In the world of Harry Potter, magic is a skill that can be honed over the years, and it is one that allows witches and wizards to alter the fundamental fabric of their world through the incantation of a few words and a wand. In reality, the rise of computers has made our social lives, shopping, money, and entertainment purely digital. The witches and wizards of today are the software engineers, and their wands are computers that parse incantations of commands that create and alter the digital society we live in.

After taking that computer programming class, I no longer see screens and buttons but imagine the code that creates them, the numbers and computations that make up our world. Often times I hit the button to look at the source code of a website just to see what it looks like. When I enter the pin to open my phone, I think about how simple it is to write a method to guess such a pin if the computer had a set number of attempts. Functions in calculus now resemble methods in Java, and matrices resemble 2D arrays. I see a deck of cards as an object-oriented inheritance tree of classes and subclasses spreading from the deck to the individual objects of the cards.

Since learning to write computer code, I feel as if the screens I look at have become less opaque, and that they have revealed a tiny portion of their secrets. My interest in computer science stems from a desire to see that screen become transparent, to learn exactly how our digital world operates and what I can manipulate and create within it. Computer science has changed how I view the world and what it is made of. No longer is it made of a world in which computers exist, it is now a world that could not exist without computers, and those that understand how they work are the ones that shape it. I want to learn to shape the world.