F: Hello! Thank you everyone for joining us today with the KTW interview series. I am joined by Jakub Klementewicz a young software developer from Poland who developed a tool called “Oh My Homework” which is supposed to help parents and kids have successful and smooth access to education in these changing times.
F: How are you doing? J: I’m good, and ready for the interview. I’m so happy for inviting me to show my app to your readers and I’m so happy I can do this.
F: So tell me about yourself Jakub. How did you manage to become the person you are today?
J: I’ve been learning coding since I was 10. It’s a very hard path because I’ve been learning everything on my own from the books and the internet. I’ve never been taking part in online courses so I can say I’ve learned everything on my own. At this place I can say everything is possible and you can even become a programmer thanks to internet and thanks to the books.
F: Very interesting! Being a self-learner for so long, what is the most important thing you have learned in your life?
J: I think it’s programming. Before I learned programming, I was just a kid who played video games and I was addicted to video games. I was spending sometimes even 8-9 hours, and I was playing Minecraft, Battlefield, Need For Speed and Call Of Duty. But then, there was a moment when I thought it is not that important. I want to do something in my life. I wanted to be a programmer that can creates games and apps, and that was the moment when I decided to start learning C++. That’s the most popular language in programming, and since then my life has changed totally. I spent 10 years to learn coding and to be in this place where I am now. I think programming gave me so many tools, so many opportunities to change my life, to create what I can, what I do and to help other people. Thanks to Oh My Homework, I can help kids and parents from all the whole world. I think programming has changed my life, but also I can change life of others.
F: Very interesting! And speaking of kids, if you were to get back in time and talk to 16-18 year old of yourself, what would you tell to that version of yourself?
J: I think there would be one sentence. Never give up and everything is possible!
F: Very inspiring! Sounds amazing! And speaking of giving up, did you ever have moments when you wanted to give up? J: There was a lot of moments when I thought I should give up, but I never done it. I think if it is not something like saying I can not do this, but as I said, everything is possible and I know it just takes time to build an app. Just takes time to figure it out where is the problem, the error, the bug and I always thing that sometimes it takes just 1hr, sometimes it takes just 1day or sometimes it takes just 1month but it’s only a matter of time.
F: Indeed, it is time, is the most precious currency that we have right now. Now let’s talk a bit about your recent work. Is it the most recent app you are developing, or are you working on something else as well? J: I was working on video games, but they were just directing to the kids. I wanted to help also the parents, the grandparents who help teenagers on their homework, and now I am focused only on my app Oh My Homework.
F: So tell us a bit about your background. (5:00) Which person or who in your life gave you the most matter support during developing you app?
J: There are 3 persons: my mother, my grandmother and my grandfather. They are always here when I had a success and they also are there when I am failing.
F: Very important to have support in all these situations. (5:33)Jakub, tell me which were the biggest obstacles in your path developping Oh My Homework?
J: Coding is very hard, but creating an app it’s just the matter of time. I think the most hard thing in this way it’s marketing. When I created the app it has 0 downloads. I’ve got to tell people hey there is an app like Oh My Homework, it can do your math, your chemistry, your physics, your english, it can help ou. Hey just try that, download it, but it’s a very hard to do it; on facebook, on instagram, on reddit, on tiktok. It’s very hard to tell people that they should use my app before download it. People have so many app on the google play and app store and saying my app is a little bit better than others is very very hard.
F: Indeed, just to make a note for the people who will watch/hear this, I discovered your app on reddit, and that’s how we got in touch. So yeah, marketing and social media are very important these days. And also thank you for getting in touch with us!
J: Thank you so much for such an honor!
F: It’s a pleasure, honestly, Jakub. I was really happy when I stumble upon, because here at KTW we and you share quite as similar points of view on helping parents and teachers, giving them best education to their kids with various technology tools.
J: That’s fantastic, you are promoting technology.
F: We are promoting healthy conversation on technology, because there are many ways technology can be used. So tell me more detailed about Oh my Homework. You mentioned you learn how to code in C and you started learning programming and developing by yourself in the beginning, so tell me more about your previous experience that helped you developed the idea for Oh My Homework.
J: So at the very beginning I was learning C++. It’s used to create apps and programs only on PC using libraries, so I was building simple programs such as calculators, or databases on my computer, but probably in 201 or 2014 I noticed that smartphones are becoming very popular, then I decided to create mobile apps. At this moment I was learning Java, and I used it to create my first mobile app on Android, and it was called Physiculator. It’s a connection between physics and calculator, in polish language. I can say this is the father of Oh My Homework because this app was used to solve some formulas in Physics and has fractional calculator in it. Thanks to this I get new experience to create more complicated and more advanced app and video games. I was creating video games on PC. everyone can find those games on steam. I was also created video games for mobiles on the Google Play store; but in 2016 I started to create an app called Oh My Homework in Polish Language, and since 2016, I am developing this app. I’m adding new materials every single day and updates regularly takes 2-3 weeks. Next week I’m going to update the app with new materials of Physics, so I’m focusing on it. I’m also studying, I am at the 3rd year of College. So it takes time to create new update, because I got life, learning, school, and coding, but Im doing very single day, and I am adding new materials every day.
