Computer Science is an extensive field that continues to grow. Many professors, interviewers, and guest speakers from the industry stress the need for students to acquire well-honed soft skills in order to interact effectively with languages, coworkers and customers. Add this to the amount of coursework CS students must complete to cultivate their interest in computing, and channel it into innovative problem-solving skills.
Because CS students are pulled in so many directions at once, it can be difficult for them to acquire the required proficiency in the field in just four years, making them feel they have too much to learn in too little time. It is common for students to feel in over their heads..
Therefore, if you are thinking about studying computer science, make sure to consider the degree’s ability to provide you with meaningful employment, not just the lucrative, high-paying jobs. Getting involved in activities outside of the classroom, such as working on personal projects or joining student clubs, not only helps you find meaning and passion in the field, but also enables you to develop the soft skills you need to work within the industry.
When Francisco Fonseca, a student at Seattle Central College, started a Computer Programming Club at the college, he was thinking of exactly that. “The main purpose of creating the club is to conduct hands-on work with coding problems to spark students’ interest in the subject,” Francisco said. “Typically, we will do coding problems every week, and that is the original idea behind the club.”
During club meetings, Francisco noticed that some members joined the club because they had concurrently enrolled in CSC courses (specifically, Introduction to Programming, Programming I, and Programming II) and they needed assistance. Thus, the club is also useful for aiding students taking computer science classes at SCC in understanding the materials and succeeding in the programs.
Fonseca asked Arlene Ford, a Seattle Central College computer science professor, if there were any computer science clubs on campus. After learning there were none, he decided to start one himself. Ford has been chosen as the club advisor, and she will provide students with support in enhancing their coding skills during meetings.
A student must be enrolled at Seattle Central College in order to join the programming club. You can join the club here. Enrolled students will have the option of using their own computers, or using the computer lab provided to them by the student leadership at Seattle Central College.
Club members will also learn to use Git and Github, and to push their website codes to their GitHub repository after each session. Therefore, if the students are interested in finding an internship down the road, having a Github account with projects in it will help them find potential job prospects. “We will be pushing codes for sure,” Francisco said.
“In the future, the club members are planning to take part in UW Hackathons, but that will be a long way off,” Francisco believes. “It is too early for most students to attend hackathons, but it would be awesome if we could.”
Chin-Erdene is an international student at Seattle Central College and a member of the Editorial Board of Seattle Collegian. He is currently pursuing a degree in computer science and linguistics and aspiring to become a linguistics engineer in the future. As he is from Mongolia, he only started to learn English in the latter part of his high school years, from which he developed a deep passion for linguistics and language structures. He wants to use the applications of computer science and mathematics to analyze written and spoken languages from computational perspectives. In his free time, he loves reading science fiction books, baking sourdough bread, and watching action/sci-fi movies. He is a big fan of Goerge R.R Martin and J.R.R Tolkein.