“I firmly believe anyone can learn computer science.” — Asmaa Elkeurti
What made you want to have a career in computer science?
I didn’t initially set out to study computer science. I took an intro class, really enjoyed it, kept taking classes, and found myself on track for a computer science degree. In the beginning, I thought I’d use programming as a tool to supplement another career, but I quickly realized what I loved doing most was programming. My involvement in two campus groups opened my eyes to all the awesome opportunities that exist, and so that’s what I decided to pursue.
What do you like about being a developer?
Programming allows me to employ logical, creative problem solving. It feels like doing puzzles or playing a game as I’m building something awesome. When I’m deep into a problem, I’m really in it. I forget everything else around me, and coming out of that with a solution or a design that I’m proud of feels pretty awesome. The fact that I get to do that all day makes me feel incredibly lucky. I also enjoy passing on my love of coding with other people.
What qualities does a person need to learn about computer science? Can anyone learn it?
I firmly believe anyone can learn computer science. There aren’t any qualities that make somebody particularly good or bad at it. A background in math might make it a little easier to get a hang of, but that’s not necessarily a prerequisite. Ultimately, it just takes a lot of practice and you need to be comfortable with failure, which was the hardest part for me to learn. In the beginning, very reasonable roadblocks will feel insurmountable even when you’re working on a simple problem. You’ll feel like you’re painfully floundering until you figure it out, and as frustrating as that may sound, I think it’s part of becoming a good developer.
How did you get involved with GirlsCode++/NewBoCo?
Samantha Dahlby (NewBoCo K-12 Education Coordinator) and I were both leading a coding section at Open Minds Open Doors. She came and introduced herself and asked if I wanted to get involved with the November GirlsCode++ event. It was a great experience, so I’m excited to get involved in the one this weekend!
What do students learn at GirlsCode++?
What do you like to do in your life outside of work and GirlsCode++?
I love reading, biking, yoga, taking photos, and meeting new people with a diverse set of experiences.
Who are women in tech that you look up to as role models and mentors?
I definitely look up to a lot of women who are trailblazers in whatever field they pursue. I’ve had professors, teachers, and I’m lucky enough to work with women who are incredibly talented & inspiring to me.
Scholarships have been generously provided by Converge Consulting, ImOn Communications, Workiva, Kum & Go, Best Buy, US Bank, DiscoverE, and Jonnie 5 Apparel. You can sign up for a scholarship here, email Samantha Dahlby at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 319–382–5128 for more details.