Stories From CodeDay  ·  August 23, 2022

Charlie Liu: Why I Organize CodeDay Atlanta

Charlie Liu, Regional Manager, Atlanta

When I attended my first-ever CodeDay Atlanta, I was unsure of what to expect. Would I fit in with the other attendees? Did I know enough about coding to participate? And what exactly is a CodeDay, anyways? However, after spending the night building an awesome project with new friends, I had all my questions erased except for one: how do I sign up for the next CodeDay?

I have been involved with CodeDay since 2017, and each event has always been a highlight of the year for me. CodeDay is more than just a typical hackathon – it provides a uniquely exciting environment where anyone, regardless of their background, can discover just how fun coding can be. After attending CodeDay twice, I loved it so much that I immediately signed up to be a volunteer, and I have been organizing CodeDay ever since then.

Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of organizing CodeDay is the privilege to watch students grow and learn. For example, a beginner student once asked me what variables are, and I happily explained the basic concept to them. A short while later, I returned and saw them demoing the custom score counter that they built in their 2D platform game. Even though they had never written a single line of code before CodeDay, the student eagerly explained to me how they had taught themself the difference between local and global variables. They ended up winning a prize for their project, and I simply couldn’t stop smiling as I cheered them on during the awards ceremony.

I have so many other favorite memories that I couldn’t possibly list them all, but the most recent one was when a student came up to me and said that they were going to become a software engineer, since the “really cool people” on the career panel had inspired them. It reminded me of how CodeDay had kickstarted my own journey in CS when I was an attendee, and now as an organizer, I hope to continue providing even better opportunities to as many students as possible!

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