Questions & Answers

Brandon Perry is a freshman Computer Science major from Plano, Texas. In October, Brandon was selected to participate in the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Code for Good Challenge where 14 teams of four to six college students collaborated over 24 hours to develop an innovative technology solution for a non-profit organization.

Q: Have you always been interested in technology and software engineering?

A: Ever since I was little, I was interested in computers. When I was five, my dad set up a website for me, and I started learning how to code basic HTML a few years later. When I was ten, I started teaching myself Java. I would make little games, and I would host private servers for games. I started doing a lot of coding, and I really enjoyed it.

Q: How did you choose Baylor’s Computer Science program?

A: I wasn’t considering Baylor until the end of my decision-making process. I had narrowed down my selection to two different computer science programs, but I felt more of a connection to the other campus. After comparing the programs, and specifically looking at job opportunities, I felt like Baylor had much more in terms of career development for their students. After another campus visit, I selected Baylor.

Q: As a freshman, you were encouraged to attend the STEM Job Fair. Is that how you met the recruiters from JPMorgan Chase & Co.?

A: Yes. At the STEM Job Fair, I talked to different recruiters to learn about the different companies. I wanted to get my name out there in hopes of landing a summer internship. That’s where I met the recruiter for JPMorgan. He told me about the Code for Good program and explained that a lot of the interns at JPMorgan come through that program. I decided to try my luck with the Code for Good program, and I was accepted.

Q: As a freshman, you were selected to participate in the Code for Good Challenge over juniors and seniors. What do you think made you stand out in the application process?

A: On my resume, I listed my experience with game development. I am a developer on a website called ROBLOX. ROBLOX is a user-generated gaming site where you can post games you’ve developed using their engine. My game has over 300,000 plays on ROBLOX from other users. I also listed my experience with Java and my experience as an iOS developer for apps. Having that personal technical experience on my application definitely helped.

Q: Can you tell us more about the Code for Good Challenge you participated in?

A: I participated in the Code for Good Challenge in Delaware. There are several different locations and dates to select from. I flew up on October 30th and flew back on the 31st. Over the course of 24 hours, 14 teams of four to six college students were asked to develop a technology solution for one of two nonprofit organizations. I was on a team with three other students from Arizona State, Carnegie Mellon and George Mason. Together, we came up with an idea, planned it out, and worked with technology experts from JPMorgan to come up with the best solution.

At the end of 24 hours, there was a judging round for each of the nonprofit organizations’ challenges. The winner from each challenge went up against each other in a final judging round where JPMorgan leaders and representatives from the participating nonprofits voted on the winner.

Q: What was it like to work on a team with students from other universities?

A: I’ve worked on group projects before, but this was the first time I’ve worked on a team with other software developers on a single project. I didn’t know the people on my team before the challenge, and I really enjoyed getting to know them and their strengths and weaknesses. It was a great experience to discover that one person’s weaknesses were another’s strengths. The Challenge environment encouraged collaboration and innovation, and we would build off of each other. This was my first experience in a professional environment, and it was a lot of fun.

Q: Describe the challenge you selected from Goodwill Industries and the app your team created.

A: Since Goodwill is an anonymous donation-based nonprofit organization, they do not have a lot of information on individual donors. Goodwill wanted to create an app for donors that would allow the donor to track their donations. In addition, they wanted to educate donors about the impact of individual donations on the creation of jobs for those in need.

My team created a point system that would calculate how many jobs were created based on the donor’s donations. They were awarded points for each contribution and were placed on a leader board. The leader board ranked each store in the area to show how many jobs were being created through donations made at that Goodwill store.

Q: How did your team fare?

A: We won first place! Everyone on my team received an iPad Air and the possibility of an internship or job with JPMorgan. I have an interview for an internship, and I’m hoping to get it.

Q: How did you choose Baylor’s Computer Science program?

A: I wasn’t considering Baylor until the end of my decision-making process. I had narrowed down my selection to two different Computer Science programs, but I felt more of a connection to the other campus. After comparing the Computer Science programs, and specifically looking at job opportunities, I felt like Baylor had much more in terms of career development for their students. After another campus visit, I selected Baylor.

Q: Have you always been interested in technology and software engineering?

A: Yes. Ever since I was little, I was interested in computers. When I was five, my dad set up a website for me, and I started learning how to code basic html a few years later. When I was ten, I started teaching myself Java. I would make little games, and I would host private servers for games. I started doing a lot of coding, and I really enjoyed it.

Q: As a freshman, you were encouraged to attend the STEM Job Fair. Is that how you met the recruiters from JPMorgan Chase & Co.?

A: Yes. At the STEM Job Fair, I talked to different recruiters to learn about the different companies. I wanted to get my name out there in hopes of landing a summer internship. That’s where I met the recruiter for JPMorgan. He told me about the Code for Good program, and explained that a lot of the interns at JPMorgan come through that program. I decided to try my luck with the Code for Good program, and I was accepted.

Q: What was it like to work on a team with students from other universities?

A: I’ve worked on group projects before, but this was the first time I’ve worked on a team with other software developers on a single project. I didn’t know the people on my team before the challenge, and I really enjoyed getting to know them and their strengths and weaknesses. It was a great experience to discover that one person’s weaknesses were another’s strengths. The challenge environment encouraged collaboration and innovation, and we would build off of each other. This was my first experience in a professional environment, and it was a lot of fun.

Q: Have you thought about what you’d like to do after college?

A: I don’t have a specific plan, but I’ll probably end up in software engineering. I really enjoy math and backend equations. I like making everything work together.