The Ottumwa Courier

September 30, 2013

IHCC Software Development students competing in Byte Jam

By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Several Indian Hills Community College students will be putting their web applications development skills on display for any and all to see in October.

The first Byte Jam competition will be hitting the college campus from Oct. 7-10 in the Advanced Technology Center. It will showcase the work of more than 70 students, broken into 10 teams, who are currently pursuing their degrees in software development. Programming classes for the three days will be put on hold, but each student will get credit based on the different aspects of the project.

The competition will call for students to use their know-how in software design, coding, quality assurance, project management and written and verbal communication. Several of the students will be getting their first crack at performing these tasks, so the contest is about more than just winning.

“The students are getting a lot out of it,” said Susan Wilson, computer software development instructor at Indian Hills. “A lot of our students don’t have coding experience yet … so the students are getting some really great skills.”

It is also a great time for students to interact with each other to come up with ideas about how to reach their goals.

“We put some of the upper-term students in charge of each team,” Wilson said. “It gives the younger students a chance to meet the upper-term students.”

Each team will develop an application during the three-day event that demonstrates the role of a software developer in a business setting. They will only be allowed to work on the coding aspect of the project from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, but research and communication can be done at any time.

At the end of the three days, each team will give a 10-minute presentation to a panel of judges that explains the application. The top two teams will receive a prize, and the public is welcome to attend any of the three days in which the teams will be developing their applications or the presentations.

After the event, the teams will schedule stops to each of the high schools in the college’s 10-county area. At each stop, the teams will explain their applications and answer questions about college in general, internship opportunities, job placement percentages and starting salaries for software developers. The Indian Hills Computer Programming Club will also be there to share information about the club and scholarships available to incoming students.

Those interested in the event can also find follow it on Twitter @IHCCByteJam before or during the three days or presentation. A screen will be available during the presentations that will show all of the Twitter conversation about the event.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh