My first approach to the coding language

Bei Gao, computer science student

On Monday afternoon I met with Bei (which means flower bud in Chinese) Gao, who came to the University of Southern California to pursue a master’s degree in computer science. She is from Jiangsu, a province in the southeastern part of China, close to Beijing.

During her undergrad, Bei also majored in computer science, but she wanted to pursue a master’s to continue her education and to expand her horizons by studying abroad. “I think this is a very unique experience for me,” Bei said, before telling me that this is her second year studying at USC, but her first experience studying in another country.

One of the reasons for coming to California was because of the weather, the travel spots and the tech industry, which makes California the right location to find a job. This summer she did an internship in a startup company named The Veloz Group in Los Angeles, where she worked on front-end (everything that users sees, like color and typography) and back-end development (how the site works) by using PHP (Hypertext Pre-Processor), a language used to generate dynamic websites.

Bei also mentioned that she was interested in computer science because it gives you the tools to create a whole virtual world in order to make a big impact. But also, one of her greatest motivations is her father, who is a software engineer.

When talking about challenges, Bei mentioned the difficulties of using C++ language (a programming language used for high performance code), and she thinks that –in the future– it may be difficult to find a good position in programming. But if she has the chance, she would love to work for a tech company such as Facebook.

By now Bei is interested in general programming, but maybe, in the future, she may change her mind and pursue a career related to machine learning, web development or big data.

Bei decided to take this class with journalism students because of the opportunity to meet people who work in different fields. Also, she is fascinated by their persuasive skills and by how a journalist can stand out and speak for the people.

In her free time, Bei likes to go jogging, traveling. She spends some afternoons in Little Tokyo and watches anime, one of the reasons she knows how to speak a little bit of Japanese.