Nerding Out

CALLING ALL COMPUTER SCIENTISTS

Living in a technology-based era, coding has become so crucial that Apple’s Tim Cook said that it’s better to learn to code than learn English as a second language.

Since coding became more accessible and common for the public due to the massive information exposure on the internet, more and more people are inspired by this field of study and Buka Cakrawala, president of the Computer Science (CS) Club, was no exception.

Cakrawala, who is now majoring in CS, said that the reason why he started up the club was simply sparked by his eagerness to learn.

“Computer science is what I really want to do in real life, but so far what I did at SCC is learn the theories and basics. I haven’t had the chance to apply these into real life and learn knowledge that is more practical.”

He wants the computer science club to be a place where people could gather to share their own thoughts, ideas and knowledge about computer science.

Ying-Jui Hsieh, another member of the club added, “Our members occasionally come up with project ideas and they would propose the ideas at club meetings while also recruiting more club members to join the projects.”

Currently, some of the members are working on a project with the calling system for the International Education (IE) Office. The system will integrate with the line-up system in the IE office that is currently in use.

When an appointment ends, the staff can modify the waiting queue to call the next person and assign them to an advisor. The system will send a notification to the people to remind them of their position in the waiting list. Michael Scherrer, one of the members, is also working on a face-detecting app that can analyze the user’s emotions in a short time.

As for club activities, Cakrawala said that they are still working on finalizing the curriculum schedule since the club just started operating this quarter.

“We are thinking about having a speaker since Professor Hess (the club advisor) knows a lot of people who had worked in the industry. She can invite one of them to talk about what it’s like working in the tech-community and their experience,” Cakrawala said.

Besides having speakers, Cakrawala said that they are also planning on having several workshops. He hopes that by holding these workshops, students with more experience can share their knowledge with others.

Hsieh, who has a lot of previous experience in coding, said that he is planning on holding workshops about Git, a version-control system for tracking changes in computer files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people.

He mentioned that Git is not taught in school but is a really essential skill for CS programmers. He would like to use extracurricular time to help his fellow students pick up this skill.

The computer science club is not exclusive to only CS majors. “We welcome all students, regardless of their major or experience in coding to join us. As long as you have an interest in coding, you’ll definitely learn a lot from here,” Cakrawala said.

As for their long-term goal, Cakrawala said that they are hoping to teach their club members the essentials and inspire them to dig deeper into the coding field. The club members are also hoping that as more and more club members enhance their coding skills, they could encourage students to join Dubhacks 2018, a 24-hour collegiate hackathon held at UW that promotes diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

Hsieh encourages students to enroll in the introductory computer science classes and practice the code taught online.

Students can also watch coding tutorials online to expand their knowledge and skills in coding. Hsieh said that it is normal to feel frustrated at first but practice makes perfect.

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