Nexon to hold final round of annual coding competition on Oct. 30

Nexon to hold final round of annual coding competition on Oct. 30

Contestants use computers to solve problems during the Nexon Youth Programming Challenge (NYPC) annual coding competition hosted by the game developer in 2020. Courtesy of Nexon

By Yi Whan-woo

Korea’s leading game developer Nexon will hold the final round of its annual Nexon Youth Programming Challenge (NYPC) coding competition on Oct. 30, with the goal of helping young people get more familiar with computer programming.

Nexon has been hosting the competition since 2016, after learning that teenage students faced a shortage of opportunities to learn coding, which is considered a major pillar in the IT field for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The event has drawn more than 4,000 students in the qualifying round since 2017, and the cumulative number of participants has exceeded 25,000 so far.

“In this regard, the NYPC has developed into the most recognized coding competition for teenagers,” Nexon said in a press release, Tuesday.

The company said that the competition is different than others, because it presents actual problems programmers face when developing games, or after they are commercially released.

The NYPC also used a variety of Nexon games, including “Kart Rider Rush Plus” and “Maple Story” in the 2021 qualifying round.

The problems have been carefully formulated for coders of all levels, which in turn, successfully contributes to raising the level of interest among beginners, according to the company.

“The competition has been lauded by students and their parents, because the problems reflect our rich know-how and creativity built up over a long period of time,” it said.

In a survey of participants in the 2021 qualifying round, 97 percent said that they developed a greater interest in computer programming after joining the competition.

More than nine out of 10 participants surveyed answered that they are open to competing again next year.

Asked why they like the NYPC, the participants picked the creativity and simulation-based problem solving methods of the competition, among others.

To motivate more students to learn coding, Nexon has been offering a mentoring session, titled “NYPC Talk Concert,” since 2017.

A wide range of coding experts have been invited, sharing their experiences and problem-solving skills, as well as offering advice to aspiring computer programmers.

In 2020, Nexon Vice President Kim Dae-hwon and Amazon Web Services specialist Seo Ji-hye took part. They explained their coding experience and the technologies that are utilized in their respective fields of expertise, including: virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data-based technologies.

One expert advised aspiring coding programmers to develop critical thinking by “tackling as many problems as possible,” saying, “There is no fixed, single answer in coding, but instead, there are various ways to reach a solution.”

The expert noted that coding can be used in an “infinite number of sectors” and that it is an extremely advantageous tool for future generations to gain proficiency in.

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