Carolina B. has participated in the Code2College program for two years as a Manor ISD student. This summer, Carolina will be working at Atlassian as a software engineering intern. Last week, we sat down with her and asked her about her experience in Code2College. 

MS: Hey Carolina! Thanks for taking the time to talk. So, I’d love to know what made you apply to Code2College in the first place?

CB: I’ve always known that I wanted to be an engineer. I’ve met several engineers and each one I’ve talked to has highly recommended learning how to code. They said that programming was a useful skill set and that it would help introduce me to a new way of thinking. I had also never personally met any other female programmers and I was excited to prove some people wrong and meet women established in the industry. When I started, I didn’t know that I’d enjoy it as much as I have come to!

MS: That’s amazing, and we’ve certainly enjoyed having you in the program. Did it live up to your expectations?

CB: Absolutely! Learning to program has definitely boosted my confidence. I learned how to really carve a space for myself in a male-dominated field and prepare myself to pursue any number of technical majors in college. This experience has really taught me the power of conceding when you don’t know something and how to exhaust all avenues when seeking an answer.

MS: I’m so glad you’ve been able to connect with some of our incredible female volunteers.

CB: Yeah, that’s been a really big part of my experience. I loved talking with the mentors at workshops, they’ve boosted my confidence even further and have helped me realize what I can achieve. 

MS: Did anything surprise you about the Code2College program? 

CB: Apart from the technical skills I’ve learned, paired programming has turned out to be one of the most gratifying partnered tasks I’ve ever engaged in. I really found compatibility and friendship in my programming partner and its fun working together and filling in each other’s shortcomings to solve problems. I’ve started to apply this to teams outside of programming and I’d say that it’s helping me improve group dynamics.

MS: That’s fantastic. Do you have any wise words to share for future students?

CB: Do it! You might be intimidated at first but even the ‘experienced’ coders have things to learn and improve on. Don’t let them or your uncomfortable feelings deter you because everyone is welcomed in C2C! This program reaffirmed for me the power of asking questions. It taught me how fun partnerships can be when everyone is involved. I learned planning and organization strategies, presentation skills, how to network and interact with professionals and through C2C I’ve made lasting friendships. Just do it! 

MS: Well, you can’t argue with that advice. Thanks so much for your time, Carolina! And congrats on your upcoming graduation!