Company websites: every organisation needs one of these digital signboards. Which makes it all the stranger that on a campus where so many new enterprises see the light of day, so few students are able to build a website. This had to change, according to Economics student Tomas Moŝka (22). Together with International Business Administration student Teodor Cătăniciu, Tomas founded the Turing Society. A club that teaches students how to build websites.

Turing Society
Tomas tijdens een van de hoorcolleges Image credit: Turing Society

Moŝka will be holding the workshops together with a few other enthusiastic programmers. He taught himself coding when he was 14, via a website that his father had referred him to. “I found it extremely interesting from the start.” Learning how to code comes down to practice – and a lot of it – so Tomas started making websites for his friends. “The only way to become better is by simply doing it.”

There’s an interest, but no offer

After enrolling at Erasmus University, Tomas noticed that only a few other EUR students were able to code. Even though there is an interest in this skill at the University. “I had already held coding workshops for students at the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, which were well attended. Every student should master the basic principles of coding,” says Moŝka.

Boot camp

In addition to attending one-off workshops, serious students can also register for the Boot Camp, which will be held in late March. At the Boot Camp, participants are taught the key principles of coding with the aid of online course materials offered by Codecademy and other organisations. This instruction is followed up with various lectures and seminars. “We intend to provide participants with the tools they need to get started. We will have opportunities for interaction, but at the end of the day, participants will need to invest a lot of their own time too. I expect learning this skill will take up around 18 hours per week.”

But it’s definitely worth the time and – what may be even more important – it’s free. “The only reason why I’m doing this is because I enjoy it,” says Moŝka. He continues on a rather level-headed note: “Coding lessons are hardly new. If you’re interested, you can find loads of them to enrol in. Except they tend to be so expensive that they are out of students’ reach. That’s why we set up the Turing Society.”

Practice rather than theory

The objective of the Turing Society connects very well to the brand new Computer Sciences minor presently offered by the Economics faculty. Among other things, this minor introduces students to the fundamental principles of computer hardware and software and data processing. While the new programme is a step in the right direction, it still eaves something to be desired according to Moŝka. “While the minor has a solid curriculum, it remains very theoretical. You may learn how to make databases, but you don’t actually use those very often. I miss the coding – the practical side. This is precisely the gap I am trying to fill with the Turing Society.”

Interested? Further details on the Boot Camp and the club can be found here.