When the first computers became publicly available, knowing how to program was an indispensable requirement. To print a file, for example, it was necessary to develop aspecific program. Today, this has changed and users can listen to music and watch videos through web browsers, without needing to download nor install any additional software. But, paradoxically, to create a program or application a user must still installspecific software packages. And this is exactly what Álvaro Pereyra aims to avoid with his cloud-based programming platform, which can be accessed from any computer.Thanks to this development, Pereyra has earned a spot amongst MIT TechnologyReview, Spanish edition´s Innovators Under 35 Peru 2016.
"For an application to work on a particular computer does not guarantee it will workon another. Executing from the cloud frees us from worrying about certain problems related with the local equipment," explains the Peruvian entrepreneur, who began towork at the age of 14. Unlike other Peruvian children, he was lucky enough to have acomputer at home and learned to program as a child. Instead of working in a mine orin garbage collection, at the age of 22 he had his own company.
Pereyra was conscious of how education and new technologies can help people to climb out of the spiral of under development, so he began to create educational materials focused on programming and software development. "The main problem was that the educational materials were only one way comunications," he recalls. Thedocumentation, video tutorials, "everything was designed to be consumed, with nomargin for the students to interact with them." Consequently, he decided to create "ane-learning platform on which the student need only use his web browser to access allof the necessary tools for programming from start to finish," he adds.
Thus CodePicnic was born. With this tool, Pereyra discoverd that "its applications stretch beyond teaching programming." Convinced of its potential, the young Peruvian left his previous job to dedicate himself full-time to this new project. He raised 555,000dollars (approximately 520,000 euros) in investments and was accepted by 500Startups, one of the leading accelerators worldwide.The system runs on a server farm. Every time someone wants to access a specific software or programming language, a virtual environment is created with all of the necessary components for executing it in a matter of seconds," its young creatorexplains. He adds, as an interesting aside, that they have successfully executed these programming environments on a videogame console and an Apple Watch. And he is proud of that fact that teachers and initiatives like Laboratoria are already using his system to teach programming.