@yoteayudoconlasele

A project to help Spanish students with their university entrance exams during the pandemic

Cover image for @yoteayudoconlasele

March - July 2020

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selectividad, covid, university

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IT Lead

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Finished

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@yoteayudoconlasele originated as a network of thousands of university students all accross Spain, wanting to help pupils from the 2nd course of Bachillerato ace their college entrance exams. This network was present all across the country, in each and every autonomous community.

It consisted on three fundamental pillars:

  • The website, that I developed myself, was the "center of operations", and in where students could ask questions, find and share notes, and access online classes and many other resources.
  • The social media accounts, that served to both spread the word and coach the students, with a huge variety of contents, like study tips, career orientation and much more. Our Instagram account achieved more than 20k followers in just 48 hours.
  • The team of volunteers and organizers that was able to make the project work in record time.

This project received national media acclaim, and made a huge impact in the future of thousand of students.

You can know more about the project in the "about us" (archived), the FAQs (archived) and the "how to contribute" (archived) sections (all in Spanish).

Subprojects

As part of this project, I had to develop various utilites and features. Some of them were:

  • Calculadora Sele. A simple web utility that helped student calculate their scores in the University entrance exams ("selectividad").
  • YAS Gradu. Using Python and Pillow, I was able to generate the biggest class photo in Spain ever made.

Some featured stories

YAS (short for @yoteayudoconlasele) was featured in several Spanish media outlets. Here are some of my favorite articles:

My personal take

This project is one of the most successfull and fulfilling projects I have ever worked on, and I think it has been the one where, at the time, I grew the most as a computer scientist. In YAS was where I put my time and soul during the lockdown —besides University, of course,— and the response was overwhelming. It was truly a gift to be part of this.

As always, I like to take a moment and reflect upon what happened. Here's some of the things I learned from @yoteayudoconlasele:

  • Have a great team. In projects like this, it is essential to have a great team — you cannot do all the work! Surround yourself with wonderful communicators, planners, doers and thinkers. If they share your passion for the project, then everything will be okay.
  • Be brave. We had to create a functional product in no time, due to the urgency of the situation. This meant little space for mistakes. However, not only the right answer has to be provided — it has to be provided at the right time. Don't be scared to deploy, hotfix and redeploy whenever it is necessary. Don't be scared to contact everyone to make something new in no time.
  • Be true to yourself. In big projects, you'll come up with imitators, and people wanting to take advantage of you —most of the time, to make money.— With every decision you make, remind yourself of your goal and your passion for the project. If it doesn't seem right, then it probably isn't.

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