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The Scarlet & Black

Cribz: Coding House working to build healthy culture and make programming accessible

Coding+House%2C+from+left+to+right%3A+Charun+Upara+%E2%80%9921%2C+Amanda+Weber+%E2%80%9921%2C+Zixuan+Guo+%E2%80%9921%2C+Anna+Vasenina+%E2%80%9921%2C+Himanshu+Bainwala+%E2%80%9922+%2C+Asya+Shneerson+%E2%80%9922%2C+Tran+Le+%E2%80%9921%2C+Yilan+Dong+%E2%80%9921.+Photo+by+David+Gales.
Coding House, from left to right: Charun Upara ’21, Amanda Weber ’21, Zixuan Guo ’21, Anna Vasenina ’21, Himanshu Bainwala ’22 , Asya Shneerson ’22, Tran Le ’21, Yilan Dong ’21. Photo by David Gales.

By David Gales
galesdav@grinnell.edu

Like all other project houses on campus, Coding House represents a group of students with a shared or common interest that seek to promote that interest within the greater Grinnell community. 

From the outside, the pale yellow-orange stucco of the exterior sticks out amidst the cool blues and off-whites of the plank-siding houses that fill the rest of the block. Inside, there’s a vibrant, warm, welcoming community of passionate people that know they all have something in common.

Coding House coordinator Anna Vasenina ’21 said, “The idea behind the house was to make coding more accessible for everyone and also to promote wellness.” The house has already begun to host events to promote coding and give people inexperienced with computer science a chance to engage with new skills. 

“We host crash courses and we plan to host a hackathon. The crash courses are about web development, so we teach people how to build their own websites from scratch,” said Charun Upara ’21, Coding House resident. “We assume no prior knowledge of CS.”

Coding House has hosted a few crash courses as well as a welcome dinner, and they intend to continue teaching courses in the future. The hackathon, which is currently being planned by the house, is intended to put a new spin on the culture of oft-unhealthy marathon CS competitions. 

“We wanted to do it not like an all-nighter, but to collaborate with Wellness,” Vasenina said.

Day to day, though, the residents of the house tend to work on their own code. 

“We do discuss our ideas and experiences a lot and kind of help each other out in terms of knowledge or technical knowledge,” explained Tran Le ’21.

Amanda Weber ’21 said, “The day to day life outside of our events here is just about building this culture of really positive thought around coding where we can all just nerd out.” 

Weber has been working with the other members of the house to make it feel more like a community and a home as the semester marches on. 

“We just wanted it to be a community of people from different backgrounds who enjoy coding, and I think that’s come together really well in the house as it stands now,” she said.

The sign outside Coding House is a fitting representation of the quirk that resides inside. A swatch of paint obscures the “Eco” in “Eco House,” the previous title of the building. The residents of Coding House have been attempting to add the full title of their residence to the sign, but in the meantime, the sign for 1130 East St. simply reads “House.”

The residents of Coding House don’t seem to mind. “This is a house with a lot of character,” Weber said, laughing, “and that sign really shows it, you know? We are House.”

Upcoming events at Coding House are posted on the GC Coding House Facebook page. Students can join the Coding House mailing list by emailing codinghouse@grinnell.edu.

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