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Computer Science Club Connects STEM Students

Seattle Central College has added to its ever expanding list of  student clubs. For students majoring in computer science, or with an interest in tech, there is now a Computer Science Club to help them explore the field. Club activities include taking apart and reconstructing computers, mock interview problems and the procedural methods of solving them, guest speakers and occasional ice cream parties.

It all started with the club’s proactive president, Yao Yao. “I had the idea of starting the club in the winter. Seattle is a great place for Computer Science but there was no such club at SCC.” Indeed, the growth in the technology sector of Seattle has been evident in recent years. With that growth came an increase in tech related job opportunities. Now more than ever students at SCC are lifting the intimidating veil of computer science.

Joseph Altamira, a Seattle Central College student and a member of the CS Club feels this club will give him a leg up on the competition as well as help him develop a network of likeminded professionals. “CS is such a scary thing to tackle alone, so having a community to help around with that is great. Plus, it is a nice resume builder and nice to network with other CS students.”

Although this club is off to a promising start, there are some concerns, as previous attempts to start similar clubs fell short. Virginia Wong, the club’s Treasurer, feels that funding will be the deciding factor in the success of this newly found club. “Since we are relatively new, I think crowd funding might be difficult, as well as finding donors – but since the school gives us a small fund, I don’t think that’ll be too big of a problem.” Another key factor, according to President Yao, will be the direct involvement of the members and constant growth of the Club. “Since we are just starting, things could be new and interesting, but if we don’t have new ideas and improvements as we go, it could possibly lose its appeal to members.”

As for now, the new CS club is filled with energy and optimism. One of the activities students are excited about is the white-boarding sessions, which are also offered outside of the CS club by Marianne Goldin, the Professional Development Officer of the CS Club. Twice a week, white-boarding sessions are conducted in hopes of preparing students for the challenges of programming interviews and landing that dream job. “Technical interviews can be daunting. They are meant to weed out candidates in a short period of time and require a special skill set to master. This is even true for experienced candidates. That’s why it’s important that computer science hopefuls intentionally practice the skills they will need to deploy in a white-boarding interview,” Goldin states.

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