This week as part of our Staff Series, we are highlighting Natasha! She has been an instructor with Under the GUI since its early days. As a female computer programmer, our girls are ecstatic to have someone to look up to. Her supportive and bright demeanour makes it easy for the children to adore her while learning code.

Aside from teaching at Under the GUI, what do you currently do?
I am currently studying Computer Engineering at UBC.

What do you enjoy about teaching children how to code?
I love being the first to introduce my students to new concepts. It is the best feeling when they pick up on new concepts, ask questions, and get excited about learning more.

Has there been a particular moment while interacting with the kids that has stuck out?
The greatest moments are when a student comes to me with a question about their game. However, this is not the game we are making in class, but instead a game they have made in their own time. I am so happy and impressed in being able to effectively impart enough knowledge so that these kids are able to go home and make something on their own. What they make on their own is incredible – sometimes using concepts we have not yet covered!

What is coding to you?
Formally defined, coding is the process of creating a set of instructions for a computer to follow. These instructions are written in a language that the computer understands. To me, coding also includes the problem-solving process involved in designing a program.

What was your favourite video game growing up? How about now?
My favourite video game was, is, and probably always will be Pokemon. I have played a game from every generation, and will continue to play them as long as it is continued to be developed. Other games I enjoy are the Legend of Zelda series and Halo, amongst other first-person shooters.

How do you hope to incorporate computer programming and coding in your future?
Seeing as how my degree is in computer engineering, I hope I will be able to make computer programming itself my future. I hope to one day contribute to an application that is used world-wide.