Learning Management and WordPress: LearnDash with Justin Ferriman

Sponsored by:

This is the second of a 2-part series called Educational WordPress!

In the last episode, I spoke to Chris Badgett. Today, it’s Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman is the owner of the LearnDash LMS for WordPress. In this episode we talk about building an audience first, scratching your own itch, and listening to your customers. He provides some great advice on making sure you have people to sell to before selling, and lots more!

Show Notes


Joe Casabona: This episode of How I Built It, is brought to you by two great sponsors. The first, is our season-long sponsor. Liquid Web has been best known as a managed hosting company with tons of options. It’s also designed a managed WordPress offering that is perfect for mission-critical sites. If you’re looking for improved performance, maximized uptimes, and incredible support, Liquid web is the partner you’ve been looking for. Every liquid web managed WordPress customer has ithemes synced integrated into their managed portal allowing them to update several sites with a single touch. Liquid web hosts all of my critical websites and I couldn’t be happier with them. If you Sign up today, using the discount code ‘howibuiltit33’, you get 33% off for the next six months. Visit buildpodcast.net/liquid to get started. That’s buildpodcast.net/liquid.

It’s also brought to you by WP Site Care. WP Site Care is the premier support and maintenance service for high profile bloggers and small businesses. They get technology out of your way so you can focus on doing the things you love with custom packages built to meet your specific needs. Their team learns what you need to prosper in your online business and then they get to work to help you be successful. WP Site Care loves working with creative and advertising agencies to fill in the gaps for technology and WordPress expertise. Share the offer code ‘built’ with your friends and clients to save 20% on their protect or professional packages. Or if you need something more specialized contact them at anytime at hello@wpsitecare.com and they’re happy to help. They offer code ‘built’ for 20% off any annual plan and they’ve got two, so if you’ve got a blog or small business site that you need to protect, head over to build podcast.net/protect for their protect plan or buildpodcast.net/pro if you need something a little more advanced.

Hey, everybody. Today we have part two of our educational WordPress series and I talked to Justin Ferriman of LearnDash. In the episode we talked about building an audience through a blog to generate interest and gauge interest. We talked about the importance of communication not only with your customers but also with your developers, and we talked about a whole lot more. So I really enjoyed this episode. I’m a big fan of LearnDash. I used it at WP in one month and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. So without further ado on with the show.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of How I Built It, the podcast that asks “How did you build that?” Today, my guest is LearnDash founder, Justin Ferriman. Justin, did I say your last name right?

Justin Ferriman: Yes, you did. I’ve heard it said a lot worse, so you’re good job.

Joe Casabona: Excellent. And that is the unofficial first question of the episode. I always forget to ask you in pre-recording. So today we’re going to be talking about LearnDash. LearnDash is a plugin that I am a big fan of. I used it at WP in one month and by the time this episode comes out you’ll have some brand spanking new tutorial videos recorded by yours truly. But before you view those, why don’t we ask Justin why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and the product and how you came up with the idea?

Justin Ferriman: I’d be happy to Joe. So back in 2012 I was working as a full time e-learning consultant setting up learning programs at large companies and for the US government and I was on the road a lot. And so I remember thinking you know, this is great for now but I eventually want to stop living in hotels which is what I was doing four, five days a week. And I was on a one project and we were talking about which learning management system to use and somebody mentioned open source, and Moodle was the one that was mentioned and it’s a very popular open source learning management system. And I remember thinking to myself, you know, I wonder if WordPress has something because at the time WordPress was just kind of a fun thing for me. I did some blogging and then I also set up some sites for some family members. So I just always dabbled in it. And I went and looked at the repository and there was nothing there and I think the more I thought about it and that’s a pretty cool idea. So I set up a blog in March 2012 and started blogging about the concept to say this is what I think a learning management system would look like on WordPress. And then I also blogged about other e-learning topics and items that I was passionate about and it wasn’t until you know, maybe about halfway through 2012 that I was talking with my wife who co-founded with me and we’re getting a lot of interest. And by that I mean people signing up for an email list that puts a little sign up form on the blog just to see if there is any traction there and people started signing up and asking questions and thinking it would be a cool idea. So it was later that year that we decided to pull the trigger and find someone to build it based on our specifications. And January of 2013 at the end of January is when we officially launched.