F: That’s fantastic, that’s seems like a lot of work! Tell us a bit about the technology behind Oh My Homework, what kind of language, what modules, software elements are there?
J: Now Oh My Homework is build thanks to Flutter, that’s being developed by Google, and I’m using that. It is the language I am using to create this app. There are still the things that’s just knowledge that s on everywhere. Math physics, chemistry, and English. I’m using special AI that I’m designated on my own to solve everything step by step. What something to the app or the equation, or the quadratic function, the app builds some kind of a way to solving this for the better solution. It means that the app finds out a few ways and decide what ways should be used to show us simple as it is. So when you input even vary complicated equation or just the calculation, the app will do it step by step to show you how simple it is to solve it.
F: That’s amazing. It reminds me of Wolfram Alpha. They have similar service where they provide step by step solutions and it is for academic level.
J: Yeah, Wolfram Alpha also use step by step system, but Wolfram Alpha, does not comment everything on step by step. It shows everything step by step, but in Oh My Homework I am also using comments to say hey, there is an addition, there you should multiply these numbers, there is a formula for solving this. So even kids from 2nd or 3rd grade, can easily read it and say hey, there should be do it in this way.
J: And it has also user friendly UI. Wolfram Alpha uses science and numbers, and in my app, you just use buttons to navigate and input numbers.
F: It’s much more user friendly and simple to use! And all you need is a smartphone to use.
F: Of course! In your profile you mentioned that you like to support parents and kids to reach healthy and adequate education so let’s start with parents. What encouragements would you give to them to enhance their children education?
J: First of all, OMH, because it can help them when they learn kids, or when they try do their homework. I also would like to mention that some parents are afraid of technology, of computers, and some parents get angry when their kids play video games. I can say I was addicted playing video games when I was younger. I can say I was sometimes even 10hrs when I just only had the time, and it doesn’t mean when your kids are playing Minecraft or video games, they are wasting their time. I was also learning English thanks to video games and some times video games are just very good for creation. Kids can learn from video games. Yeah, parent should control what their kids are doing on the internet, what they are playing, but if your kid does very well in school, he did their homework, let them play video games. That is their free time and they should find out what s good for them. Maybe they will play video games for 2 years but then they will decide: Hey, I will be a programmer, and that changes he’s life. I think the most important thing in the life of every teenager is freedom. People should decide what they love, what they think, what they do. I think the most important thing is freedom.
F: Freedom. Amazing. And similar question to teachers. What would you recommend teacher? What comments do you have towards them to help children in school?
J: I think teachers should not be afraid of tech too. We are living in the world that changes every day. And teachers should understand that every single kid have a personal way of developing. Everyone is different and everyone needs focusing for what they love. There are some good mathematicians. There are some good physicians, and we should know that everyone is a special person. Teachers cannot say that the person that is not good at school, isn’t a good person. He can be a very good painter, a very good musician, everyone has their own talent, and we should develop them. I was never good in any kind of sport, but it does not matter I am not a good person. We shouldn’t say that someone is not good at something. It is just not for him. He will not be a good mathematician, but he can be a perfect musician.
F: So was the saying something about taking a fish out the water and judging it by how well he can climb a tree.
J: Yeah, that was I was saying.
F: It’s the similar comparison here. That is a good point. And now what would be your best recommends to the kids, when it comes to their inherence education and them adopting technology?
J: I think adopting technology is very important to show kids that word changes every day and tech can be used to support education, not only for showing step by step system, and saying that the world changes but technology basing on Oh My Homework experience, technology can be a teacher. Thanks to it kids have opportunities to find their personal teachers, the apps. While e learning, kids need much more help than before. When parents are at the work, kids have very big problem in solving some tasks in their homework, so they have mobile app that they can help them.so using or adopting technology is very important for the kids to work without teachers and without parents. We should learn kids how to use mobile apps what they should know about using the apps and we should show them as many apps as it is possible to learn. Because sitting on a lesson or an e-lesson might be boring. But using a click in is encouraging kids to use this and to help them learning. And this give them new opportunities to e-learn new things that can use in their life.
F: Amazing! Thank you so much Jakub for your insides and do you have any closing remarks or any messages u want to share to everyone who will be listening to this? J: I think there will be 2 things which I said: one of them is everything is possible and you should never give up, and the second is the freedom of choices because everyone is different and everyone should find their own way! F: Amazing, thank you so much Jakub for your time! J: Thank you so much! F: And everyone, thank you for joining us in this interview, all the information that Jakub was been talking about, all the links will be present down bellow where you can explore the app yourself and all the pieces that Jakub was working on in the past and also you can explore our Kids Tech World blog and all the content that we have!
J: And I want to add, that if someone has questions for me or would like to ask something for the app or how to learn a kid programming, u can easily contact me by the Facebook fan page Oh My Homework so u can find their bottoms and message ask fast as it possible, I would reply to every message that I see.
F: Perfect! Thank you so much Jakub! J: Thank you so much!