I'm A Girl Who Codes





Cassie Mahakian: Winner of the Samsung App Challenge!


“Make it fun. Create something you enjoy with code!’ - Cassie Mahakian

Meet Cassie Mahakian, a thirteen year old coder, tennis player, musician, and self-described “girly girl.” Cassie recently won the and is looking forward to studying engineering at Erie High School in the fall. Want some words of wisdom from this awesome young #GirlBoss? Read the interview below!

Q&A with Cassie Mahakian

What was your dream job growing up? 

I was very interested in music and wanted to do something around that.

Do you still want to work in music? 

Yes! I’d like to combine engineering with music. Currently, I play the piano, guitar, and clarinet.

When did you start coding?

I started learning Scratch when I was about nine or ten. Now I’ve moved onto coding in Javascript and Python, playing with Arduinos, and making robots. This is the second year I’ve been a part of the at my school.

Why did you join Girls Who Code?

I had been doing Scratch for a while, but it was hard to find fun places to learn to code. interested me because it’s a whole class of girls supporting each other and cultivating knowledge. It’s a comfortable place to learn.

Through your Club, you won the Samsung App Challenge. Congratulations! How did that happen? 

Last year, two girls I code with told me about a challenge where we could create an app wireframe and compete for a prize. We kept working on it and came up with an idea - MusikLearn. It enhances brain function for students through digital word games and music. The app targets students with dyslexia and autism but works for any student. Depending on the subject area and disability, the app helps students learn new concepts by connecting those ideas to sound and music.

What was the hardest part of learning to code? 

It’s just getting started, especially when you’re learning a whole new language. It’s also hard just being in the minority - there just aren’t a lot of girls in most classes. 

Is that why it’s important to teach girls to code?

I think it’s important to give everyone the opportunity to learn to code. Some girls might want to know how to code, but just think they can’t do it because of what other people say. 

What advice would you give to girls who are interested in learning how to code or who are struggling to stick with it?

For girls just starting out, I’d say just go for it. No matter what happens, you’ll be learning something amazing. For girls who are struggling, try to find a way to make it fun. Just make something you enjoy with code. Starting out with a really hard program can be hard and not very fun.

Want to participate in a Girls Who Code Club like Cassie?