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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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From Producer to Product and Beyond

Producer

As a bottom-up guy, I've always needed to see the gears working to trust that the machine will do what I say it will. More than that, I believe that understanding the machine provides an unmatched power to deploy it.

So to confidently build a web-based tech business, I had to start by learning web development. But as important as that is, it's also easy to get caught up in the sprint and lose sight of the greater goal. Spending nights and weekends feverishly coding sure feels like a productive use of time and it can be a fantastic creative outlet but it isn't the optimal path to building value.

Recalling the Simple Model of Value Creation I laid out before, I've so far been learning the skills of a producer, the most granular level of value. It's an incredibly important skill set -- the best generals were soldiers and the best founders were product grunts too.

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