Pablo Navarro—Innovators of Tomorrow

Learn about Pablo Farías Navarro, the founder of the Zenva Academy. He created this online platform to offer courses on how to make games, apps, and websites that many developers use to expand their technical knowledge. 

Innovators of Tomorrow is a show focused on giving insight into the work and inspirations from developers in our Intel® Software Innovator Program. Our Innovators are driving technologies that put computing power into new use cases and areas of work. Moreover, beyond the code, our innovators often have personal insights, and experiences that are focusing their work in ways that we find amazing and inspirational.

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Learn more about the Zenva Academy

Welcome to Innovators of Tomorrow. We're here today with another Intel® Software Innovator story to inspire you and help you see what's possible. Pablo Farías Navarro grew up in one of the driest places on the planet, the Atacama Desert in Chile. 

Even though he didn't have a lot of access to technology as a kid, he grew up to be the founder of the Zenva Academy, an online platform that offers courses on how to make games, apps, and websites. Hundreds of thousands of developers all around the world have used this platform to learn new technologies, expand their knowledge, and make cool stuff. Let's learn more about Pablo's journey and passion for teaching cutting edge technology. 

Growing up in the 80s and the 90s in a small city was very different to how it is now, in terms that it wasn't all of the knowledge just on your pocket. I grew up in a city in the Atacama Desert, which happens to be the driest desert in the world, this city called Iquique. 

So there wasn't much happening in terms of software development or programming. But somehow, I got my heart into a programming book, and I was a big fan of video games. I played Atari and Nintendo. And the fact that I could learn how to code and make my own games really was mind blowing to me. 

So I started learning C++. It was definitely an issue for me to try to learn the things that I wanted. And so I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel at a young age and to have relatives that lived in other places. And thanks to all of that, I got access to a lot of books. I had a lot of knowledge. 

The beauty of the internet is that it's global, and hence, we can reach people that are in places that are not connected to the main hubs, to the main places where all the innovation is happening. The reason why I have such passion for education is because I love seeing people that we teach them doing other things with those skills. 

Zenva started as a personal project. I was mainly exploring HTML5 game development, which was a new technology at the time. That is mainly using the web languages to create games that run in all different platforms. So I was really fascinated by that, but I had a hard time learning it myself. I couldn't find any good resources. 

So I decided to create a video course where I explained how to create different types of games, different demos. And I put that online on a course marketplace that was relevant at that time. And what happened was that a lot of people really showed interest in this course, and they started buying this course. And I saw that there was an opportunity there to create more content and more courses. So that's how it all started. 

We put together an online education platform of our own, Zenva Academy, where we expanded our curriculum with a lot of different topics, like data science, machine learning, virtual reality, full stack web development. A lot of the content we've developed this year are for things that didn't exist before, like machine learning or how data science has become so relevant because there's data everywhere. And we need now professionals who can analyze the data and use it in insightful ways. So we are really never stopping developing content for as long as we have people that want to learn. 

So my background in education started at a young age, really, because both my parents are educators. They have been for over 40 or 50 years, all the way from kindergarten, schools that my mom has run, to training centers that my dad used to run, and high schools as well. I have always found it extremely interesting and very fascinating how you can give people skills, and they can use those skills to create things, to solve problems. And that is mainly what drives my passion for education. 

Something that we've seen at Zenva is that a lot of our students use the skills that we teach them in the most amazing ways, even teaching other people, like at universities, or growing their portfolios, or expanding their career and getting freelance work, all sorts of things. That is something that I find very rewarding and very fulfilling. 

It is definitely something that motivates me. Just give people that access to all of these skills and all of this knowledge if they want to learn, if they are people that are driven, that are willing to put in the time. And take that and build something with that. And I think that is one of the greatest things about the technology is that it enables people to really improve themselves, regardless of where they are, which is something that definitely didn't exist when I was growing up. 

Thank you, Pablo, for helping us learn more about your journey and the amazing reach you've had in the worldwide developer community. If you'd like to learn more about the Zenva Academy, follow the link, and you'll be able to start taking classes in a huge variety of technologies. That's all for now. Thanks for watching, and be sure to check out our next episode of Innovators of Tomorrow. We'll see you next time.
 

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