Fernando and some school friends had a great idea for an educational tool which Fernando created an app for. The app called Piensa Rápido (Think Fast in Spanish) has impressed so much that it is being presented at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Denver, Colorado on June 26th.
When I was a kid I remember seeing a lot of stories in the newspaper about how some 13 year old boy have become very successful by just creating some computer software, and from those days I was getting interested in coding. Even my father also wanted me to learn to code, so I started to look out in my city (that is Torreon, Coahuila in Mexico) for courses, but there were not any courses for learning to code. So I decided to search online and I got interested in a website that with videos they taught you how code iOS apps for a monthly fee. I was excited to start to developing iOS apps, but the language was Objective – C and the only thing that I understand of all the videos in the course was to write the code for a Hello World app. Finally after weeks of frustration of just copying the code from the video and not getting any idea of what I was doing, I dropped the course. I felt useless because I thought that I was going to be good for coding, I thought “Why a 12 year old boy won a ticket to Apple’s WWDC and I can’t even make a simple app?” That was my thought for some years. In 2014 I was watching Apple’s WWDC and they announced their new programming language: Swift, a new and A LOT easier language. I was happy, but I remembered the frustration weeks of trying to learn Objective – C, so I didn’t wanted to give Swift a chance.
My school is in a network of schools that across the country. Every year there is a national competition called “Premio Internacional Bachillerato Anáhuac or PIBA” in which all the schools compete, so you have to present a project for a category that you choose. The one that I chose was “Aprendiendo con la tecnologia” (Learning with technology in Spanish). In this category you have to develop any kind of software in which you help students understand or learn a subject from school. So Pablo Oviedo and Andrés Sagui, two of my friends, entered in this project, Pablo would do the artwork because he is a good drawer and Andrés would do the educational content and I would make the software part. What we decided to do was a quiz game with animations created with Flash CS6, because it required little programming.
We broke up for summer vacation, that project was on hold and we would continue in school, after returning from vacation. In the summer I was bored so I decided to learn Swift, I had heard of a site called Udemy, so I searched for a course of iOS developing with Swift. The first result, with a 75% of discount, was The Complete iOS Developer Course by Rob Percival, the teacher that also created The Complete Web Developer Course the most popular and best reviewed course on Udemy ever. So without thinking it twice I bought the course; best decision I have ever made. After completing only half of the course, I was so confident of what I learned from Rob´s course that I decided to give it a shot and try to create the same Flash project in an iOS app.
When the summer vacation ended and I went back to school the app was half way done, and by January the app called Piensa Rápido (Think Fast in Spanish) was already in the App Store. The app consists of 4 school subjects: science, history, literature, and Formación Católica (Catholic Formation in Spanish) this last one is a subject about the catholic religion, which is the religion that our school taught. When you open the app it shows a lucky wheel which you rotate and will randomly choose one subject. Then you have to choose a female or male character, and finally you would play/answer the quiz. While you answer the quiz, depending if the answer is correct or incorrect the character that you choose will change from running to falling down or jumping of happiness. The app also has a feature that lets you create your own quiz. The school coordinator liked it so much that she told us to enter the same project in an international conference: International Society for Technology in Education. If they liked your project you would present it in the conference. They did liked it, so we are going to present this app in Denver, Colorado on June 26. In March, our computer professor told us that we also have been selected to compete in finals of PIBA, our national school competition, in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mex. By this point, I know that I have become a good developer, also my friend Pablo has been very interested in animating, here is his YouTube channel if someone would like to see his artwork:
So I finally want to thanks Rob, by this point his course have been very helpful, I already completed it and I have begun with the famous The Complete Web Developer Course to see what else I can achieve with it.
Best of luck to you and your friends at the conference Fernando! Have a great time, we know you’ll do well!