When the seemingly impossible task of programming is decoded, the possibilities are endless.
March 10, 2015
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“I have a passion for creating things that people love to use, so I want to take these things that I know and bring them to table.”
If there’s one word in the English dictionary that sparks a topic of endless discussion with sophomore Ethan Lee, it’s ‘code’. The four letter word has been the basis of everything he’s created, whether it be iPhone apps, websites or even a business. It’s not every day that you come across someone who has created a non-profit organization for clubs or has collaborated with multiple people to create study tools. Programming is at the heart of it all.
But let’s re-wind to the beginning in fifth grade, when Lee’s dad challenged him to create his own iPhone app.
“I purchased a book that would change my life: Objective-C for Dummies,” Lee said. “I had no prior exposure to programming so learning on my own seemed like an impossible task for fifth-grade me. Nevertheless, I pored over the book and brought it everywhere, developing a great intolerance for giving up. I ended up creating small iPhone games for my friends to play throughout middle school.”
Now a sophomore, Lee has progressed as a programmer and has collaborated on various projects with fellow students at SMCHS, one being a business called Nest Communities, that strives to bring safe and engaging social networking and question-and-answer sites to schools.
“We are trying to work out a deal with the school to push it out to SM, but they blocked it from all of the students’ tablets,” Lee said. “However, we are not giving up on this and are making some changes right now to have it meet their expectations for launching it at our school.”
“It’s inspiring to see people come up to me with websites that they’ve designed on their own, using things that we’ve taught them,” Lee said.
Lee has also contributed to some open-source plugins (a software that enhances a program or system) for the WordPress blogging platform, which now powers around 23 percent of the Internet, including our own SMCHS Eagle Eye website. He has a blog of his own as well, because unlike programming and code, there are no rules.
“I have always loved the blogging medium,” Lee said. “There’s a certain way that people write on blogs that differ from newspapers, essays or magazines, and it’s very personal and meaningful. That’s why I started a blog — to be able to express my own thoughts and opinions easily and accessibly.”
Blogging and websites is just the beginning. Lee still has a whole future ahead of him with programming, but in the meantime he’s set on focusing on “getting enough sleep at night and keeping [his] math grade up.”
“It’d be great to get into software engineering as a career, but at heart I am a creator,” Lee said. “I carefully design and craft experiences that I think people will enjoy, and I would willingly forfeit a job in engineering and risk entrepreneurship so that I can do just that.”