The future is bright for Australian coding

The Lockheed Martin Code Quest programming competition pits coding teams of two to three students aged 15 to 18 against each other, each racing to complete a series of ever-more challenging problems over two and a half hours.

This month, 15 teams battled it out at Lockheed Martin Australia’s state of the art Endeavour Centre in Canberra, with schools travelling from as far as Brisbane, Melbourne and Newcastle to compete.

The winning team – Michael Malek and Joseph Tey – came from Haileybury College School in Melbourne.

Malek is also captain of SHINE  – the Swinburne-Hailebury International Space Station Experiment – that currently has an experiment in orbit right now. It was launched in May after a collaboration with Professor Alan Duffy, of Swinburne University, Lead Scientist at the Royal Institution of Australia.

They said they found the problems “intense” but had a great time, especially the careers insights they got from speaking to a wide range of Lockheed Martin Australia employees.

“The problems that we were given to solve spanned from the relatively simple to the quite complex,” Malek said.

“The difficulties we faced with some of the later problems, while at times frustrating, were also the highlight of the experience.

“We also had the opportunity to test out Lockheed Martin’s VR flight simulator after the competition which was great fun.”

Code Quest is a global event now in its seventh year. It’s an exciting vote of confidence in Australian coding skills that Lockheed Martin have chosen to bring this unique competition to our shores now.

“The possibilities of an exciting competition as well as the window it opens to studies and careers is as inspirational for the students who have made the journey as it is for the volunteers who are delighted to make it possible,” said Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Vince Di Pietro. “Advancing STEM and encouraging as many students to tackle it as possible is critical for Australia’s future.”

“As we enter a new wave of technology, which requires an understanding of the languages behind the technology we use, it is vital that more students are given access to such opportunities,” said team coach, Dr Kyi Muller, Head of Science at Haileybury.

The experience has strengthened the boys’ passion for programming and Michael Malek said he’d encourage anyone interested in coding to give it a try, and to enter Code Quest in 2019.

“Learning to code can seem like a daunting task, but once you get going and concepts start clicking into place it can really be a rewarding skill.”

To register for the 2019 competition, details can be found on the Lockheed Martin website.

Nail biting problem solving – teams complete tasks at the lockheed martin code quest competition.
Nail biting problem solving – teams complete tasks at the Lockheed Martin Code Quest competition.
Lockheed Martin

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