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students writing computer codeThe University of Windsor hosted the fourth annual Communitech Code to Win preliminary challenge on Friday, Sept. 27.

Coding competition poses preliminary challenge

The University of Windsor hosted the fourth annual Communitech Code to Win preliminary challenge on Friday, Sept. 27, bringing students from the University and St. Clair College to the CAW Student Centre to compete.

The national competition, enabling students to showcase their coding skills across several Canadian universities, was sponsored by the School of Computer Science and the Office of Co-operative Education and Workplace Partnerships.

Although the event could be completed virtually, the University wanted to continue the tradition of offering a dedicated in-house event for students to come together under one roof to demonstrate their passion for coding.

“Over 180 students registered for the event which made for the largest attended group we have had to-date for this coding challenge,” said Johanna Beneteau, internship co-ordinator in Co-operative Education and Workplace Partnerships. “It was interesting to see the expression on the students’ faces; they were focused and very engaged. You could tell participants were immersed in the exercise and wanted to do well.”

Ziad Kobti, director of the School of Computer Science, kicked off the event, and the University’s Communitech ambassador, computer science student Noah Campbell, provided instructions on the challenge.

In a month’s time, organizers will announce the top performers across Canada, who qualify for the finals in January 2020 and have a chance to win $5,000, network with sponsor companies, and explore the Waterloo Region tech community.

Karan Singla, Master of Applied Computing student, noted that the competition questions were set to high standards.

“For me, it was not about winning, but to encourage the coding spirit which I loved,” he said. “I did get an idea what top employers may be looking for and what I need to work on.”

Second-year computer science major Joshua Gehl, said the challenge was difficult but fun.

“It gave me insight into what my future interviews may look like,” said Gehl. “I hope to compete again in the future.”

In addition to coding and pizza provided by the School of Computer Science, students enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about local organizations, visiting booths displayed by EPICentre, Hackforge, the Windsor chapter of Women in Cyber Security, and WEtech Alliance.

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