Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Invitation by eGenting Sdn Bhd

Free meal – breakfast, tea, lunch and dinner
Free accommodation
Who wouldn’t want to go?

On Saturday, 15 December 2007, I was invited by e-Genting Sdn Bhd to attend the Public Lecture and Presentation Night for the eGenting Programming Competition 2007.

The Public Lecture was conducted by Mr Jonathan Searcy, Senior Vice President, R&D (Systems), eGenting Sdn Bhd. He presented the solution to the competition problems. There were altogether 4 programming questions in the competition. Only candidates who return a credible response to at least one competition question will be eligible for the prizes. To find out more about the competition, you can click this link - eGenting. It includes the questions and sample answers to the competition.

Mr Searcy presented the solution for the most difficult question first, which was the 4th question on Air Pollution Monitor, involving image processing. For each question, he started with the dataflow, and then showed the code in either C++ or Java. Hmm…I can probably adopt some of his styles in my lecture as well.

He commented that the 3rd question on Merge and Sort was actually the easiest but surprisingly most student struggled in that question. The second question on The Bankcard Kid was attempted by most students. Overall, the programming standards have improved. More students provided credible answers.

To me, the questions were designed well but not easy. It is an open book competition, and students have to complete the questions on the competition day. The questions were very much relevant to the needs of the industry, and attempting the questions will help students to prepare for the real world. Even though I didn’t really understand much throughout the lectures (because I didn’t have the question), I have learned much about the competition and also the programming needs of the industry. It has prompted me to review my teaching style and look into specific areas of application.

Actually, without my knowledge, 4 of my students registered for the competition but none of them attended on the actual day. One of them couldn’t make it, and so the rest decided not to go as well. The competition was held on 22 September 2007. Hopefully, I can encourage more students to participate next year. I don’t mind going there again for free meals and accommodation. Hee! Hee! Hee!

I found out from the organizer that they got my contact from my ex-colleague. My students didn’t give them my contact. Initially, I asked for a special rate for the accommodation since I didn’t want to travel back late at night after the dinner. Surprisingly, the organizer said that eGenting can arrange for a complimentary room night stay – a deluxe room with 2 beds at the First World Hotel. Cool! Next, I told the organizer that Seng Chor would be coming along. They even invited him for dinner, and included complimentary breakfast for the next day. Super cool! Dinner was at the Genting Palace Restaurant, Genting Hotel. It was the normal Chinese sit-down dinner – just like a wedding dinner. What I enjoyed most was the shark’s fin soup and dessert.

We decided to take a break as a couple, and so we didn’t take Jordan along. Anyway, we will be going there again as a family this Friday. Seng Chor’s pilot instructor from Singapore will be coming over to visit us, and they have invited us to Genting. We will leave after dinner on Friday, and return the next day.

Scenes from Genting:

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