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Reflective Writing (CPSC 240)

Reflective Writing 5: The Gender Gap

The gender imbalance is a problem in the computer science field because there is a pool of talent that is not being tapped into. It’s also a problem because there is a shortage of computer science people, but this wasn’t always the case. There was a balance of men and women in computer science, but this died down quickly after it happened.

I think the most significant contributor to the cause of this gender gap is probably the different beliefs that come with being a man or a woman. As said in the article, women and men have different ways of thinking about the talent they may have, especially when it comes to the IT field. I know that I felt I couldn’t do computer science and didn’t have the skills fit for it. However, I was wrong. I feel like many women simply go into what fits their assumed skill set, which leads to fewer women in roles that are more fit/assumed to be for men.

I think women also may not be taken seriously in male-dominated fields, which leads to a reluctance of women to go into those job fields. That has happened to me before, when I’m working in a group and come up with an answer/say something and I’m kind of ignored, which gets annoying.

Reflective Writing (CPSC 240)

Reflective Writing 4: The End of Programming?

I think Matt Welsh brings up many good points in his article The End of Programming, where he discusses the changes in computer science and how most programmers will be replaced by AI. He is also correct in his assumption that people have no idea how CPU works and training models taking away experience from students learning about computer science.

However, I don’t think his point is totally correct. Sure, AI can work well for coding, but it isn’t always totally accurate. People should work with AI to get projects done, not let AI take over and do everything for them. I feel like if AI was trained enough, which may take a while, to code and do things that people probably wouldn’t be able to do, then yes… we should worry. However, I don’t think that’ll happen for a while.

Reflective Writing (CPSC 240)

Reflective Writing 3: Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome is the internal psychological experience of (or the effect of) feeling like a phony or fraud in some area of your life, despite any success that you have achieved in that area. It involves a lot of self-doubts, even if you do well in your field. Apparently, around 70% of people suffer from imposter syndrome, which definitely makes sense. It’s hard to be in a profession that involves a lot of imposter syndrome, and it’s hard to get through something like that.

As a computer science major, even though I’m not in the profession yet, I’ve definitely had impostor syndrome. Sometimes, when I’m coding, I feel like I shouldn’t be doing it and feel like I’m not a good enough coder to do it as a career. Also, I sometimes sit in class and feel like I don’t know entirely what’s going on, but I figure it out eventually (or ask questions).

The article talks about what impostor syndrome is, and what sufferer of impostor syndrome experiences. They feel like they aren’t good enough and don’t realize their accomplishments. A lot of programmers deal with this, because many programmers do not know every language and as a result, struggle with impostor syndrome. Some of the ways the article says a sufferer of impostor syndrome can deal with it are by embracing it, keeping track of your achievements, and promoting teamwork and camaraderie. I feel like these suggestions could work, but sometimes it’s hard to get over. If you list all of your achievements, then you may start questioning if you deserved those achievements or not… or something else that puts you down even more.

I think a way to combat impostor syndrome is to talk to a therapist, because the problem is mainly in your head and you need to deal with that problem. A therapist can help you walk through what you’re feeling and hopefully help fix your impostor syndrome.

Sources:, KSAT, Very Well Mind

Reflective Writing (CPSC 240)

Reflective Writing 2: Coding Conventions

I’ve never heard the term “coding convention” before – or, if I have, I forgot that someone said that. According to Google, “coding convention” is a set of guidelines for programming languages that recommend certain coding styles and practices, which helps improve code readability and understanding.

Google has a Java Style Guide, which includes a lot of good tips on how to code in Java. When working in a team of programmers, it’s important for everyone’s code to be coherent and similar, so it’s a necessity to stick to style conventions so everyone knows what is going on in the code. The same applies for when you’re working alone, because if you come back to your code after awhile, it’s important to know what you’re coming back to, and make sure your code isn’t too confusing to look at. However, with coding conventions comes the sort of removal of having your own coding style. There are only so many ways to do things, and sticking with coding conventions really solidifies that.

I think the part about how to do line wrapping are interesting, because I do it differently than other people. I like have my brackets in their own lines, because I think it looks cleaner, but the style guide has it in the line of code (not on its own). I also thought it was interesting that they talked about white space, and what is permitted or not. I never really thought of that before. With what was said before, I definitely do not follow a lot of the standards the Java Style Guide presents, because I like coding in my own way and don’t like following things that have to do with line breaks and indentation. However, I do follow some of the conventions presented in the style guide, it just depends on what that thing is. If I was forced to use this style for the programs I write, I would be a bit annoyed because I would get burnt out by my programs always looking the same, since there would be no uniqueness in my code. Sure, it can set a standard, but coding could be fun and not a hassle.

Reflective Writing (CPSC 240)

Reflective Writing 1: Hello World

Hi! My name is Emma Brennan and I’m a computer science major. I really enjoy it, and am able to bond with my brother over it (he knows a lot, and is going to get his masters in data science).

So, on to answering the questions!

  1. When did you first start programming?
    • I first started programming during winter break in 2021, a few weeks before I was supposed to start CPSC 110. I actually started my coding journey in HTML, but moved to DataCamp (using my brother’s account) in order to practice coding in Python. I really enjoyed it, and learned even more when class started in the spring of 2022.
  2. What is your favorite thing about programming?
    • My favorite thing about programming is the excitement I feel when I finally compile the code (and it runs the way I want it to) I’ve been trying to write for the past two hours. A lot of the time, when I’m struggling, I finally figure it out and feel like a genius. Other times I have to go to office hours and try to understand what is going on… but overall, it’s very validating!
  3. What is your least favorite thing about programming?
    • My least favorite thing about programming is how there are certain topics I simply do not understand (which is everyone, I guess). Sometimes I just have a very hard time with certain topics. When I was in CPSC 220, arrays were unnecessarily confusing to me. In my class, we did a lot of taking out stuff in an array and using substring and splitting said array… I had no idea what was going on, frankly. I kind of figured it out eventually, but alas… I don’t remember much. Also, I do not really understand inheritance all that well. I guess I just dislike anything I don’t understand. Finally, I am annoyed by all the errors I get when I type something incorrectly. It’s helpful, but having like 5 different compile errors is frustrating.