Meet a Student
What motivated you to sign up?
Working in IT networking and troubleshooting has taught me how things work. I signed up for CS50x to find out why things work. I’m always looking to be the very best at what I do, and I’m always looking to improve my skill set for future opportunities. Knowledge is power!
Can you tell us a little about your background?
My interest in technology started when my mother brought home an old Atari game system she found at a yard sale. I quickly became obsessed. I wanted to learn to make my own games, so my parents bought me a computer and I started programming my own simple games in BASIC. I also started disassembling and reassembling every electronic device I could get my hands on, much to my mother’s chagrin. Fast forward to college where I majored in Information Technology. I took a detour when the clothing store I worked in part time offered me a full-time management position. I spent thirteen years as a Store Manager for various retail companies including Hot Topic, Gap, and Levi’s. In 2015, I decided to get back to my true passion, became A+ certified, and started a career in IT.
How did the reality of class differ from your expectations?
CS50x is far more challenging and fast paced than I expected. It’s incredibly rewarding when you’ve spent hours (or in some cases, days) on a problem and you finally get that “Aha!” moment and everything just comes together. I’ve learned there are so many great resources to utilize (professors, other students, online communities) that you’re truly never alone. This class does require a lot of patience and perseverance, so it is not for the faint of heart! You have to really want it, but if you have that passion you will succeed.
There are so many great resources to utilize (professors, other students, online communities) that you’re truly never alone. You have to really want it, but if you have that passion you will succeed.
Tell us about a highlight from class.
The highlight of CS50x for me has been learning the “underbelly” of technology. Learning C and how it really is “hiding” everywhere from video games to operating systems has made me even more curious. I’ve started doing basic research on other languages that are based on the C family (Swift, Rust, etc.).
What have you learned about yourself by taking this course?
I’ve learned I have far more patience and perseverance than I realized. I’ll admit, I came close to throwing in the towel on more than one occasion. I learned that I have the drive to continue learning and to apply that learning in a useful way. I’ve also learned to not be afraid to look for help. Sometimes I can’t do it all by myself, and there’s no shame in seeking the answers elsewhere. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and be even better next time!
How do you think the class will help you achieve your goals?
Although I’m happy in my current career role, I’m looking to continue growing. I’m never happy to stay still for too long, so I’d like to learn more about networking, security, Linux/Unix, and coding so I can become a “jack of all trades” when it comes to web development. Ideally, I’d like to spend time mastering each skillset along the way and eventually take on a management role with a digital content provider.
I’ve learned to not be afraid to look for help. Sometimes I can’t do it all by myself, and there’s no shame in seeking the answers elsewhere. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and be even better next time!
What would be your advice to someone interested in signing up for LaunchCode’s next class cohort?
Don’t give up! It’s going to be one of the most challenging courses you will ever take. Mentally prepare yourself for that and don’t be afraid to seek help from others. Re-read the materials you are provided. Re-watch all of the videos. Code and re-code (and re-code) your projects some more. Don’t be afraid to start over and take a completely different approach if what you’re doing is not working. If you’ve got the drive, you can succeed. It’s just like working out, only for your brain. No pain, no gain!