A Day in the Life of an E-Learning Developer

Today I’m sitting on the patio of my ocean-view hotel room, sipping coffee from the Keurig machine, and in this part of my 3-part clause, I would have said something like “and capturing the occasional glimpse of lights flashing on the Santa Monica pier’s ferris wheel,” but for whatever inexplicable reason, it’s off for the first time since I got here.

This is not how I start most of my days. In fact, I have never started a day like this in my life. I’ve never been in Santa Monica before, and I’ve never even had an ocean front hotel room. But it’s the day I’m going to tell you about.

Most days, I get out of bed at 10 am after responding to emails on my phone. I do some light client work before walking to the deli around the corner from me. It’s located inside of the NASA Headquarters. I get the aptly named NASA Turkey Melt on sourdough. The guy at the counter starts writing down my order the second I walk in. It’s the first place I’ve ever reached “regular” status at.

Today, I walked down the street to a breakfast café that served up the meanest eggs and sausage breakfast combo I’ve had for a long time. The seating is outdoors in an area covered with lovely plants and vines. The waiter asked if he would see me tomorrow.

“Nope, sorry, flying home,” I smile and respond.

“Oh that’s too bad, Rachel! I hope you have a great trip!”

Most days, I head home, sip a Kickstart (I’m a bit of an energy drink aficionado), and get down to work. Sometimes there’s no client work, so I work on my website or on a course I’m creating to sell.

Today, the bellhop calls down a cab who takes me to an amazing company that I’m working for on a contract basis. It’s my second day on their campus. I set up my laptop and chat with the people around me. Someone comes up just to introduce himself to me and say hello. When I tell him what I do, he immediately says, “oh hey, I have this project in mind… maybe you’d want to collaborate?”

Most days, I may get on a call with a client, or respond to inquiries. Last week I discussed a project with a new potential client. He had an Articulate Storyline project in mind. I recommended a better, cheaper option using WordPress.org and LearnDash for his needs.

He’s excited to get started, even if he doesn’t hire me. There’s a chance he could do it on his own. I’m just happy to have pointed him in a direction that makes more sense for his project.

Today, I walk around the company’s campus with the subject matter expert I am working with. We take pictures of real people for the e-learning vignettes I’m working on for them. Everyone said, “sure, why not?” when asked to pose. Then took it very seriously. The scenarios are now visually so much better than anything stock photos could have provided.

Yesterday, I had about five interviews for a full-time role at this amazing place. Today, I have two more. One is with a graphic design and film trainer who has worked at some of the most well-known geekdom-related companies in the world. One is with their VP of Talent, someone whose progressive policies at an earlier organization made national headlines.

Maybe you’ve read some of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. You know how there are just certain places on the Disc that just overflow with magic and strange magical things just happen? This place overflows with passion, and amazing things happen because of it. Fortunately, it’s not due to any wars or anything like on the Disc. It’s just due to straight up having an awesome mission and hiring abilities.

I love what I do everyday. I love e-learning, I love instructional design. I love working with my clients, every single one. I even like working from home most days. I don’t mean to make it sound like every other day of my life sucks. It’s just that almost every other day of my professional life pales in comparison to how the last two days have been.

I have never walked out of a company I’m interviewing for wanting to cry a little, just because I have to leave. Of course, that may have been the jet lag speaking at that point too.

I did take pictures with everything I could at the end of the day, and did a little spin to take it all in – just in case it was the last time I would step through their doors.

Most days as an e-learning developer are great, but it’s days like the past two that remind me why I love it so much. They take their learning and development team seriously, it’s not just another compliance check mark. They see it as an absolute necessity to the success of their mission. Every person, not just the learning and development team, plays a necessary role there, and the talent just seeps through the walls.

It was so invigorating to talk to a group of people who are so passionate, inspiring, and down to earth all at the same time. I’ve never talked to so many people in one place who absolutely loved their job, the company, and their coworkers as much as they did.

Even if it doesn’t work out in the end, the experience is one that I will absolutely never forget or take for granted. It will be the experience that I will always try my hardest to live up to.

Thanks ttcInnovations for the opportunity to linkup with other bloggers and share a sneak peek into my daily (and not so daily) routine! Everyone who’s participating is sharing their own stories so check them out!


Jackie Van Nice

Ashley Chaisson

Melissa Milloway

I need to live here forever