Tag Archives: programming
5 Oct

My first article for Ziptask’s blog, Work 3.0! I won’t make a habit of posting my Ziptask stuff here, but this is an exception.

Work 3.0

Don’t get ahead of me.

Freelancers, for many industries, are a fact of life. Media outlets hire them constantly to get fresh perspectives on newsworthy events. Programming development firms often include a revolving door of freelance or third-party programming and QA teams. And many artists subside entirely on freelancing, taking different jobs every few weeks or even every few days. According to this survey from CareerBuilder.com, one in three companies will turn to staffing/recruitment firms and freelancers this year.

But the process of employing freelancers? Sucks. No denying.

At your basest level is the initial act of simply finding a worker you want on your team. You spend money on job ads and spend time posting and responding to offers on Craigslist or LinkedIn or Freelancer or oDesk, hoping against hope to find the one useful name in a pile of thousands. And we haven’t even gotten to the interview…

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OpenStudy’s Mechanical MOOC Collaboration Teaches You Python, Is Predictably Awesome

23 Aug

MOOC

Were you aware that I love OpenStudy? The crowdsourced study space was one of the first examples I found of a platform that really accomplishes something that could only be done through crowdsourcing, and I’ve been proudly singing its praises ever since.

So naturally, when yet another fantastic new update landed in my inbox, I expected greatness and was not disappointed. OpenStudy has teamed up with some very heavy hitters to create Mechanical MOOC, a massive online open course that will teach users how to program using the Python language.

The collaboration will take the strongest aspects of several platforms and combine them for the ultimate learning experience. OpenStudy, with their fantastic discussion and organization tools, will provide the collaboration aspects; MIT’s OpenCourseWare takes care of the subject material; Codecademy provides the tests and exercises; and the whole thing comes together on Peer 2 Peer University’s established online course space.

This melding of giants should set the standard for ambitious crowdsourcing efforts, especially because it’s so rare to see one company, let alone four, that is able to swallow its pride and admit that a competitor has certain better features. The fact that these companies would team up to provide a service that none of them could provide on their own? Well, that’s the sort of thing that just makes someone all warm and fuzzy inside.

Could you imagine if other companies took their cue from this? If we started seeing computers with Microsoft features, Apple user-friendliness, and Google applications? A fast food restaurant that had Big Macs, Checkers fries, and Starbucks coffee? Or heck, just one social network that combines the best parts of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, and Last.fm? How cool of a world would that be?

Sign up for the class (which starts on October 15) and see what can happen when companies put aside their differences for the greater good.

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