A team of five students from INTI International College Penang (INTI) were named as winners of Code-a-Thon, a learning-intensive hackathon organised by Code for Asia Singapore. The regional event was held among students from secondary schools, colleges and universities, as well as experienced coders from across the ASEAN region, including Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

 

Code-a-Thon provided a platform for students, amateur and experienced coders, designers and business folk alike to come together to develop app prototypes. The theme for 2017 was “Technopreneurship for Gender Equality in 2017”.

With the guidance of Dr. Lim Chia Yean, INTI’s Head of Programme for Computer Science & Computing degree programmes in collaboration with Coventry University, UK, the students began their journey at the regional level last year, competing against fellow participants in Penang. Having emerged as champions at the regional competition, they went on to participate in the finals and to their surprise and pleasure won the Most Socially Impactful Award under the University category with a cash prize of SGD500.00.

Ang Wen Kai and Chang Wei Wen, who are pursuing the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computing programme, joined efforts with Hong Jing Yeung, Jessica Lim Ji Sun, and Mervyn Ong Xing Han from the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Science programme to develop their award winning application using the MIT app inventor.

 

Named “The FriendZone,” the app is a virtual game that brings two players together anonymously to complete a challenge by working together and complementing each other’s skills. Both players will not be given any indication about who the other person is, and only upon successful completion of the challenge together will their individual profiles be revealed to show their partner’s photo, username, and gender. The aim of the virtual game is to emphasise that gender does not determine success but rather the willingness to work together and leverage each other’s strengths is what leads to victory. Besides creating an app, the students were also required to successfully pitch the idea behind the app, present their case study, and create a viable business plan to market and commercialise the app.

Lim, in expressing her pride in the students said, “We are very proud of our students, who have demonstrated the skills and capabilities young people have in addressing social issues through the use of technology. To have them win at this global level is nothing short of amazing. More importantly, these students gained an invaluable experience in learning to work together and to put into practise what they have learned in their classrooms. This opportunity to connect theory to real life challenges provided them with insights into the expectations of the workplace.”

Hemalatha Murugiah, Chief Executive of INTI’s Penang campus shared, “This achievement is a testament of the value of innovating education to meet the needs of industry. Encouraging our students to participate in such competitions not only enables them to build their confidence and competencies, but helps them become career-ready by learning how theories can be turned into real life solutions. We are very proud of how they have been able to successfully address 21st century challenges through the use of technological platforms – both of which are vital skills for graduates entering into today’s workplace.”

The winning team attended the Code-a-Thon closing summit and prize-giving ceremony at Google’s Asia Pacific Headquarters in Singapore, where they also got the chance to join the Google Makerspace workshop and to work on the Google AIY project, a do-it-yourself artificial intelligence project for app-makers.

The award-winning game app can be viewed at the following link: https://devpost.com/software/the-friendzone