Jared Orange Competes in Code in D.C.


Students came back to Westminster this year with many different, interesting stories. Summer seminars, Camp Westminster, and exciting vacations were only a few of the many tales told around the halls. Yet, one story has been mostly untold: a competition held in Washington D.C. for upcoming web designers (cough, hackers, cough cough). Jared Orange, senior, recently attended this prestigious competition with a group of other students in order to prove they have what it takes to be the coders of the future.

For those not familiar with this competition, the basic layout goes like this. Teams would have to design a webpage using different programs such as HTML (HyperText Markup Language), JavaScript, PHP, among others. The teams are selected by chapter. The chapter’s sponsor would monitor those who signed up and teach them different skills to use on the computer. At the end of the training period, those who were deemed good were selected to compete with the team.

The contest lasted for three days, beginning with an oral test first, followed by a written portion, and concluding with an actual coding trial, where they would build the website. The scores for all three would be combined together at the end. One of the obstacles during the competition was that the teams were scored outside of the event hall as well. For example, if a team were to goof off in their hotel rooms or show disorderly conduct towards each other or opposing teams, points would be deducted from the main score. This put the crews on high alert, fearing that even the simplest of arguments could be translated into disaster for their victory.

Every member of the team had an important part to play during the match. Orange, Westminster’s only representative, acted as the PHP user, website tester, and security designer. Orange’s teammates, who hailed from other Missouri schools, held other positions aimed towards their specific skill set including: product manager, developer, and web designer. The team came in sixth place overall, much to Orange’s irritation. “We lost to teams smaller than us which was pretty bad,” he says. “There were a lot of technical difficulties. I don’t know why. You would kinda expect an IT-centered organization to be on top of their game but it was kinda disorganized.”

Despite the loss, Orange says he would participate in the competition again if given the chance.

“It was just fun,” according to Orange, “and I’m opening my mind to more programming. Now I know things like PHP and now I can do a lot of other cool stuff besides Java.”

He says he would definitely recommend it to other Westminster students with a rating of 8 out of 10. Congrats to Jared Orange and his team for their impressive hacking (I mean coding).