Computer science club launches into coding


Credit: Brasen Chi

Computer Science club uses Discord to communicate, which is a chatting server that’s a lot like modern Skype with more options to design. Instead of using Facebook groups like other clubs, CS club opted for the more modern option of Discord. “I think Discord is just structured better and easier to use,” junior Eric Xie said. “Not only that, but it also has so many extensions, and you can customize your chatting server however you want.”

Brasen Chi

With the lack of computer science (CS) classes this year at WHS due to complications with teaching it remotely, junior Andrew Boyer took it into his own hands to create a structured computer science club for the community in the hopes of forming a circle of students to learn the complicated programming languages together.

“This is generally the first year where the computer science club is structured,” Boyer said. “Last year it was just me, Jasper Hsu and [Matt Gilbert] (class of 2020).”

There weren’t any plans or meetings in last year’s computer science club. Every once in a while, the members met up and talked about the Hackathon, an event where many computer science students meet up and go through a sprint type event where they work together to solve software projects.

“There wasn’t much structure, we just looked forward to the Hackathon,” Boyer said. “I wanted to add a little bit of more structure, [now] we have a Discord server for meetings and things like that.”

The main change that Boyer added to the computer science club was a set meeting time: every Thursday from around 7-8 p.m.

“We have a few projects that we’re working on currently,” Boyer said. “Eric Xie, for example, is teaching one group unity, and Kevin Zhao and I are teaching some of the freshmen who are interested in python on how to write our own Discord bot and with cloud services. ”

Unity is a programming language designed for games and animation. Python is a more general programming language directed towards web applications. Python is commonly known as one of the easiest languages to pick up with its simplified syntax, or formation of the code, and is also most similar to English; however, Unity is somewhat different.

“Unity is a simple yet powerful development environment,” junior Eric Xie said. “Creating beautiful scenes and game designs is made easy with Unity. The coding comes along when you want to add scripts to your objects to control their interactions, appearance or just about anything about them. Once you’re satisfied with your project, you can hit one button to export your project from PC, mobile and even console. If you’re at all interested in game development, I highly recommend trying Unity out.”

Even if someone has no experience regarding coding, that isn’t much of a problem since the club is run by students who have a lot of experience regarding coding. Xie has coded for five years and started with Java, and also had a job at KTByte, a company that teaches programming and computer classes to students. Not only that, but he also taught two camps, one over spring break and another over summer break.

“If you don’t know any coding languages, that is not a problem because the club leaders have experience and will teach you everything you need to know to be a part of the projects,” freshman Brendan Shen said. “I think that taking this class will definitely help me if I want to take the Advanced Placement CS class in the future.”

Ultimately, this club was created for the sole purpose of bringing together a community of people that either want to pick up coding or already have.

“I already love coding on my own, but being able to collaborate with a community of like-minded programmers is even better,” Xie said. “Our main goal is to just build a community where we can all learn and build projects together.”