Girls in Tech

Tips from a Boston University Computer Science Student

 

python coding for teens

Do you aspire to study computer science at Imperial College or Stanford university? Perhaps you want to be a programmer at Apple or Google. Whatever it is, our hand-picked tutors are here to inspire you to go after your dreams.

This summer, Ashni (pictured left), a computer science student at Boston University, flew across the Atlantic to inspire young makers on our Python course to get creative with code.

We know many of our students are interested in studying computer science at university and that parents are curious about coding in general, so we asked Ashni to bring us into her world.

What’s the best thing about studying computer science?

The results are immediate. If you study medicine or law, you’re studying for 5-7 years before you actually make an impact. With computer science, you can immediately bring your ideas to life because you learn how to code.

Secondly, you learn skills that offer endless career opportunities and the ability to work in various fields ‒ medicine, business, finance, engineering, software.

Top tip for getting into the best universities?

For people interested in studying at American Universities specifically, doing extra-curricular activities is vital for your application. Universities want to see you taking initiative outside of school and demonstrating an independent interest in your chosen field.

How can a student prepare for studying computer science at University?

I’m not just saying this (I promise!) but I recommend you take a Fire Tech course. I absolutely would have benefited if I had done a course like this before I started university.

Having an understanding of code helps you understand what your professor is saying and helps you get more out of classes. Even if you don’t remember everything from camp, you get a head start because you’ve been exposed to coding syntax, forms and logical thinking. At Fire Tech, you’re not learning theory, you’re applying it and creating things.

One of my students, James, is going to study computer science at university, but everything he learnt in his GCSE programme was theory-based. By the end of the course week, he was building his own projects.

Is there any benefit of learning to code even if you don’t want to study computer science?

Even if you’re not sure you’re interested in coding and never want to work in this field, I would encourage you to learn a little bit of code. When you do, a whole new world opens up to you. When you see something ‒ an iPad, a laptop, a computer or an electrical gate ‒ you understand the mechanics, and that’s exciting!

Secondly, you build your resilience which is a fantastic life skill. I’m a perfectionist by nature but with code, you never get it right the first time, you have to go back, break it down, see where the bugs are, and adjust. It’s an incredible sense of achievement when you actually crack it and I love seeing those breakthrough moments with my students.

Why do you recommend learning Python coding?

Other languages are useful for sure. All of my professors have learnt other languages like Java, Scala, and C, but they always come back to Python because it’s a high-level language that’s functional. With Python, once you know a little coding, you immediately start seeing results which builds momentum.

Fire Tech are running courses for 9-17 year olds all summer long. Pick from Coding, Robotics, Photography and more. All courses are taught in small class sizes by specialist tutors. View our courses for more information.