The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory is. Such was the case for FEU Alabang’s programming university team, Paragons, when they won as Champions in the recent Young Software Engineers’ Coding Competition.
According to FEU Alabang’s ACM Student Chapter adviser and Paragons coach Ms. Resty F. Aldana, the team was invited by the Young Software Engineers’ Society (YSES) to join the competition last May 10-14.
“The coding competition was part of YSES’ week-long celebration of their organization. We decided to join because we want to further expose our Paragons to actual competitions,” Ms. Resty shared. “Also, this is a way to test and see their capabilities against other competitors because our ultimate goal is to qualify for national programming competitions.”
Seeing this moment as a stepping stone towards their goal, the Computer Studies professor immediately tapped three brilliant third year students to represent FEU Alabang. Among the selected students were Isaiah Thomas A. Galay (BSIT-WMA), Jens Gabriel T. Jovellano (BSCS-SE), and Cedric James S. Lora (BSIT-AGD).
“Actually, it was very sudden. We were just informed that we’re going to compete a day before so we were a little bit shocked,” Cedric recalled. “But all in all, everything’s good because despite the short notice, we were kind of ready to compete --- thanks to our regular programming practice every sem.”
Cedric added that in his two years of being a Paragon member and competing in various competitions, this was the first time they won as Champions. “I’m very happy na sa sobrang saya ko, tumatalon talon na ako sa bahay kasi first time kong manalo sa programming competition.”
His teammates Isaiah and Jens also felt ecstatic when they had a little intuition that they’re about to bring home the bacon.
“YSES has a discord server and we can see the leaderboard there. I was looking at our score vis-a-vis the scores of our opponents.So finally, when they made it official that our team won, we were so ecstatic!” Jens shared.
Isaiah even disclosed that they were far from winning during the first few days of the competition.
“It was during the latter part that we gained a score because no other team was able to answer the final difficult problem except us. So, when we saw our score on the last day of the competition, we felt that this victory was already ‘in the bag’. We just needed to maintain our ranking and that’s why we became more competitive.”
Paragons before and after winning the competition
Victory doesn’t always come easy and a team wouldn’t be successful without exerting a plentiful amount of hard work. This is why the Paragons members made sure to assess every question and consult with their coach on how they can improve their performance.