In a world driven by technology, the thirst for knowledge is unquenchable. Juan Gabriel Gomila Salas, the visionary founder of Frogames Formación, satisfies that thirst, leading a remarkable journey of transformation and inspiration.
Award winning Juan Gabriel Gomila Salas is a visionary and driven mathematician who has made a significant impact in the fields of education and technology. With a background in both Mathematics and Education, he possesses a strong academic foundation that he has leveraged to transform the way people learn.
Juan’s journey reflects his determination and entrepreneurial spirit, venturing into the world of video game companies before transitioning to become an online educator. His mission has been to share knowledge and provide opportunities for learners worldwide. As co-founder and influential instructor of online education provider, Frogames Formación, Juan has played a pivotal role in empowering over half a million Spanish-speaking students.
Juan, to begin with, could you tell us a little about your background, and how you made the bold decision to transition into online teaching. What was your motivation for the career move and what opportunities did you see for yourself and others?
I started out working in the commercial field as a game producer, planning, co-ordinating and supervising the mobile game development cycle from the conception stage through to finalisation for international markets. I gained valuable skills, knowledge and experience during this time and other opportunities beckoned.
From here I spent seven years lecturing as a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Balearic Islands where I realised there was a a real gap in the higher education system. Not only were curricula outdated, but educators often became frustrated with their students instead of offering them guidance and support. As a result graduates required substantial additional training upon entering the workforce.
Alongside my academic role, I chose to transition into online teaching to provide others with the same opportunities I had experienced. My focus was on teaching mathematics, programming, and game development in Spanish to cater to individuals who lacked access to English-language learning resources. I initiated this venture on Udemy, an English-centric platform, in 2015.
Following my initial success, I generously distributed my courses in order to gain reviews and establish a reputation for myself. This attracted the attention of Udemy, who enquired about my decision to teach in my native language. Subsequently, Udemy made the strategic move to translate the platform into multiple languages, including Spanish.
Additionally, other e-learning platforms, such as Platzi in Latin America, approached me to create courses. I also became a Unity Certified Instructor, delivering training sessions to prominent video game companies worldwide. Universities from Latin America and Europe extended invitations for me to conduct conferences, training sessions, and motivational speeches during this period.
In response, I expanded my initial courses into more than 12 distinct learning paths, encompassing subjects such as mathematics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and app development, among others. This pivot propelled me to the pinnacle of the Udemy platform, where I reached and impacted over 500,000 students worldwide, primarily in Spanish-speaking regions.
Collaborating with other instructors was important for your career journey. How did this impact the growth of your platform?
Collaboration with instructors from various parts of the world was pivotal as it enabled us to coach and support one another. We witnessed a significant increase in students after the pandemic in 2022, and we expanded into new areas of teaching, including Kotlin, Java, Power BI, and Tableau. Some English instructors even shared their courses with us for translation into Spanish, furthering our mission to spread knowledge.
You co-founded Frogames in 2020 with your partner, María Santos. Can you tell us about your collaboration and how that has shaped your platform’s technical and support aspects?
Frogames was founded as a collaborative venture in 2020 with my partner, María Santos, who now leads the technical aspects and supports Q&A for our students. Maria, initially my student, was drawn to my teaching style, which stood in stark contrast to the uninspiring education she had experienced. She created her first course at just 20 years old and has been launching new courses year after year.
In 2022 you embarked on a more personal project, Frogames Formación. Could you elaborate on this venture and how it differs from your previous work?
Yes, in 2022 I established Frogames Formación. This platform allows us to charge a fair price for our work, incorporating a social network for students, organising courses by topic and difficulty, and even offering blockchain certificates upon course completion.
How has Frogames Formación evolved, and what are your plans for the future?
Frogames Formación has matured into a versatile platform with multiple business models, including individual course purchases and subscription-based learning paths. Our goal is to become a reference in the Spanish learning market and reach the top, and we are also exploring expansion into other languages in the future. Our aim is to make the learning adventure as enjoyable as possible, fun and updated with exercises and examples from real life, and easy to understand. Our courses are suitable for all ages – parents can take courses to help their children, and older people can update their mathematical skills to use with new technology, AI or machine learning, for example.
In your experience, do you think universities and schools are now keeping up with technology in their curricula and / or teaching methods?
Unfortunately, universities do often lag behind in updating their course content. The process can take years, leaving students learning outdated technologies. The key to success in today’s tech landscape is staying current, and universities need to adapt to meet this challenge.
While schools may make efforts to incorporate technology, they may lack guidance on how to use it effectively. We’ve seen schools successfully use our courses to teach maths and programming, providing interactive content that engages students more effectively than traditional textbooks and PDFs.
How does Frogames Formación face many competitors in the market, and how does it differentiate itself?
While there are global marketplaces and local platforms offering similar courses, we differentiate ourselves by focusing on quality and outcomes. We issue blockchain certifications through our partner Accredible and provide ongoing support to our students, including monthly live sessions to address their needs. Our courses may be more expensive, but we offer a high-quality learning experience akin to enjoying a fine steak compared to a fast-food meal!
And finally, on a personal level, Juan, how does it feel to be in control of your own future as an entrepreneur?
Working for oneself offers a sense of freedom and motivation that a 9-to-5 job will never provide. The ability to set one’s schedule, choose projects, and witness the impact on people’s lives is immensely gratifying. Entrepreneurship empowers us to create meaningful change.
Juan Gabriel Gomila Salas and Frogames Formación have emerged as trailblazers in the world of online education, driven by a commitment to offering high-quality, accessible learning experiences. From empowering students to helping professionals upskill, this innovative online learning platform bears testament to the transformative power of education in the digital age. The future holds even greater promise as this platform continues to expand its reach and impact, bringing the world closer to the limitless possibilities of learning and growth.
For further information on the full range of specialist online courses available, please visit the company website: https://cursos.frogamesformacion.com/