Desire2Work @ Desire2Learn

Let’s say you’ve been dating someone for 8 or 9 years. After all that time, you still get along really well. Maybe it’s time to tie the knot and make your relationship more permanent – or at least as “permanent” as those things can be.

Figuratively speaking, that’s what’s happening with my career in education. I recently signed a job offer sheet and all the other necessary paperwork to tie the knot with a company where I hope to spend the rest of my working years.

I’ve known some of the people in this company for nine years now. They are talented and driven and inspired. There are many other newer employees that I’ve haven’t yet met. I’m looking forward to meeting many of the newer folks during the next couple of months.

It will probably not come as a surprise to many people in the e-learning world that I’ve taken a job with Desire2Learn. I’ve told many people over the years that there was only one company that I’d dealt with while CIO of a college in Minnesota that I would be willing, even anxious, to work for. That company is D2L. Even after a nine year relationship, nothing has happened to change that point of view for me.

Almost every interaction with them has been pleasant, engaging, and positive. I consider many of the D2Lers to be friends of mine. The company is doing great and I look forward to being part of the team that continues to execute on their mission and vision.

John Baker and Barry Dahl at FUSION 2007

My connection with D2L started in the spring of 2003 when I was the chair of the the MnSCU IMS of the Future task force. Desire2Learn submitted a response to our RFP and was selected to be one of the four finalists for the process. In May 2003, I met John Baker and Jeremy Auger for the first time at St. Cloud State University for the day-long demonstration of the D2L platform. Their presentation that day, along with a superior written response to the RFP, elevated D2L to the top of the list of the platforms being considered. Other milestones:

  • My former college started using D2L in place of WebCT in 2004.logo for 2007 FUSION conference in Duluth, Minnesota
  • In 2006, I started Desire2Blog (which I shuttered last month – no new posts).
  • In 2007, we hosted the D2L FUSION Conference in Duluth.
  • In 2011, my job was eliminated at the college. John Baker told me “If you ever need a job …”
  • In April 2012, I signed an offer sheet to become a D2L employee.
  • May 9, 2012 will be my first day on the job as Senior Community Manager for D2L, Ltd.

Just a few quickies.

  • I am able to work as a remote employee so my family will not need to relocate. Major kudos to D2L for making these opportunities available. Most of my time will be spent in “the hole” (my basement (dungeon) office) and traveling. I will spend a few weeks each year at D2L headquarters in Kitchener.
  • Although I don’t start until 5/9, I’m already working on some ideas to create a whole new User Community experience for D2L clients and employees.
  • I will no longer be conducting business as Excellence in e-Education. I loved it, but I’m going to love this even more.

    Dinner with D2L friends in Denver for FUSION 2011

    CC-By photo: Terri-Lynn Brown

  • I’ve made so many friends over the years who are in the D2L user community, like those in the photo on the right from FUSION 2011. I’m thrilled that I’ll still have the opportunity to interact with all those friends and with the new friends that I’ll get to meet along the way. Yay!!

14 Responses

  1. This is great news, Barry! I just know that mixing your talents and energy with that already in place at Desire2Learn will only mean lightning in a bottle!! Congratulations!!

  2. Congrats! I am not at all surprised. Seems like a logical move for you and for D2L.

  3. Barry,
    I am glad to read that you have partnered with D2L. That is great that you are so excited to become a part of that company. IT speaks volumes about the company that you are able to work for them and yet not have to relocate. I hope that it is all you expect, all you have wished for and more. Enjoy!

  4. Awesome news! Congrats to you…and lucky D2L!

  5. Congrats Barry! I look forward to hearing about your new venture with D2L and hope to see you in San Antonio in October if not before!

  6. What a great combination–like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Don’t know who’s who in that metaphor (or I suppose simile) but I’m happy for both parties!

  7. Thanks for all the great comments Audrey, Vicki, Cindy, Melanie, Cali, and Kari. Will try to capture lightning in a peanut butter jar. 🙂

  8. Congrats, Barry, glad to see you working with the D2L crew. You certainly have been a great advocate for them, and I know you’ll be great in your role with them.

  9. Brilliant. We are going to have a lot of fun Barry. Look forward to working with you. =Al

  10. Congratulations Barry! This is good news for everyone in higher education.

  11. Congrats Barry on your new role!! Looking forward to all the exicting changes you will be making!!

  12. […] More info about my decision to take a job at D2L can be found at my blog: […]

  13. Great news Barry! I look forward to the D2L user community. cheers

  14. […] Flashback: As most of the people who would be reading this already know, I started a new job with Desire2Learn back in May, 2012. It’s been just over 7 months now, and I’m still very glad that I […]

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