University students tackle coding competition

Twenty students competed in a coding competition on Friday at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) computer labs.

The students are studying the HCS381 course for programming language concepts and paradigms.

Lecturer, Lagaseu Dr. Edna Temese Ualesi, said the initiative was inspired by other competitions such as Science fair and English competitions and that there weren't really any competitions for technology and computer.

"We’re just starting small, starting from my class because this is a programming class," she said.

"It was an idea to motivate the students because programming, no one wants to take this kind of subject because it’s very difficult and students tend to deviate from this course and opt for other easier courses."

Lagaseu said that there are numerous good opportunities for the students out in the field if they were to become programmers.

The competition was conducted in three rounds. Everyone participated in the first round followed by an elimination process if a syntax error is found or if the student doesn't compile the program and won't be able to run. 

"Those students who don't compile the program will be eliminated while the others will make it to round 2, but there's a different program in round 2," Lagaseu said 

Lagaseu added that the overall competition was for fun, so the students can look at programming as something that is fun and that they can enjoy doing. 

All twenty students who competed wore matching shirts which they had fundraised for through having sausage sizzle at the university's foyer for 2 days last week and Sign Studio was fortunate to give the students a 10% discount for the shirts that the students had designed themselves. 

Three other computer science lecturers were the judges of the competition, Tusipepa Malaga Tauave, Ainuu Fo'ilagi Maua-Faamau and Vensel Chan. 

Lagaseu acknowledged all the sponsors who helped in providing the prizes for the competition; SkyEye, CompTechXtra, SITA, Niu Pharmacy, Prof Muagututi’a Ioana ChanMow, Pacific Yummy Foods, Sunful Investment and Super Star Co Ltd. 

She also acknowledged Rev Danny Epati, Rev Latu Kioa and Ateca Silatolu for sponsoring the sausage sizzle fundraising together with the Faculty of Science, NUS students and staff for the support in making the competition possible. 

Lagaseu hopes that the competition will be an eye-opener for other students to take up programming as there are numerous jobs out there in the industries who are needing programmers. 


1.       Free Drone Training worth of $500  (SkyEye), $50voucher(Niu Pharmacy), Phillips Speaker & headset (Comptech), 200 cash prize (SITA)-  Dean Cairns Valasi

2.       Free Drone Training  worth of $500 (SkyEye), $50voucher(Niu Pharmacy), Phillips Speaker & headset,  (Comptech), (Cash $100 (SITA)- Arorae Sean Uelese Petaia

3.       Speaker & headphone (Comptech) (Cash $100) Ainsley Alatise

4.       Speaker  (Comptech) (Cash $50) Salu Epati

5.       Speaker  (Comptech)(Cash $50) Summyrossie Nonoa

 $40- Cash prize for all the other 15 participants

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