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Code fair attracts praise from PM

By Leanne Miles

Third Year Software Engineering student Robert Jackson receives his award from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as part of the CDU IT Code Fair Third Year Software Engineering student Robert Jackson receives his award from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as part of the CDU IT Code Fair

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attended Charles Darwin University’s annual IT Code Fair, viewing the latest software and information technology tools created by students, during his recent visit to Darwin.

After presenting several awards, Mr Turnbull addressed the students and staff saying we were living in the most exciting time for Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

“The skills acquired here will benefit you in any line of work you choose after study,” Mr Turnbull said. “Your imagination is the most important thing. Technology creates a canvas on which you can paint your creativity.”

Third Year Software Engineering student Robert Jackson received the 3rd Year Individual Software Award and was runner-up in the Innovation Award for his reactor monitor.

“Every computer has a processor, but it is difficult to find out how hard that processor is working if you are doing very intensive work where you can’t stop, or you are immersed in playing a game,” Robert said.

With nothing on the market addressing the problem, Robert decided to create a purpose-built colourful device that not only looked good, but also provided the user with an easy way to check processor load.

“I call the device a lava lamp with a purpose,” he said. “It sits on the desk next to the computer so you can easily check the load on the processor without stopping what you are doing.”

Other award recipients included Roy Gallet winner of the Innovation Award, and Breanna Kerle winner of the 2nd Year Individual Software Award. The team comprising Tarek Hasan, Roy Gallet and Bidhan Neupane won the undergraduate group award, while the team of Divyathy Banala, Amol Kattel and Jagbir Chaudhary won the postgraduate group award. Best poster went to Beia Capaque.

Information Technology Senior Lecturer Barbara White said the IT Code Fair included four major activities: a software and poster competition, coding workshops for high school students and university staff, and the opportunity for students to meet potential employers.

“Graduating Masters and undergraduate students attended the speed dating event to meet local employers,” Ms White said. “Industry representatives visited displays and talked to students about their creations including a range of apps, web based monitoring tools, mobile prototypes, websites, and games.”

Ms White said that workshops for high schools students also were held as part of the event.

“Four one-hour workshops were run for local high school students in support of the global ‘Hour of Code’ initiative to develop coding literacies,” she said.

The event was a partnership between the university’s IT discipline, the ICT Industry Association of the Northern Territory and the NT Government Department of Corporate and Information Services.