Programming contest targets healthcare

update Singapore annual software development contest, dubbed CodeX, will focus on healthcare applications built on Android and Python, says organizer.

update SINGAPORE--The country will kick off a software programming competition in July, where participants will focus coding efforts on healthcare applications, as well as development platforms Android and Python.

In a media briefing here Thursday, the Information Technology Standards Committee (ITSC) said the third annual contest code::XtremeApps::, or CodeX for short, is the only event of its kind in Singapore that includes a 24-hour programming competition. The ITSC is managed under government body Spring Singapore, which is responsible for establishing industry standards.

This year's contest focuses on the healthcare industry, with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Singapore Anti-tuberculosis Association (Sata) roped in as partners, and participants will be provided scenarios to guide them on the types of healthcare applications they should develop.

Vasuki Utravathy, HPB's manager of Youth Health Programme Development 2, said the healthcare body hopes to use the competition to "disseminate" health advice and messages to the younger generation. The majority of CodeX participants are typically from polytechnics and universities.

According to the ITSC Chairman Robert Chew, CodeX has seen an increasing number of participants over the past two years, attracting some 70 teams last year, compared to 60 the previous year. The ITSC, which organizes the contest, is also targeting to attract some 80 teams this year when the competition kicks off, Chew said. He added that such initiatives will aid in bolstering Singapore's goal to become an infocomm hub.

Young ones included
This year's competition will expose participants to the Google's Android and Python as the selected development platforms, both of which are open source.

The contest comprises two components: Open category and Junior category, which is targeted at children aged 12 and below. The Open category, scheduled to take place over 24 hours, does not have any age restrictions and is open to all participants from schools as well as professionals from the IT industry.

SingTel, the first Asian carrier to offer Android-powered phones, is a sponsor in this year's contest and will evaluate winning applications for commercial deployment.

Asked to provide pointers for contest participants, Harish Pillay, a member of the ITSC, told ZDNet Asia that the judges do not expect the applications to be flawless. Instead, they will be looking for software that have the potential to be further enhanced and developed for industry deployment, and that shows innovation, explained Pillay, who is also an open source evangelist at Red Hat Asia-Pacific.

Judges will assess and shortlist applications that are submitted, he said. Teams that are shortlisted will be called back to provide a presentation of their product, Pillay added.

Those interested in participating in the competition must register by May 25, and training on both Android and Python platforms will be provided by Republic Polytechnic's academic staff in June.

Judging for the Junior category will be conducted on Jul. 3, and the 24-hour Open category competition will take place from Jul. 11 to Jul. 12.

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.