Joe Casabona: Nice. So you and your wife co-founded it and then you hired a developer to do it? So do you code at all? Front-end, back-end dabble?

Justin Ferriman: I don’t. I know how to have those conversations with people. When I was doing my E learning consulting we’re creating courses as often on very technical concepts and I had to get used wireframes to communicate with the subject matter experts who were giving me that information then I translate that information forward the end user. And so I knew how to talk that language but I didn’t know how to code. My wife does not know the code so we knew we needed to find someone to do that. And that was a big part of 2012 when we kind of decided this is pretty cool and I think we’re going to do it now. There’s interest there is you know how do we find somebody first of all that we could trust them and you know, what that is that gonna look like. So there’s a lot of interviewing going on of both freelancers and firms etc. so that you know we’ve eventually found who that would be and you know we started that process.

Joe Casabona: Nice, that’s awesome. So basically up until this point everybody I’ve interviewed has either been a developer or their partner was a developer. So this is kind of new territory for the podcast. Can you talk a little bit about what the process of hiring a developer is like? You know, like what was the, how did you define your requirements and what kind of questions did you ask ’cause I think that’s really valuable stuff that we don’t really talk about at least on this show.

Justin Ferriman: Yeah, I think that’s a great question. One of the things that for people that don’t know how to code something out themselves one of the difficult things I think from a developer standpoint is people have ideas in their head and they say “Oh, this is what I want it to look like. Can you make it happen?” And that’s that’s great ’cause it makes sense inside that person’s head but for a developer and most developers they like to maybe better visualize or see process flows. And so one of the things that was important that we did in this process was create these wireframes about the functionality we wanted from day one and kind of a process flow for each thing so like the user clicks here, when they click mark complete this lesson indicator changes to a different color. They are routed to the next lesson. So just creating those simple wireframes I think it did in Microsoft Excel. And having that standardized document then takes to the different people that we were talking to. That was key so they could understand the concept.

In addition to that though I think there is a non technical component for finding developers in there, talking with firms for instance and if you think that you will get along with them you know, for in business so I’m big on communication. Nothing could still say that anything is done so I couldn’t. Knowing me I would become frustrated if I had somebody that was locked away in a room maybe working on the product that I have no insight into what’s going on. And so a lot of that was just getting people on the phone and if they got frustrated after like 2-3 calls before the project even started then OK that’s probably a good indication that we publish it and work together. So that was another part of it.

So my advice to anybody that is looking for someone to kind of create their dream is to make it as clear as possible. And you know and whatever format you like I used excel because it just makes sense to me but make it as clear as possible what you wanted to do. And even if you don’t have to be a designer, mockup what you think it will look like you know, you can use Microsoft paint or something, it doesn’t matter. But to give a little bit of a visual too, and then also make sure that whoever you’re hiring is blending with the way that you work what your expectations are and be just brutally honest. Yeah, that’s what I was. I said I would say up front like I’m kind of really hung up on communication so I can find, send an email, I expect you know, that you get back to me like within that day. So yeah, those are my two things. I mean a lot of it is just kind of in some respects that gut feeling. I tried to find somebody that was local because that way I could actually see them and talk to them about it. In an ideal world that would have been what I did but it, you know, it didn’t work out. But maybe if you can find somebody locally that you can just have like a face to face meeting throughout the project, here, there, that would be helpful.

