Malmberg: E-Publishing platform

Thursday, 28 July 2011.

The past couple of months have been very busy. First off I was still working partime for Skylines with which we made it into Techcrunch Disrupt NY as a finalist. Skylines was actually the first Dutch startup ever to become a finalist of this highly rated conference competition. Great stuff, showing that Amsterdam can be a great place too when it comes to bootstrapping your global startup.

Next, starting in April, I was hired as a Rails developer by Ciber on a scrum project for their client Malmberg, an educational publisher, to work on the next iteration of their e-publishing platform. The work consisted of a redesign of the old platform, and developing a Rails 3 application on top of the existing data models and MSSQL database (Rails 3 actually works perfectly fine with other sql dbs besides Mysql and Postgres). The application allows for teachers to manage their online courses, materials, exams and results, where students have easy access to all of this. The system is actually pretty smart in assigning followup courses based on your test scores, but still gives teachers total control.

Unfortunately I can’t show a link to the product or demo, as the application is currently being tested by the client, and will be rolled out for the new students in september. However I can say that I like the end product.

I strongly believe we will see a lot more development in this area of online learning platforms. Looking for instance at the Khan Academy or Studyflow we can see that the landscape is changing. Also a word from my teacher friends tells me that the Dutch curriculum on both primary and high schools is already filled with more and more computer courses, that provide custom tailored education for each individual youngster.

I enjoyed my work at Ciber, working with a great team of skilled developers, and I don’t rule out that I in the foreseeable future will be working on next generation learning platforms again.

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