Your HUB to Tech resources! “Providing easy access to a diverse, robust, and affordable resource database needed to build and sharpen your tech skills.”
The surge of technology and people’s interest in how technology can solve their problems and cause a change in their lifestyle and communities has founded new career paths in tech that were not nonexistent several years ago. The big question on the lips of every tech enthusiast is how to break into tech and develop skills applicable to the tech space.
From a survey of 33 prospective users, 54% aged 18 to 45 with little or no tech skills or knowledge, attribute their inability to kick-start their career or transition into tech to a lack of enough exposure to the right resources and guides, making them feel underqualified to achieve those goals.
To acquire a skill, 56% of the users surveyed prefer to look on the internet, searching through millions of unfiltered resources, like finding a needle in a haystack. While the remaining 44% take to social media in search of communities where they can learn and share ideas, some users, especially students and recent graduates, seek a mentor to provide a professional guide. Unfortunately, users in these categories have claimed that acquiring these resources can be time-consuming and ineffective.
Sourcing the right resources to help break into a tech career is challenging. How, then, can they overcome this challenge?
Survey Data Points
User Pain Points
Via conducting series of surveys on social media (twitter, facebook and discord communities), extensive user research and interviews, we identified our target users to be:
- Early career professionals, who want easy access to tech resources that will help them learn a new skill so they can transition their career.
- Students, who want access to affordable resources so that they can gain transferable skills before / after they graduate.
- Users, who want personalised access to resources of interest, so they don’t have to search through hundreds of resources all the time.
- Users, who want to see the most useful resources recommended by others through ratings so they can save some time searching for the best resources.
- Users, who want to interact with other users through comments and private messages so that they can learn and network in the process.
Our preliminary user research and subsequent interviews to validate our problem area found that users want to spend less time finding the right resources on the internet. Some users attribute the search for valuable and affordable resources to finding a needle in a haystack.
Based on surveys, user research and interviews, and carefully assessing our target users’ pain points, we realized that allowing users from all levels of learning access resources of interest in an organized manner, all in one place, is essential for their skill acquisition, job hunt, or career transition processes. To address user pain points and support user experience and engagement, interactive features such as upvoting, social sharing, tagging, commenting, bookmarking, and, most importantly, a personalized dashboard would be beneficial while interacting with the resources. In addition, we wanted to build an interactive tech resource database that would provide users easy access to diverse, robust, and affordable resource collections required to develop and sharpen a wide range of tech skills.
Lofi & Hifi Mockups
Iterative Design Learnings
After we showcased our prototype to the users, we learned that we could reduce the time spent by a user to finding resources of interest by reducing the number of clicks and make user-resource interaction easier and quicker. We also learned that we could show both new and returning users ‘featured’ and “highly-rated resources” on the homepage to help facilitate their search for the right resources.
- FIGMA PROTOTYPE LINK (view Flow 2)
- Where is it hosted? Netlify is where our FrontEnd is hosted, our backend is currently on a headless wordpress on tastewp.
- What is your tech stack? Next.js, GraphQL, Apollo GraphQL and Faust.js
- High level journey of a request : Requests come into the front end react NextJS app. Most of the assets are precompiled, and NextJS also dynamically updates the pages as new data is added. The files are served via global CDN provided by Netlify, which is optimised to give a good response globally. Personalised info, like signups, login are processed via graphql queries, which are responded to by our backend graphql API server, and fed back to the front-end in realtime.
- What was the hardest part of development? Hardest part was learning the new technologies, as we implemented them and we also had to pivot to use a different graphql client. In addition, dealing with a temporary power outage due to a hurricane.
- Does your app have any scaling issues? We decided to go with a Headless CMS, setup, which will make scaling easier, because most of our files are pre generated on the server, and can be easily served by a CDN.
- What are some key takeaways? We learned the importance of coordination and clear communications in building a collaborative project.
We plan to continue with the project, and make it a large-scale open source, interactive tech resource database where subject experts can contribute to resource collections and also become key contributors to learnings and services offered on EdisHub.
Product Manager Learnings:
Ayodeji (Israel) Aina
My experience working with my team to build EdisHub allowed me to learn to have a better cross-functional alignment and relationship with my team. Also, deep diving into the design process and technology backing the product was essential for building and shipping a successful product.
I learned that keeping a product on track can be difficult without effective product/feature prioritization. Therefore, utilizing agile methodologies using Jira to drive product prioritization and development was vital to achieving our milestones. In addition, knowing when to cut down on scope was essential to prevent the trap of working on too many features and missing important deadlines and milestones.
Colab truly helped me develop a wider eye for design. Not only was I able to create designs based on real user data and direct feedback, but working with developers helped me create designs that were more practical and easier to implement with tools like BootStrap and JS.
Additionally, working with my product manager really helped me stay organised with tools such as Jira and Notion, and I can definitely see myself using these tools in the future for optimised prioritisation.
Colab was a good experience, learning to work across various time-zones, and also integrating Jira, with github. Learn about graphql, and release our product using it. It was also my first time using netlify and nextJS. Good practice on figma, and creating react components based on Figma.
Roodz Fernando Fleurant
My time at Colab allowed me to work in a cross-functional team, which benefitted me in many ways. Being present in every stage of the project lifecycle allowed me to learn from my teammates, which helped me gain more organization and design experience, and my overall developer skills improved.
Full Team Learning
As a team, we learned better communication which fostered a more productive collaboration and helped us complete tasks quickly and efficiently. We also learned to celebrate our small achievements throughout every project stage, from brainstorming to product release.