Entries are open for the annual programming Olympiad, which is expected to be more popular than ever this year.
The programming Olympiad usually attracts more than 4 000 entries from around 200 schools, but more are expected this year as a result of the attention which is given to the importance of coding in schools and in the media.
Even though coding is only in the syllabus from Grade 10, and then only for learners who take IT, many learners code in primary school. Some teach themselves at home and others pick it up from friends.
The national programming Olympiad is open to learners from Grades 7 to 12.
Michael Cameron from the Computer Olympiad Trust explains: “Everybody who plays computer games knows that you advance from one level to the next by starting at a level you can manage. The more you play, the better your skills.
“Well, here is an opportunity to put your coding skills to the test. There are three levels. The entry level test has to be run at your school for a maximum of one hour at any time in the week from 1 to 5 August. The first problem of the First Round will be easy to solve; the last problem not so easy, but all the First Round problems can be solved using Scratch.
“All that is needed is to be able to work out how to solve a logic problem, to code your solution and to run it on a computer.
Learners may use any computer language such as Scratch, Delphi, Java or Python. Answers are then submitted online to the judges, and if they score above average, their school will be sent their certificate: Bronze, Silver or Gold.”
More information is available on www.olympiad.org.za . Teachers can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for entry forms.