Outschool

sf
26 - 50 Employees
11 - 25 Engineers
$10M - $25M Funding
Series A

Outschool (YC W16) is a remote teaching platform, offering thousands of small-group classes for kids. For parents, we’re a way to customize their kids' education that emphasizes love of learning. Teachers say that we’re all the good parts of teaching, and none of the bad parts. Our video chat classes are engaging and relevant to every kid.

Today, we are an experienced team of 14 in SF, with past accomplishments at Udemy, Amazon, Airbnb, Square, Google, and many startups. We came together because we wanted to make a difference in education, and saw the opportunity to empower learners, teachers, and parents. Now we have a successful, fast-growing business, and we recently raised our Series A from top education and marketplace investors to scale it for a much larger audience.

Outschool photo 1

Why join us?
  • Help kids love learning. We're building a new kind of global school, designed to foster learning through human interaction and relationships. We know we make a difference: users send us their Outschool stories all the time.

  • Grow with us. Joining now means you'll get company-wide perspective and impact, with opportunities to lead large initiatives, to build first versions of major features, and to choose your path. You'll work with stellar teammates, and your early experience will be invaluable as we grow our team to 200 people and beyond.

  • Ideal timing. We flew under the radar for years as we tested and refined our model. It's ready to scale. We grew 5X last year selling millions of dollars of classes and reaching over 30K families. We recently raised a Series A from top education and marketplace investors based on the strength of our business. We just hired our first designer, PR firm and (soon) growth lead. You'll be hearing about us.


Engineering at Outschool
Engineering team and processes

Our engineering team is three senior engineers. Each of us has shipped new products at big companies and startups. We take our work more seriously than ourselves.

We like to pair when practical, we're diligent about code reviews, and we take care to keep the codebase clean because we expect to maintain it for years.

We manage our rhythm by reducing scope, breaking up large changes, and prioritizing carefully. A weekly Trello board reflects what we're working on at any given time. Tasks come from product objectives (chosen in 2-month cycles), technical investments, and reactive issues like bugs or 'quick wins'.

Trello tasks are not fully spelled out: they rarely come with mocks or detailed specs. Engineers take on some project management responsibilities and are expected to have some product judgment. It's up to you to fill in the details of work you're doing, to gather requirements, to manage your time, to ask for feedback along the way, to break up or even abandon a task that turns out to be a bad idea.

Technical Challenges

We're most interested in product engineering: how to balance quality, feature breadth, and speed of iteration for a quickly growing open marketplace with four types of users.

We need to make better use of data to enhance the user experience for learners, teachers, and parents. There are so many low hanging fruit: recommendations, engagement metrics, classifying user personas, summarizing video recordings, and more.

We need to optimize the video chat UI for learning in general, and eventually let teachers customize it for different ages and subjects.

We need to streamline messaging across the site, so it works equally well for new users and teachers who have dozens of classes in flight at the same time.

We're exploring approaches to splitting our app, possibly into marketplace and classroom apps, or apps for teachers and learners and parents.

Our modern JavaScript stack is a pleasure to work with, though the rapid rate of change and lack of deep documentation occasionally forces us to figure out some patterns on our own, especially in our use of React and GraphQL.

Projects you might work on
  • Auto-scheduling classes on demand: a teacher can declare availability and parents can request to schedule a class at specific times. If the request matches availability, we create the class and the parent enrolls immediately.

  • Finer-grained class feedback. Improve on our 5-star class ratings by building a feedback system that gathers learner feedback about each class meeting. Build UI and data model, set up internal dashboards, surface them for admin/ops team and eventually create a feedback loop to guide teachers to improve.

  • Learning paths. Encourage parents to create and annotate lists of classes from different teachers that worked well together. Build UI and data model, promote CTAs to create the lists, and promote the lists themselves on class pages and through SEO.

Tech stack
React
Javascript
Node
Express
Knex
PostgreSQL
Heroku
GraphQL
Redshift

Working at Outschool

Well-balanced, casual, supportive and practical. We don't take ourselves too seriously, but we do take our work seriously.

Generous Vacation

We don't have a limit on vacation time. Each of us takes several weeks of vacation a year. We check with the team in advance, and haven't ever had to say no.

Flexible Hours

We're generally in the office between 9:30am and 5:30pm, but we don't have any hard rules around this. If you need a work-from-home day, feel free to take one. We care about productivity, not hours.

Health Insurance

We provide full coverage medical and dental insurance.

Beautiful Office

We're on the 6th floor in SoMa, with sweeping westward views of the city, hills, and the sunset.


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