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Now, a challenge for programmers!

December 17, 2004

India may not have won many laurels in marathon running but it has definitely won quite a few for software programming and IT expertise.

So how about banking on this factor and competing for a programmers' marathon?


Well, this is exactly what Sierra Atlantic, a leader in offshoring enterprise applications, is conducting for the student fraternity.

As part of its industry-academia drive, Sierra Atlantic is organising a software coding challenge where students of Engineering and Masters in Computer Application can test their programming skills.

Sierra plans to hold the pre-qualifier test on December 18. Six hundred students from various colleges have already registered for it. The last date for registration was December 13.

About 55 per cent of the students registered are from MCA colleges while 45 per cent are from engineering. Although most of the students who are participating are from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, participation from BITS Pilani and some other colleges from Pune and Warangal is also confirmed.

Students in the second and third year of their MCA and third and fourth year of BE and BTech will be eligible to participate.

"This is the first time that we are holding such a coding challenge and we plan to make it an annual event," Sanjay Khendry, vice-president (business development) of Sierra Atlantic, said.

The pre-qualifier test will be held at Muffakkam Jah College where students will be asked to attempt a one-hour written test at the end of which 30 three-member teams will be selected to take part in the Programmers' Marathon.

"It will be a marathon for the students as the coding challenge that will test the students programming skills will stretch into 12 hours," Khendry said. 

"The best part is that students will be competing in a live environment as they will have to perform as a team. Moreover, it is not necessary that they will be teamed with the people they know," he added.

"We are basically doing this so that potential software professionals understand the importance of software skills and realise where they are falling short. This will help them to prepare themselves for the future. Besides, it will help us in our corporate branding strategy also," Khendry said.

For the 12-hour marathon, each team will be given a personal computer that is preloaded with languages like Java, C and C++. The marathon will be held at the company's new premises on December 22, where each team will be given a single problem that it will have to solve using designing and coding skills, Khendry said.

The winning teams will be given rewards that include a first prize of Rs 30,000 and second prize of Rs 20,000.

"Rewards are, however, not the only benefits that will arise out of this marathon for students," Khendry said.

Sierra Atlantic is not putting off recruitment as one of the likely benefits. "We are not assuring the participants of a job with Sierra, but it is something that we may look at also," Khendry said.

"Technical skills are not the only requirement for a job, soft skills are also important. Therefore, it will be difficult for us to assure the participants or the winners of a job," he added.

As part of its CampusDrive programme, Sierra has been involved with the academia via curriculum designing, guest lectures and internships.

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Wonderful attempt

From the experience of conducting the similar event named "Hacker Hunt" but restricted to Some 3-4 universities in Kerala. I'd suggest few points: 1.) Grading ...

Posted by Piyush Gupta

Sub: Now, a challenge for programmers - Why only BEs/MCAs?

Why is it that all big s/w companies hold these kind of events only for BE/MCA students? Students from other backgrounds are often discriminated against ...

Posted by S.Girish

Sub: Now, a challenge for programmers

A suggestion to exam takers If they discard minimum qualification criteria they will get much more intelligent and more in no. also the programmers, And ...

Posted by Uday Phutane

Sub: Coding competition

Why only for students of certain courses? Programming is about logical thinking and skill and something almost every student does. After all, it is a ...

Posted by ksey


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