Joe Casabona: Gotcha. That’s a lot of great advice speaking from a developer standpoint. Any visuals to help me understand the flow of the project especially when you’re building a plugin that relies, you know, that it doesn’t rely on design as much as the user experience because people are going to add their own themes so the design is going to be, you know, will be different throughout. But understanding the experience and what takes users from one step to another is really important in software engineering. You know, we learned about user stories which is basically that Alice logs on to the site, she signs up for a course she sees the course introduction. So…

Justin Ferriman: Exactly.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, so that’s fantastic. You touched on this a little bit. So when you had the idea for LearnDash you went to the repo. Did you do or I guess really what research did you do as far as the feature set goes, like what did you know you needed for day one?

Justin Ferriman: Another great question. I think a lot of what I was going to be in the feature set for day one I already kind of knew. I was working and learning management systems every day all day. And there was a core set of features that I knew had to be there at least from the very beginning . Now of course we were missing a lot of stuff from the version 1.0 that I would have loved to have in there but just when you have to get something in the market you just gotta get it out. So that was you know, we like for example we had a gamification later on in the process but we, a lot of it I’d knew already, I write almost daily’ even still four, five times a week about E learning inside my fingers always on the poles. And I know I knew at the time where the trends were and then do what I wanted but some of it I will give credit to people who wrote in when I was blogging about the concept or they would leave some comments on the blog say “Will it do this?” or “Wil itl do that?” And yeah, I do remember a few times thinking yeah, that’s a good idea, let’s see if we can see if we can try to get that into version 1.0 or if not 1.0 soon after. So yeah, that was generally just kind of pulling the audience a little bit and going off of trusting myself really in terms of the feature set and what I wanted to do from day one

Joe Casabona: That’s excellent. So I was a little bit, you’re in this space and you know, what the competition had. And then listening to your customers which is our recurring theme here on How I Built It you know, I think people are often talking about how a lot of research they did comes from just feedback they got from their customers and what their customers want.

Justin Ferriman: Certainly, yeah. I think that there’s a balance though, I will say just to give the other side of it too. I mean your customers are going to offer up feature suggestions in ways that will very much help their situation or how they’re using your product as they should. The job of the business owner is to figure out “OK, which of those ideas can we either modify so that it applies to more people than just one or if it’s not a good idea for the masses to just explain you know, that’s a great suggestion. Thank you.” And then maybe explain why you won’t be doing it. And that’s fine, it’s OK to say no but listening to your customers and giving them, making them feel comfortable about giving suggestions is key.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, absolutely. So I think that there was a great article by 37 signals. Well now base camp but about how you know they get flooded with suggestions and they felt default to know until they get enough justification to add in a feature. And you know, you are the gatekeeper of that but you also need to do what’s best for the masses, right? I go to Disney World frequently, like twice a year, three times a year, my brother works down there and every, like without fail every time I’m in the park all over here somebody says, “No, you know what they should do?” And then something like super specific to their situation. it is good to get suggestions but it’s also bad to know that you know the suggestions might not be best for a wider audience.

Justin Ferriman: Sure, yeah.

Joe Casabona: And speaking about features and what’s good for your business and things like that, I talk often about being in a mastermind group on this podcast or you know just bouncing ideas off with people. Do you have people that you bounce ideas off of? Are you part of a mastermind group or anything like that?

