Our Job Is Not To “Develop Learning”


As software developers, we often think our job is to develop software, but, really, that is just the means to an end, and the end is to empower businesses to reach their goals. Your code may be elegant, but if it doesn’t meet the objectives (be they time or business) it doesn’t f***ing work.

Leon Fayer: “Your Code May Be Elegant”

The same goes for the field of learning. Our job is not to “develop learning”, but to empower businesses and/or individuals to reach their goals. Your eLearning course may be elegant, but if it doesn’t satisfy the real business or performance objectives (notice I did not say “learning objectives”), it doesn’t f***ing work.

6 thoughts on “Our Job Is Not To “Develop Learning”

  1. Brian, you’re right on two fronts, workplace L&D is always about the business. Second, nobody develops learning: L&D develops courses and materials, individuals learn.

    1. Brian- Loved your observation- but Ara’s addition really knocked it out of the park: the only person who creates learning, is the learner. (HT to Reuben Tozman who often challenges the common imisperception of L&D Pros creating a “magic bubble of learning”).

  2. I remember seeing a talk very very early in my career about design. I think it might have been an off-the-cuff remark but the presenter was talking about features in chairs, something that is generally pretty badly done (and this was 5-6 years pre-Aeron) – if the user can’t find the feature, it (for all intents and purposes) doesn’t exist. Was helpful for me to start to think about the experience from the perspective of the consumer of the experience rather than the creator of that experience.

    1. “Think about the experience from the perspective of the consumer…” is the FIRST thing I try to get clients to do, Steve. Accessibility and usability should be prioritized. Sadly, they are often forgotten altogether.

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