By Vic Wintriss
“I’m looking forward to helping teach the GirlsRule Java workshop,” said Sarah Brown, a ninth-grader at Torrey Pines High School. “I feel confident that I can add a lot to the program,” she said.
Brown has been studying the Java computer programming language for several years at Wintriss Technical Schools, a local, nonprofit, after-school program that teaches the popular Java language by writing game programs. Brown is planning to take the Computer Science Advanced Placement Class in 10th grade.
“Working with the Java professionals who volunteer to teach at the school is extremely rewarding. It is all made very enjoyable. You learn the language in a very practical way.” she said.
The GirlsRule workshop will be taught by Aaron VonderHaar, a local Java professional who has just finished designing a new Android cell phone product. The six-week course will introduce Java concepts by writing fun computer games. Students will design their own games in the final three classes.
“We want to introduce more women to the wonderful world of computer science,” VonderHaar said. “Writing computer programs is fun and personally rewarding, and there is always a demand for programmers...you can always find a high-paying job,” he said.
Eric Silagi, a senior at San Diego State University, and Brown just finished assisting VonderHaar in two five-day introduction to Java workshops. Student and parent response to the holiday workshops was very enthusiastic. The GirlsRule workshop will use a different set of specially selected game programs for girls.
The GirlsRule workshop will be given on Sundays from 2-4 p.m. for six sessions starting Jan. 22. A few spots are still available for the course. Contact Wintriss Technical Schools at