute involved a short stop into the LinkedIn Learning Cafeteria. On the first day the Cafeteria crew dissuaded me from the morning Starbucks food! The reason was simple, the Cafeteria crew provided some excellent fried rice along with other treats for breakfast. Each subsequent day they provided something else light and energy focused, which sets one up for a productive day of recording.
The LinkedIn Learning Crew
While onsite I got to work with a number of people. From security, who loaned me a lock for the LinkedIn Learning Bike I borrowed for the week, to producers, editors, and stage crew. Everybody, and I do mean ever single person, that I interacted with was helpful, friendly, and one could tell they were enjoying their work. This type of environment really makes it easy to be focused, positive, and set on putting together course material.
My producer sat in with me every day, in the studio, helping me work through the course. Even with material and scripts ready, one always breaks a little bit from whatever one prepares. The recording, timing it takes, and related specifics always makes things just a little different then what one imagines. For instance, I would record something that I originally thought would take 1-2 minutes, and then 4 minutes into it I realized I had much more to say then I had planned. So we switch a few things around, fit it in, add a section, or otherwise.
It’s hard to detail exactly how, once in studio, how many ways the process is actually pretty zen like. Compared to my previous experiences recording courses where I was responsible for every single element including video, editing, production, and other reasons this was a practical vacation of high end professionalism. Every morning, around 9, we’d get started. Most days I just reviewed my material, then dove right into the next section. Before recording, another review to ensure each screen, code snippet, piece of tech was installed and in the correct place just before and after each. This was the flow throughout the week, and it was indeed a good flow.
The biggest thing that sat in my mind during and after this process was how much I’d get to focus on the material instead of toying around with things that aren’t my professional expertise. I had producers, editors, content creators, and others to help out with the slide decks, the flow of content, the actual cutting and editing of video, sound, and the other aspects of recording. These are all things I can do given enough time, but I don’t do them in any professional sense so it takes me the extra time to do them, but these LinkedIn Learning Pros can easily knock this stuff out! The fact I get to focus on core content instead of tweaking the bylines and audio or slide deck pieces is a huge plus to me.
In the end, this was a spectacular trip and honestly the best experience I’ve had recording screencast learning material. Will do it again, and am already working up some new course topics. When the course goes live, I’ll be sure to post a link out to it and related material here on my Composite Thrashing Code blog.