SciON ’15 NEWSLETTER: Xtreme Programming (Of Unparalleled Confidence and Lost Teams)

11181553_10153776224369027_1988728456_o“Can you take me to the person who designed this competition? At least you can tell me where can I find such programmes on internet?”

These were the two questions that one participant asked me so earnestly during the lunch break. Though magnanimous as I usually am in such situations, I could not help him in this regard as I wasn’t privy to this information myself but these questions gave me a fair idea of what these teams were dealing with in Xtreme Programming.Xtreme programming

Today when I was going to SEECS to cover Xtreme Programming, I could not spot a single human being in NUST within my radius of sight even though it was broad day light. I felt the feeling that I usually have while watching a horror movie. After seeing the campus deserted like the Sahara Desert, all the expectations I had regarding this event started to bid adieu to me just like when Pakistani batsmen used to say good bye to Misbah at the crease.

But things got much brighter as I entered the Sherazi Lab, named after Qutab-al- Din-al-Shirazi who had achieved an unparalleled status among his contemporaries through his work in mathematics, philosophy and astronomy.
Except the two teams from Military College of Signals (MCS), all the other teams were already in the lab so I was reassured that once again we have got an exciting event on our hands.

About the teams from MCS, it transpired later that while we were awaiting their arrival at the Sherazi Lab, they were performing the mandatory ritual of getting lost in the humongous campus of NUST. (By the way,unlike yesterday, the EME Team didn’t have any trouble spotting SEECS today-achievement unlocked). After the 2 Teams from MCS reached the event they “thrilled” us with their tales of getting lost on the way.

Among all the competing teams, the one from COMSATS, Abbottabad stood out as far as the dressing was concerned. Three men, draped in black made it clear that they meant business.

Each team was given 4 programming tasks which were to be solved in two and a half hours.

After seeing what had happened in yesterday’s speed circuiting competition and knowing that no team was able to complete the given task, I was loving the confidence which these not so nerdy guys had put to exhibition in the beginning of this competition.

“Oh, Jani bhai ko aata hai yeh sab to”xp2

said one participant to his team mate with the looks that seemed pretty close to what Michael Schumacher used to give after winning each Grand Prix. Though, he might have been as fast in coding as Schumacher was in a car but after the end of this two phased event his team looked like a foxy competing with Ferraris; his team only managed to solve 25% of the task in phase one. (While writing all this stuff, I was hoping that the team under discussion will be too tired to read this post otherwise I better remain AWOL for the next two weeks) But to his credit,confidence was still there as he read Iqbal’s much revered verse

“Girtay Hain Shahswar Hi maidan-e-Jang mein”.

Team Akatsuki, which was on the verge of abandoning this event after an abysmal performance in the first phase, after careful deliberation decided to compete in the second half as well. Those of us who were predicting that the second phase would be comparatively easy, found it hard to stomach that even the second round gave no respite to these young coders and the “Second part would be easy ” was only a figment of our imagination.xp3

The event ended by 5 in the evening and I heard few sighs of relief from at least one corner of the lab. The EME boys were pretty confident once again and so were the boys from MCS. However, the results of Extreme programming will be announced tomorrow, the final day of SCION. Let us await judgement.

By Muhammad Bilal Anjum

NSS-Executive Publications


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