By: Maha Manzoor
ISLAMABAD: Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors – Air University Chapter organized the first-ever coding jam “CodeAir 1.0” at Air University, Islamabad. The primary focus of this event was to allow students, coming from both technical and non-technical backgrounds, to engage in the latest technological trends and mutually enhance the culture of competitive programming in the university.
Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors – Air University is a campus-wise chapter, integrated with Pakistan’s city-wise chapter Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors – Islamabad, that focuses on empowering fellow students by helping them explore numerous technological skills through Microsoft technologies such as Azure, Power Platform, Visual Studio, and more. For the past year, the chapter has accelerated over 1000+ students within and beyond their campus through different workshops, coding boot camps, and training sessions.
CodeAir presented itself as a one-of-a-kind tech-focused major event in Air University which was held on May 19th, 2022, and had over 60+ teams. The event was sponsored by 10Pearls Pakistan and Subway and was also heavily supported by partners such as MLSA Islamabad, The DaySpring, Hack Club, and Air Media Club.
The competition came under two categories that are the Alpha category designed for the students who come under junior years of 1st and 2nd year and the Beta category for the students who come under the senior years of 3rd and 4th year. The event started at 10:00 AM (GMT +5) and around 150+ students participated and were promptly guided by the MLSA Air team regarding the respective rules and regulations of the competition. Both Alpha and Beta categories consisted of three levels that each of the teams had to complete to further advance.
The performance of each team in the respective levels and categories was judged by Mr. Danish Ali from 10Pearls Pakistan, Mr.Shahreyar Ehsan, Business Consultant at Aurea and Co-founder of MLSA Islamabad, and Mr. Mian Muhammad Usman from the Faculty of Computing Science Air University Islamabad. The judges also played a valuable role as mentors for the participants. However, regardless of the efficient supervision of the judges, it was rather a tough decision to decide the winners as the codes presented by participants were very efficient and every team was highly competitive.
The winners for both categories were finalized where the difference was only of a single point. The winner for the Alpha category was team ‘The Poss’ whereas for the Beta category team ‘The Void‘ won the title of being the CodeAir Champs. A cash prize of Rs. 15,000/- was given to Alpha Champs and Rs. 20,000/- was given to the Beta Champs.
Along with that, the winning teams also received LinkedIn Premium Vouchers and e-certificates. Whereas, all the participating teams were given swags by Hack Club.
Upon seeing the impact of CodeAir, Shahreyar Ehsan, stated the following:
“Highly impressed by the coding proficiency of the students of Air University as well as the complexity of questions and the layout of the competition. The future MLSA CodeAir can be scaled to include startups and companies across Pakistan to hire the top coders of the competition and get them industry placements. The competition is a paramount example of how communities like MLSA Air and MLSA Islamabad can benefit students across Pakistan.”
Moreover, officials from 10Pearls Pakistan shared the impact of how 10Pearls is supporting young talents and promoting skilled people. Mr. Ali Jafry from 10Pearls gave a keynote on the initiatives taken by 10Pearls to nourish and polish the talents of undergraduate students before they could enter the professional world. In addition, the Vice-Chancellor of Air University, Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed also appreciated the efforts of Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors – Air University and presented the souvenirs to all guests and prizes to all winners.
Alisha Naqvi, Manager & Community Lead at MLSA Air University, added: “CodeAir, being the brainchild of tech-focused competitions and hackathons in our respective campus, required around 5-6 months of intense planning and preparation. As our team noticed how such coding jams were such a rarity in the academia, it made us come up with the concept of CodeAir and ended up leaving a major impact on not just the students but also on our academia and the corporate level stakeholders which were involved in the support of this event. However, this event would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of the MLSA Air team and my fellow co-leads who went through immense struggle into making the vision of CodeAir a reality.”
Seeing the overall impact of the MLSA Air University chapter, Usman Aslam, Gold MLSA & Founding Manager of MLSA Islamabad further added:
“The hard work and dedication that the team at MLSA Air University has shown how much people can create paradigm shifts in the technology and the startup ecosystem. This is primarily due to the paramount support that the Program Managers at Microsoft and the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program have shown over the years and not to mention the vibrant community ecosystem that MLSA Islamabad has created in the Pakistan region. The aim is to truly bring such valuable talent into the program and enable them to get upskilled through the benefits that Microsoft provides.”
All in all, the impact of such competitions clearly shows how such coding jams and hackathons are necessary to foster new products and opportunities locally and globally.