The 52 Pluralsight Courses I'm Allowed to Watch in 2018

There is a lot of content released under the Pluralsight brand.

To be a bit more specific, there are 6529 courses on Pluralsight at the time of writing. (check out the current listings here.)

Considering I have a tendency to get far too into the organization of action over actual actions themselves, I often become frustrated by "too many options" so I thought I'd do future-Stachu a favor by making choices for him so he's not so darn distracted.

As such, I figured "Hey! There are only 52 weeks in a year and it's unlikely to watch more than one course a week," so I decided to filter Pluralsight's current offerings down to 52 courses that I'm allowed to watch in 2018. No courses released in 2018 matter to me until 2019. One more stipulation: I don't /have/ to watch a course fully through; if it turns out a course is quite boring, I'm free to bail.

So, the task is: reduce the 6000+ catalog of courses on and reduce it to 52. This turned out to be a huge task. Here's the resultant list: (Dynalist is the my #1 favorite software, btw. More posts on that later.)

Getting the initial list down to a limited 52 took hours of my life. It was very useful to me, taught me a fair bit, and helped me weigh my values. Rather than choosing courses because "they're fun," I chose ended up choosing courses out of deliberate intention of what I want my future to hold and what skills I intend to gain and exercise.

So, how do you narrow down from 6,529 courses down to 52? In waves.

Wave 1: Eliminate Irrelevant Courses

Pluralsight's offerings are fairly large, and while I certainly want to focus on increasing my breadth of knowledge, such breadth should still be constrained to what I want my future to hold.

Courses on the site are split into 8 major categories, currently.


So, the first thing I did was to download a full list of courses. Naturally being a developer, I grabbed the source code (Ctrl+U, thank you) from the course catalog, grabbed the <li> list, did some pluralsight hackery, and then imported the list into a new Dynalist node for elimination rounds.

From this point, I killed everything labeled "Photoshop," "CAD," "Excel," or anything else not specific to my intended skillset. This took around an hour, as many courses' titles had to manually interpreted with my eyeballs. At the end of the initial wave, I was down to a still-huge list of around 4000.

Wave 2: "Where do I want to be in 5 years?"

Now that I had killed all totally irrelevant courses, it was time for more courses to die. My long-term goals are focused on a mix of technical presentations, consultancy, and leading teams of developers (hey MSFT, want to hire me as a technical evangelist yet?), and the time I spend studying should be focused on such - right?

So, the killing began.


With this in mind, I start purging nodes the same way you purge files recklessly when your hard drive fills up. "meh, that probably won't be so useful...kill kill kill."

This lasted hours, as I mourned over the death of nodes in my list. Finally, I had ~1,000 courses left.

Wave 3: Kill duplicates

How am I supposed to get a list of 1,000 courses down to 52?! I've already eliminated everything irrelevant, uninteresting, or without growth potential!

With ~1,000 courses left, I started filtering the list by subject. My screen often looked something like this 2017-12-29_08h22_13
or this
as I reduce the list per-subject. This got the list down to just a few hundred, and took another several hours.

Wave 4: Basically round 2 again.

During the second round of purging, I left plenty of "oh but I'd love to see that..." courses in place. This round effectively consisted of removing more nodes, considering where I want my future to be.

2017-12-29_06h16_42 bye bye, F# type provider course :(


In any case, I finally got the list down to 52 courses, and I'm so glad I took the time to do this. Being so deliberate about the course-choosing forced me to take a deep look at my intentions with my career, and focus on breadth rather than depth of 'fun studying.'

I'm incredibly excited to get started with my first course of the year tomorrow, Hacking Ghost, so I can get this ball rolling. Stay tuned - the blog may be in much better shape soon due to the course's influence.

Edit on Jan 6, 2018: I'll watch that course sometime, but started with others! I will follow up once in a while with reviews of watched courses