QGuide+: The Student-Made Gem Finder You Need to Use

By Courtesy of QGuide+

With Harvard debuting Syllabus Explorer and Curricle beta, it’s clear that students and administration are seeking an alternative to the Course Search function on my.Harvard (it may work, but it is definitely in need of some updates).

While Syllabus Explorer can be helpful in choosing courses, Curricle is downright weird. But not to fear, for there’s a better solution out there. A student-made course-finder called QGuide+ is very simple, but devastatingly effective. It goes through the most recent QGuide data on a course, and allows you to filter courses by workload and overall Q rating after you’ve typed in a few keywords. If you’ve ever wished you could just search the Q guide instead of the course catalog, this is what you’ve been waiting for.

This, as many of you may now be thinking, makes it really easy to find easier courses — also known as gems. Jack. Freaking. Pot. In fact, QGuide+ prides itself on being the “Best Gem Finder.” If you have a tough workload and are looking for a more relaxed fourth class, rest assured that finding a gem is much easier with this tool. Other features on the site allow you to filter by the number of Q evaluations a course has received and the general education requirement(s) a course fulfills.

Creators Benny Chang ’22 and Blake D. Young ’22 say that the project started over J-term when Young “was thinking about what classes to take.” First, Chang and Young worked on collecting the data that was necessary for several weeks. Then it was time to build the website. Seemingly surprised by how quickly they put the whole thing together, Chang chuckled and said that they had created the entire website “probably within the past week.”

“We just figured it was something people wanted, and we did it,” said Chang.

The project started out as an extension of CS50, which both Chang and Young took in the fall.

Young said, “We both took CS50, and that basically taught me some tools necessary to learn the basics of Python. From that I built a chess bot.” From there, Young wanted to do some more “practical things.” Hence, a course search website with filters that Harvard students actually care about (like workload and Q rating). David Malan, if you’re reading this, just look at the wonders that CS50 can do.

According to Chang and Young, the reactions have generally been very positive (duh). In the future, they plan to add features to make the website more user-friendly.

Head to the QGuide+ and happy course searching!

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