Montana Tech students competing in regional computer programming competition

BUTTE — Montana Tech is competitive on the gridiron and the hardwood. Now they’re going to be competitive on the hard drive as the students get ready to compete in a major computer programming competition this weekend.

“I typically go for the fun along the way than the competition, but if we do beat,” said Montana Tech junior Danielle Failor.

15 Montana Tech students will compete in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest against thousands of students in the region. It involves solving as many problems as they can.

“The total amount of time of participation is five hours so it can be a big strain,” said senior and ACM President Alyssa Hoffman.

Though computer programming is complex, some of the contestants find it fun.

“If you choose to see it as a chore that just needs to be done then it will be seen as a chore, but if you see it as a way of problem solving it’s going to be fun,” said Failor.

There are four women on Montana Tech’s team this year, which is unique since computer programming is historically a male-dominated field.

“It tends not to be a thing women participate in often, so very excited to see this many young women competing,” said Montana Tech computer science instructor Melissa Holmes.

The women say they’re not intimated going into a field loaded with many men.

“It’s very exciting getting into this field that’s filled with mostly guys because then I get to put my two cents in that other people might not thing about,” said Failor.

The competition starts Saturday, Feb. 25 at 11 AM in room 228 of the Natural Resources Building.

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