TAR UC aces app challenge

TUNKU Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) recently dominated an entire category at a competition that drew over 50 participants from 10 Malaysian higher education institutions.

Its information technology (IT) students – Chong Yong Xuan, Chai Qing Hao and Neo Yin, all of whom specialise in software systems development – were named gold, silver and bronze medallists in the Mobile Application Development category at the inaugural WorldSkills Malaysia University Challenge (WSMUC) 2021.

Comprising four categories, the competition held from Oct 27 to 29 also saw another IT student from TAR UC – Choo Chi Siang, who specialises in information security – pick up a bronze medal in the Cybersecurity category.

In the Mobile Application Development category, participants were required to develop two apps: the first for Covid-19 patients to record their health conditions during the 14-day self-quarantine period; the second for healthcare workers to monitor and keep track of their patients during the same period.

Describing his experience taking part in the competition as exciting, Yong Xuan said the achievement would help him secure an internship.

“I am glad my strategy worked, although the time limit was a big challenge for me.

“As I was afraid of not completing the task on time, my strategy was to draw up a mind map detailing the workflow to develop the apps as soon as I received the requirements,” he shared in a press release dated Nov 17.

Qing Hao expressed gratitude to his lecturers for encouraging him to take part in the competition.

“I have gained invaluable experience, especially in developing apps that are relevant and useful,” he said.

Neo Yin ascribed his win to the quality of his degree programme.

“It’s a testament to the fact that what I am learning in my degree programme is of industry standard,” he said.

According to Chi Siang, the Cybersecurity category was a Capture-the-Flag event in which participants were required to find a specifically formatted string, known as a flag, which was intentionally hidden on a webpage.

“It was a challenging competition as we had to reverse-engineer a binary programme to detect the flag. I had to do a lot of research during the competition to help me solve the questions. “I am glad that my extensive preparations, as well as guidance from my lecturers and seniors, were helpful,” he said.

Jointly organised by the Department of Skills Development (JPK) and Universiti Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia France Institute, the WSMUC 2021 was aimed at exposing competitors to future skills relevant to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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