The Game is on! – Innovation Challenge 2022 gets underway

With just mere hours away before the winner of the Innovation Challenge 2022 is announced, several teams are working tirelessly coding to present their original, yet innovative ideas.

However, this nerve-racking competition has left quite an impression on Jezelle Duke, a member of Team Tech Benders. “I love it, I love the thrill of it and I love the challenge, you know. I like the possibility of allowing myself to be as creative as possible. But it is mostly the challenge, I love, you know to go head-to-head against all of these brilliant minds and it is a great experience, so this is my second time participating,” she told DPI.

Jezelle Duke, a member of Team Tech Benders

Her desire to partake in this kind of competition took root after some intense conversations with her brother, who is also a coder. “Being somebody who admires technology as it is, and wants to be a part of what is to come, I decided to be a part of it as well,” Duke added.

Duke and her brother are  part of the same team.

As the leader of the Team Tech Benders, Satesh Persaud is excited to see new people and hopefully snatch first place to show off his bragging rights.

Jezelle Duke, a member of Team Tech Benders

“This is my fourth time here and so every time I came here, I have had a really good time and we have met some great people and I am coming here for the fun again to meet the people and maybe win.”  

He added that this competition has opened countless opportunities to the country’s programmers for which he is grateful.

“I think that this is one of the best things that government is doing as it is one of the only events that bring together programmers countrywide to meet, network and gain knowledge from each other, especially on how the industry works,” Persaud said.

Like Persaud, Soemari Williams, a member of Team Frame Perfect is quite excited.  “This year’s competition is unlike any other hackathon that I have been a part of as this year they (organisers) did not stop at a high-level sort of problem but they give us a theme. This allows us to express our innovation or creative muscles so what we create is our own and it is really exciting to show people what you are capable of,” he told DPI.

Shomari Williams, member of Team Frame Perfect making final touches to his presentation

While his chances of winning are relatively high, Williams said the competition would allow his team the opportunity to attain bragging rights against his well-achieved competitors.

To this end, he is encouraging other interested parties to join this competition as it is not only for the experienced programmers but those at different levels.

“The hackathon for me is not only about creating solutions, but it is more of you getting the experience of what it feels like being a competitive programmer. So even if you do not think that you have the ability to, once you can type code, express an idea and defend your idea then the hackathon is definitely what you should be a part of,” Williams added.

Mohamed Khan, a member of Team Dev X hard at work

Mohamed Khan, a member of Team Dev X agreed that this year’s competition is quite different, but it will not reduce his team’s chances as they have created something complex.

“We haven’t slept since the hackathon has begun but our nerves are pretty high. We are hoping to get at least 85 percent of the work finished by Saturday night and looking forward for testing tomorrow.”

For now, sleep is in short supply, said Khan , as he believes that this hard work will pay off on Sunday.

Programmer completing his presentation

This year’s competition is being made possible through a partnership between the Office of the Prime Minister’s Industry and Innovation Unit and GTT.

The three-day competition is being held under the theme, “Transitioning through Innovation”. It allows programmers the opportunity to create technology solutions that can address socio-economic challenges in Guyana.  It commenced on March 25 and set to be conclude on March 27.


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