This is a storybook for those who want to share their experiences of time spent teaching. "Teaching" is not limited to the traditional classroom model but any effort to share a knowledge or skill-set, be it through a talk, file-share, or any and all innovative(even if incomplete) approaches to educating. Write a story, ask questions or just observe and consider how knowledge-sharing is changing, for better and worse.
Story 1: The Startup Effect
As a senior college, I found my passion in the world of early-stage startups. Despite having no business background or technical skill-sets, I became fascinated with how people identify problems, develop solutions, and share the solution with people who have the most to gain from it.
As a student of the liberal arts, and a general believer in the human capacity for good, I approached this new found passion from a place of empathy. Everyone has a story, completely unique yet undoubtedly relateable, when shared with the proper context. The trend I identified with startups I admired most was that they grew from a story of personal struggle or desire. Like Penflip.
Writers have been slow to reap the benefits technology has to offer, and while the computer is a nice step up from the type-writer, there has been little innovation in the way stories are collaborated upon. Loren, being the thoughtful nerd that he is, realized this deficiency in his own efforts and connected the dots. First, identifying a frustration in the story-making process, then parallelling developers' use of Git, and finally, removing the technical barrier to entrance that non-technical people, like myself, had difficulty getting past.
Loren observered pain in his writting process and in others, he devised a solution to address collaboration without sacrificing efficiency, he built and shipped the solution, and now, as we build our stories in Penflip, he has the opportunity to do it all again.
That's what excites me about entrepreneurship and building solutions. It never ends! Even as we drool over the possibilities that Penflip provides, an entrepreneur knows there is room for improvement and that all products must evolve.
I'm fortunate to work on a great team in New Orleans for a company called StaffInsight. We work to provide better workforce management tools to small and medium sized hospitals, so in my day-to-day I communicate with customers about their struggles and successes to find ways to eliminate pain and incorporate as much development around the users expereince that is satisfying and productive.
I consider this holistic approach to be the root of design thinking. Design thinking, for those not familiar, is the process of identifying solutions and creatively developing and implementing solutions.
You'll see 'Edit' buttons across the project. Clicking any of these buttons will take you into a distraction-free 'writing mode', similar to Google Docs and other writing tools. Everything is written with Markdown. For an explanation on why markdown is awesome for writing, read this.
Every project has a master version. Whenever you invite somebody to your project, a new version will automatically be created for them, and all of their changes will be made on their own version. When a collaborator is ready to submit their changes into the master version, they'll create a Merge Request.
A Merge Request is a group of changes to your project. All merge requests go into the master version. As the project owner, you control the merge requests: you can accept them, ignore them, and comment on them to suggest changes. When you accept a Merge Request, the master version of your project will be updated with those changes.