Florence Hernandez lives with a constant smile on her face. Some have even wagered she sleeps in a perma-grin. Her enthusiasm and positivity, coupled with a tenacious love for programming that earned her the votes as Neumont University’s first female class President.
Whether taking votes at Project Showcase, programming her heart out, or giving a television interview to the press about the new Eccles Theater adjacent to Neumont, Florence is a joyous force to be reckoned with. She hails from North Richland Hills, Texas and is in her second year at Neumont.
We caught up with Florence over email to find a little more about her passion for java, project-based learning and desserts.
NU: First off, how much programming experience did you have prior to coming to Neumont?
FH: Before I came to Neumont, I took a year of computer science at Birdville High School. My teacher, Mr. Dix, was excellent and really pushed me to understand code. He could see my passion for it, and I am thankful that he started me on my path to coding success.
NU: And your favorite programming language?
FH: My favorite programming language is definitely Java! I'm a java baby—I started with it and it never stops being interesting.
NU: What’s a project you’ve enjoyed most during your time at Neumont?
FH: The project I enjoyed the most was when I was in my Second Quarter, it was a four person project for object-oriented programming. I was working with my friends: Brandon, AJ, and Nate, and we made a Binding of Isaac Calculator that allowed you to select your character, items, and other collectibles to calculate your damage. I learned A LOT of Java, and how to collaborate in a team. It was really fun and great time. 10/10!
NU: What has been the most surprising thing about your Neumont experience?
FH: The amount of friends that I made as soon as I came here. I was really afraid that being a girl would make people avoid me and dislike me because. This isn't really known as a woman's place. But everything worked out, and I have tons of friends and peers that respect me and my work.
NU: Tell us a tech trend you’re interested in and why.
FH: I'm not really too focused on one tech trend, but I guess I am really involved with any kind of video game news, releases, updates, watching videos of them, what have you. I eat, sleep, and breathe video games so keeping up with them is only natural.
NU. Finish this sentence: “While attending Neumont, I’ve experienced…”
FH. While attending Neumont, I’ve experienced, independent and project leadership skills, along with collaboration on an industry level.
NU: And looking towards the future: what's your dream job?
FH: My dream job for my career is to work at Google. However, I would like to be an entrepreneur and open my own coding bakery, kind of like a Starbucks but for coders and with tons of desserts.
[This interview has been edited for clarity.]