When Eric joined the Development Team of two at startup Language Perfect eight years ago, little did he know that he would be an integral part of a growing team of 28, steering the engineering team and helping advance the pioneering Edutech platform that is EP. He is passionate, enthusiastic and always puts the users first in everything he does.
“We want it to be easy for teachers to get their classes online so they can have the benefits of EP sooner.”
Hey! I’m Eric and I’m Product Manager at EP. My family immigrated to New Zealand from Canada when I was just 1 and a half. Growing up, I was lucky to be able to travel with my family to many countries around the globe, including going back to Canada multiple times and living in the south of France for 6 months, where I went to school. Through all this travel I gained a lot of perspective on the world and many experiences which have helped shape my way of thinking in my adult life.
I like reading, walking, and building games or web apps. I have always known I would be building things using computers. From a young age, I loved building websites and was more often developing computer games than playing them. This meant that by the time I was at my last year of high school, I was itching to go to university where I completed a degree in computer science.
Eric’s EPeep journey
Almost 8 years ago, I was contacted by Ben Crowl, whom I had worked with at a previous company, to join this small start up named Language Perfect. I loved that it was bringing the power of technology to classrooms in an increasingly digital world, so I jumped at the opportunity. Ben (now Head of Engineering) and I still share a close working relationship and have seen our team grow from 2 to 28.
A day in the life
I start the day checking through my emails, messages, and to-do list. Between 9-10am I am in quick “stand-up” meetings with the teams I work with, where there is a quick progress update and the upcoming work is briefly discussed. I spend the majority of my day planning the work our engineering teams are looking into next, and long term planning/updating our roadmap. I also spend a lot of time in discussions with teachers and internal staff members where I am gathering and validating feedback. For the last hour of my day, I am with the Product Team, where we are working through our backlog of bugs, feedback, and ideas – making sure the items are in a sensible order and are well articulated.
I am involved in our content authoring and enrolment projects. Our content authoring project is a complete rebuild of our question slide editing experience, with an aim to replace our advanced editor, and eventually the express editors. This will be a huge improvement to our content editing experience and should simplify the workflow significantly. With enrolments, we aim to streamline and automate the process for getting students setup on EP. We want it to be easy for teachers to get their classes online so they can have the benefits of EP sooner.
My favourite feature is definitely our targeted remediation. Teachers can set a diagnostic test for their students on EP and through this feature our platform can identify the strengths and weaknesses of the class. The platform can then automatically recommend and assign individualised work to each student based on the areas they need to improve on. This is something that can be assigned with one mouse click which would take teachers hours to do offline.
Any Teacher stories?
I was recently in a school chatting to a maths teacher about the past struggles with a couple of students in getting them to engage in the course material. They were working through a slightly lower level to the rest of the class and the worksheets were clearly different from everyone else, which was really demotivating for them. EP has completely turned this around. The teacher was able to give these students their own tasks which closely resembled what everyone else was assigned. The content was engaging and helped guide them through our scaffolded lessons. It showed them that they were learning very similar concepts and helped bridge the gap. I loved hearing this and know this story is repeated in many of our schools.
Most excited about
I’m really excited for the future we are building towards. We will in the near future have a whole wealth of data added to our content which unlocks many new potentials. It will be easier to find content which is mapped to a curriculum, it will bring more insightful reporting at a holistic level, and unlock potential innovations giving students agency over their learning.
Joining the team at EP is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is an exciting company which has seen tremendous growth in my time. There are no two days the same and I always leave today excited about tomorrow.
3 things you share about EP to friends
1) We are an online assessment and learning platform which provides rich insights and analysis on students’ learning.
2) EP comes with a huge library of high quality, engaging content aligned to your curriculum, all customisable to tailor your specific needs.
3) We are a company who started in Dunedin, New Zealand but has spread globally driven by a passionate and enthusiastic team, all focused on putting our users first.
As I mentioned above, I really enjoy making games. More recently I have been building some mobile games in my spare time. It’s far more of a hobby than anything serious, but I have a couple of near-complete games with a focus on simple mechanics/controls which can create a fun and challenging experience.
Thanks Eric for sharing, you have been such an amazing part of the team since the beginning and your passion, skills and enthusiasm are a true indication of what makes EP great.