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Erik Trautman

Technical entrepreneurship, business strategy and product development

What youll learn v2 mock oct 2014

TheOdinProject.com Redesign Part II: Turning Pretty Mockups Into Code

The Odin Project is a free online curriculum for learning web development with Ruby on Rails. It stitches together the best existing content into an opinionated and straightforward path for going from total novice to hireable as a junior developer.

I recently overhauled http://www.theodinproject.com to turn the website from the barest minimum into the kind of platform that can support a meaningful user experience and grow over time.

Because the project is founded on the belief that transparency and openness facilitate learning, in this two-post series I'll walk through the decisions behind the redesign and the tactics and trade-offs that were a part of its implementation. Find the first post here.

Getting Started

With the redesign goals laid out and the wireframes put together (see Part I), the needs of the users and the site owner were represented and it was time to move towards actually building it.

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Odin mock

TheOdinProject.com Redesign Part I: Goals (and Loving Thy User Experience)

The Odin Project is a free online curriculum for learning web development with Ruby on Rails. It stitches together the best existing content into an opinionated and straightforward path for going from total novice to hireable as a junior developer.

I recently overhauled http://www.theodinproject.com to turn the website from the barest minimum into the kind of platform that can support a meaningful user experience and grow over time.

Because the project is founded on the belief that transparency and openness facilitate learning, in this two-post series I'll walk through the decisions behind the redesign and the tactics and trade-offs that were a part of its implementation. You can view Part II here

The Old

The Odin Project started from some pretty darn humble beginnings -- it originated as a collection of Markdown files about web development on Github and a splash page that linked to them:

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Reflections on 2013 and Looking Ahead to 2014

At the end of every December, I clean off the white-boards, flip to a new sheet of paper in my notepad, and sit down to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the coming year. The older I get, the more importance this ritual seems to have. The end-2011 review put me on the path to upending my life and moving to San Francisco. End-2012 end-capped the most disruptive and incredible year of my life and had so many unknowns that it was almost impossible to plan more than a few months ahead into 2013.

All those unknowns meant that a lot happened in 2013. I learned how to code, worked at a startup, broke off a long term relationship and founded The Odin Project. I've also become more and more fully engaged with life -- I'm getting closer to eliminating "empty time" like mindless web surfing or TV watching or other wasteful activities.

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