Grace Student Cracks the Code

By Scarlett Peterson

On June 4th, Grace College student Madi Brill arrived in Franklin, Indiana, to take on a new area of study: computer programming. An interdisciplinary studies major, Brill is pursuing studies in several areas, including technology. So when she learned her Grace professors had nominated her for the Smart Launch Tech program this summer, she was excited. Along with Brill, Grace alumna Chloe Alexander and fellow student Jenna Reinhard also participated. The Smart Launch Tech program is designed specifically for liberal arts students who want to complement their degrees with computer programming skills. The prestigious four-week boot camp is funded by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Eleven Fifty Academy, and the Council of Independent Colleges, and is free for participants.

Through the program, students learned how to build websites through coding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They also learned the ins and outs of the tech industry, including ensuring a good user experience and understanding the legal repercussions of coding. Students also discovered how creative computer programmers must be. This fact especially stood out to Brill, who said, My favorite part of the month was probably learning to use CSS. CSS is the design aspect of a website. It is what we use to make things on the website look the way we want them to. I loved being able to be creative and create something out of a blank screen using code.”

The students went on several trips to different companies where they met with industry professionals. Most importantly, they gained a better understanding of the role of technology in the business world. They came out of the experience with a full portfolio of work and a new understanding of how computer programming will help them in the future. In reference to her overall experience of the trip, Brill said, “I am very thankful that I was chosen to participate in this program. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and although it was very difficult at times and we all wanted to give up at one point or another, we learned valuable skills that I have already put to use since being home.”