The pen is mightier but, in the eyes of Bronson Tharpe, programming code may be mightiest.
Tharpe, a first-year student majoring in computer science and a Class of 2023 Presidential Scholar, has always admired the force and precision of language, whether it be English or Q, a computer programming language.
“Crafting clean code to me is very similar to writing a concise essay,” Tharpe said. “You cut out the fluff you don’t need. And if you follow a logical formula, you end up with something great.”
Tharpe’s interest in computers and programming developed from an early age. As a young kid, he began curating a personal collection of vintage machines, including a Tandy 102 from the 1970s.
“I started out just playing around with them, trying to learn some of the basics in Microsoft and Q,” Tharpe said. “Eventually, it evolved into an interest in the hardware.”
While still a high school student at Westminster School of Augusta, Tharpe began buying new model computers online in bulk, upgrading them and selling them for a profit.
“It stemmed from seeing how much more expensive certain models were if they had even minor memory upgrades,” he said. “And I thought, ‘You know, I could do that.’”
In high school, Tharpe also was a member of a winning debate team.
“I was recruited because of my love for persuasive writing,” he said.
He and his team competed in the Georgia Independent School Association’s state level forensics competition in 2017 and 2018.
Now a student in the Honors College at Georgia State, Tharpe said he hopes to combine his love of technology and rhetoric, and pursue a law career.