Programing team competes in UCF tournament

Their mission extends further than you think

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Sophomore Aidan Priore fist bumps his teammate after a successful day coding. He and his team would win the honesty in scoring award at the UCF tournament.

Four hours of typing on a computer, frantically solving complex coding problem after complex coding problem, all for a trophy that is really just a balloon. While this may sound like a fever dream to most, for the Programming Club, it was the March 7 programming tournament at UCF, an event that saw two of Hagerty’s teams place top 15 in the 80 person bracket.

Club Sponsor Laura Ramsey sums up the club as “both a competitive and casual group for anyone who is interested in programming.” 

Club members tasted the competitive side of the programming team this past Monday. After teams are organized on a school level, they are placed in different practice rounds, the equivalent of an athletic warm up for the fast typing fingers that win tournaments. Finally, the teams are let loose to tackle a set of mathematical coding problems that they have four hours to solve. The objective is to solve as many as possible within the time frame. Winners are rewarded with different colored balloons. 

The team placed well at Monday’s tournament, but the group does far more than just competitive events. The club meets every Monday after school in Ramsey’s room. Although the group is involved in fundraisers and tournaments, the majority of time is spent learning about programming. 

“For those who aren’t competitive, they just come here and learn. It’s a safe environment for kids. They can come knowing nothing and learn how to code,” Ramsey said. 

Computer programming is becoming increasingly more prevalent in today’s technology-laden society, which is part of what makes groups centered around computers so important, according to Ramsey. 

Unique to the programming team’s environment is the self-taught nature of the club. Almost all information is taught to students by students, making the group self-sufficient and developing educational tools that will be put to good use in the future. 

“I just like programming, I don’t code myself. They do their own training, they train each other,” Ramsey said.

The group is looking to expand their reach to local elementary schools in an effort to bring younger kids into the programming world. 

“So far we are looking at Galileo, Carillon and Parton Elementary for possible places to introduce the younger generation to coding,” said Ramsey. 

With hopes of generation teaching generation, the Programming Team is just beginning to make their mark on the local community. 

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