By Johannes Hangula
SCHEDULED to take place Friday, the Namibia University of Science and Technology programming competition is an initiative by the Faculty of Computing and Informatics with the aim to raise student interest in programming.
This year’s competition is sponsored by Profile Technologies, that pledged N$20 000 and they will offer a three-month practical internships to best programmers, with an opportunity of hiring them on a permanent basis.
Profile Technologies general manager: Operations & Systems, Uetuzemburukisa Uatjiua said the reason his company wanted to be involved in the competition was because they favoured capacity building and wanted to provide exposure to the students.
Acknowledging Profile Technologies sponsorship, competition organising committee co-chair Joel Eelu said, “We consider it exciting because the opportunities from such an engagement are limitless for both parties involved. The challenging part is getting companies to engage in such a commitment, because every company runs on profit and indirect profit is in most cases not easily considered.”
The competition programme will have an official part to welcome the participants and then an awards ceremony that will be at the end of Saturday afternoon.
“This year’s competition differs from the last year one, because this year our teams will be mixed, consisting of at least one student from each level of study. I also believe that the questions this year are much more hands-on and fascinating that they will be fun to attempt and could eventually lead to solutions being implemented for industry use. Another new approach for this year is that since the problems are more complex, the participants will have up to about 16 hours to do the competition as it will begin on Friday at 08h00 until Saturday around 16h00. This however will only apply to the university category; and the high school category will only have about five hours since they will be only around for Saturday,” explained Eelu.
The competition will give the participants a worthy opportunity to improve their problem solving, team work and software development skills. Furthermore it will offer practical and challenging questions that require participants to be innovative and quick to comprehend the task at hand and finally produce relevant solutions. The Faculty also hopes that by holding events such as these, it will be more fun for the students to learn and socialise with one another while still focusing on their studies.
The competition entails lot of benefits for the participants depending on their respective angles, the simplest yet crucial benefit will be exposure; students get to be exposed to more realistic problems and also expose their personal profiles to diverse companies in the industry. This is no doubt a great way to students to build their careers at such an early stage of their studies. Next on the list is the ability to work in teams and present the work as one project.
This competition pushes the students’ thinking capacity and hopefully opens their views and approaches to everyday situations.
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