Justin Ferriman: I do. I’m not part of my mastermind but I do have people that I trust and that I’ve kind of met either before my journey in entrepreneurship or since the launch of our product. So that kind of came about organically just as you do business. And you talk with different people and if someone else is running a business and either in a similar space or not, they can be that person that you bounce ideas off of. So yeah, I had that. I was fortunate to have something just trusted like friends before we started. But to be honest, before we launched like it was something that was I hope my card’s close to my chest because before you have a product like everybody has an idea so it’s hard to get like practical advice at that time because either people don’t believe it yet or they’re not really understanding the concept. But as you know, as we launched a business and then we started facing, you know, issues or problems or just challenges I should say, having people to talk to is definitely good, definitely helped us. And that would be the people in the WordPress space so it’s also people outside the WordPress space. So if somebody is starting a product to listen to your podcast here and they’re like “Oh I want to, I want to make sure I have a network of coaches or mastermind” you know, joining masterminds can be certainly helpful. I unfortunately can’t speak to that directly but what I can say is that you can get involved in the WordPress community if the product is WordPress related. And go to conferences and stuff. If it’s not WordPress related thing, figure out your industry, whatever, if they have a get together or a meeting and bring it up or whatever. I’m sure they do and just start going and talking with people and forming genuine connections. Don’t mention it as something like “Oh, I’m gonna need your help?”. Someone just talks to you because of that? But you know, it’s not working really. And then you’ll see that over time itself you find out the people that you trust.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, yeah, that’s absolutely excellent. And that’s I think one of the biggest false positives that you can get before you have a product is “Hey, I’m thinking about making this. Would you buy it?” “Yeah, sure I guess” or like you know, like that and then when it actually comes time to do it, you know, people are probably less likely to do it. So that’s really great advice, you know, and meetup.com is a great resource for not just WordPress meetups which are pretty common. But you know, if you’re in the Drupal community or anything like that or not at all like in the web community, if you build like 3D games or whatever I’m sure you can find somebody or find a meetup group in your area for that.

Justin Ferriman: Absolutely.

Joe Casabona: Awesome. So we are approaching the title question here which is how did you build it? So we talked a little bit about what you did to find the developer. So maybe we can talk about a little bit about the requirement to set out how you run your business? This is really a pretty open ended question based on the thing that you know best and I will copy this a little bit for you. So I’m really curious to know how you keep your finger on the pulse of e-learning especially and to some extent as comfortable as you’re answering this. What’s it like working closely with your wife as a business partner ?

Justin Ferriman: Sure, I’m happy to talk about both. So, the how I built it obviously I wasn’t the one that physically built it. I wasn’t typing out the code but it was, you know, it was my wife and I said yes. So you know, finding that person obviously we talked about that but then going forward I had the focus on what I knew I was good at. And the E learning industry I knew I had an understanding on that really better than anybody else in our space. And also another thing that used to drive me nuts, I’ll give you a little story about this one thing. It drove me nuts about consulting if I would be there creating these training programs for people and I’d have to talk to the client and they would just be annoyed that they had to talk to me so they would ignore my emails or I’d have to swing by their cubicle to ask him questions and they would always roll their eyes and he kind of wears on you. You’re always bugging people it felt like but I needed their input in order to get my job done. So knowing how much that frustrated me I remember when we launched so if I’m not coding then I’m supporting. And I know how to support people in WordPress and that’s you know, where I put all my energy. At the time my wife and I were like all right we’re gonna be so responsive with support just gonna blow people away. And that was kind of you know, that’s what we started off doing, and that’s how we started building positive relationships with our customers. Once they were like “Yeah, you know these new guys, let’s try them out, see how that goes” and we were, they would send us a question and it was like ‘boom’ they would get a response like almost immediately. It’s funny because we really want to form that positive interaction right from the get go, be it support or pre sales. So that we created that positive momentum in that first year doing that.

And then at the same time you know, I’m still writing about elearning and yeah, I obviously, I write on the blog but I also write for publications and magazines in the field so it requires me to make sure I know what I’m talking about. So I’m also reading what’s going on in the field and partly because I just find it interesting but also because it helps me now. I view it as it helps me know our product better. It helps me expand our product in smart ways and make sure we could throw a bunch of features at it. And we do have a lot of features as anybody using LearnDash would attest to. But those are developed with specific intent whereas you know we could put in every trend that is out there in any learning we don’t. So you know, as we continue to build it, now we have you know, full time employees and developers. And as we continue to build the stuff out, a lot of that feature input is coming from what I have to know about the industry but also it’s kind of cool as you build a team. They come up with nice ideas or if they’re talking with the customer and supporting so when they come up with ideas too it’s definitely not all me but it’s just that it kind of starts like feeding itself it’s a very organic thing.

