Finding His Niche in Computer Science
Jordan McGarty, RWU senior, is combining his passions to pursue an unusual yet essential role in the computer science field. With a major in computer science and a minor in professional and public writing, McGarty is preparing to serve as a bridge between client and programmer, streamlining communication and translating jargon into accessible language.
We recently spoke with McGarty about his experience.
What was it that led you to combine computer science and professional and public writing?
I’ve always been a big computer nerd. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do in that field. I initially entered as a bachelor of science, because I loved math in high school. As I started taking more college classes I found it was more open ended and I really got interested in writing. I wanted to incorporate that.
I am a computer science major who hates line by line code writing. It sounds weird but I’m good with the theoretics. I want to serve as a translator from programmer to client. If we have client meetings or are interacting with the client, that’s where I come in. That’s where the writing comes in.
I’m a bit of an outlier there. I feel like it’s a niche need, but it is still very prominent. I basically want to be a nerd secretary, writing reports and writing to clients.
How have you been crafting your courses? Did the crossover exist or did you create it?
I am still taking all the standard computer science courses. The only difference is the bachelors of science is primarily math, so I took math courses up to calculus and after that I got more interested in writing. I've always been taking writing courses each semester, but especially now I am taking more of them. It was three semesters ago, the end of sophomore year, that I started with the minor. With the Bachelor of Arts you get a lot of free credit spots, so with that I took all the writing classes that I seemed interested in. I’ve been enjoying it so far.
Has the university been supportive of your path?
Yes, even more than I expected them to. For example, in my senior design class for computer science, we are given sample clients and fill a need for whatever they are asking. My project is about making a math game that teaches geometry. It’s like having an official client. I email them and keep them updated, meet with them and go over requirements. Within my group I’m the translator from program to client. When we have client meetings I mainly communicate with them. I keep everyone on the same page and make sure we are doing what the client wants.
What made you choose RWU?
When I came to visit here it was completely miserable outside. It was hailing and ten degrees. Throughout the entire tour, the tour guide had a really positive attitude and it was really fun. I was really excited and the campus was really nice. You know if it seems nice when it is terrible weather outside, it’s really nice.