Web developer creates student course planning tool

When Poc Hsu enrolled in the UCSC Extension Computer Programming certificate program, he didn’t realize that he would soon be applying his programming skills to benefit his fellow students.

It was a couple years ago when he was planning his course schedule and developed an application for the Extension website designed to help international students plan their academic course schedule.

The application was so helpful that it caught the attention of the then-Extension academic director of engineering, who collaborated with Hsu on further iterations.

Meanwhile, Hsu began an internship at Cloud Lending Solutions and completed his certificate in early 2017. Here’s an excerpt from a conversation we had with him as a student.

What brought you to UCSC Extension?

Before I came to Silicon Valley, I had completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science in Taiwan where I was in the top of my class. I had been working as a software developer in Taiwan for about five years, focusing on firmware and systems programming.

I realized that I have more passion and interest in web development. However, there are fewer job opportunities in this field in Taiwan. I wanted to work in America and, as a foreigner, you have to get Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work. I learned about UCSC Extension’s programs online and found that this was the shortest way to get an OPT visa. That and the courses were really practical and useful!

How did you create the course planning tool?

The course planning tool, which we are still testing, is designed to help students find course details on the website, such as day of week, time of day, cost, and units. I developed the first version while trying to plan my quarter schedule with the international program staff. We are still working on it. I hope to help future students with their course planning.

What courses stood out to you?

I enjoyed the Java programming courses. The teacher is really experienced and his course is well organized. Though I’d taken Java before, when I was listening to his lectures, I learned things I didn’t know before. He made the concepts clearer to me.

How has your internship enhanced your learning experience?

I intern as a full-stack developer at Cloud Lending, using REACT and Redux on the front-end. I took the Web Application Development Using React and Flux course, which is really helping me for this position. I have learned a lot from the engineers at the company as well. They taught me some helpful skills on the back-end, such as using APEX to develop products on Salesforce. Because APEX is similar to Java, I used skills from my Java courses at the internship as well.

One of the benefits of doing an internship while I study is that I gain a lot of experience working with people from different cultures and different countries. It is interesting to see the way everyone talks and thinks; Silicon Valley is a great place to expose us to people from around the world.

What is your dream job?

My dream goal is to develop products with passion. I’d like to my applications to help people save time and bring them profit.

Latest Update

What’s he up to now? Visit Hsu’s LinkedIn page and see where he is now!

Learn More

Visit our Computer Programming page or search out our upcoming Computer Programming courses. For information on services and programs for international students, visit our International Programs page.

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