Ce'Niyah Ellison entered school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as a passionate computer science major right as the COVID-19 pandemic was gripping college campuses nationwide. With all of her foundational classes switched to remote, Ce'Niyah struggled to grasp the complex material without having peers or instructors to lean on for assistance.
"Not having any groups on campus or knowing other students taking the course was very tough and alienating," Ce'Niyah recalls. "I was struggling on my own [without] any support to reach out to. It made me question if computer science was right for me."
After briefly switching majors, she returned to computer science. With CodePath's support, she could get through the major's challenging intro classes and dive into the electives she was genuinely interested in.
Ce'Niyah, who is now interning at Asana, recently enrolled in her fourth CodePath course and wants her peers to join her. Below, she talks about her journey and how CodePath can help computer science students like her.
When did you first become interested in computer science?
I became interested at a young age. My mother always bought these little learning computers for my sister and me, and from there, I started tinkering away at computers.
Then in elementary school, I had a once-a-week technology class that piqued my interest in computer science. In high school, I got to go deeper when I took AP computer science, and from there, I knew that's what I wanted to major in, as well as be in tech.
Why did you change your major to information science before switching back to computer science?
In my first semester of college, I took an Intro to Computer Science class, and it was the first time I did coding.
It was a strange and different time because that was also my first time being remote. Not having any groups on campus or knowing other students taking the course was very tough and alienating. I was struggling on my own during that class without any support to reach out to. It made me question if computer science was right for me.
I took a semester to figure out what other ways I could get into tech because I knew tech was my endgame and my dream, and information science is quite similar to computer science with some of the classes they offer.
During that time, I learned that the more challenging computer science classes were foundational and provided the experiences needed to love the electives I was interested in.
How does CodePath factor into your journey?
During my freshman year, I read somewhere that students interested in IOS should take CodePath's IOS course. So I actually reached out to the CEO, Michael Ellison, on LinkedIn. He told me to check out the Technical Interview Prep Course, and I'm glad I found that class because I had no idea how interviews worked.
It opened my eyes, and I came back the following summer because of how beneficial that first summer was.
I came back for the Cybersecurity and IOS courses because my school wasn't offering those courses when I wanted to take them, and they were topics I was interested in. I like the accessibility and availability of taking these classes.
What would you say to someone thinking about CodePath but needs to figure out if it's right for them?
CodePath overall has a great community and an incredibly supportive team that helps ensure you are where you want to be, both education-wise and career-wise.
I also used many of their career services and met with Catalina a few times, and she explained how I could enhance my resume too. CodePath is great for students who want to improve their skills. It has great opportunities for students with no experience who want to build full-time careers.
Interested in gaining new technical skills? Learn more about CodePath's course offerings here.