DEV Community

Cover image for Remembering Scott Allen
Jeremy Morgan for Pluralsight

Posted on

Remembering Scott Allen

"Hi, I'm Scott Allen... "

When you heard those words, in that voice, you knew you were about to learn something and have fun doing it.

Sadly Scott Allen passed away Friday. He was a founding author at Pluralsight, creating 54 courses for the Platform and becoming the top-performing author of all time. Scott was the host of the Herding Code Podcast, CTO of Medisolv, and a Microsoft Regional Director. He was an international speaker and an Icon of the ASP/.NET world. Visit Scott's Blog

Scott Allen

The Teacher

Scott is a big reason I am where I am today. Scott's course on C# was the first course I took at Pluralsight. I was a software engineer learning a whole new language and framework, and he brought it into clear focus for me. My skills and knowledge flourished so much I was mentoring folks on C# in a little over a year.

The Leader

First, he taught me, then inspired me. Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I've always shared my skills as soon as I gain them, but I never thought of myself in an instructor role. I enjoyed the act of showing someone something new. For the longest time, my vision of an "instructor" was the professors I had in school. Loud, energetic, and often brimming with ego. Words nobody would use to describe me.

Taking Scott's courses changed my mind. His relaxed yet confident style and ego-free attitude towards teaching were extremely effective. This was obvious by the tremendous impact he was making. It made me think there might be room in this world of online instruction for me. So I tried out for Pluralsight, and in 2016 I became an author which changed my life.

Scott Allen

The Mentor

In 2019 I joined Pluralsight as a full-time employee. At Pluralsight Live I hosted an event called "Tech Insights", where I spoke on stage with leaders at the conference. Scott was among the first people I asked to talk with, and he happily obliged.

While running from one spot to the next, I bumped into Scott near the entrance to the courtyard and introduced myself. He said, "Hey nice to meet you, do you want to join me for lunch?". I couldn't refuse.

During lunch, we talked about pretty much everything except tech, which was a good break for both of us that day. We talked about our families, where we live, the keto diet, and a funny story about him buying a new snow plow for his driveway. He eagerly anticipated that first snow, and when it came, the snowplow was covered so bad he couldn't get to it. He needed a snowplow to find his snowplow, he told me, laughing.

I found him to be a kind person and very down to earth. He treated me like an equal. Towards the end of the lunch, he was in full teacher mode, giving me some tips on authoring that I'll never forget.

Here are some big takeaways:

  • Don't obsess over things like statistics, views, and money. Whether your students are learning what you are teaching is the indicator of success. Focus on that.

  • Don't try to become the personality you think people want you to be in courses (I did this early on BTW). Be yourself, whoever that is.

  • Don't forget why you got into it. You're here to teach. Imagine your student is sitting right next to you as you speak into the microphone. Keep the learner viewpoint in your mind as much as possible.

These are principles I'll never forget.

He treated me with kindness and respect and offered wise advice. He showed how you could become a titan in an industry without sacrificing others or acting superior.

Scott Allen

The Person

I can't say I knew Scott that well, but I would guess his impact on the world around him went farther than professional success. He was a true geek in every sense of the word and loved sharing knowledge. He also enjoyed building others up. Over the years, I've never seen him bashing others, punching down, or doing anything other than being kind and gracious. He volunteered a lot of time and energy into his community, doing what he loved, which was building people up.

He was a truly kind and generous person who will be missed.

The best way we can honor Scott is to be more like Scott. Let's do more to build up those around us.

Here's what our CEO had to say about Scott's passing

Here are some things his fellow technologists had to say about him.

You can also listen to our first podcast episode which featured the man himself.

play pause All Hands on Tech

Top comments (10)

gpapadopoulos profile image
George Papadopoulos

Very sad and shocked to find out about this. K Scott Allen was the reason I started my subscription to PS a few years ago. His unique style of teaching as well as his clear distinctive voice, made for a great instructor. I've never had the hounour to meet him in person, unfortunately, but his contributions to the community are his legacy to the rest of us. There aren't many instructors like Scott around(with all the respect to the instructors world wide, but this is my biased opinion. Sorry guys). He will definitely be missed. RIP.

mbbrennan profile image

This is such a great post Jeremy. Scott, through his Pluralsight videos, made a huge impression on me. When I first started using Pluralsight, I tried a few videos and they were good and then I discovered Scott courses and I because a Pluralsight fan - telling people how great the courses were. I am going to listen to the interview you did with him. It's a terrible loss especially for his family.

cutman89 profile image

I learn a lot with him,very sad that he passed away ,he was a great teacher, may his soul rest in peace :(

dennishorne profile image

He was a great teacher. I really enjoyed his pluralsight courses.

ak0785 profile image

I'm genuinely saddened, I didn't know him personally but through pluralsight I've followed nearly all of his courses and purchased some of his books. A model human being, RIP Scott...

kingzamzon profile image
Samson Adesanoye

During ALC4.0 I learnt alot from Scott Allen course on Mobile Web track. Will forever miss you. Your impact still remain

yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar

A huge portion of what I learned in programming is from Scott Allen... His memory will never be forgotten and may his soul rest in peace.

damn123 profile image

I've taken some of his classes. With him we have lost a person with incredibly good pedagogical skills.
I will miss him very much as a teacher, he was really TOP. Very sad.

olufemifowosire profile image

You are a great loss to our generation. RIP Scott!

danspark profile image
Daniel Reis

I owe a lot to him, migrating from to c# just when I was learning to code was a little hard to me, but I was lucky to have such a good teacher. Rest in peace.