College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Varun Prasanna gains confidence, skills at CyPy

Varun Prasanna, sophomore in electrical engineering.

Varun Prasanna, a sophomore in electrical engineering, just finished up a six-session undergrad “bootcamp” called CyPy.

CyPy is a computer coding bootcamp focused on Python. Started by Shana Moothedath, assistant professor in ECpE, CyPy provides the opportunity to learn Python and coding to undergrads with little or no experience in coding. This hands-on course is tailored to provide students with a solid foundation in Python programming fundamentals.

“I decided to join this bootcamp as I know that programming is important, especially as someone in the ECpE department,” Prasanna said. “Programming helps visualize data, create games, machine learning and more. This prompted me wanting to have some familiarity with programming—especially Python, which is extremely useful and in demand.”

He said CyPy was a great introduction and allowed him to become familiar with Python’s basic concepts and logic.

“I gained a lot more familiarity with Python. I was able to practice with a lot of different problem sets, and I also was able to meet some new people and network,” Prasanna said. “I got to know the professors and TAs running this camp and become familiar with their research in a non-classroom setting.”

Could a coding bootcamp be for you? Prasanna recommends it, saying it is a great introduction to learning a new programming language and its uses.

“A coding bootcamp is also a great way to build relationships with like-minded people of similar coding experience, so working together is great when you get stuck. The same idea can be applied to undergrad research, as learning something new is always beneficial, as you never know when you will need to use it,” Prasanna said. “It is also fun to learn something new, and researching helps you create your own questions that you can solve with your own methods and answers.”