Working at edX

Thursday 28 February 2013

This week I began a new job at edX. Well, it isn’t really a new job, I’ve been freelancing with them since October, but now I’m an employee.

edX logo

EdX is a non-profit formed by Harvard and MIT to put their courses online. Other top universities have joined, including Berkeley, Rice, McGill, the Delft University of Technology, and others.

Online learning is huge these days, despite being saddled with the worst acronym ever (MOOC, Massive Open Online Course), so there’s no shortage of interesting questions:

  • How do you take an existing university course and put it online?
  • What can you do differently if you are educating 100,000 people at once?
  • What are the best tools to give professors to author courses?
  • How can you automatically grade students’ responses even for challenging material like programming or essays?
  • What will online education look like in 10 years? Where and how will it be successful?

There are plenty of smart people at edX working on these questions, and I think we have a good chance at finding the right answers. There’s stiff competition from Coursera and Udacity, but edX is a bit different, both because it is a non-profit, and because we are chartered by our universities to help them change on-campus education as well as online education.

Almost everything is written in Python and Django, and we’re aiming to open-source what we can.

I’m excited. I enjoyed freelancing for a few years, now I know how that works, and I might go back to it someday. But it feels good to be in the middle of edX, helping build something great.


Antonio Rodriguez 6:52 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Congratulations Ned.

You are doing something good for the world here.

Doug Hellmann 7:25 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Congratulations, Ned! edX sounds like a great fit for you.

matt harrison 7:30 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Sounds exciting and interesting. Congrats!

David Boudreau 8:33 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Awesome! Sounds like a fun space to work in.

mikey 9:08 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Higher ed is alternatively frightened and attracted to this space. It's great to see you help lead the way.

Dusty Chadwick 11:12 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Congrats Dude! I'm excited for you!

Nate 11:14 AM on 1 Mar 2013

Sounds like an awesome project to work on, and to get paid to work on it, even better.

Eric Foster 10:35 PM on 2 Mar 2013

Congratulations Ned! Don't forget how important it is for engineers to be involved in the community. Good luck!

Reshma 9:25 PM on 3 Mar 2013

Congratulations! Hope you enjoy your new job..

Mark Yao 10:49 PM on 6 Mar 2013

Thanks, I'm a edx student

Bernard Farrell 12:07 PM on 10 Apr 2013

Many congratulations Ned, I know edx will benefit greatly from having you on board.

Jing Ma 11:43 AM on 27 Feb 2016

What kind of freelance work did you do? Software development? I work as a TA for one of MIT's courses and I love it haha.

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