Skip navigation
All Places > Bridge Playbook > Blog > Author: Renee Carney

Bridge Playbook

3 Posts authored by: Renee Carney Employee

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to express endearment towards the ones we love. It’s a time to recognize individuals for the presence they have in our lives! A valentine is often romantic, but it can also be a symbol of gratitude and adoration.


How do gratitude and adoration tie in to learning, you may ask? As human beings, we possess a passionate need to learn, and we recognize that we learn best when we leverage the individuals and collective knowledge around us. In turn, others feed our love of learning!


How often do you recognize those who have fostered your love of learning?  We’d like to encourage you to join us in expressing your affection for individuals or groups of people that have nurtured your learning. It could be a past experience, or a current experience. You may have one or many. Just pick one, or all, of the following, or find your own way, and share it out!



A Community Badge

We’re changing the user badges for three days (Feb 12-14th) to conversation hearts!


The same conversation heart images are available in this blog for you to copy and tweet.  Connect your tweet to the great community of learners by mentioning @CanvasLMS or @GetBridge and using the hashtag #LoveLearning


In the Canvas Community or blog destination of your choice.


Wherever you are in the world—for the love of learning’s sake—we hope that you’ll wake up Monday morning to a flood of love and a desire to share more!


Keep learning,


Adam Williams, Stefanie Sanders, Renee Carney and Friends

Instructure Community & Social Teams

We sat down with Ben Bolton, QA Automation Lead, otherwise known as, the guy responsible for quality assurance for Bridge. He set aside his 'non-automated' life to talk passion, talent and ways both lead to his work on Bridge.


Industry best practices attracts the best


When you are in the profession of providing confidence in a product, you leave nothing to chance. "I love the openness and the drive people have [at Instructure] to be their best," says Ben about his team and co-workers. "I work with some first class people!"


When it comes to Bridge, it's not just about ensuring successful end-to-end testing in multi-component environments (although that does sound pretty impressive!). Day-to-day, Ben helps to ensure the product delivers effective performance. But, if you ask him what he likes most about Bridge, he'd tell you why he really supports the efforts being made with Bridge integrations. "Rich content providers like and Open Sesame ... makes a great LMS that much better by giving people access to premium content."


Wood-working to motorcycle restoration


It's not all testing-testing-testing, of course. This Oregon-raised rockstar is all about fueling his passions, which includes his family and "making life better for my kids." If you catch him on the weekends, you might find him playing golf or tackling a wood-working project. He encourages others to be unafraid to try new experiences and foster their passion. As for Ben, he's been hoping to get started on his motorcycle restoration project he's been wanting to do. Maybe after another few rounds of testing...


Question for the Community


When we asked Ben what he'd like to know from other Bridge users, he wanted to learn more about their pain points in using Bridge and ways to overcome them.



Have any feedback for Ben? Share them by posting your comments below!

This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Zach Pendleton, Development Director for Bridge. He is one of our more seasoned 'pandas' (pandas being Instructure's unofficial mascot, in case you were wondering). Having joined the company over 4 years ago, he has spent the better part of his time managing the Bridge engineering teams.


But that's not all we chatted about...


"Smart groups are my favorite Bridge feature."


It is evident that Zach appreciates and embraces the diversity and contributions of each individual on his team. His effort to personalize management and make his team member's contributions meaningful is also transparent when developing features in Bridge. Which is why it's no surprise that his favorite feature is 'smart groups'. "By bucketing my employees into smart groups, by role, I’m able to automatically assign relevant training to new employees," he says, when differentiating development from the very beginning.


"Came for school, stayed for the Mexican food."


There is more to him than meets the eye. Zach was raised in Utah. During his school years, he played lead guitar and performed back-up vocals in an oldies cover band. "We performed at school dances, corporate parties, community events, and the odd barbecue." After a short stint away, he returned to Utah for graduate school and has been here ever since (partly because of the Mexican food!) A self-proclaimed vinyl enthusiast and foodie, he shares his knowledge of pop music and fine cuisine with his two kids. Some Zadie Smith or George Saunders by day, new restaurants and concerts by night. That's Zach!


"In an alternate universe Justin Bieber is a software engineer."


It's clear Zach loves what he does as a profession. "I am always excited about learning more and improving as a software engineer, and as a manager," he shares. He says not a day goes by that he doesn't have the opportunity to learn or teach something. But if he had his way, Justin Bieber would have been a software engineer and he would be living the life of an international pop star. "But in this universe, it just didn't work out."


We are all so lucky to have such a passionate and energetic gentleman leading the engineering charge for Bridge!


Have any questions or feedback for Zach? Share them by posting your comments below!