The second part of your question though will talk about working with my wife. You know, I talked to people at the time. It was very challenging at first. At the time I was always gone on the road with the consulting and she was in grad school. When I decided to take the leap about four months it was in April of 2013 take a leap and leave my consulting career and go to LearnDash full time. I was out at home all the time and that was kind of new for us and we, I remember we were just moving in together as well. We haven’t been married that long so it was a challenge. And then she was done with school, nurse graduated so suddenly we’re both home. So getting an understanding of each other’s working styles was, you know, was a process. And then we would work all the time together so when you’re not working you just like want to veg out and just like not to do anything. And from a personal standpoint you know, get invested in your relationship. You know that’s just, you can. It’s like they think that that’s gonna stay healthy unless you actively are investing in it, making date nights where you don’t talk about work and stuff. So that was a big learning curve. And now we’re at a point like we work differently in our home office, we work in different sections and different offices. And we have Slack or the whole team is on Slack including us. So you know, I’ll talk with her on Slack you know, rather than you know, going to the same room as her just, it does create a little bit of yeah, sometimes that needed distance and then we, at the end of the day we both kind of “meet me in the kitchen” so it’s nice.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, I bet like talking about work like more or less just on Slack probably creates a little bit of cognitive distance between work and home life.

Justin Ferriman: It really does, yeah. It’s kind of funny how that works but yeah, it’s been Slack has been actually a great tool obviously for a team and has been for a lot of people.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, that’s fantastic. So you launched in late 2012 early 2013 right?

Justin Ferriman: Yes.

Joe Casabona: And it’s been about four years, a little more than four years now. So what kind of transformation has LearnDash gone through since it first launched?

Justin Ferriman: Many. I’ll give a little story. We were you know in the very beginning we got to market. We wanted to get to market quickly and we were doing well in that but our focus was mainly in the E learning space, you know, where a WordPress plugin. My industry was e-learning so a lot of the focus was there and it made sense. As you know, as time went on, we grew up [inaudible 22.38.4] are present on WordPress so we realized that we needed to do things differently based on the feedback we’re getting from WordPress developers that we’re working with LearnDash at the time. So we realized we need to do things differently and get out of our own way in some respects. We actually hired about 2015, we hired another firm to go through our entire codebase and redo it. And that was, it was stressful but it was so necessary because I look back on now it’s one of the smartest things we ever did. Now developers can use LearnDash from a WordPress background and create really amazing things. And you know, we have all the like next in line documentation and everything looks the way that they would expect. And we try to really go over and above on that. And that’s a testament to that firm but it’s also a testament to our employees now who work on it and they continue that. So that was a huge set of 2015 to essentially say like “OK, now we’re going to redo everything.” It was a process but it was needed. Growing pain and looking back but like I said it’s one of the best things that we did ’cause now at the time that was one of the biggest criticisms that we would come across. And now it’s like, it’s virtually not there.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, that’s I mean, even you know I was digging into a little bit of like either one of your plugins or you know one of the hooks to kinda customize my own thing, turns out I didn’t need to you already actually have the extension I found it.

Justin Ferriman: All right.

Joe Casabona: But you know, it’s one thing that’s big and in the WordPress community especially is it’s open source. And so if I need to add something there are ways that I should be able to easily do it, right, without hacking the plugin. So that’s I mean, that’s really great to hear and I’m sure it’s probably helped your growth quite a bit, right? Because now you have other people kind of developing add-ons or extensions for LearnDash or things like that.

Justin Ferriman: Yeah, so I know that that’s really helped us.

Joe Casabona: That’s fantastic. So the last official question I guess right? What are your plans for the future? We are recording this and it’s May now and this episode is coming out probably in July. So looking into your crystal ball which is the present for our listeners, what do you, what are your plans for the future of LearnDash?

