#TechTeen – Laura Willson

This week’s #TechTeen is Laura Willson, an 18 years old who’s currently studying computer science as a freshman at Hunter College. She started coding at the age of 16, and you can follow her on twitter at .


How did you first become involved with coding and technology?

I first became involved with coding and technology when I attended the Girls Who Code Program and learned how to code for 8 weeks. Every week I learned how to code in a different programming language. I learned how to code in languages, such as HTML, Python, JavaScript, CSS, and JQuery. I got really comfortable in coding because my instructor, Sean Stern, was an amazing teacher and explained each part of the code and how it works.

What did you think about tech and coding before you began?

I thought that coding was something really hard and something that is only for men. My views changed a lot after participating in the Girls Who Code Program. I learned that girls can definitely code too, but unfortunately there is a lack of women coders so it is a necessity to get more women involved.

What programming languages are you familiar with? 

I’m most familiar with HTML. The other programming languages that I learned while in the GWC Program, such as Python, JavaScript, CSS, and JQuery I am not as familiar with but I would like to learn more. I would like to learn more about those.

What is it that you enjoy about programming?

I enjoy creating something that is important to me and will also be important to others. The most enjoyable part of programming is when I have a mistake in my code and I am able to fix it. The thrill of fixing a bug in a code, I think, is the most enjoyable part.

Are there any resources that have helped you develop your skills?

I have helped developed my skills using Khan Academy as well as Codecademy.

Why do you think students should learn how to code?

I think other students should learn how to code because it is an important skill to have. We are in the age of technology and it keeps expanding in the blink of an eye, and being able to create a website, app, or video game is something that is truly amazing.

What advice do you have for other beginners, especially high school students?

I think starting to code as soon as possible is really important. Also, attending events like hackathons or talks that include people in technology are important to expand your knowledge.


Considering your experience thus far, do you see yourself building a career field in the tech field?

I do see myself building a career in the technology field because it is something that I am passionate about. My dream job is working at Google, but I am not quite sure what I want to do with technology. However, I know for sure that I want to work at Google. I have visited Google’s headquarters in NYC twice and I love that the environment is friendly and casual.


Is there anything else you’d like to say to high school students who are potentially interested in learning how to code?

Get involved in programs that will further your skills in coding and technology.