My L&D Journey

My foray into the world of Learning & Development (L&D) began when I was a senior in college. I was heavily invested in my academic pursuits at the time, writing my undergraduate thesis and considering pursuing a PhD in English Literature. However, a simple part-time job application changed my professional trajectory (and I’m very grateful for it, too).

Devlin Peck graduating from FSU

I applied for a remote, part-time journalism job at a tech company in California. The interview went excellently, but the interviewer informed me that the journalism position had been filled. So, instead, she offered me a position on the newly formed corporate training team. Eager to put my writing skills to work in a different way and make a positive impact, I accepted.

This marked the beginning of my L&D career. The training team didn’t have many good processes in place, so my job at the time consisted of editing copy in information-dump PowerPoint files. Considering that I had taught a few classes to other undergraduates and taken a few education classes, I couldn’t shake the feeling that these PowerPoints weren’t helping people learn or do much of anything.

I began doing research on eLearning development and instructional design. I wanted to create training that people actually wanted to take — training that would actually help people do their jobs better.

I soon had the freedom to design a few courses of my own, and I began working with subject matter experts to design scenario-based training using the limited technology that I had at my disposal. After witnessing my swift progress, my manager promoted me to the team lead, and I led a team of 7 other designers and developers moving forward.

Around the same time, I was finishing up my thesis and looking into Florida State University’s Master’s program in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies. I saw that the learning and development field provided rich opportunities to write, learn new technology, and help others learn, which are three passions of mine that fuel me forward to this day.

So, I decided to pursue wholeheartedly a career in L&D - partly because of how it aligned with what I’m passionate about and partly because I was drawn to the possibility of growing my own remote business. I enrolled in FSU’s Master’s program and started my first class one week after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree.

During that first summer of my Master’s program, I spent as much time as I could using Articulate Storyline, learning Adobe Illustrator, and building my eLearning portfolio. Once I had a portfolio together, I landed my first client on Upwork.

I also soon found out that growing my own instructional design and eLearning development business would be a viable pursuit. During the Fall, I spent several hundred hours learning HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript to code a completely custom, responsive portfolio website.

Once I brought the hand-coded portfolio live, my client list ballooned and I enlisted the help of my partner in life and business, Taylor Villucci. I quit my job at the tech company and we both began working on the business full-time.

We started supporting larger projects, too. Within another year, we were working alongside teams at Fortune 500 companies and billion dollar brands. However, I did learn during this time that there’s a lack of focus in L&D on achieving business goals and producing measurable impacts on human performance.

This led me deep into the world of performance consulting. I built upon by Master’s in the field by voraciously consuming every performance consulting book I could get my hands on, and I started implementing performance consulting principles in my day-to-day work.

Long story short — I try to only design or develop eLearning when both myself and the client are confident that it will improve human performance and produce measurable results for the business.

At the same time, clients were coming to me because of my technical skill set. They needed help implementing xAPI and creating highly custom eLearning interactions — both of which required my JavaScript know-how.

Today, I use my rich learning and development skill set to support a wide range of digital learning projects. Whether I’m developing an eLearning simulation, interviewing employees to identify performance problems, or writing JavaScript to track learning and performance data, I’m in my happy space. I love this field and the work that I do.

Going forward, I hope to continue securing clients that are eager to push the boundaries of what’s possible with digital learning, all while keeping a strong focus on the results that we would like to see.

Now, that’s enough about me. I’d love to get to know you. Please, feel free to contact me and introduce yourself.

Return to my About page.