Announcing The Odin Project

Announcing The Odin Project: Free Online Education For Aspiring Developers Built by Students, for Students

Now in Beta, The Odin Project provides the 1,000 hours of coding training needed to go from zero to employable in web development

 San Francisco, Calif. (March 25, 2014) - The Odin Project, an open source website dedicated to providing free online training for beginner level web developers, is launching in beta today. The move opens up the courses to a broader group of students, who themselves will help develop the curriculum in an effort to provide the most comprehensive education possible.

Web developers who can build with Ruby on Rails and Javascript are in demand like never before, but students who are interested in learning those skills often must choose to spend more than $10,000 for a coding bootcamp or up to $200,000 for a CS degree. Alternatively, they set out on their own with limited guidance on the best way achieve the necessary education. The Odin Project is designed to give these motivated individuals with limited resources a clear path to becoming hirable web developers.

The Odin Project was named for the Norse god, whose thirst for knowledge was legendary. Fittingly, many of the existing and upcoming tools in The Odin Project have been built by a team of student volunteers, who are applying what they’ve learned to develop the open source project. The beta includes two critical new features: progress tracking and collaborative studying capabilities.

“This is really a huge step forward in making web development education more accessible,” said Erik Trautman, founder of The Odin Project. “Now students have a complete and free path from zero to job

and we're just getting started. The real power of this project will come from letting them identify and collaborate with peers and mentors along the way so they no longer feel like they have to learn alone."

The Odin Project curriculum includes:

In its early stages, The Odin Project has been incubated at Riviera Partners, a technical search and recruiting service that is dedicated to the expansion of the developer community.

“We’re big believers in providing tools that help people advance their careers,” said COO of Riviera Partners John Simonelli. “The Odin Project provides an invaluable service to developers, so it was a natural fit for us to host Erik as one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence. He’s a very motivated person and knows how to pass on his enthusiasm to others.”

For more information on The Odin Project, visit

High School Hacks Proves Coders Come In All Ages

Last weekend, high schoolers from all over the west coast descended on PayPal headquarters in San Jose, California to compete in HSHacks. The 24-hour hackathon was founded and organized by local students, and many professional developers and designers were onsite to offer one-on-one mentoring and guidance. All told, the attendees created more than 150 programs and hacks. “A lot of the students were first-time hackers,” said Alaina Percival, Head of Developer Outreach at Riviera Partners, “and the projects were truly impressive.”

High School Hacks

InformationWeek - Hadoop Jobs: 8 Resume Do's And Don'ts

In a followup article published in InformationWeek regarding jobs in tech leveraging Hadoop, Darin Matuzic shares a few best practices when assessing Hadoop talent. Darin provides some common turn-ons and turn-offs for recruiters and employers when looking at resumes for Hadoop gigs and other big data positions.

(InformationWeek) Hadoop Jobs: 8 Resume Do's And Don'ts

Here's what hiring managers look for when vetting resumes for Hadoop-related positions -- and what prompts them to hit the delete button.

If writing your resume feels like an exercise in psychological warfare, well, there's a reason for that. It often seems as if an awkward line here or the wrong word there might dash any hopes of landing the job you covet, especially when faced with fierce competition.

If it's any consolation, recruiters and hiring managers experience their own version of that stress. Take Hadoop, for example, and the broader big data universe that surrounds it -- the technology's youth means that the ideal candidate is sometimes a moving target.

"Since Hadoop is a relatively new technology, and big data is a new industry, it can be difficult to properly evaluate a 'Hadoop candidate,'" said Darin Matuzic, lead technical recruiter at Riviera Partners, in an email interview. On the hiring side of the equation, Matuzic said it comes down to asking a few fundamental questions: "Who are we looking for? Are we looking for someone to set up the system infrastructure with which to run Hadoop? Are we looking for a data scientist to run analytics with Hadoop on our existing infrastructure? Or are we looking for someone who can do both?"

Read the full article here...

InformationWeek - Hadoop Jobs: 6 Recruiter Tips

In a recent article published in InformationWeek, Team Lead Matt Andrieux shares his perspective on the recent buzz around the growing need to savvy engineers familiar with Hadoop. Matt lays out 6 specific tips to help those on the hunt stay connected with the latest opportunities and happenings within the Hadoop community.

