After writing and marking the Programming Olympiad exams on paper for decades, South African learners and teachers will now be able to do everything online as the competition’s organisers seem to have caught up to modern times, starting with this year’s edition.

Registration is open for the first round of the 32nd annual Standard Bank IITPSA Programming Olympiad which will take place on 14th August. The Olympiad said it expects an estimated 3 000 entries from 200 schools this year.

“Learners use a range of computer languages including C++, Delphi, Java, Pascal, Python and Scratch. Participants will therefore see the questions online and provide the answers online. The programs that produce the answers will still be written on the learner’s own computer or network,” explained Olympiad manager Peter Waker via press statement.

Schools must register on the Programming Olympiad website or by calling 021 448 7864 to receive usernames and passwords for all participants.

After the first round is complete, the top 15 performing learners will go on to write the final exam in Cape Town in October. From there, the best of the best will be chosen to represent the country at the 2016 International Olympiad in Informatics being held in Russia.

“The 2016 team will have a tough task,” added Waker. “The 2015 team members all returned with medals from the International Olympiad in Informatics. South Africa came 32nd out of 83 participating countries and was the highest ranking country from Africa.”

[Image – CC 2.0 by Public Domain]