Pluralsight & Stack Overflow: Helping the World’s Developers Learn New Skills


Today we’re excited to announce a partnership with Pluralsight, the enterprise technology learning platform.

Stack Overflow’s mission has always been to the help the world’s developers; whether it’s helping them get answers to their coding problems through Q&A, or helping them build their career with Jobs. Pluralsight has many of the same goalshelping the tech community grow their skills, share their knowledge, and create progress through technologymaking the partnership a win-win for all involved.

The Developer Learning Journey

How developers learn has grown over time. Years ago, developers would visit their university’s bookstore, check out a book, and then read up on the software or programming language they were trying to learn. While this still may happen today, the majority of developers are learning through online courses, coding bootcamps, Pluralsight, and Stack Overflow.

Our CEO Joel Spolsky says, “What [Pluralsight CEO] Aaron and I have in common is that we both wrote books for developers. Today’s developers don’t necessarily have time to read booksthey need to learn three things today that they’re going to use immediately. Pluralsight is all about building core skills that you’re going to need later on, while Stack Overflow is how you fill in those gaps of knowledge, just-in-time.”

How We’re Improving It

This partnership is two-foldit involves integrating Stack Overflow’s Developer Story and Pluralsight’s new product, Pluralsight IQ. Between the two platforms, developers have the most comprehensive data related to their learning journeys. 

Developer Story was built to give developers a way to show off what they know and built. Incorporating things like open source projects, top questions, and articles or blog posts helps developers expand their story beyond the archaic resume elements, like education and work experience. But there’s never been a standardized way for them to show their proficiency in a programming language, for example.

That’s where Pluralsight IQ comes in. This product allows developers to measure their skill level in about 5 minutes in dozens of technologies. Skill IQ is a quantifiable skill level based on a percentile rating for the skill area or technology. It also includes a date of verification which matches the date they completed the assessment.

so dev story pluralsight

In the first phase of this partnership, developers who use both platforms will be able to share their Skill IQ on their Stack Overflow Developer Story page. Developers who add this feature to their Story will have instant third-party skills verification that allows them to showcase their knowledge.

How You Can Participate

Take an assessment, add it to your Developer Story, and let us know what you think!


Rachel Ferrigno
Marketing (Former)
Marketing @ Stack Overflow

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  1. Developer story and signing up with plural sight.
    This is a bad deal.

  2. I wonder if there are any software developers out there that care in the slightest about their pluralsight IQ.

    1. Not a single person cares…

  3. Ashley Medway says:

    So you get money off sign-ups and we get what exactly?

  4. While I understand that some StackOverflow members might not immediately recognise the utility of having their skills quantified in some manner, those of us who have not had a position as an employee for several years (because we have been self-employed) and are now actively looking for employers might appreciate it more.

    Additionally, I wish that StackOverflow would explicitly recognise that not all members are “developers”. It’s not dissimilar to suggesting that everyone who can write is a “writer”.

    For me, as a professonal in PR and journalism, digital and social media & marketing, putting stuff together in javascript, PHP, html5, css3, svg, json, ajax, jquery… it’s just digital literacy.

  5. “This product allows developers to measure their skill level in about 5 minutes in dozens of technologies.”

    By just asking a handful of questions? Sounds like it would be very inaccurate. Also, I imagine it can be cheated quite easily. Now this is perfectly fine for self-assessment, but using it as a measurement to help employers finding potential employee is ridiculous.

    Just call it what it is: Advertising for PluralSight.

  6. Mario De Schaepmeester says:

    I’ve taken Pluralsight IQ tests for topics on which I’ve barely grazed the surface and ended up being an “Intermediate” or even an “Expert” already, way up in the 50th to 30th percentile.

    By that standard I’m an extremely talented genius who should be working at one of the Big Four…

  7. Pros: Tried it now on C# – hard questions that after I reviewed and actually learned something new. Seems like I’m proficient (there’s novice, proficient, and expert). Will retake it (you have 1 retake, with highest score taken) once I feel a bit more expert and then post to SO :-P.

    Cons: Not sure how much these questions can really measure skill (using/understanding the newest/obscurest features of a programming language doesn’t necessarily means you’re a talented developer who can tackle problems in reality).

  8. Can’t comment on Pluralsight, have never used it.

    Even if the “IQ” score is as meaningless as people say, though, this is still pretty benign as far as revenue-raising measures go.

    As long as they don’t harm the core mission of Stack Overflow, I’m perfectly fine with collaborations like this even if they’re really a form of advertising.

  9. I’m not really sure if this is something helpful or not, but I am missing Kotlin as language and I can imagine that also languages like Swift are missing.

  10. Tim Castelijns says:

    Took the test but the results are not shown on my storyline. It just shows a generic pluralsight image, and a plain android tag with no score next to it.

    1. Me too. Just a generic image without score.

    2. Same here. 🙁

      1. Hi there! that’s a known bug, we’re working with Pluralsight on a fix. I will update this answer at meta once it’s fixed:

        I will also leave a comment here.

