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Cracking the Code
by Sarah Harries-Taylor - Wednesday, 1 February 2017, 12:03 PM


Coding can be defined as the process of assigning a code to something for the purpose of identification. Coding for many is difficult to understand, but for Grade 11 student Madison B., coding has opened her to a future of new and exciting possibilities.

Madison believes that having the ability to code puts her in an advantageous position in all aspects of learning. “I think it’s beneficial to everyone to know how a computer works. Working with computers is something that will happen regardless of your field,” she shares. However, coding was not something that Madison always had an interest in; it wasn’t until Grade 9 when performing calculations over winter break that she realized coding was something she wanted to learn more about.

Eager to discover more, Madison completed courses outside of her Trafalgar workload and also attended a summer camp to enhance her knowledge of coding. As Madison shares her passion she explains, “Coding can be used for pretty much everything,” and she is right. As technology continues to rapidly develop so does the need for expert coders to create the computer software, apps, and websites needed to support the expanding field. Despite technological growth, females remain hesitant to pursue an education in the male-dominated field. A report shows women account for fewer than 20% of students in Canadian computer science and engineering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Madison is doing her part in hopes of changing young girls’ perception of coding and inspiring female youth to learn more about the field. She teaches Python ( an interactive and powerful object-oriented programming language) two to three times a year at Trafalgar’s Science, Math, and Technology Club. Madison is also a vital member of Trafalgar Castle’s First Robotics, Team 1547 “Where’s Waldo?” In addition, Madison tutors several Grade 9 students on the basics of coding and advises Grade 12 students applying to computer science programs when she can.