Coolness.Factor++

With the rise of social media, computer science isn’t just for geeks anymore

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Jin says her father, who is a software engineer, encouraged her to learn computer science because “programming is a useful skill to have when you’re finding jobs.”

Planning for a future in finance, she says having the knowledge of Javascript or HTML will look impressive on a resume.

“It really captures your interviewer’s attention,” she says.

Mitelman says she sat in on that first CS50 class because she thought computers were cool.

“I wanted to empower myself rather than just appreciate computers,” she says.

Mitelman attributes the course’s success to Malan’s teaching style, saying that he made the class approachable to even those who had no prior experience in computer science.

Malan says that CS50 is not an exclusive environment, adding that 77 percent of students enrolled in the class last fall had no prior experience in coding.

“We have also tried to create an experience for students whereby they feel part of something special, an incredibly immersive experience after which they feel quite proud of what they’ve accomplished,” Malan says.

“It opened a lot of doors and gave me a lot of opportunities,” Mitelman says. “CS50 has changed my attitude towards my future.”

This summer, she will be interning at Microsoft.

—Staff writer Amy Guan can be reached at guan@fas.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at janeseo@college.harvard.edu.

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