-- This blog entry is the winning essay written by Esther Peters, recipient of the 2015 iQmetrix Females in Techology Scholarship --
Name: Esther Peters
School: University of Manitoba
Year and Faculty: 1st year Computer Science
(See press release about Esther's scholarship win)
Why are you studying computer science?
Studying computer science has always been a dream for me since I was a little kid. One of my hobbies was playing video games and solving problems. They were the only things that made me happy at that time. While growing up, I fell in love with computer programming because I believed it gave me the power to create anything I wanted, sort of like characters in the video games I played.
Due to my enthusiasm in programming and video game development, at the age of 11, I spent most of my time trying to learn programming languages like Java by watching free online classes and downloading free books related to the course. As time passed, I began to try out different fields of computer science that interested me, like database administration using SQL, to retrieve information from a database. With the support of my teachers and parents, I was able to attend the National Institute of Information Technology for a year, where I studied basics of database administration from creating and retrieving data using Access 2010 and 2013, to querying a database using MSSQL on Windows servers.
I decided to continue my journey by studying computer science at university because I am passionate about it. Right now I am taking online courses at Udemy on mobile application development on the Android platform and by the end of the year, I'll be able to develop and publish my own mobile applications.
How are you involved with your community?
I was a student leader at the International College of Manitoba for the summer orientation. I facilitated workshops with assigned orientation groups and also promoted and developed positive relationships between new students, faculty and staff.
What could your school do to improve the rate of female enrollment in computer science courses?
The rate of female enrollment could be increased by giving out incentives such as scholarships to interested female students. It could also be increased by encouraging the learning of basic programming languages in high school. Nowadays, in the news and flyers in computer fields, mostly men are used to advertise products and services related to computer science and technology. The school could increase the rate of women in computer science if they use women as a means of encouraging other women to enroll in the faculty.