While I was earning my undergraduate degree in chemistry at Loyola University of Chicago, I came across many great teachers. One in particular was Dr. Daniel Graham. He had the ability to elicit interest in a variety of subjects seemingly unrelated to chemistry. While taking his course, “Physical Chemistry Lab,” I was introduced to an old version of Python. He gave our lab group a fundamental manual of Python code, an ancient computer, and told us to make the computer into a calculator using code. By putting together the ideas contained in the manual and slightly winging it, we managed to create a program that would output correct calculations when numbers were input. This was my first taste of coding. I learned that computers are amazing things and can do what you want when you know how to talk to them.
This was several years ago and I hadn’t thought much about coding since then. Although I was able to complete the small task my teacher had placed before me, I thought of coding as something monumentally difficult. I don’t know why coding had this connotation, but it did. I felt as though it was a wall that was impossible to scale. Things started to change about a year ago. I started looking into learning some type of code; but what type? There are so many languages that it’s a bit daunting to find a place to start. The need to take control of my future impelled me forward, so here I am. I’ve started “Programming Foundations with Python” from Udacity and couldn’t be more excited. I don’t know where this journey may take me, but I’m glad I started.