By: Keri Luise, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Software Engineering Club
Towson University’s Software Engineering Club, which was established in 2016, has grown into a place where people who are passionate about computer software can enhance their programming skills outside of the classroom and meet people in the field.
“The Software Engineering Club empowers students to bring their ideas to life by teaching them the software skills they need to build projects,” said Mazlow Cohen, President of the Software Engineering Club. “We do this by exposing students to a wide array of experts in the software industry and by teaching them popular technology frameworks used in industry.”
The club meets every Monday at 5 p.m. and is open to all students, even those who have no coding experience. The weekly workshops introduce students to new technologies. The club also hosts guest speakers from various industries, including some Towson alumni, to share their knowledge, skills and experiences in the programming field.
“Many of the presenters give tips on how to get an internship or a job after school while teaching us stuff that we will be doing in the real world,” club member Adam Lynch said. “It gives us small programs that we can use to expand our knowledge and our portfolios, which helps us get jobs and internships.
The club offers an opportunity for students to network within the field and build up resumes even if it is not their major or educational focus.
“I know that I personally have been able to connect with some of the presenters on LinkedIn from meeting them at the workshops and have gotten a lot of views on my profile since,” Cohen said. “I now have more projects than ever stored on GitHub from the workshops for employers to see.”
Cohen said that it’s important for any student to gain an understanding of how to use technology to their advantage when meeting prospective employers.
“Technology is involved in every field,” he said. “Students can gain valuable tech skills that will make them stand out to employers. The Software Engineering Club exposes students to the latest technologies in an approachable way. Our workshops teach in-demand skills currently being used in industry.”
Club member Bartholomew Allen was excited to be involved in the Software Engineering Club and benefit from its effect on his future in the technological world.
“This club can potentially help find your place within computer science, software engineering or IT!” Allen said. “I am for certain through this club I found what I am passionate about and what I want to pursue as a computer science student.”
The club offers Towson students a chance to be introduced to different types of programs outside of major classes. It also allows students to test the waters and make sure they want to work in the programming field.
“Sometimes, our interest changes as we progress through college,” club member Ara Quinones said. “Many would say that one should try and take a class in this or that field to see if he or she would like it. Then halfway through college, many decide to change their major and end up prolonging their graduation.”
Involvement in this club can also be a way for students to learn and practice new technical skills within software development and computer programming.
“Because this club is hands-on, students further practice their skills through doing different projects,” Quinones said. “Practice definitely makes perfect.”
Cohen said he enjoyed the club’s diversity and the wide range of information he has learned so far.
“The club has inspired a diverse community of students to learn and collaborate with each other during the workshops,” he said. “Students are excited to gain valuable skills that augment what they learn in the classroom. Students love the opportunity to talk with experienced group of technology experts working in a variety of industries.”
On April 2, the Software Engineering Club had recent TU alumni Saurabh Khatiwada and Alex Wilson present a workshop on Amazon Web Services. Khatiwada is working as a software engineer at T. Rowe Price, and Wilson is a full stack engineer at Bellese Technologies.
Cohen said the alumni shared their experiences “working in tech and guided students through a workshop where each student built a simple Angular Web App and deployed it using Amazon Web Services.”
“The way they presented was superb and taught a lot of important ideas and concepts that many modern applications and languages use to create experiences for the user,” Lynch said. “Since the alumni were so young, they were more talkative and energetic, which gave the room a much more comfortable, open feeling. Everyone was talking, making jokes, and laughing with them as they went around the room and helped everyone get started.”
Through the club, students are able to improve skills like developing software, learning new technologies, and networking with group members and the presenters that visit.
“Every little bit helps, and the Software Engineering Club helps every and anyone looking to get into software development big time,” Lynch said. “In short, the Software Engineering Club helps you improve your skills and get employed. I would not have gotten my internship this semester, and done as well as I have, without them.”
The club has a Virtual Reality demo workshop by BaltiVirtual on April 30.