CS50 AP Puyo

I took CS50 through edX in 2014, and this course changed my life completely. Even though I didn’t study computer science or software engineering, with the knowledge I got in CS50, I was able to participate in a programming contest called Devsu Code Jam, and I was awarded fourth place. CS50 gave me the opportunity to start a career in the software industry, and nowadays I am working remotely as a software developer from my hometown.

After finishing university and being working a couple of years in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, I decided to go back to my hometown. This is a small city in the Amazon Region of Ecuador called Puyo. The main reason to move was that I was stressed from the big city, and because I was working remotely, I felt I had no strings attached in the big city. Back in Puyo, I was usually thinking of how CS50 has changed the lives of lots of people around the world including mine, and I wanted that people from Puyo have the opportunity to taste what CS50 is.

It was August 2017, and I contacted some high school teachers of mine. I told them that this course is taught in Harvard University, and I also told them my story, so they got excited about students from the one which was my high school taking this course. At the same time, I knew that several subjects that used to teach computer skills had been removed from the curriculum because they were seen as not so important, and this precedent motivated me even more to begin a beta programming course.

A teacher of mine called Silvia Moya, who also was my tutor when I was in high school, was eager to see the results that a beta version of CS50 could have, so she helped me to talk with the current principal about this project. Fortunately, the principal, Daniel Zúñiga, agreed with this beta course, and he also allowed me to use the high school facilities. This was crucial because this course was officially approved by the high school authorities, so the parents of the students taking this course were not going to be worried about their kids taking a course with somebody that might be a complete stranger for them.

At this moment, I had just the approval to teach the course, but I had no idea what else to do. I had a big deal of ideas in my mind, but none of them were clear, so I started taking with some of my closest friends Nanci Abarca, David Ochoa, Diego Vaca and my boss, but also friend Chris Charles. They not only gave me more excellent ideas, but also they helped me clarify mine. I understood that the next step was to make a talk about the importance of programming in order to obtain the attention of the students in my high school.

Originally published at cs50appuyo.tk on September 14, 2017.