‘Cheap fuel’ website cracks code fair


IT student Ashley Ferguson (centre) with Code Fair judges. Photo: Julianne Osborne

IT student Ashley Ferguson (centre) with Code Fair judges. Photo: Julianne Osborne

Taminmin College student Ashley Ferguson had barely finished his final Year 12 exam when he won the IT Code Fair business and innovation challenge at Charles Darwin University.

Ashley, a trainee with global technology company NEC, won the competition after he developed a website allowing motorists to search a destination and find the cheapest fuel en route, while completing a Certificate III in Information Computer Technology.

“Formulating an idea for how people could search for and find the cheapest fuel was an interesting challenge,” he said. “I created this program as a website, and I would like to turn it into an app in future.”

More than 80 VET and higher education students, along with industry and government IT professionals, participated in the fourth annual IT Code Fair at Casuarina campus.

IT senior lecturer Barbara White said the event allowed students to showcase their projects and network with the local IT industry.   

“Code fair has helped foster a partnership between the university, government and local businesses that is only possible in a location like ours,” Ms White said.

“More than 60 per cent of our IT students are international; this event helps them network to find out about employment opportunities.”

Ms White said Ashely, along with Wanchaloem Sriwiset whose redesigned NT Bus Tracker app took out the best user experience award, had been invited to present their work to the NT Department of Corporate Information Services.

Alwyn Jose won the coding competition for his CDU Smart Parking system, which would enable users to find vacant parking spaces via sensors that inform an app, when a driver comes within 2km of their destination.

Other winners included Xavier Thorbjornsen (poster competition), Gimin Baek (digital storytelling competition) and external student Joshua Bauer (networking challenge), who flew from Sydney for the code fair.

Joel Benesha and Augustine Thorbjornsen won best intermediate code for developing a robot. 

Code fair also included the global Hour of Code, which introduces local secondary school students to careers in IT.

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