Focused on Goals
Major: Computer Science
Specialization: Programming Languages
Career Goal: Start-up business or working for Google
Kyle Lemmel arrived at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing last fall and immediately realized he was behind some of his other classmates.
The freshman from Indianapolis knew from an early age that he loved computers, and he was excited to tackle the challenge of learning how to program software. Lemmel had always tinkered with programming, but he also was self-taught for the most part. Books and online videos had been his window to the world of programming.
“There were students who had taken AP courses to prepare them, but I had learned everything from forums online or by watching videos. It was like starting backwards and playing catch-up,” Lemmel says.
Thankfully, the community at the School of Informatics and Computing was there to help. Lemmel reached out to some classmates, and they were there to smooth his transition.
“During the second week of courses in the my first semester, I became friends with a student who had taken AP courses in high school in the same programming language we were studying,” Lemmel says. “He guided me and gave me ins-and-outs. From that point on, we became friends and have been working together and helping each other out.”
Lemmel loves programming apps for mobile devices, and he is excited about the way his programming classes have embraced the technology and will prepare him for the future.
“Apps are easy to jump into, and it’s a growing industry,” Lemmel says. “There really is no room for failure. If you mess up, your app is still out there, and you can move onto the next one. You can do mass market testing for what you’re making. I could simply text friends and ask them to download my app, and then almost immediately they can tell me what they think. If I want, I can go back and revise. That’s what makes apps a more dynamic and growing environment as well as what I like to do.”
His focus is on Android apps, and a trip during spring break to Silicon Valley gave him a very clear goal for the future.
“Google stuck out as being the most forward-thinking and relaxed, but they also had a sense that they’re doing big things. Innovation was around every corner of the campus, but there were also these Google bikes lining the sidewalks encouraging a truly unique and alive culture. The overall feel of the campus was something I would love to be a part of if I couldn’t start something of my own to a similar extent.”
His work with Android-based apps is also part of a larger goal to draw Google’s attention. Lemmel also has made it a point to better connect with SoIC professors this past semester to tap into their experience.
“During winter break, I thought that I needed to get out there and try to connect with the professors and get their perspective outside of the classroom,” Lemmel says. “I have built relationships with some of my professors. That contributes to a more inviting classroom that makes learning an enjoyable experience.”
Lemmel has clear advice for any high school student wondering if IU and the School of Informatics and Computing is the place for them.
“Come and visit the campus and find out what all the programs offered in SoIC are about,” Lemmel says. “If you simply start there, with perseverance, you can then find the resources necessary to drive yourself as far as you want to go within the realm of computing and beyond.”