Computer scientists from the Remove Form, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth recently took part in the Lockheed Martin Code Quest programming competition. The competition, which was held on Saturday 24 April, involved writing applications to solve a range of individual problems from simple data conversions to string manipulation to more complex matrix transformations.
The boys working in teams, competed against 568 other teams from schools in the UK, Australia and the US. The Upper Sixth team (consisting of German Nikolishin, Tony Zhang and Hasnain Zaidi) came second overall in the UK in the Advanced Level. Overall, this put them in a very impressive 65th place in the worldwide rankings.
The other teams involved were:
5th overall in the UK Advanced level
Maxwell Martin, Alex Aellen, Seb Peacock
4th overall in the UK Novice level
Yoni Sileshi, Dawud Ibrahim, Oliver Jones
6th overall in the UK Novice level
Will Reddy, Joe Travis, Siddarth Prabhu
Head of Computer Science, Mr Scullion, said “This is a fantastic achievement, not just for our top programmers, but also showing the determination and skill level of all the boys, some of whom have only really been coding since September.”
Learning in an information age where technology is at the forefront, programming at a higher level gives boys an understanding of the workings of the devices and programs they use on a daily basis. Programming also encourages boys to think logically, and sequentially to try and find bottlenecks or bugs in any given code. This skill is not unique to programmers though, it can be used by anyone trying to improve any area of life, so learning programming is a step in the right direction in developing other skills.
German told us, “Computer programming is a way to express my ideas. Similarly, to art, you are given unlimited number of tools which you can use to create something unique, but also useful. There are so many applications of programming (even in art itself), that sometimes you get lost in your own ideas. But I think the favourite feature of computer programming is constant learning. As a programmer, you never stop learning, there are always new technologies and innovation to explore and contribute to. This helps to keep your mind fit.”