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Programming club works to address removal of AP Computer Science Capstone class

Isaac Liu

When sophomores Connor Lee and Jerry Yan heard about Paly’s Computer Science Capstone Project class not being offered this year, they decided to create the Capstone Programming Club in response.

According to Sophomore Brian Liu, a member of the club, the Capstone Programming Club is dedicated to encouraging students to pursue their own personal programming projects.

Sophomore Brian Liu, a member of the club, said the Capstone Programming Club assists people with personal programming projects.

“They’re promoting people making projects by themselves,” Liu said. “The club presidents go around (and) help people with the projects they want to do.”

According to CTE Department Lead Christopher Bell, the CS Capstone class was not offered this year due to the lack of student interest.

“We need a lot of students to sign up, and we also need enough staff to be able to cover all of the sections,” Bell said.

Bell also said Paly Computer Science and engineering teachers are all teaching a maximum number of classes.

“If you look at the number of teachers that we have for computer science and engineering, we are maxed out currently on all the sections that they’re offering,” Bell said. “So no one is below 100% at this moment.”

Lee, co-President of the club, said he planned to take CS Capstone until he learned about the class not being offered from his advisor.

“When I was talking to my advisor to get more classes, she pointed out a lot of the courses that weren’t being offered,” Lee said. “One of them was Capstone, so we thought it’d be a good idea to make a club about it.”

While the club is open to people of all experience levels, Liu said the most challenging part of coding is getting started.

“I think going into it at first is definitely the hardest thing because it’s a completely new thing that you’ve never experienced before,” Liu said “It’s hard to grasp what syntaxes are, how to write the code, how to put it all together.”

Lee also said learning different programming languages adds to the difficulty of the program.

“All the languages have different ways (to write code),” Lee said. “Needing to learn (and) understand the differences and similarities (is challenging).”

Yan, the other co-president of the club, said he started coding in third grade to modify features in his favorite video game.

“During elementary school, I really liked playing Undertale, so I just started playing different versions of it by coding,” Yan said.

Liu said he advises new coders facing challenges to adopt a positive attitude.

“I went into coding thinking it was just going to be memorizing different functions, memorizing different syntaxes, and then not really knowing how to approach a problem,” Liu said. “When it actually got to that point, I was kind of confused and hit like a plateau. I think if people go into coding with a different mindset, it’ll be a lot more fun.”

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Isabella Bian
Isabella Bian, Staff Writer
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