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Erik Trautman

Technical entrepreneurship, business strategy and product development

The Odin Project

It's been some time since I last got the chance to put down some words here and it's not for lack of anything to say. I've been incredibly busy over the past few months putting together what has been a devilishly interesting and intense project. I left my position at App Academy in May to do so full time.

The Odin Project is an attempt to put my efforts where my mouth is... a chance to try and make a meaningful impact in online education. The goal of the project is to educate developers from absolute beginner to employable using the same project-based and pair-oriented methodology that proved so effective in my own education. It is based around an open-source curriculum that leverages as much existing content as possible to get from A to B.

Building out the curriculum and the tools to help students pair together has been a herculean task so far but traction is picking up and I'm running a regular class based on what I've put together. It's incredibly exciting to see the project so far help real people take a meaningful step forward in their own education. I'm also beginning to get interest from other developers in the community, which has opened up some great dialogues around the project.

The main goal here is to build a solution to the problem of online technical education, where the major issues have been quality, transparency, and collaboration. It's a huge problem and I've got no shortage of ambition to tackle it but it also requires a realistic and executable approach. Thankfully, along the way the project has attracted some of the top minds in the industry into the conversation, people for whom this is also a deep passion, and the team should continue to grow as it moves forward.

There are still a lot of unknowns regarding the appropriate direction to take and tools to do so, but it will be a user-driven process and that means I'll keep building the strongest curriculum I can to give value to those users along the way. Even if the business side of this eventually leaves nothing but a flaming crater in the ground, I'll feel pretty dang good to have created such a meaningful open source project along the way that should continue to deliver good value to lost beginners for a long time to come.