Justin Ferriman: Oh, OK. So there’s a lot of different futures. There’s the immediate future, there is a little bit long term or long term. So with the certainly rest API’s on our radar, really digging into that now and starting getting the wheels in motion for that this year. But I think the rest API in general still has some maturing to do before like people really fully understand the ways in different ways to use it that’s perfectly fine nature of anything. So that’s definitely on the radar for the future, you know, mobile learning is huge, it’s enormous and so the mobile space is something that we’re looking at. And you know, be it with apps or what have you, I think that’s definitely something, those are conversations I’m having today with people. So you know, nothing is currently being worked on at this moment but it’s definitely gonna be well as of May. So maybe in July that will be different but that, you know, there’s that piece, yeah.

And in the immediate future, we have some really cool stuff in the pipeline. We’re doing some improvements to our reporting extension pro panel based on feedback. We did a complete overhaul of that code back in late 2016 so that was well received. And then you know, around videos as well so in the immediate term one of the features that we have come and I’ll probably be out by the time this is released is more elaborate ways to leverage video throughout a course. So it’s more, you know, tracking usage of viewership and controlling how a user is pushed along in the course based on if they watch the video or not. You know something that’s a little bit more control over the learning path based on you know, videos. ’cause that’s a lot we get a lot of questions about that, yeah. Obviously videos are a great way to learn so We want to create and we are pretty much done regarding the testing but some new functionality around, how videos are presented, and LearnDash and online courses in general.

Joe Casabona: Man, that’s excellent, well I will look forward to that feature ’cause I, the first course I launched on WP in one month it was not video based and it is my least popular course. So videos I mean especially if you’re, you know, my course is kind of teaching people to learn by doing, how to build a thing, and videos are the way to do it. So like my Beaver builder course is very popular.

Justin Ferriman: Uhum, great course.

Joe Casabona: Oh, thank you very much! It is mostly video and I just kind of re-designed my module page to take advantage of the videos more than previously. so I’m really looking forward to that feature.

Justin Ferriman: Oh cool.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, so before we get to the bonus questions which I know I haven’t given you so those will be off the top of your head. The last question, my favorite question, do you have any trade secrets for us?

Justin Ferriman: Trade secrets. Yeah, I think one of them, and this is something new. So I guess it’s not a secret but I guess maybe I lend my voice to it but one of the biggest says that people overlook when creating an online product is how people are going to find it. They get the idea for the product, they focus solely on the product. Now when we started in 2012 when I started the blog, I couldn’t create the product so just by the fact that I had to start creating buzz. I remember looking at Google, WordPress LMS and nothing came up in Google. And it’s like, “Well OK” I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet but well you know I’m gonna start blogging about a WordPress LMS. And now you know, that early marketing that I was doing is paying off in dividends. I mean we don’t do any paid marketing at this point you know, everything comes in organically and you have it, had we not done that for like 10 months I had the time. But it’s how we launched it. It was insane people were like chomping at the bit to give it before we even launched. So my advice or trade secret or whatever is if you have an idea, great, you know, before you even build it, just start marketing it because if there’s no interest or people don’t understand the concept or whatever then you don’t have to waste your time building it.

Joe Casabona: That is excellent advice. Advice I definitely did take. I take a very field of dreams approach to projects like if you build a thing they will come and I need to be better. But I actually wrote a note to myself during this interview, so I need to blog more and create more buzzer on my courses. So that’s excellent advice if you’re looking to build a product make sure to take that into account as well.

So Justin, thank you very much for that stuff. Here is the Fast Five questions that I like to ask. It’s five or six. I can’t find the sixth point.

Justin Ferriman: Fast five sounds better than five, Fast Six.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So though I might get sued by like is it Universal for like ‘The Fast and the Furious’ movie so just top of your head answer these questions. What book are you currently reading or the last book you read?

Justin Ferriman: Oh this can be so lame. It’s the, actually, index of the ‘Italian Gambit System’. It’s a chest book. I play chess and I love just learning different opening theories and playing, you know, plan lines. I have a chest group that I go to. So yeah, that’s kind of my outlet in some ways when I’m not thinking about work and think about chess. You can’t really focus on anything else or you’re gonna get destroyed in the game. So…

Joe Casabona: Yeah, that’s awesome and I definitely like that it’s Italian. Awesome. What music do you like to listen to?

