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York College Computer Science Major Programs His Own Future

A Kinsley School student working on a Computer Science project

Tyler Franks ’23 says York College has given him a unique approach to Computer Science that prepares him for whatever his career holds. 

Tyler Franks ’23 remembers the sinking feeling when the end of the semester was approaching and one of his class projects was due. As a junior in high school, Franks hadn’t followed the instructions. Instead of using a tutorial to create a program, he decided to start from scratch.

Franks tried to program a Texas Hold’em game, but he got held up on how to shuffle the cards. He never told his teacher that he wasn’t following instructions, and when he showed her the unfinished project, he expected to be reprimanded.

Instead, she looked through his code. She was surprised to see how advanced some of his techniques were and that he had attempted to create something completely on his own.

“She said that I am really good at this and better be back for AP Computer Science next year,” Franks says. “That's when I decided that computer science is what I wanted to do.”

Choosing York College

Franks toured several schools in hopes of finding a Computer Science program that spoke to him. During an Open House hosted by York College of Pennsylvania, Franks heard from professors and current students and soon after decided he’d found the most professional program.

“I feel that York College, specifically the Computer Science program, has helped me prepare by the rigor it puts its students through and the variety of technologies they teach us,” he says.

While some of the courses demand a lot of his schedule, Franks feels he’s learned how to manage his time with industry expectations. York College has given him a unique approach to Computer Science, where instead of focusing on the nitty-gritty of all the technologies, languages, and tools that exist, he’s focusing more on solving problems, and using the skills that will best help him do that.

“I’m learning things quickly and applying them almost immediately to my field of study,” he says. “I’m not getting bogged down in all the details.”

Project-based learning

Franks stepped into his first internship at C.S. Davidson, Inc., a York County-based engineering firm, and realized he wasn’t familiar with the tools the company was using. Instead of feeling like he was behind, he recalled the skills to adapt and learn he’d gained in the classroom.

“Since starting my internship at C.S. Davidson, I have learned multiple computer languages, libraries, tools, and improved on my communication,” he says. “I have been able to make meaningful contributions to the company's software applications.”

Franks believes his biggest improvements can be seen in his softer skills. He now uses highlighting, linking, screenshots, organization, and progress monitoring to make sure his thoughts are as clear as possible when communicating his with co-workers. “I think that communication is underrated in the software industry, and I am very happy to improve upon it,” he says.

He’s also learning what companies hope to provide their customers when it comes to software development. He’s become familiar with how professional software should look, what makes it marketable and why real-world clients use it.

“These are experiences that will help me adapt no matter where the industry goes in the future,” he says. “I feel really prepared for whatever my career holds.”