Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coding with conviction

Team Dino, from left to right: Royson Lee, Kok Kiat Han, Koh Kai Wei
By Kenneth Lee Bozheng, Year 3, Engineering Infomatics
SIT student teams rejoiced when they won the Code::XtremeApps:: Competition 2011, securing the first prize in the Open Category and National Infocomm Category.  This annual competition is organised by the IT Standards Committee held in conjunction with the National Infocomm Competition.

Open Category Winners Koh Kai Wei, Kok Kiat Han, and Lee De Sheng Royson competed against more experienced industry professionals and emerged as champs. We interview team leader Kai Wei to find out how he and his team did it.
Congratulations Kai Wei! You have just won the Code Xtreme Apps 2011 Competition, Open Category. How do you feel about your win?

Kai Wei:
Enthralled, Exhilarated and Euphoric! It was a delightful feeling to go through the rigours of that competition and to have competed with so many industry professionals during this competition. I felt our win was a very close one as we trudged through the 24 hour competition with all our speed and might in coding – and to do all these while fighting the effects of fatigue. The feeling was extremely rewarding
The final presentation! Not Easy.
Your winning team consists of yourself, Kok Kiat Han and Royson Lee. How did you guys form this team?
Kai Wei: We were close friends from the start of polytechnic life. Being in the same course, it made it easier to discuss our work. Also, the prizes seemed pretty attractive so we came together and decided to do our best for this competition!
Everyone wants to know what the winning team has designed! Can you explain what your application does?
Kai Wei: It’s a two-part application that provides communication, business analytics, and improves personalized transportation using mobile and web applications. It consists of:
Mobile User App
Allow flagging/booking of taxi directly from the mobile phone
Taxi-pooling services to cut cost for passengers
Sharing of traffic incidents with friends online

Taxi Driver
Easy navigation towards potential passengers
Detection of traffic jams/accidents
Routing of taxi to unfamiliar locations
Visually show the flagging statistics using Heat-Map

Why did you choose to design this application?
Kai Wei: When we first joined the competition, we were told that the theme was Personalized Transportation. Being students, we didn’t have cars therefore the topic was very easily brainstormed as we took public transportation everyday and always encountered problems.
We identified various issues with taxis and realized that there was a lot that can be done to improve the system, thus we decided to settle on the idea of Flag-XI J
I understand you did this competition on top of your busy academic curriculum. Can you elaborate on some of the challenges you faced in this competition, and how you overcame them?

Kai Wei:
Sleepless nights, rushed projects and tests that were stacked one after another. These were some of the issues we had with when trying to balance our research time for Code Xtreme and school work. Also, it was our first time working on a mobile platform, which made it all the more challenging and thus we had to practice writing code so that we did not waste time struggling with basic problems during the competition.
What are you going to do with your prize money?

Kai Wei:
Throw a party, Upgrade my PC and the rest to investment. Make more money out of what I can get, hehe!
Any shout outs?

Kai Wei:
To my comrades, it was great working with y’all! To Mr Benedict The, thanks for helping us with our research and brainstorming! To Jared Sim, thanks for some of the ideas you put forth!

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