Very soon now, on 12 August, the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2016) will get underway, and the first team to arrive for the competition has already come in from Colombia.
IOI 2016 will take place in Kazan from 12 to 19 August, and is one of the International Science Olympiads for school students. This instalment will feature teams from 81 countries, with a further 5 countries attending as observers. Each country competing at the IOI submits a team of 4 students, as well as a team leader and deputy team leader.
And so, representing Colombia at the Olympiad will be team leader Mario Cruz, deputy team leader Diego Niquefa, and participants Roger Trujillo, Juan Bedova, Andres Peres and Nicolás Galindo.
“Without a doubt, competitions like this are really useful for students who want to devote their lives to IT,” says Diego Niquefa. “Firstly, such Olympiads almost act as an introduction to the profession – a chance to understand what you have to be able to do to become a good professional. Secondly, it’s a chance to meet like-minded people. And lastly, many famous universities and IT companies follow Olympiad participants closely, literally fighting over them. This means that the IOI is also a way to attract attention from potential employers.”
In actual fact, Olympiads have the potential to grow on you and once you have been to one competition, it’s hard to leave the community. Diego himself is a classic example: a four-time participant competing at the Olympiad and now his second time participating as a deputy team leader.
“Of course, everyone on our team is dreaming of gold medals – they really hope to win,” he continues.
In fact, half of the competition’s participants are guaranteed a medal, but, as per the IOI rules, only 8% will win gold.
“I managed to come to Russia two years ago: I took part in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC 2014) in Yekaterinburg,” adds Diego Niquefa. “This is my first time in Kazan and I can say that I really like your city – it’s very dynamic and modern.”