Friday, January 2, 2015

Dash going one step ahead with College Classes

Leo McGrath | Staff Writer for "The Mount"
Everyone has that one person who excels at the thing you are terrible at. The person who is a natural at math when you can barely figure out what the word “cosine” even means. Or someone can write a five page paper in the time you write a para­graph. Well, freshman Dash Wedergren is that guy. He loves what many students struggle with - coding
While many students hate the prospect of having to learn visual basic, this kid just can’t get enough of it.
photo by Randal Esquivel
Dash’s study habits and work ethic not only show in coding 
but in his schoolwork as well.
“I first got into coding in seventh grade,” Wedergren said. “I started out using websites and books to teach it to myself.” The whole concept comes easily to him, and he is passionate about it. He has his own webpage you can visit at He even started taking college level classes online, specifically focused on security, last year.
He started with a cryptology course through Stanford’s free online course site, Coursera. Cryptology is the process of making a website or software secure, so it is harder to hack. Currently, he is working on a surveillance law class through the same site. “But I’m going to start another cryptology course soon.”
He has even started coding outside of this. “I actually code on [Github], helping companies commit code,” Wedergren said.
Essentially, he helps companies make their websites secure on a “web based hosting service” called Github allows new coming companies develop their websites, and Wedergren helps them out.
Wedergren codes in Node Javascript, or Node JS for short. Node JS is a program like Mount Michael’s Visual Basic, but more detailed and higher quality.
In addition, Wedergren said that “Visual Basic only works for Window’s Architec­ture Machines, while Node JS only works in Javascript.” Try to think of it as a different language, so the different types of code wouldn’t make any sense in the other’s program.
Wedergren attends an user group that gathers once a month at Blue Cross Blue Shield to explore pro­gramming in JavaScript. In these meet­ings he discusses topics ranging anywhere from new developments in the program to new libraries (which are collections of pre-written code or lessons that help the programmers in coding).

“It’s really cool,” said freshman Kane Koubsky. “I’d like to learn how to do it, but it’s really hard. Jokes about him hacking into the government have spread through our class.” Many other freshmen who have given programming a shot have also come to respect Wedergren. And just like Koubsky, they look forward to Computer Applications class next year to see just how talented Dash Wedergren really is.