Say two students both express interest in becoming experimentalists of some sort. They both have research experience with experimentalists, comparable GPA's and GRE's, even similar letters of rec.
However, one of them took two computer science courses, and the other didn't.
Would admissions officers take the kid with the programming experience over the kid without it?
And what about a similar scenario, except the kid instead got a math double major and so ended up with some extra math courses.