How Twitter Ignited a Culture of Learning: An Interview with Marko Gargenta, co-architect of Twitter University

PlusPlus is a direct result of Twitter University. In this article I interview our founder and CEO, Marko Gargenta, who, alongside his brother Sasa, co-created the platform that enabled Twitter to implement the sharing of knowledge at scale, and which became Twitter University when the company acquired it from Marko and Sasa. While Sasa continues to drive it at Twitter, Marko founded our company with the vision of helping thousands of other companies eliminate the barriers that keep knowledge trapped.

In this interview we explore the genesis of Twitter University from Marko’s unique perspective as the entrepreneur who brought it to them.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: July 27, 2020 10:12 pm

Walking the Talk at Airbnb: When Your Product Changes Your Culture

In 2014, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, wrote a blog article introducing his company’s “Belong Anywhere” mission to the world. It took seven years from when he and his co-founders opened their apartment to the first Airbnb guest ever, to crystallize in those two words what their company and their product stood for. It could be argued, from the story he tells, that their product shaped their mission. He writes:

“We asked ourselves, “What is our mission? What is the big idea that truly defines Airbnb?” It turns out the answer was right in front of us. For so long, people thought Airbnb was about renting houses. But really, we’re about home. You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere. That is the idea at the core of our company: belonging.”

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: July 15, 2020 11:58 pm

How GitHub Brings Community Together During Uncertain Times

with Kristina Norris

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In recent times, connecting with others to learn has become challenging. Around the world, organizations are striving to find new ways to bring their communities together. 

Every month, PlusPlus gathers together leaders working at the intersection of technical training and learning and development for the TechKnowCon Roundtable to explore topics top of mind for the industry. 

GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform, was one of the two companies to present their ideas at the June 2020 discussion. 

Here, Kristina Norris, senior human resources business partner at GitHub, describes how the company prioritizes a remote-first environment and brings their community together to support learning and growth. 

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: July 15, 2020 11:45 pm

How Expedia Group Scales Train the Trainer for Engineers

with Rebecca Shepherd, MAEd

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Creating engaging learning experiences for employees is now crucial to any company wanting to stay ahead and realize their vision. 

Yet, understanding how to both design and scale these experiences can be challenging. 

Every month, PlusPlus gathers together leaders working at the intersection of technical training and learning and development for the TechKnowCon Roundtable to explore topics top of mind for the industry. 

Expedia Group, one of the world’s leading travel companies, was one of the three organizations to present their ideas at the June 2020 discussion. 

Here, Rebecca Shepherd, MAEd, and learning architect describes how her team developed an ‘Instructor Academy’ to help scale learning at Expedia Group.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: July 8, 2020 9:43 pm

How LinkedIn Reconfigured Their Bootcamp to Remote-First in 3 Days

with Sandi Friend and Rajon Tumbokon


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In the last few months, we all had to adapt to remote working and remote learning. Many companies struggled to adapt their classroom technical onboarding program for new engineers to remote learning. In 3 days, LinkedIn’s technical training team successfully adapted their classroom technical onboarding program to remote learning. During our May 2020 TechKnowCon Roundtable, LinkedIn’s technical training team shared how they did it and all that they have learned from this project. 

Here is what Sandi Friend (Sr. Instructional Engineer) and Rajon Tumbokon (Global Manager of Technical Training) had to say about their experience of adapting their classroom technical onboarding program to remote learning.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: June 18, 2020 8:52 pm

How Lyft Achieves Classroom Quality in Remote Learning

with Jen Gilbert

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Every month, we gather leaders who work at the intersection of technical training and learning & development to discuss topics top of mind for the industry. During our May 2020 TechKnowCon Roundtable, Lyft was one of the three companies that presented.

Here is what Jen Gilbert (the Tech Learning Manager for Lyft) had to say about creating a classroom quality learning experience using video conferencing.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: June 16, 2020 12:01 am

How Visa Redesigned Instructor-Led Training for a Virtual World

with Sravani Tammiraju and Matt Peters

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Every month, we gather leaders who work at the intersection of technical training and learning & development to discuss topics top of mind for the industry. During our May 2020 TechKnowCon Roundtable, Visa was one of the three companies that presented.

Sravani Tammiraju (the Product Owner for Tech Onboard Solutions at Visa University) and Matt Peters (the Dean of Tech College at Visa University) explained how they redesigned their ILT for a virtual world.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: June 10, 2020 6:58 pm

Justin McSharry, Dropbox’s Global Head of Leadership Development

How Dropbox is Democratizing and Scaling Coaching

with Justin McSharry

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Every month, we gather leaders who work at the intersection of technical training and learning & development to discuss topics top of mind for the industry. During our April 2020 TechKnowCon Roundtable, Dropbox was one of the two companies that presented.

Here is what Justin McSharry, Dropbox’s Global Head of Leadership Development, had to say about democratizing and scaling coaching.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: May 1, 2020 7:11 pm

Chris Shaffer, Microsoft’s Director of Engineering Learning & Insights

How Microsoft Measures Learning Culture and Barriers

with Chris Shaffer

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Every month, we gather leaders who work at the intersection of technical training and learning & development to discuss topics top of mind for the industry. During our April 2020 TechKnowCon Roundtable, Microsoft was one of the two companies that presented.

Here is what Chris Shaffer, Microsoft’s Director of Engineering Learning & Insights, had to say about measuring learning culture and barriers.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: May 1, 2020 7:10 pm

Katie Hawkes (Senior Program Manager) and Dennen Hansen (Program Manager II) of Twitter University (Technical Learning & Development)

How Twitter Enables Peer Instructors in a Remote-First Environment

with Katie Hawkes & Dennen Hansen

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Over the last few weeks, it has become clear that working from home has become a new reality for many of us. As we started talking to peers at various companies, we realized that everyone was working hard to adapt to this new work-from-home norm and remote-first learning and development. We decided to come together on a virtual Roundtable to compare notes.

Seventy-five leaders who work at the intersection of technical training and learning & development joined in, and Twitter was one of the three companies that presented.

Here is what Katie Hawkes (Senior Program Manager) and Dennen Hansen (Program Manager II) of Twitter University (Technical Learning & Development), had to say about effective peer-to-peer teaching and learning in a remote-first work environment.

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Category: Ideas Author: Joseph Lam Date: April 9, 2020 2:03 am