In Focus

Some Apped Programmers

CATHERINE YOON & KETKI SAMEL

STAFF WRITER & EDITOR IN CHIEF

Computer science is growing at a fast rate in the Sili- con Valley. Pinewood has joined this trend by launching computer science classes and clubs. For many, computer sciences are now accessible for the first time.

“My dad first got me into making apps when he asked me to make him one for his birthday,” Merk said.

Merk learned to code in seventh grade. She then took off to create her first app, AppHow, which taught children how to develop apps. Though the app was rejected from the App Store, Merk was not deterred from programming.

“When AppHow was rejected, it made me stronger and more determined to succeed and work harder,” Merk said. Four years later, Merk has now developed many apps, five of which have been published. Her apps help youngchildren learn, draw, or play for under $0.99.

“I was most proud when I published my first app, but winning the Silicon Valley Red Cross award for AdoptMe [an app that helps animals shelters display their adoptable pets was my greatest accomplishment,” Merk said.

Takru gained an appreciation for programming more recently, after attending a coding camp last summer. After school started this fall, Takru founded the Tech Club.

“I wanted students who are interested in computer sci-ence to come together to share their knowledge with one another,” Takru said.

 This year, the Tech Club competed in the Technovation competition, where girls create apps to solve problems. Their app, Pixus Reading, helps children read.
Takru also has brought her love for programming to the greater community through her organization CodeUCan. Takru goes to libraries across the area to teach young stu- dents how to code in Java.

Another notable programmer at Pinewood is Banning, who has been working for nearly two years as a mobile encryption consultant at Simplex Software Co, a software security company in San Francisco.

“I’ve grown up around computers. After a while, I just started to teach myself, and eventually I went into more complex stuff,” Banning said. “I think that everyone should try coding at some point in their life.”

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