Justin Ferriman: Oh, I like everything. But recently I’m kind of making fun of myself because probably within the past like four years 3-4 years I’m really in the country. I just used to make fun of my dad for listening to it and now I’m like yeah, this is my jam. So country but I like it all even to like classical. Might you know, my wife Chloe, she’s trained to play cello. So she went to school for playing cello and such. So like that’s grown on me as well and yeah but I’m kind of a kind of sort of music. I like most.

Joe Casabona: Nice, that’s awesome. I definitely make fun of my wife for listening to country music too.

Justin Ferriman: It’s not all bad. Give it a shot.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, yeah. I definitely like Brad Paisley like he has a song about cigars and I really think that. So what is your favorite food?

Justin Ferriman: Nachos. Nachos and I’m gonna specify that it has to have a cheesy sauce. Not that real cheese stuff. It has to be like a cheesy sauce on it because when it’s not, it’s real cheese, it cools, it gets hard and then it’s just bad.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, so it’s gotta be like, that I know exactly what you’re saying. Very cool. But yeah, I’m gonna go get nachos now. What is your favorite sports team? This could be any sport. I interviewed Chris Badgett and he mentioned like Iditarod like a guy from the Iditarod. So it doesn’t have to be a major sport. Just your favorite sports team.

Justin Ferriman: I’m gonna give you a couple. The US men’s national soccer team. I love soccer. I played it in college so that’s kind of, I just love watching that. And so them and then ‘Detroit Red Wings’, hockey.

Joe Casabona: Nice. Are you from Detroit?

Justin Ferriman: Yeah, yeah. I was born and raised in Michigan.

Joe Casabona: Nice. And the last question. You don’t have to like enter this room right off the top of your head. Ice a little bit more involved I guess. How did you learn what you know?

Justin Ferriman: I guess it would depend on what I know which depends on how you’re talking. It might be something different but let’s see. I think in terms of like the e-learning space, I just kind of fell into it. I had a couple internships in college and my first internship I remember was for the HR department of an automotive supplier and we’re building a corporate university. Go figure, right? And now you know, then I remember that for a couple years and then I end up going to grad school. And then auto grad school hired me into this consulting firm and I ended up in the training and development space of that. I think as I just had some background experience and whatnot. And then I started doing consulting gigs. So that’s how I came about knowing, you know, my industry or getting introduced to my industry.

And then you know, one other thing that I feel I like to write, I like the blog and everything and it’s funny is I just always have enjoyed writing. I remember in university when there’ll be tests and stuff and if it was like an all essay test like people are like groaning. I’d like yes because it was you know, I feel like the more I wrote, the better I got and you know, if I didn’t know the answer I could always eloquently dodge it, you know, how I wanted my writing. So yes, I think that really comes down to is in both those is just kind of practice. How would I come to know what I know is having interest in writing, practicing writing, having an interest in E-learning, and learning management, and practicing through obviously working. And then over time, it just kind of refines itself.

Joe Casabona: That’s fantastic. So well, that’s all five questions I’ve got for you. Justin, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.

Justin Ferriman: No, it’s been fun, Joe. It’s always a pleasure.

Joe Casabona: Thank you so much to our sponsors, Liquidweb is a season long sponsor and WP Site Care. Be sure to check them out, they are great great services both of them and they are big supporters of the WordPress community.

And finally if you like this show, please go ahead and rate us and review us in iTunes or Apple podcasts which they recently changed their name to. That really helps people discover the show. So the more people discover the show the more listeners we have and the longer I’ll be able to do this. So head on over to Apple podcasts which is also iTunes and leave us a rating and review and maybe I’ll even read it on the show.

So thanks so much for listening. Until next time, get out there and build something


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *