Does everyone who graduated from a computer science program have to be a developer? No! - Seokjun Jang, Technical Content Developer
Q. Hello. Mr. Seokjun, please introduce yourself.
My name is Seokjun Jang, and I am the lead for Technical Content Development, which is responsible for developing, maintaining, and updating training courses at Elice.
Q. When and why did you join Elice? You’re a computer science major, but you chose to be a content developer instead of a developer, how did you get started:?
The reason I joined Elice was for an internship. I found Elice while searching for an internship. Unlike other companies, only Elice had the keyword ‘education’, so I was curious. I’ve always been interested in education, and I was curious about a place that teaches programming, so I applied.
Q. Please describe your current role.
If you, Junho, are a technical operator, then my job is more of an administrative role to help make sure the corporate training goes well, and I create training content on top of the Elice platform. I create training content, check the code that’s written and tell them why it’s wrong and how to fix it.
Q. Has your major (computer science) helped you in your job, and if so, in what ways.?
My major helped me a lot. My development knowledge allowed me to quickly check what I didn’t understand and analyze learning data to work efficiently.
As a technical content developer, development knowledge is essential because you’ll be working from learning examples to writing test code to evaluate what you’ve written. You’ll also need to know a wide range of technologies to create new content.
However, their path is different from that of a working developer. Whereas developers need knowledge to create, maintain, and repair services, we need the ability to utilize new technologies on a general level.
Q. I was wondering what the first piece of content you created was? What subject are you most proud of the content you’ve created:?
The first course I worked on was "Doremi Python Vol. 2." I was involved in grading tests and refining conceptual explanations. The first course I fully created was "Version Control with Git" and a course on the C language. It’s hard to choose a favorite. I’m so passionate about the courses I’ve created that I remember every single one of them.
Q. What’s the biggest change in your content creation process now? Elice creates content for a variety of audiences, from the basics to the more advanced. Are there any elements that are important to you at each stage of creation?
In the beginning, I felt like I was headed for the ground because I didn’t have a foundation, but now I have a clear direction. I draft the big picture and let my team members create the details. We then collect our individual pieces and review them as a group to refine them.
For the basics, I make it easy to understand for people with no background. The intermediate level gives hints and encourages problem-solving to keep things interesting by having learners practice on their own. Advanced courses simply communicate requirements. Advanced courses simply communicate requirements and implement them, which is similar to the way developers work in the field. This encourages creative problem solving.
Q. As a content developer is a job that connects developers and educators, I know that you need to have a variety of skills, but what are the most important qualities?
The most important thing is to have a learner’s perspective. At first, I lacked learner consideration, so the content was difficult or didn’t cover what the learners wanted. To compensate for this, I thought a lot by analyzing learners’ feedback and data. I think this part can be understood as you gain experience.
In the communication process, both developers and educators are developers, so it’s important to focus on the facts and exchange ideas, so that the discussion can be effective.
In terms of the team, I emphasize ‘let’s try new things’. There are set processes, but I believe in breaking them, and I encourage my team to try new things. That’s one of the things I learned at Elice, too, so I’m hoping to bring in a lot of new voices, because whether it’s a challenge or change, it all starts with a try.
Q. Elice is characterized by short, concise videos, hands-on lectures, fun quizzes, and a hundred-point bunny that pops up when you get a hundred points. Please tell us what makes Elice’ content different.
When I joined Elice, there was a rule that we had to keep our videos under 10 minutes so that non-technical people could learn programming. The reason for this rule was because of the learner dropout rate, and the learner data showed that the dropout rate increased around 10 minutes, so based on this data, we decided to keep our videos under 10 minutes.
For beginners, I think the best feature of Elice is that you can code without installing the program and just log in. For intermediate and above, I think the best feature is that it validates the code you write to a working developer. If you encounter errors after writing code, you can get answers from practitioners through the help center. Various training courses are also an advantage. It used to be just Python, but now there are over 20 languages and tons of hands-on courses in block coding, web, AI, and more.
Q. As new technologies and development language trends change, it seems to be difficult to develop content tailored to the needs of students. Do you have any efforts in this regard?
I am constantly curious and look for trends in the software industry. I look at where big tech companies are investing to understand the trends in the industry. I am especially interested in overseas trends. I look at companies such as Meta, Apple, and Tesla, which are leading the world. It is very important because overseas trends directly affect Korea.
Q. You also create content for the Elice Track, which is a developer training program. Since it’s a short, intensive program, do you have any strategies to help racers (trainees in the developer training program) learn more effectively?
We get a lot of feedback from instructors who have racers. I also ask the instructors, who are mentors, for guidance and encouragement. In terms of content, we vary the subject organization and problems. I also organize the project labs in stages. At the beginning, I teach all the important parts. If it’s a coffee-making project, I’ll give them the beans and roast, and then ask them to make an Americano or a caffe latte. But as they progress, I give them less and less information, and at the end, I don’t give them anything at all. The simplicity of the requirements means that there are more things to consider, and I try to encourage creativity.
Q. As coding education develops logic, creativity, and problem-solving skills, schools and companies are emphasizing coding skills, and content developers are also gaining attention. We would like to know more about the vision of a content developer and the future you envision for yourself at Elice.
The strength of a content developer is ‘continuous development’. We’re constantly writing code, so we’re able to keep our finger on the pulse of development. We also build and apply our own models for machine learning, so if you want to switch to a developer or data scientist, you can. Operations is also possible, because as a content developer, you do a lot of operations as you get older. There are actually many similar cases in large companies and overseas, where they train operations people in data or AI to digitally transform them (DX).
Because this job is unique and useful, it has a bigger vision than a regular developer in terms of career buildup. Technical content developers are a great fit for the current trend of emphasizing technical elements in non-developer roles, as they interact with developers, write code, and think externally from a customer perspective.
Q. What would you say to someone who wants to become a content developer?
As a content developer, you need to have studied the subject in depth. The actual hiring process also checks for basic computing knowledge. You have to follow trends to create new subjects, and for that, you need to have strong fundamentals. When I interview people, I see a lot of people who are up to date on the latest trends, but they’re missing the basics, and it shows in the real world.
In addition, I want someone who has the courage to accept new things, because the word developer itself means someone who creates new things, so you need to have the courage to overcome fear. Elice is going to grow a lot in the future, so I hope there are many open-minded people who can join us.
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