I wouldn’t say I “discovered” tech. Technologies like phones and laptops were always around me since I was a kid. But my true “Great Awakening” that turned me towards studying computer science came from learning the diverse applications that engineering and coding could do. I loved to make all kinds of stuff when I was a little kid —on my free time (which was a lot of the time) I would build drawers out of stacks of scratch papers. As a kid, my imagination drew me towards a career where I can apply my creativity and motivation to try new things.
When I entered 10th grade, I attended a tech camp where I was able to learn from engineers about their work on the newest technologies and attend workshops and career panels. Back then, I had a strong interest in biomedical sciences, focusing on applications in medicine. But seeing the immediate impact of technology, I wanted to share this experience with my classmates and community. In my junior year of high school, my twin sister and I founded a STEM outreach club to seek students who would work together to share our passions for STEM fields. I wanted to mirror the values that the camp had taught me to share knowledge with others and never limit your creativity because of challenges. Our club was able to host multiple outreach events at local libraries and volunteer for school events in the Bellevue area.
But having no coding experience, I sought a way to learn computer science before entering college. I was selected to be a part of a coding program where I learned to code in various coding languages. Through the program, I found a supportive community of students and role models that shared the same interests as me. I am thankful that we are still able to keep in contact, especially in college.
In my freshman year, I was lucky to find a supportive community of friends through clubs and events, and explore with them the career opportunities aligned with engineering. Personally, I love the experience and community I have built in tech through my many years of learning and experimentation. And that is why I am here to share with you my reasons on why I study Computer Science.
I know in this industry and in college, there are various incentives to studying certain majors. Some people may be attracted to work that provides them with stability— but I believe a big part is also truly developing an affinity and appreciation for the work you do on a daily basis.
This summer, I have found time to work on redefining my values and goals. Reading about what other people have done with code and playing with interactive tutorials has opened my eyes to the wide applications of coding.
1) Tackle & Fix Problems
Using code, you can bring certain problems to light and educate others through data analysis and refine inaccurate statements. Code can be a mechanism to educate communities and spread transparent information. It can also be used to solve problems in daily life, like powering a self-driving car or transferring patient data in hospitals.
2) Create & Invent Really Cool Things
Having the power to do something, like create an app, within the storyboard of your Xcode program or running a script that will solve math problems, is pretty awesome. Technology is everywhere and code has become a prevalent skill that is essential to automate processes in transportation, communication, media, and other fields. And the best part, you can learn and do all of this within your fingertips (with a laptop, of course).
3) Spread Creativity & Collaborate
You have an idea? Let’s get some conversations rolling. The process of ideation to production is an exciting yet challenging path in any tech team. Once a problem is proposed, the team hypothesize ways to fix, find ways to implement the methods, evaluate our results, review for areas of improvement, and cycle back to the beginning.
Even though the tech field is constantly changing, there is an art to this essential shift in tech — the needs of others around the world are constantly changing, therefore tools and ideas are constantly renewed to tackle these needs. Ten years ago, not every household had an accessible laptop. Today, still not everyone in the world is privileged enough to have a laptop — but the ones that do, why not use it to do something that will help others? The tech world has made strides to streamline education and resources for students. This comes to the benefit of the rising generation, and our futures.
In this minute, there are engineers developing and testing products that focus on improving disability services, making better accessible medical treatments, detecting demographic trends for public health research, you name it and technology can do it. From the perspective of a college student, I believe the widespread uses of technology being integrated in our lives have enhanced the quality of life for the better — and this phenomenal movement motivates me to continue contributing to the field.