Thursday, 12 September 2013

Coursolving my summer: living the product that I helped to create

By Naveed Jooma

My relationship with Coursolve is grounded in great trust. I was brought on board as a UX Engineer to help shape user experience through thoughtful design. I ended up doing much more than what was originally planned, but that’s the nature of creating a new platform; our diverse needs as an early stage venture required me to do much more than design. However, my experience with web design, front-end frameworks, databases, APIs, and the rest of the requirements of web-apps was extremely limited.

While the other members of the development team have formal training in computer science, I recently graduated from Brown University with a degree in neuroscience. The entirety of my design and software development experience comes from the handful of computer science courses I took during my undergraduate studies. Yet I, a relative novice in the space of web-app development, became part of the team that helped create the wonderful product that is Coursolve.

It’s because Coursolve’s central tenet is that students can solve real world problems that I was fortunate enough to be part of the team; because we deeply believe in the power of students, of non-experts, of students who have taken a few courses, like me. We believe that students can extrapolate the skills they’ve learned and apply them to create something meaningful. 

And there I was, a “knowledge outsider,” bright-eyed and willing to put in the time and effort necessary to complement my learning with experience. And the team trusted me enough, believed in me enough to let me help.

That’s what Coursolve is. It’s where students can apply their knowledge in real world settings to help organizations, and it’s where organizations place their trust in students in hopes of augmenting the students’ learning and receiving help along the way.

My experience with Coursolve was a micro-Coursolve, essentially a beta-test of the product in front of you today. I became part of a spectacular team that helped me learn and grow. We discussed and collaborated and bounced ideas off one another and helped address a need we believed in. And now we offer that same opportunity to the rest of the world.

Naveed is currently a UX Engineer with Coursolve.  You can read more about him here:  http://naveedjooma.com/