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By Mark Niemann-Ross | Friday, August 24, 2012

Bruce Rich’s insatiable quest for knowledge

Bruce Rich has watched 25,341 videos from the lynda.com video library. Thought of in a different way, he has consumed 52 full days worth of knowledge. It’s like watching eight hours of educational TV every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for a complete year. It’s like watching the complete Star Wars saga ninety-five times.

lynda.com member Bruce Rich in a room that has 508 lynda.com certificates of completion lining the walls and the floor.

Bruce Rich has completed 508 courses, and has the certificates to prove it.

The amount of time Rich spends watching educational videos may seem outlandish. But if you’ve read Outliersyou are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s rule that 10,000 hours of practice leads to mastery of a topic—a competency. Most of us have worked on something for 10,000 hours, so Rich is unique only in that he’s mastered two and one-half competencies. Think of it like a master’s degree.

“I very seldom watch TV,” says Rich. “I get up early and do training instead. My son says I’m off in my own little world.”

During the daylight hours, Rich is the president of Hot Off The Press, Inc., a commercial printer located in Des Plaines, Illinois. He’s worked in the printing industry for 40 years, starting with letterpress, moving to offset, and now supplying brochures, catalogs, and banners. His next goal is supplying web sites and mobile app development for his customers.

“I have a customer with 100,000 products on his web site,” says Rich. “I made some suggestions, and now he wants me to take it over. I need to learn more before I take that on, but lynda.com shows you everything you need.”

Rich uses a couple of tricks to speed up his learning. Because he’s paying close attention while watching, he speeds the playback to double-speed, then slows it down when he needs to practice an example. He uses the exercise files and transcripts to preview and review the material.

“Deke moves fast,” says Rich. “Pausing the playback is crucial. When you’re doing the exercises, your hand is getting trained.”

Bruce Rich enjoys learning, and his customers benefit from his newfound knowledge. Rich used information from Deke McClelland and Chris Orwig to improve a product shot for Stewarts Coffee in Chicago. The company was thrilled with the results: a coffee can without hotspots.

“Customers see the certificates on the wall, and when they realize I’ve taken a course in something, they ask me for help,” says Rich. “I use the videos on lynda.com to preview software before I buy it, and use it to research customer recommendations.”

What’s next? Rich swears he’ll be taking a break after he finishes the series on Adobe Creative Suite 6. But then…

“A friend wants to write iPhone apps,” he says. “I’ll need to learn some Cocoa and Objective-C.”

Perhaps Rich should start clearing another room for the next 500 certificates.

By Michael Ninness | Monday, April 18, 2011

Chris Coyier helps a print designer learn WordPress

We recently received the following via our site feedback form (available at the bottom of every page):

From:  Nancy White, April 7, 2011

Hi. Where can I leave feedback about a particular course? I’ve been taking the best course EVER!

I responded and let her know she could simply use the same form again, click the course feedback button at the bottom of every course page, or simply reply to my email. Here is her more detailed response, which she graciously agreed to let me share here as a blog post:

I have been singing the praises of lynda.com for many years. It’s hands-down the best learning place online.

I’ve worked in print and online publications for many years. I’ve enjoyed most of the courses I’ve taken at lynda.com, but often it’s on subjects that I am already quite familiar with, so I’ve picked up some great tips and tricks.

But I’ve known next-to-nothing about WordPress. I’ve always considered it a platform for a personal, mom-and-pop-type blog, something I had no need for. But as you know, WordPress has come a long way! As my clients are getting smarter and more tech savvy, they are demanding web sites that they can easily update themselves. So, I’ve learned the fundaments of Joomla! and WordPress, but was very limited when it came to customization.

Enter Chris Coyier’s course WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes! Something I knew nothing about, but definitely wanted to learn.

I gained an incredible amount of knowledge from this course. I’ve been able to convert a rather complicated HTML site into a custom WordPress theme! I am ecstatic!  It did not happen overnight, but it happened. I am happy, and the client is happy!

The lessons in this course are a great reference I keep coming back to. I would be happy to see more from Chris Coyier. He’s very practical and easy to follow.

Thank you again for this and all the other great content from lynda.com.

Loving it!

Nancy White

Thank you for sharing your success story with us, Nancy. It always excites us to hear how our members are applying what they learn from the Online Training Library®. In this day and age, it is so important for designers to start getting comfortable and savvy with designing for multiple mediums. Feel free to share your own stories with us via the site feedback or course feedback buttons, or add a comment below. Yes, we really do read every single one.

Happy learning,

Michael Ninness VP of Content, lynda.com

By Megan O. Read | Tuesday, May 04, 2010

lynda.com member story: Scott Haines and the Virtual Choir project

I was introduced to Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir through a music-loving lynda.com author who had seen the video Lux Arumque on YouTube, and had written to find out more about the project.

It turns out that Scott Haines, the producer and editor of Lux Arumque, had relied heavily upon his lynda.com membership and our After Effects training tutorials to complete his truly massive project.

I was able to reach Scott via a Skype video call this past weekend to talk to him directly about his story. I hope you enjoy.

And by the way, please forgive the choppy edits of this interview. I was so excited to share Scott’s story with you that I conducted the interview in Skype, and used iMovie ’09 Essential Training to learn how to edit this together. It was my first editing attempt.

And now, for really impressive editing and production, here’s Lux Arumque, edited and produced by lynda.com member Scott Haines. Turn up your speakers and watch full-screen for the best effect.

For more information on Eric Whitacre’s projects, and Scott’s next editing jobs, check out Eric’s Facebook fan page, and Eric Whitacre’s Blog.

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