(InformationWeek) Hadoop Jobs: 6 Recruiter Tips

Tech recruiter shares insights and advice for IT pros with Hadoop skills looking to land a new gig.

When you're hot, you're hot, and the open-source Apache Hadoop project has been scorching for a while. That's good news for IT job hunters with serious Hadoop chops and related skills.

Demand for those skills has pointed skyward for the past several years, according to Matt Andrieux, lead technical recruiter at Riviera Partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. "Our portfolio companies, which are mostly startups, are looking for a wide range of engineers that can help them leverage data in various ways that will help their bottom line," Andrieux said in an email interview. "Many companies are basing their entire business off of data collection and analysis, which can be useful for any industry."

Read the full article here...

Imagine K12 Fireside Chat

Recently, Riviera Partners team members, Michael Ellison and Joseph Yeh, along with ClassDojo Co-Founder Sam Chaudhary and Remind101 Co-Founder Brett Kopf, spoke about their experiences helping grow startup teams from two to twenty people. Imagine K12 Founder and Partner Tim Brady, who was Yahoo!’s first employee, served as moderator of the Imagine K12 fireside chat.

Both Riviera team members have a shared passion for, and experience with making an impact on education for many years, through different approaches. Michael had co-founded a Y-Combinator-backed startup that created higher education classroom teaching software as well as created an education nonprofit focused on lowering the drop-out rate for high school students. Joseph had been involved in public policy for English Language Learners with the then-U.S. Secretary of Education as well as helping provide access for technical training for military veterans. Thus when the opportunity arose to collaborate with edtech startup accelerator, Imagine K12, both Joseph and Michael jumped at the chance.

The panel shared their experiences, thoughts, and best practices of recruiting software engineers, finding and hiring a co-founder and VP of Engineering, and discussed how much time a founder/co-founder should spend on recruiting.

Imagine K12 Fireside Chat Panel

Sam had mentioned that he had spent as much as 70% of his time trying to find the right engineer to join his team. He recommended “The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership” by former San Francisco 49ers’s coach, Bill Walsh, as a great tread to lean more to motivate individuals and create the ideal team with the culture that you want.

Brett spoke about opportunistic hiring, balancing the risk of hiring an engineer who may be more junior in terms of experience for that role, interviewing questions, writing down the values the team/company believes in, and some red flags in a candidate's background (i.e. a history of only 5-6 months at a company).

With about twenty Imagine K12 founders and co-founders in the audience, Michael and Joseph, answered questions about sourcing strategies, creating the recruiting funnel, leveraging your investor network, remote teams, first hires, compensation, culture, length of time to hire, referrals, and interview processes.

Michael mentioned that a lot of engineers of successful companies may be looking for a way to contribute back to the community and work at a startup with a social cause element. He suggested that as (co)founders of an education startup, they share and inspire candidates about their the different ways that they are making a difference in creating the tools that are/will be having an impact on education.

Joseph had echoed Michael’s sentiment, when he mentioned that he had connected with an engineer from Twitter earlier that morning, who was looking for to join a startup that had a social cause element.

Aside from engineers, these entrepreneurs were also looking to hire designers, business development professionals, marketing experts, as well as general office assistants. The panel spoke about creating a process and infrastructure in place, to make it easier to track these candidates using JobScore and Entelo.

During the discussion, both Sam and Brett also spoke about the times that they hired the wrong person, mainly due to a cultural fit mismatch, and eventually had to let them go. They did take risks of hiring some junior employees, but some could not meet the eventual technical expectations for the role fast enough. Thus, both co-founders, recommended that prior to sharing the hiring startup’s values that the interviewer dig deeper into finding the candidate’s core values first.

There is a popular Recruiting Management Triangle (borrowed from the Project Management Triangle), which demonstrates the constraints of hiring the right candidate – Cost vs. Speed. vs. Quality. Almost all startups want the highest quality, but how does this impact the Speed or Cost of finding that right candidate?

*Special thanks to Imagine K12 Partner Karen Lien, for helping make the event possible!

Imagine K12 Student Artwork