Samantha Petrie · Computer Science Student· UNC Chapel Hill

Samantha Petrie

Computer Science Student· UNC Chapel Hill

“I was introduced to computer science my first year of college at UNC Chapel Hill. A friend of mine was taking an online introductory JavaScript course. I followed along and taught myself the basics of code. I was a biochemistry major and had no knowledge, interest, or exposure to computer science. I fell in love with it! I loved the feeling of writing something, and having it actually perform a function that I told it to. It was just like learning a new language, but more immediately rewarding. Computer science revealed a kind of engineering that had applications in every industry and reinvigorated my love for creation. I switched my major to Computer Science, taught myself Java, Python, and Swift.”

“I‘m building a location-based platform for flyers on iOS. Being a college student, I’ve seen multiple flyers scatter the campus, but also understand how difficult it is to distribute these to the right audience. I envisioned a platform that would offer more catered advertising to a specific location or interest so that the flyer process could become more economical and efficient. It’s exciting to build something that can help connect the right audience with the right event.”

“When I am presented with a challenging problem or situation I break it down into smaller parts, differentiating what I know from what I don’t. By clearly identifying all that I know, I feel more confident that I can figure out the cluster of things I do not. Next, I take the problem one step at a time, turning each unknown into a known. I think that the moment people get overwhelmed, they lose productivity and have to hit a complete reset button in order to clearly attack the challenge again. This has helped me avoid getting overwhelmed by granting me mini-victories throughout the process of overcoming a challenge.”

“I think everyone should have a working knowledge of how to code. Ideally, people would be exposed to it early, such as in middle school or high school. But even if others, like myself, didn’t get an early start in coding, I always urge them just to try it. There are so many online resources that can teach anybody with internet connection an entire programming language, so there is no excuse for not doing it. Once people try it, I have seen them either fall in love with it like I did, or at least begin to apply it to their own work. By increasing this exposure and knowledge of code in our society, I can’t imagine the advances that will follow!”