My First Experience Coding

I first encountered the world of coding from a Professor named Susan Rodger at Duke University


I started my college journey as a student at Duke University in August of 2005 and I thought I had my whole life planned out. I was going to be an investment banker with a dope corner office and planned to be a big shot in the finance industry. Little did I know, the world was not that black and white. The 21st century welcomed an environment where people could wear multiple hats and assume a number of careers over time. Value-add was the focus and skill development became the new priority.

I remember taking classes in the math department and I was literally one of two black female mathematicians at the time. While this sounds amazing and impressive, it was not the most fun to experience. I also remember Susan convincing many of us to consider taking intro to computer science. I had no idea what it was but I figured, ‘hey, it can’t be that bad if this woman thought I had potential.‘

Tai Abrams at We Work DUMBO leveraging technology to impact the world. Photography by Nancy Fernandez

Tai Abrams at We Work DUMBO leveraging technology to impact the world. Photography by Nancy Fernandez


Video Game Design

We learned the basics of HTML and started to learn all of the foundational concepts of computer programming. The coolest part is that we were building a video game while doing it. I learned about conditionals, loops, arrays, and basically how to tell my characters to do what I wanted them to do! It was so cool! I enjoyed the experience and did well in the class. I figured this was a major win-win. Being that my laptop crashed in my second computer science course and it would be a while before we could afford a new one, I had to drop the course. I went back to my pursuit of investment banking.


Coding is today’s language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead of consumers of computer science.
— Maria Klawe
JourneyTai Abrams