As part of our 'Stories from Cybersecurity' series, we talked to Industrial Engineering and Information Technology Student, Tessa (@tickxit). Tessa is studying at the University of Ghent, in Belgium, and wanted to share with us her story and some tips and tricks for those looking to join the industry. Let's take a look.
What’s your favorite programming language and why?
My favorite programming language is Python, because it's easy to learn, but also very powerful. I started teaching myself Python when I was around 16 years old and learned more about it last year at University.
What resources do you use (outside of university) to learn programming languages and skills?
I started learning by using YouTube videos and a website called www.codecademy.com. I decided to learn Python because that seemed like a good programming language to start with. Many people start with Python because the language is designed around simplicity so it's very accessible to beginners.
More generally, I always go to Google to read webpages for my research. There are so many great resources out there that you can just stumble across when you want to learn something new. But honestly, I learn so many new things at university already! I don't have much time to teach myself other things these days!
What skills do you think are necessary to be a coder?
Abstract thinking, logic, and patience. You have to keep a good overview of what you are writing, and be patient enough to search for bugs!
Are there many women studying coding on your course? What advice do you have for young women and girls looking to get into programming?
Almost none. I estimate about one in ten is female. I'm surrounded by men all the time! I don't see that as a problem, but I wish more young women and girls were more interested in programming/engineering. My advice to them is, don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it because you are female! Believe in yourself and pursue your coding dreams.
You post videos of 3D printing on your Instagram. How did you get into it?
I saw some videos about 3D printers on Facebook and I was wondering what the cheapest 3D printer was. I discovered the price was not as high as I thought and I just asked one for Christmas. I'm happy I did, I have spent many hours 3D printing! However, I would not buy the same 3D printer again now that I know more about 3D printers.
View this post on Instagram
3D printing the cute Cali Cat 🐱while writing my motivation letter for a honours programme. 😊 . . . #honours #motivationletter #ugent #ghentuniversity #university #3dprinter #3dprint #3dprinting #m3d #picoftheday #l4l #techie #womenintech #girlsintech #engineering #cat #calibration #thingiverse #technology #setup #setupinspiration #🐱 #👩💻 #💻
How do you think 3D printing will impact the world? What are you most excited about?
That's a difficult one! 3D printers come in all sizes and shapes! I love the fact that there are chocolate 3D printers! There are even 3D printers that can build houses! I don't know what's next in the world of 3D printing but I'm excited to find out.