By Emily Bonilla & Christie Counts, March 21, 2023
Transfer student Jason Jones kickstarted a Google Developer Student Club at Cal Poly Pomona striving to unite the divide between academia and industry. The GDSC motivates students to impact the community and the ever-growing developer ecosystem.
Regardless of the level of experience, GDSC is open to all students interested in sharpening their skills for their prospective career goals while using Google technology to build solutions for real-world issues.
This newly chartered club acts as a platform for anyone in need of a community to assist with their personal development or to aid in any undergoing projects. Currently, the leadership team of the GDSC guides new members of the club towards helping with the Google Challenge.
“(The Google Challenge) is a solution challenge based on the 12 United Nations sustainable goals,” said Tyney Chow, vice president of marketing. “That is why we built the community in the first place, to help people who are wanting to build these projects actually put them into fruition.”
The club implements many “working towards the solution” challenges. In the most recent challenge, “personalized learning,” participants were asked to consider which schools were paying high amounts of money for software to create a free open-source personalized learning app or website.
“I think it’s better than simply learning the subject through a textbook because you’re actually implementing it into real issues,” said Lokaranjan Munta, vice president of technology.
Students were also involved in the Tic–Tac–Toe solution project, which taught the introduction to Java in game form. Through these trainings and workshops on various Google technologies and tactics, students are able to immerse their newfound skills in classes and put them to use in a fun and interactive way.
Students from all undergraduate or graduate programs with an interest in sharpening their skills as a developer can collaborate to foster creativity. Munta expressed the club works to push everyone towards their own personal goals and encourages everyone towards group goals.
Peer encouragement is a core value that the club considers to be their most valuable asset. The community uses group support to successfully pursue technology as a problem solver, if necessary, the students are able to meet hiring managers and supervisors at Google to oversee their projects.
“(The supervisors) are honestly really amazing, and we can reach out to them at any time, and they always are able to help with anything club related or not club related,” said Munta. “They do actively participate in our club’s success.”
Though the club is beginning to explore its potential through the use of leadership and community, the GDSC provides students with a safe space for all looking to start networking and portfolio building in the tech world.
“The way I think GDSC helps other students is by giving them the space to learn from scratch. We do not want anyone to not be included in our tech space; tech is for everyone,” said Giselle Avila, vice president of community. “Meeting new people, seeing their own background really can make you not feel alone. If everyone has struggled it helps us build up our success together.”
The leadership team at GDSC strives to be a resource for students who are interested in taking that first step into the tech world. As a new club, members hope that the club can reach other students from majors that would not usually be introduced in technical development and inspire them to see where it can take them.
For students interested in learning more about the Google Developers Club, more can be learned on their website.
Feature image courtesy of Ty Chow
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