How we managed to Keep IT Simple when organizing Infoliceanul contest in pandemic times: challenges – solutions – perspectives


We might say that a year of remote working has taught us all we need to know about online collaboration, online teams, online work, online everything. Well, it has indeed, but … what if we bring third parties, like schools and students, in the picture?

The trigger: We don’t say NO to challenges
Our contest Infoliceanul has been running for over 20 years. We already skipped last year, we just couldn’t do it again this year. So here we are confronting the challenge. After all, we are software creators and solution finders, we don’t say NO to challenges. So, let us share our experience.

First of all, we told ourselves what we always say: Keep IT Simple and …off we go. The decision once made together with our partner schools – Avram Iancu Technological High School and Samuel von Brukenthal National High School in Sibiu, we made up the team, distributed tasks, contacted distributors, disseminated the event, made registrations, prepared the give-aways and awards and many more. And here we are, after two weeks, at the end of another successful edition of Infoliceanul contest, writing about the new experience in a long-running event.

All or nothing: no contest section was left aside
Following the approach all or nothing, we decided to go for all the sections of the contest and adapted to their specifics. Participants in the PowerPoint section prepared their presentations beforehand and presented them in an online zoom session. We were impressed with students’ projection on a community they would like to live in. They expressed themselves about their immediate interests: school, fun, environment, health.

In the Software Creativity section, we got true inspiration from students’ ingenious applications developed around their own areas of interest. The apps were so good that we couldn’t decide for one first place so we had two first places. Now seriously… what would you choose from a chess engine and SCARA Robot, both build with technologies like C++, Kotlin în CLion, InteliJ Ultimate, Android, Linux, Windows, Kotlin, Jetpack Compose, C++20, Multithreading. And we are talking about 9th to 12th grade students here. We just can’t wait to see what else these guys can develop.
A great advantage of an online organization was that it favored the participation of students in counties like Dolj or Valcea. We were happy to have them and see the extent of Romanian high school students’ interest in IT and software development.

AutoCAD and Programming sections were organized offline, students meeting in their classrooms. It was all carried out with careful attention to sanitary guidelines. The Programming section gathered together around 40 students from specialized high schools in Sibiu and Ramnicu Valcea. It is understood that, as software creators, we are overwhelmed by this contest section in particular. After acting with diligence to ensure comfort, safe environment and quality for both the participants, organizers and partners, we are pretty happy with the results.

Here is a link if you are curious to find out what Infoliceanul contest sections are about.

As any event that brings the joy of giving back to our community, Infoliceanul got its extension in the Robotics workshop, at its second edition. Robotics is of major interest among young students so why not let them express themselves on their own turf. With all ten seats taken, students’ work was amazing once again and the experience in itself was a major gain, based on their own words and observation in situ. 😊

Ropardo Team
// Marius, Ropardo crew member
Electronics and IoT are some of my hobbies. In the Robotics workshop, I test, prepare the kits, make sure they are functional and offer support to students when they need it. The objective of the Workshop is to raise students’ interest on these specializations, and robotics is interesting because it combines both programming and electronics.

As much as we love our share of fun time, we chose to skip the traditional celebration session and delivered awards and prizes to winners.

All in all, it was a new experience for us and strengthen our belief that the young generation is resourceful beyond limit with a great capacity to adaptation.

Stick to values: PeopleGoFirst
Last but not least, these lines are about and for the team with acknowledgement and gratitude. Team is always how we can Keep IT Simple. So, credits go to Geo, Marius, Razvan, Alina, Ana, Gabriela, Oana. This year, we also had Alex in the team. Alex is our volunteer and he is a PhD student at “Lucian Blaga” University, our long-term partner in development through education. His contribution was valuable and insightful. Also from ULBS was present and contributed Prof. Dr. Dana Simian who gave a valuable hand in the Software Creativity section.

// Alex, volunteer crew member
It was a unique experience for me to be one of the crew members responsible with creating the contest subjects and not a competitor. Our responsibility was not to put time pressure on the students, but rather to ensure the subjects were approachable and solvable in the given time. During the competition, I noticed that the students used various and interesting ways of managing time and solving the subjects. The atmosphere during the competition reminded me of the times when I myself was participating in similar competitions, of the emotions and uncertainty I felt until the results were displayed.

A key role in Infoliceanul is that of the 13 high school teachers in Sibiu and Medias with various roles in coordinating students, organizing the contest or evaluating students works. Kudoz to them.

Perspectives: Join forces with us
This is the Infoliceanul ecosystem, and we are proud of it. If you want to be part of it next year, as a student, volunteer or teacher, we are at an email away infoliceanul [at] infoliceanul [dot] ro.

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