Rommel Isaac Baldivas
Chee Web Development Scholarship 2022 Winner

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela

We believe in the power of education to create positive change in our communities and in our world. That’s why we decided to invest in a scholarship to be awarded to a student with an understanding of the web and a desire to make it a better place. Our scholarship recipient this year is Rommel Isaac Baldivas, who goes by Isaac and is a senior in high school. Isaac is about to pursue a degree in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.

We sat down for a Zoom meeting with Isaac to learn a little more about how he became interested in the web, what he’s working on, and what he hopes to learn.

What was the main reason you became interested in doing web development/coding?

From an early age I was tech savvy and used the computer for school projects and even as a child I thought I would go into computer science. The fact that my dad was in web development inspired me to follow in his footsteps. I did Scratch and Khan Academy during middle school and around that time my dad downloaded Notepad ++ to show me how websites work. That was the beginning when I felt it was an option for me. I wasn’t sure what kind of computer science to pursue until Covid allowed me to spend time looking at web development tutorials and I started to explore different ways to use Javascript. Right after that, I overheard my father interviewing someone for a React job and I realized I could excel in that too and be interviewed for a job like that one day.

What part of the field calls to you the most (e.g. front end/full stack, programmer, App development, A.I.)?

I’m learning front end but I want to become a full stack developer. I’ve done some AR (Augmented Reality) too at school which isn’t exactly web development but it’s related. I’m interested in full stack because I want to be someone who does front end work and have the skills to do back end logic. So far I’ve learned more front end because I’ve been in web design classes where I’ve been exposed to Figma, wire-framing, and prototyping which I like but I also want to understand the engine; what’s going on behind the scenes, so that’s why I am aspiring to be full stack.

Have you created anything yet, and if so, what are some lessons you learned?

I made a website called School Tools with a variety of widgets such as timers, a word counter for essays, and a homework prioritizer, so it’s just things I’ve learned in computer science and web development concepts. I also made a website about cubing that references algorithms for solving Rubik’s cubes, and I made a WordPress blog for my mom’s cooking and recipes.

What’s the thing you’re spending the most time learning about right now?

I’m trying to learn the different frameworks and the differences between Angular, React, and Svelte.

What do you most look forward to learning in your chosen program at University of Texas?

I am excited to learn about the industry; including the flow of how projects progress and working with clients. I think being in the computer science program is going to help me become more effective in programming by learning those data structures and algorithms that they’ll teach us. My hope is to eventually be even better than my dad at being a full stack developer!

Thank you to all the applicants.

We received lots of submissions and want to thank everyone who applied. We wish all the web students we heard from the best of luck on their studies and encourage them to apply again next year!