CS Student Profile Series: “I’d like to see open source tax filing”

In Casey Donahue’s classes, students have a range of coding experience. For some, this is their first time coding, others are building particle physics engines within Code.org’s interface. Talking to a few of these high school students, I was struck by their enthusiasm for Computer Science and their emphasis on how important it is for the future.

These excerpts are from interviews with Casey’s First Period students. All quotes have been reviewed by the students and permission has been given by their parents.

Joey & Nick

Joey: Computers make up the fundamental infrastructure of modern life. Being able to use them and interact with them, instead of being an end consumer of the way the modern world works, is essential. It allows modern society to function.

Currently, I’m trying to create public and private encryption without using any libraries.

Nick: Computer Science education is an important thing that everyone should know because computers are the present and are going to be even more the future. The more that everyone knows about them now, the better we can solve the problems that are going to arise.

I got my start in 6th grade, though it was pretty bad. We got a new computer and I started trying to pirate things. It was my dad’s computer and I pretty much destroyed it with viruses and stuff. But, it still works. And in 8th grade, Joey gave me a Rasbperry Pi and I used it. In 8th grade, I learned Scratch.

How would you like to see Computer Science change the world?

Joey: I’d like to see open source tax filing. Turbo Tax and other tax companies have lobbied the government so that basically they don’t do direct tax billing. Which is how it should be done. The government knows your SSN and your income and all that. They should be able to send you a bill for what you owe. I’d like to create a product that’s similar to Turbo Tax and other software companies that is actually able to do the tax reform that this country needs. Replace their software with something better and easier to use.