November 10, 2017
During the fall semester of 2013 at Purdue University, Jacobi, Colton, and I saw opportunities to improve the delivery of computer science courses we were taking at the time. With each programming assignment or project we submitted, we waited weeks for grades and instructor feedback. Meanwhile, our coursework in other subjects had a near instantaneous turn around thanks to existing grading platforms and tools. As engineers, we acknowledged our instinct to solve this challenge ourselves. That was the start of our mission to scale computer science.
With help from amazing advisors and mentors, by the spring of 2014, we had a few schools in a beta program and were grading a couple hundred files of code every week. Four years later, Mimir Classroom has helped thousands of students at more than 70 universities nationwide.
Today, the cost of using Mimir Classroom is $25 per student. We allow that cost to be paid by the school or deferred to the student. Regardless of who pays, we have found that students often also have to buy textbooks for their courses that can cost hundreds of dollars. To help wean and eventually eliminate the need for textbooks in parallel to Mimir Classroom, we are committing to providing free learning content and educational resources to all students, instructors, and TAs on Mimir Classroom.
To accomplish this, we are acquiring Omnipointment. Omnipointment’s CEO and co-founder Vinesh Kannan will be leading our curriculum team due to his unparalleled ability to translate complex technical concepts into engaging and easily understandable bit size pieces. Their products, Omnipointment and Charter, will be integrated into Mimir Classroom over time. Existing users of both products will continue to have standalone access.
As we continue to help computer science programs scale and produce more graduates that know how to code, we realized we were missing part of the equation to scale computer science: the hiring. More than 90% of technical interviews for hiring engineers are still conducted on whiteboards and via outsourced screening firms. That’s where we saw an opportunity to improve the quality of candidates that recruiters and hiring managers could target and attract while simultaneously managing the risk of unqualified software engineers.
To address this, we are launching Mimir Interview. Mimir Interview will help companies identify, vet, and evaluate at every phase of the hiring process.
Using the same underlying technology as Mimir Classroom, Mimir Interview allows companies to automate a majority of the work required by technical interviews, while still keeping recruiting in-house. After a one time setup by a technical team member, hiring managers will be able to automatically conduct technical interviews with 10 or 10,000 candidates with a single click. Mimir Interview supports more than 40 programming languages and frameworks and checks for proficiency in skills ranging from FizzBuzz to complex Django applications.
We used an alpha version of Mimir Interview to hire our last batch of engineers earlier this year and experienced great results. In the coming months we will be on-boarding our waitlist of companies into our beta program for Mimir Interview. The wait list to participate in the beta program will be first come first serve. Expect to see a launch of version 1.0 in the Spring of 2018.
In the long run, we hope to use the growth in Mimir Interview to subsidize costs in our educational offerings while continuing to build a world where everyone has access to computer science education and careers.