For three long days in March 2019 we huddled intensely in a conference room with a group of impressive folks from Google and Coursera in Mountain View, California. Our goal was both exciting and immense: to kick off the development for the the follow-up program to the award-winning Google IT Support Professional Certificate. The biggest challenge swirling in my mind was, how can we create a program that had the heart AND the impact of its predecessor?
It has been ten months (including 18 days of video production) and we can finally take a breath and share with the world the launch of the Google IT Automation with Python Certificate. This program includes six courses (a total of 335 videos) and is designed to provide IT professionals with in-demand skills that can help learners advance in their career. Now that the publish button has been pressed, it gives us a moment to reflect back on how this program went from a whiteboard to reality.
At Edios Media, we pride ourselves on our development kickoff process, which we call the “5 Pillars of Content.” These Pillars are equivalent to the essential elements of storytelling that shape the courses’ narrative. This is the same process we employ with any type of video-based eLearning, including employee training videos, onboarding videos, microlearning, or compliance training. We always tell our clients that every project truly benefits when we can employ this process at the earliest stages of development.
The first step we took was to create detailed portraits of our learners. We dove deep into identifying the learner answering important questions. What are their hopes, dreams, and obstacles? How do they feel about their status quo? What does upskilling to advance in their career mean to them?
Unlike many similar programs on the market, all of the lessons are taught in relation to real-world application. We understood the importance of not only providing the learner with the how-to skills of automation with Python, but WHY those skills are relevant to actual tasks and challenges an IT specialist might encounter in the workplace. Every step of content creation was then developed with this in mind. The course creator understood that these lessons must provide the learner with a toolkit to help them advance in their IT career.
I read each script from the perspective of the learner and worked closely with the course developer always asking the question, “but why is this important and what would this look like in a work setting?” It didn’t take long for the incredibly brilliant content developer to anticipate this question and build it into her scripting process.
Just like the first program, this program is created and presented entirely by Google employees. These are not trained teachers or facilitators, they are professionals working in the industry. They are folks with the same hopes and dreams and struggles as the learners, and they each fearlessly shared their own stories throughout the courses. We worked closely with them in the scripting stage to seamlessly weave their experiences into the narrative.
There is nothing more authentic than seeing a course presenter share their unique experiences on topics such as version control, infinite loops, code reviews, or configuration management as it relates to their actual jobs at Google.
As we celebrate this launch we couldn’t be more proud of producing such an important program. Grow with Google is dedicated to shrinking the skills gap through education and they continue to walk the walk with programs like this. It is not an exaggeration to note that it was the hard work of dozens upon dozens of dedicated people that made this program even possible. Looking back, I can safely say that because we understood the importance of taking the time to craft a vision of the learner and identify the narrative (before even one script was written), we were able to deliver such a high-quality product. This vision acted as the North Star for every single person who had a hand in bringing this amazing program to life and it is our hope that this vision is realized through the ongoing success of the learners as they advance in their careers.
Michael Karsh, Co-founder & Executive Producer, Edios Media