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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Code cracked to add classes

Getting the classes you need as an incoming freshman is difficult. The add date you receive to sign up for classes is later than students who are priorities to transfer.

Joey Winthrop took the controls to change that almost anticipated freshman fate for himself.

“I made a script that automated the process of browsing each and every single class. It would then generate a list of all the open classes a student might need,” Winthrop said.

In his first year at Pierce in 2012, the computer science major got all the classes he needed.

“When I first made it for myself, it felt liberating. I have a higher advantage and I don’t have to worry about crashing classes anymore,” Winthrop said.

Once Winthrop saw how other students and friends had trouble adding and crashing classes, he felt a need to help them by making the script public online and sharing it via word of mouth.

“I saw people who wanted to come back to school trying to crash classes and I’m there in the classes in an almost unfair advantage. It made me want to publicize it and even tell people in person who were trying to crash,” Winthrop said.

It also didn’t appeal to him to charge for the script in any way.

He made the script accessible on the website gist.github.com, under pierceopenlist.js.

Winthrop maintained a list that he updated every day after getting the classes he needed, which helped his friends in the beginning weeks of adding and crashing classes.

Anyone could see the changes that were made or updated every day.

“When I first made it public, I thought I was going to get in trouble. It was giving only a certain amount of people an advantage while others still had to crash,” Winthrop said.

However, it was still helping some students and friends other than himself.

Pierce college student Raffi Sofian has known Winthrop for awhile and said he is quiet and kindhearted with good intentions and can help you out as long as you’re not taking advantage of him.

“Adding the script eliminated that feeling of wasting time and frustration. It helped me find the classes that I needed right away,” Sofian said.

Ever since he was 11 years old, Winthrop was fascinated with computer science and technology. He would listen in on gaming chat rooms and feed off what they had to say.

Winthrop excelled and expanded his technological literacy through computer science classes at Pierce and made like-minded friends along the way.

In the computer science world, the language is code. Omri Gabay, a fellow student, said that  Winthrop’s quiet demeanor and strong work experience reminds him of a quote by Linus Torvalds, “talk is cheap, show me the code.”

Winthrop showed more than just a code and skill, he showed that he could help students crashing classes and possibly better their chances in transferring sooner.

Since his publication of the script, Winthrop has received many freelance offers in editing, gigs and projects that involve computer science and technology. He will be attending California State University, Northridge in fall 2015.

His colleagues believe he has yet another valuable advantage that will allow him to go far.

“Joey knew what he wanted to do at a very young age. Those people who do what they love are the ones who are best at it,” Gabay said.


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