Javin, started with robotics course at Zebra Robotics in middle school and moved on to learn coding in high school, finishing Web Design, Js, and Java.

Congratulations to Javin, on multiple offers from different universities. He has chosen to join University of Waterloo, with a specialization in Computer Science. We chat with him to talk about Coding and get a student perspective. We hope this will motivate other students who want to pursue Computer Science in University and as career when they grow up.

How did you get interested in coding?

               My first experience and interest in coding were through coding EV3 robots as I could control the robot how I wanted to. However, my interest grew when I started to learn HTML, Javascript and Java at Zebra Robotics as I could make and play games, create my own website and even solve problems for competitions. It is also really fun to finally solve problems.

Tell us about yourself, your hobby and what you’d like to do when you are not working on your school or university work?

               When I have nothing else to do or assignments can be done at a later date, I like to play video games (normally with friends), watch tv shows, scroll youtube or just talk with friends. However, I also tend to help classmates with their work if they need my help (it’s also helpful for reviewing your classwork).

How long were you a student at Zebra Robotics? What did you like most at Zebra during that time?

               I was a student at Zebra Robotics for 5 years going from EV3 to FLL to HTML, Javascript, Java and Java FXML. One of the things I liked about Zebra was that I could do things I did not have the opportunity to do in my school. For example, my middle school did not have an FLL club, yet I was able to participate in such an experience because of Zebra. In addition, during my high school years, I was not able to fit any computer science courses in any semester, yet I was able to learn a few coding languages in a fun environment at my own pace at Zebra Robotics.

If you were to suggest a few things to aspiring Computer Science university students, what would you say?

               One of the main factors to becoming a Computer Science university student is a high average; however, participating in competitions, specifically math and computer science related ones will greatly help with your acceptance. If you are planning to go to Waterloo, the Waterloo contests such as Euclid and CCC are very important, but it will never hurt to participate in others. In these competitions, you do not have to be first but the more you participate in, you will obtain higher scores through experience and have some sort of edge during the application process. In addition to these, attending and competing in hack-a-thons will provide you with a slightly different kind of coding experience and even provide you with ideas for side projects that you might want to further work on, which again helps with your application. Overall, it is not all about grades in the application, as some part of it will be proving how well rounded you are or how you enjoy coding, which can be done through different experiences, projects or competitions. Just keep in mind that you do not need to do all of the things above to get an admission, as I never attended a hack-a-thon as a participant, but at the same time doing all of them may not guarantee an admission.