At Udacity, we love hearing from students who have been touched by our mission to broaden access to education. Today, we’d like to introduce Jose, a Udacian who tenaciously followed his passion for technology and programming, in spite of access setbacks along the way.

Jose’s family is originally from Costa Rica, and moved to the United States when Jose was 15 years old. His family bought a computer when he was 16 years old, and when it was his turn to use the computer, he loved reading technology blogs. Jose puts it, “I discovered this thing called ‘programming.’ For me, it was all magic — I didn’t know there was anything behind the computer interface.”

Inspired, Jose tried to teach himself programming out of a textbook, and signed up for his school’s computer science class — however, unfortunately, both the textbook and the class were a bad fit. Demoralized, Jose started to think that computer science was only for geniuses and for people whose parents could teach them.

In college, Jose studied electrical engineering, but saw an announcement for Sebastian Thrun’s MOOC AI course and when Udacity’s CS101 course was released, made time every night to study. Working his way through Intro to Computer Science, Web Development and Programming Languages, Jose felt more and more at home with programming.

Since starting his programming journey, Jose has taken two co-ops, or extended internships, with Intel and IBM, focusing on software development and electrical engineering. After graduation, he has job offers lined up and is also interested in pursuing his online masters degree in computer science with Udacity.

Jose is proud of his accomplishments and has a personal mission similar to Udacity’s: as the oldest of ten siblings, Jose is dedicated to nurturing passion for technology among his family. He teaches programming to his younger siblings and their friends, sometimes modifying assignments from the Intro to Computer Science and Intro to Programming in Java courses for them. He is happy to report that his eight-year-old brother writes Python! Huge thanks to Jose for sharing his story!

If you’re interested in pursuing your own passion in programming, head on over to our Course Catalog to get started today. Happy learning!