Technology is making the world a smaller place, but the heart of the tech world is still firmly rooted in SIlicon Valley. This is the best place to network, to learn, to get internships, and to engage with cutting-edge technologies, and that’s why Make School established the Product College campus right here in San Francisco. The Product College attracts students from all over the world looking for the best computer science education―students like Carlos Diez, who was born and raised in Mexico City.
“When I was three years old,” Carlos exclaimed, “I got my first Game Boy, and since then I have been pretty much obsessed with video games.” At thirteen, Carlos dove into programming by creating an open server version of his favorite massive multiplayer online game. “It was pretty much a copy of the game, but it had its own map, a few sprites, and some new scripts I made for spells and such. I didn't know much about coding back then, but experiences like that showed me that I definitely wanted to learn more.”
After high school Carlos enrolled at Universidad Ibero, one of the best universities in Mexico, but he was quickly disappointed by the experience. “At first I was really excited, but after the first semester I felt like it was a huge waste of my time,” Carlos remembered. “I was eager to learn, but the school only offered one programming class per semester. It just wasn’t for me.”
Carlos decided to drop out and focus on learning mobile development on his own. One day he came across a video of Make School co-founder Jeremy Rossmann explaining why he created Make School. “I had just dropped out of college and knew I didn't want to go through the conventional education system. I really identified with the reasons Jeremy gave for why he dropped out of MIT. The Product College sounded like a perfect fit for me.”
An unconventional computer science education
Happening across that video led Carlos “to one of the best experiences of my life.”
At the Product College, Carlos fell in love with the growth mindset that the instructors fostered in him and his fellow students. He explained, “From day one, they teach you that you have to get rid of the voices that tell you you can’t do something. If you can’t do something, you can’t do it YET. You have to keep learning, you have to get out of your comfort zone.”
“I loved being around people that shared the goal of becoming better developers,” Carlos added, “and Make School's environment made it really easy for us to support and learn from each other. That definitely boosted my learning and my growth as a person and as a developer.”
Carlos’s favorite class was Data Structures and Algorithms with Alan Davis. “It helped me understand a lot of programming concepts, and I think Alan is the best teacher I've ever had. He always had clever tricks to explain complex subjects. Plus, he was always learning. He took a lot of feedback and made his courses better every single day.”
While he worked on several projects at the Product College, Carlos’s favorite project was Alpha Stage, a desktop app for playtesting video games that he designed with fellow Product College student Enzo Caoile. “It allows developers to get valuable feedback and to build a community around their games.”
Today, Carlos has taken his new programming skills and growth mindset back to Mexico City. He recently completed a remote internship with Make School’s engineering team, and now he is working on rebuilding Alpha Stage from the ground up with “a little twist.” He joked, “I’m a little obsessed with this project.”
Carlos is also working on a startup with his girlfriend called Mexican Style. The company designs and sells custom T-shirts online, then they donate all of their proceeds to victims of the earthquake that hit Mexico City in September. “There’s no middle man,” Carlos explained. “We take the money and hand it directly to people who lost their homes.”
To learn more about Carlos’s current and upcoming projects, follow him on GitHub.