Programming competition to be held annually among colleges

Inter-Collegiate programming competition will now be an annual event among undergraduates of various colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan.

With the success of the first Inter-collegiate programming competition in College of Science and Technology recently, the college faculty are saying that the competition will be an annual event. The college has been organizing the event since Information and Technology course was introduced in the college in 2014.

With poor feedback from recruiting agencies on the graduates’ programming knowledge, the college has started the competition to enhance the students’ knowledge. Programming, a computer language has become a necessity for every graduate in today’s IT dominated world.

This year, 35 students from four colleges took part in the competition. Team No One, from College of Science and Technology won the first ever Inter-Collegiate Programming competition held in the college, last week. Code Assasins from the same college and Code Jedi from Sherubtse College, Trashigang were the two runners up.

The competition aims to showcase the problem solving knowledge using the programming skills of the students with given questions which are automatically assessed by the computer system where the results displayed live at the scoreboard. “The contest encourages team spirit too and resolves mismatch among the graduates when they enter the job market,” Tandin Wangchuk, IT Lecturer, faculty member of CST said.

The college had a history of bad programming skills with the graduates before introduction of the course, according to the Lecturer. The competition will also enable the students to learn programming skills which will match the requirements at the job market.  

Over time, Tandin Wangchuk said that more graduates with programming skills from the college are being absorbed in the job market. Within three years, over 100 students from the college have learnt the skills. Programming skills have become necessary for other non IT engineering students in developing software to develop models. “It’s more advantageous for them to solve problems and develop their own codes,” he said.

The winners were awarded cash prizes, a rolling trophy and medals. The winning team received Nu 15,000 and the first runners up, Nu 9,000. The second runners up took home Nu 3,000.

Similar contests are conducted in regional and international levels where programmers from different countries compete. Tandin Wangchuk hopes to provide skills to the students, who will qualify to take part in such international programming competitions in the future. One popular contest is International Collegiate Programming Contest which is also an annual event held mostly in India where students of popular universities across the world take part. This year the competition was held in Portugal. “We are hoping to be there one day,” he said.

Team No One took part in the earlier competitions held in the college and won some. The three-member team currently, are undergoing Final Year Bachelors in Engineering (IT) in the college. “It has helped to solve more complicated problems and develop team work. We will take part in the future too,” Tenzin Chophel, a team member said.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing