LinkedIn Learning

Recording my First LinkedIn Learning Course in LA

Last week symbolized the cumulation of all the holiday and weekend work I’d been doing for the past 3 months for LinkedIn Learning.  I flew in to LA, spent 3 full days there, recorded the video course, and flew back.  I think it may have been one of my most hurried trip ever, but by the 4th night, I felt like I’d spent at least a week, if not 2 full weeks, in SoCal.

I flew in to LAX Saturday afternoon, landing a little before 4PM. Flying in to the West Coast is always great because you get so much time back.  Flying back to the East Coast is always such a doozy, and I hate it.  Immediately, I realized that it’s raining.  It remained raining for most of the time I was there.  Kind of figures that of the “3 times a year” it rains in SoCal, I’d be there for the one time it’s raining for a whole week…


I spent the rest of the weekend with a few of my friends who live in the area, or drove down from SF to come see me for a little while.  I got to catch up with old friends and get updates on their lives.  It’s so amazing that friends I made on the other side of the continent are there and we can reconnect like we hadn’t had a break for months or years. (We’re all having such “adult” problems now! So strange.)

Having been filled up with delicious foods and gorgeous skylines and beaches, I headed out of LA to LinkedIn headquarters Monday morning to fulfill my “business trip” obligations of recording my first video course on cloud computing for LinkedIn Learning (previously known as!

Wait, back up, Hiro… What’s going on??


Yeah, I’m pretty baffled too.  Everything moved sooooo quickly.

In end of August, I decided to create AWS Newbies so I can prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam I was taking 2 weeks later.  I took the exam in beginning of September, and I passed.  I’d intended the website to get maybe 20 visitors a year or something, but I figured if nothing else, it would’ve served its purpose if I passed the exam.

Almost immediately after I completed the website, I started getting contacted by companies big and small to work as a technical writer for their company, either as contract or full-time.  Being a fledgeling engineer that I am, I told them that I’m not looking to make that kind of leap into writing yet, because I still wanted the hands-on technical experience to up my Experience Points *cue Pokemon BGM*.

Few weeks later, I was contacted by a content manager from LinkedIn to create an introductory cloud computing course for LinkedIn LearningLinkedIn Learning used to be before its acquisition.  Almost in a trance, unable to really absorb what was happening, I signed the contract in the airport lounge in Paris, in the end of October.

Preparing for the Recording

Feeling like I’ve found my audience base who had similar needs to myself, I spent a few weeks in October creating Intro to AWS for Newbies Newsletter Course and an Intro to AWS for Newbies eBook. Since the first week of November, 166 people have taken the free newsletter course, and 47 people purchased the eBook.

And then I got cracking down to business, creating the first course!

I mapped out the course, got assigned a producer (!!), and I spent the next few months creating the content for the videos I would be recording on-site in January.  The last 2 months of the year was honestly a blur as I traveled from New York to Maryland to New York, spending few weeks at a time in both locations as I worked on these projects while publicizing the eBook and newsletter course.

And of course, I’m still working full-time throughout this whole process.  As I mentioned in my 2018 reflections post, I got a promotion in November, which means that I’m now again in the “beginner” phase of my job, learning the ropes.  It’s been a bit stressful because I’m not quite sure where to even bite down on to start learning, but I’m nothing if not a learner, so hopefully I’ll figure it out within the next few months!

LinkedIn HQ


LinkedIn HQ, from the outside, didn’t look like anything I expected from a tech campus (LinkedIn is part of Microsoft).  But inside was very modern and techy, and definitely more than made up for the unassuming exterior.

It was so cool to be placed in a sound-proof booth with an audio engineer rigging everything up for me, and reading off scripts and recording like I’m a voice actress as my producer made comments in the booth across from me.

I learned to make sound from my stomach instead of my throat, to talk with weight, project my voice, and get over feeling silly empathically gesturing and talking into the air.

Instead of taking the whole entire week like we initially planned, I finished in a day and a half.  So I got shipped back to NYC on Wednesday instead of Friday. Which was why the trip was so short.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the “end product” will look like!

Hiroko Nishimura
AWS Community Hero. Special Education teacher turned IT Engineer turned Technical Writer. Author "AWS for Non-Engineers" (Manning Publications). Technical Instructor "Introduction to AWS for Non-Engineers" (LinkedIn Learning).

5 thoughts on “Recording my First LinkedIn Learning Course in LA”

  1. This sounds like such a great opportunity for you Hiro! What a trip though. Sounds exhausting. My husband has family in Bakersfield and all I’ve heard is how it hardly ever rains, and how it’s always breezy and sunny. That sucks that you got a rainy day while there. I’ve never been to California but I hear how nice some of the scenery is. However, I couldn’t IMAGINE flying in LAX. My anxiety would be through the roof. I can barely handle DFW and for a metropolis-level city it’s not even that bad xD

  2. I am so excited for this opportunity for you Hiro. That’s amazing. I can’t wait to hear all about the rest of your project and see the end result!

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