My coding story: Adarsh | Raspberry Pi projects

When you're developing technology that can help solve a problem, you are bringing something to the world. And at the end of the day, what you have is something that can help someone.

I'm Adarsh. I am 17. I am from San Jose, California.

So I started computing because my older brother was interested in not computer science but biotechnology. He would go to this community lab in this area, BioCurious. So I would want to go and do all the work that my cool older brother was doing, but they wouldn't let me because I was too young. So Johan Sosa, the mentor who also ended up helping me with all these projects, was like, okay, if you want something to do, here's a Raspberry Pi, you can start computer science, right?

Really, after I first got into the world of computing through those beginner projects, I jumped straight into the deep end. Right? I started with this smart community sprinkler project. The world around us right now has a lot of different problems that need to be solved. And so the way I get inspired is by looking outwards. When I started this sprinkler system project, California was having like one of its worst ever droughts, imposing a really strict watering fine for your lawn. And so that's what got me thinking of the smart sprinkler system and then realizing I could actually potentially develop a solution that could save millions of gallons of water across a huge city.

I got an email from the Raspberry Pi Foundation about Coolest Projects USA, which is going on in L.A. And the moment I got there, it was so much fun. It wasn't even really like a science fair. It was more like a celebration of all these different things that these young engineers and these people who are just starting the world of computing are developing.

And I fell in love with that science fair. It's Coolest Project USA and I continue to go to it almost every year.

And then I realize the Raspberry Pi is not just a device or product. No, that's far from it. It's actually a huge community of coders, young coders, teachers, educators, students who are all working together to solve huge problems, but also to, you know, to teach young students the basics of computer science. It is such a large and inclusive community. It welcomes young students, even older adults, who are first starting to develop their interest in computer science. And we all are developing our own skills, our own projects and our own passions together. And while doing so, we're helping each other out.

My mom had a sudden third degree heart block, and she was rushed to the ER. And while she was recovering for a couple of days in the hospital, she was like hooked up to many different wires for her vital signs. While they were there to sustain life, to make sure that she was healthy and everything, and I was grateful for that, they also inhibited her movement a lot, so they made her feel less well than she actually could because she couldn't get up. Kind of mental block that that appears when you're sick in that hospital bed kind of inhibits recovery as well. I started developing a contactless vital signs monitor that can actually help people who are suffering like my mom. And I really fell in love with uniting the discipline of biology with computer science.

And at Stanford, I'm still a little bit not sure about exactly which paths I want to do. I'm thinking right now either environmental engineering similar to my Smart Sprinkler System

or biomedical engineering similar to my Contactless Vital Signs Monitor. The scholarship that I got was the Davidson Scholarship, which I got from my Contactless Vital Science Monitor here.

And I would encourage a lot of young coders out there who are just beginning and want to like find a project that they can start working on. The key thing is to find a problem that affects you personally and the people around you or your own world. Because these projects that I developed, the reason why I was so inspired to go and continue developing them and continue working on them is because they personally affected me or a person that I know and I wanted to do something to solve that problem.

It's going to take you a while. It'll be a little bit frustrating, but it is the most educational

and rewarding experience I've ever had. You're developing technology that can help solve a problem. You are bringing something to the world that is actually going to bring a positive light so you're able to take what you learned and all the difficulties that you had building this project. And at the end of the day, what you have is something that can help someone.