IT IS about staying ahead of the competition, and primary and secondary schoolchildren showed that during the finale of the DC (Digital Campus) WeCode International Competition finals last Saturday.
The second edition of the tournament saw 167 students from 40 primary and secondary schools from Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines coding programmes and games with the aim of creating awareness on the theme of “Cyber Security” at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Prior to the finals, 2,359 students put their coding skills to the test in their respective home countries on Nov 23, in order to qualify for the finals.
Philipe Miguel, 17, who represented Claret School in the Philippines, started coding three months ago after watching a documentary on Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“I saw his (Zuckerberg) passion and how it changed the world and I wanted to do it too,” said Philipe.
“I coded a game where the player controls the antivirus, that is a spaceship and is supposed to shoot down viruses like trojans and boots.”
Zhen Ru, 12, from Tenby International School, managed to finish her programme within the stipulated one hour despite her laggy laptop.
“I actually didn’t want to come, but my mother asked me to come to gain experience, and I enjoyed it,” said Zhen Ru.
She added that her programme would ask the user 12 “yes” or “no” questions and they would have to answer all of them.
Nine-year-old Phuong Linh from Vinschool in Vietnam learned about coding only two weeks ago but admitted she was able to create a game with two levels.
“The first level is to protect the computer network from being attacked by virus while the second is to prevent bad emails from being sent out,” she said.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who officiated at the closing ceremony, said youths needed to immerse themselves in Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) education.
“It is our aim for youths to get early exposure to ‘all things digital’ as they cope with the skill sets required of the 21st century workforce,” said Chew.
She hoped there would be more corporate and private initiatives bringing in the latest digital knowledge such as coding, robotics, digital art and animation to youths.
Youth on Unity chairman Mohd Nazifuddin Mohd Najib and Eduspec Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Lim Een Hong were also present at the event.