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Web Development Contest

Winner-Datasur-Web-Development-Contest

We had the honor of hosting the 2nd National Web Development Challenge, last Thursday. This years Challenge was held in collaboration with ZWINQ Tech and Ineffable N.V. Ten contestants were selected to join the challenge and four amazing young & talented Developers presented the Web App that they’ve build within two weeks time.
After the Developers their demo, the judges deliberated and selected this years Top 3 Web Developers.

The Top 3 are:
1. Shawn Stolting
2. Shaniel Samadhan
3. Nicolaj Rodiwongso

The Top 3 received amazing prices, one of them being a one year contract as part-timer at Datasur.

We are committed to serving the Surinamese youth within the ICT branch, in order to guarantee sustainable growth of and in Suriname.

 

Participants' Experience

Shawn Stolting; 1st place winner

1. What was your experience during the challenge?

For me it was fun, interesting and challenging, because I didn’t know what to expect from the other participants in their project. Then a questionable feeling arose if mine was good enough or not. At the end I found out that you do need perseverance otherwise you can cancel easily, because you do feel a certain pressure and don’t have much time. Of course I didn’t cancel, but I certainly felt the pressure.

2. What have you learned?

I’ve learned that there are so many APIs to work with.

I also learned that you don’t always have to invent everything. Sometimes you just have to take the time to go through documentation because almost everything you think about has already been thought about and invented by someone else.

3. Briefly tell us about the Web App you built? What is it? What is it for and why should someone use it?

The website I built is called “Bus Route Tracker”. Through this website you can follow/see all bus routes of Suriname. This is useful because you can immediately determine where you want to go, where you can go and where you are because there is also an option to display your current location by means of a. a marker. Your location is constantly updated, so you always know exactly where you are. There is also the choice to choose two points on the map where an automatic route is determined for you. It also tells you how long it will take and what you should do at each intersection (eg Turn right on to Bindastraat.) This is a handy option to have if you need to move between two bus routes.

My next steps will be:

Order and further configure GPS devices to work together with the website by means of an API. Once invented, it can be placed in any bus, giving the user more control over moving to the next action. For example: because the user knows exactly where the bus is, they can further determine if they still have time to relax or if they should leave home immediately so that they do not miss the bus.
build a ticket system so that you can order tickets online and so that you can immediately see if there is still room or not on the bus.

4. What would you say to other Developers who will participate in the next Web Development Challenge of 2022?

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained”

So many developers had canceled. Do not do that! Continue to the finish line because you gain knowledge and it helps your knowledge capacity to grow.

Try to keep going to the end and you will be rewarded. Everyone wants a reward, but you don’t always have to win to be a winner. Knowledge is power and with that you can achieve success.

What should the organization do differently or better next time?

An interim meeting with the developer to see how far they are and if they need help with anything.

By doing this, you reduce the chance that they will cancel or have nothing to present at the end.

Shaniel Samadhan: 2nd place

What was your experience during the challenge?
I had a very nice experience during the challenge. I had felt all that rush I felt to develop my idea as quickly as possible after a long time. The instructions were clear to me as it was about the same as last year. I was shocked that only 4 people out of 10 were able to present their project. Expected better.

What have you learned?
I didn’t really learn anything new because I used my existing programming knowledge to build that website. What I have improved is my planning skills. For a web development challenge where you don’t have much time, you need to plan quickly. And I have improved that with me anyway.

Briefly tell us about the Web App you built? What is it? What is it for and why should someone use it?
I looked for ways that Suriname can use to get out of this pandemic. One of those avenues was vaccinations. When I went to look at the statistics, it turned out that only 39% of the total population was vaccinated. To ensure that more people would get vaccinated, I came up with the idea to build Vaxxport.

Vaxxport is a website where you can see your vaccinations. It generates a QR code for you that other people can scan to see if you have been vaccinated or how many vaccinations you have taken. It is literally a vaccination passport in a digital form. This website can be used anywhere eg restaurants, markets, hotels etc. If they scan your code and it turns out you are not vaccinated then you should be denied access or maybe limited access.

What would you say to other Developers who will participate in the next Web Development Challenge of 2022?
It’s not difficult, don’t think you have to be skilled to participate in something like that. The organization does give workshops that guide you with the technical part. It’s a fun experience to participate in.

What should the organization do differently or better next time?

Different themes per year. And stick to 2 or 3 themes. Organizing hackathons instead of web development challenges. These will be 1-day physical hackathons where you will participate as an individual or as a team. These are much nicer. Bigger cash prizes. That way you get more people interested in participating. Abolish documentation and video demo. Usually the participants don’t have enough time to make those things. And to be honest it makes the whole challenge a bit boring. Nobody likes documentation and the video demo is not necessary because we already do that during the presentation.