        1. This is now fixed, and all the assessments have been backfilled.

  11. Why my SO acc not here says:

    I can not log in. Great site.

  12. Robert Harvey says:

    Pluralsight is a great resource. When the team I work with needed to learn WPF, we could have gone for a 5 day training at a cost of $1600 each, but we decided to buy Pluralsight subscriptions instead. That, combined with a Safari Books Online subscription gives us plenty of coverage. We get tons of other useful training, and we get it for the whole year, not just 5 days. The interactive video format makes otherwise opaque subjects quite approachable; there’s nothing quite like someone drawing red circles around code in Visual Studio to help you “get it.” Pluralsight’s material is very comprehensive. Overall, I have been very happy with it.

  13. Seems pretty Microsoft-centric. I’m sure it’s great if you’re a .NET dev or front-end only, but anyone else is going find major holes in what they cover.

  14. No. Pluralsight’s courses are great. But they have become too big and are taking over everything like the blob

  15. Taken a few tests, here’s what I can say:
    1) The site design and UX is pretty underhanded. But this is told in earlier comments as well.
    2) Many questions are low quality. Programmer is not a compiler and accurately predicting compiler output with adverse code snippets is not a measure of programming ability. I didn’t bother to do these and just guessed, still got an Expert though.
    3) I’ve been able to convince it that I’m an expert in Photoshop™ although I’ve last seen it ~3 years ago and never used it too much, I’m a programmer after all. This might also speak about the quality of the tests. (answering a couple of trivial questions ≠ being an expert)
    4) I hope it’s obvious that this scheme won’t work anyway. it’d be trivial to snatch the correct answers with (a couple of) throwaway accounts, then quickly bash them in.

  16. Kyle Williamson says:

    Although I love as a learning resource, Pluralsight IQ needs some work. From my experience, the tests ask 10-20 questions about a broad topic. After the first time you take the test, you get an immediate free retake. These retakes reuse some of the same questions! Until they increase the quantity or improve the quality of questions, I would not in good conscious show off my Plurasight IQ.

  17. I think another approach might be to allow those who use StackOverflow and have taught on PluralSight, etc. to link accounts, thereby showing the video tutorials they have done. That would demonstrate skill and the ability to teach/pass on that skill, as well.

  18. Although SO says there’s a way to sign in OR sign up, when I land at Pluralsight, I see no way to sign in (I do have account there already). Also, I’m wondering if my existing IQ scores there would be visible on SO…

    1. OK, it turned out that id I use the same email for signing up, Pluralsight will not sign me up, but will just sign me in to my account.

  19. There are not enough IQ skills available, e.g. for debugging, WinDbg, assembler. It has just the mainstream languages.

    And that Pluralsight IQ can be cheated: simply google a guestion and you’ll (ironically) find the answer on Stack Overflow, giving you an excellent grade.

  20. Their IQ algorithm is fundamentally flawed.

    Here’s what they do: They try to narrow down the possible range of IQ you have. Answering a question correctly means you weren’t at the bottom of the range. Answer a question incorrectly means you weren’t at the top of the range.

    But there’s one huge problem: The first 3 questions affect your possible range the most, so they matter a LOT. I got the first 2 questions wrong, and then the next 16 right. My score was 206 out of a possible 300. Getting the first 2 questions wrong made it so that it was impossible for me to score more than barely above 200. If I had saved my 2 misses for the final questions, my score would have been probably 280.

    Yes, there is the factor of question difficulty, but you just can’t assume that an expert will always get an easy question right. There needs to be a way to prove that an early miss was a fluke.

  21. “Today’s developers don’t necessarily have time to read books” <- this is the most depressing thing I have read all day (admittedly it’s only 9am).

  22. Alisson Reinaldo Silva says:

    The objective of the IQ is not to proof you are an awesome developer and can tackle real problems gracefully. If a recruiter used IQ like this, they would be terrible.

    I believe the idea is just to show you have some skills with some technology/programming language in general, which does not guarantee you are a good developer at all. This is just “one more” thing you can add to your profile and show to whoever is interested in your profile (e.g recruiters), as well as your previous job experiences, graduation, certifications. They all complement each other.

  23. One can easily score more than 200 even if they are not familiar with the technology. It’s the same questions being repeated over and over again.

  24. Investigating further this seems like a complete rip-off. You have to pay to do their course to buy more retry attempts.

    The work-around appears to be to just make a new Pluralsight account. There is no limit and you can keep adding them to your SO account. You can also delete any low scores you don’t want to be seen.

  25. Can’t comment on Pluralsight, have never used it.

    Even if the “IQ” score is as meaningless as people say, though, this is still pretty benign as far as revenue-raising measures go.

    As long as they don’t harm the core mission of Stack Overflow, I’m perfectly fine with collaborations like this even if they’re really a form of advertising.

  26. how can we import the existing Skills IQ score from pluralsight to stackoverflow. Is there any provision ? It is always asking to take new assessments.

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