Creating the Code: Learning HTML Sets Computer Science Undergrad on Path Toward Infinite Possibilities


Portrait of Kaya Jones


Kaya Jones (CS 2nd Year): Back in seventh grade my teacher was  like, “Okay guys, we’re gonna learn HTML.” 

So once I found out, like wow, I can really just like create anything just from code; I have to go into CSN [computer science].

Why Illinois Tech? It’s just the culture. Your classmates—they’re willing to help out. Everyone wants to get better; it’s not cut-throat.

There’s not a lot of African-American women who are in CS. It is tough, but there are people around you who say, “Hey, we’re in this class together. We’re still going to get through it.” So that’s all that matters to me.

This season, I’m excited, because we have a really good group of girls. I came to visit, and just being in that environment and just being with my teammates—I was like, yeah, this is where I want to be.

I recently interned at NASA, so I was working on trying to update code documentation. Working at NASA has allowed me to meet a lot of people. I have built a lot of connections, and that’s what I am grateful for.  

One clean window of code: When I hit that spark of being able to create things—when I’m in that zone, I really like just get going. Coding for like two or three hours straight and like mom coming to the door, “Okay, Kaya, it’s like 2 a.m. It’s like, you need to go to bed now.”

So that’s just what I fell in love with—just that grind, I guess.