Challenge4: Dream Work

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Dream Work is an online learning platform that eases young, talented veterans into the civilian world by teaching them the coding skills necessary to find high-quality tech jobs. While we are a learning platform, our value lies in our ability to connect; Dream Work connects promising veterans to Fortune 100 employers dedicated to hiring our nation’s best, as well as to successful program alumni who’ve experienced a similar transition and offer useful advice. These networking opportunities harness the power of the military bond, and will help our students form meaningful relationships that keep them coming back to the platform.

Simultaneously, Dream Work reminds users that there is a distinct goal ahead, one of achieving the best employment possible by constantly improving technical skills. We recognize that in today’s world, horizontal mobility is the norm. People rarely stay in the same job for more than 3 years (http://fortune.com/2016/05/10/baby-boomers-millennials-jobs/), and those who make the most of these opportunities are always on the lookout for what’s next, and are always making themselves a more appealing candidate so that when they find what they want, they can get it. To achieve this, Dream Work utilizes a natural Tinder-like swiping system in which users can swipe right or left on different job opportunities based on a variety of attributes, and ratings established by alumni who now work at these institutions. Users are motivated to learn because the more they learn and the more skills they master (as measured by standard tests), the more jobs they’re exposed to. This process of ‘unlocking’ better opportunities makes sense for the employer, and will make the correlation between hard work and good employment super visceral. These matches will also provide notifications that keep people coming back — who today isn’t intrigued when they see they’ve matched with someone — or something — they also liked. (building on the slot machine addictive qualities of many mobile games today). To sustain motivation and trigger learning, every once in awhile users will see what it takes to work at elite institutions at levels higher than those that they’ve unlocked by receiving notifications along the lines of ‘Google has hired your peers who’ve reached level 10 and demonstrate a 80% JavaScript proficiency score.’ By gamifying the job application process, Dream Work makes dream jobs more accessible to people who’ve never worked in the civilian world, and therefore may be slightly intimidated.

To construct our syllabus, we will work closely with pre-existing online bootcamps and programs — after all, hundreds of these exist and why reinvent the wheel? In some sense Dream Work is thus also a platform for learning programs. To ensure high quality experiences for our users, we will constantly incorporate data on different mini-courses and classes, in the form of results (where do graduates end up) as well as enjoyment and perceived difficulty (as measured by the students themselves). By tapping into these programs, we can also build an initial network of people for our users to speak with, a mutually beneficial network given that no one today is ever done searching for a job. To incentivize connection and communication, we will reward those who reach out and offer guidance, with points in the app that can be used to levelling up or unlock bonuses (think Tinder Boosts), as well as increased access to mentors.

Finally, Dream Work will be a place for employers to find promising candidates, and do everything in app. In the same way that applicants rely on recommendations, employers already rely on referrals to find top talent. Many top American companies have a special interest in hiring veterans whom they know are exceedingly competent, and we will generate revenue by selling them access to our network, as well to genuine data about our students strengths and weaknesses. Dream Work takes the guesswork out of the hiring process — currently HR departments and software engineers waste countless hours interviewing underqualified candidates because of misleading resumes. With Dream Work, companies will be able to upload technical questions directly to the platform, and see the results in the same place.

While valuable for the employers, this feature will be most valuable for our students, who will finally receive meaningful and actionable feedback on their interview performances. Too often students are left hanging, told “we liked you but we had too many qualified candidates.” This type of feedback demoralizes applicants, but at the moment it’s simply too tedious for companies to provide detailed breakdowns of where people fell short and could improve. Dream Work solves this problem with ML techniques that learn where you need improvement based on your interview results, and adjusts your standing accordingly. Maybe you advanced through the Python lessons too quickly and didn’t retain enough information during a stressful Python coding test. No worries, Dream Work will adjust your level accordingly, and recommend the programs and classes you need to get back to the level you were at and, in the process, rebuild your confidence. A failed interview isn’t the end of the world, just a setback, as directly evidenced in the app. By introducing transparency to the pivoting process, Dream Work allows people to focus on what’s most important, learning. After all, with enough hard work anyone can achieve their dream job.


High Resolution Images:

Strategy Diagram: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzBxzPmIrpybMDlpZEpTYnRPU1U

Timeline Diagram: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzBxzPmIrpybY1l1UlEzVmgxcm8

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