When you do something for long enough you start to pass milestones that seemed unreachable at the start of your career, if you even suspected it would be a career at the time!
In this case my milestone accomplishment is that, with the release of MATLAB Essential Training on November 7, 2023, I have had 100 courses published through LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com). I’m not counting the 20 or so translations and foreign language adaptations created from my work: the number of courses that I personally recorded has now reached triple digits.
When you go to my author page on LinkedIn Learning you’ll see there are around 35 courses listed. The other courses I created are still on the site but have been retired and don’t show up in search, mostly because they cover older versions of software such as Excel 2016 or because viewership wasn’t where we needed it to be. Yeah, I’ve had a few courses that didn’t do as well as we’d hoped, but overall my track record has been pretty good.
There are so many people to thank for helping me with my success, but I always start with a grateful nod to Tim O’Reilly, who gave me my first professional writing job in 1996. O’Reilly published The State of Web Commerce in January 1997 and that credential opened up writing opportunities I parlayed into more than 40 books, most notably the Excel Step by Step series for Microsoft Press, and more than 100 online courses when you include the four I created for DigitalThink in the early 2000s.
I’ve been ably represented by Studio B Productions for more than 25 years, starting with company co-founder David Rogelberg, then by Neil Salkind (who I miss terribly), and now by the other company co-founder Sherry Rogelberg. Their early guidance provided the support I needed to establish myself as a working professional, helped me avoid the unfavorable (and occasionally unsavory) contracts offered to newer writers, and more than earned their commissions by finding me work early in my career and helping me manage my jobs as our relationship continued.
You can blame Bonnie Bills for recruiting me as a lynda author in late 2008 or early 2009 (my memory is hazy on timing and my email archives are squirreled away…somewhere…). My first course, Excel 2007: Financial Analysis, went live on August 25, 2009. With MATLAB Essential Training releasing on November 7, 2023, it took me 5,178 days to go from zero courses to 100. That’s one course every 52 days, averaging almost exactly seven courses per year for 14 years. Quite a few of the projects are updates from previous work, but by my count I’ve created courses on 55 distinct topics in the business software field.
My release pace with LinkedIn Learning has slowed, mainly because the company has successfully recruited a wide-ranging group of authors who can provide valuable insights on topics I cover. Sharing diverse perspectives and distinct voices benefits everyone. I served my purpose as an author who was willing to work more or less full-time on course creation at a point when other qualified instructors weren’t ready to make the jump to video. Now that they have, they deserve their turn. And the good news? There’s plenty for everyone.
I look forward to working with my LinkedIn Learning colleagues Marjorie Page and Steve Weiss as well as Sherry and David at Studio B as I continue my career. Who knows what we’ll dream up next?
Curtis Frye is the president of Technology and Society, Incorporated.