CaptureAn innovative technology event hosted for the first time in conjunction with local students has been a huge success, with a new record set by participants.

Scott Logic, a growing software consultancy based in Newcastle upon Tyne, has been partnering with universities across the country since 2013, to host undergraduate Hackathons as part of its recruitment strategy. On Saturday, the firm partnered with the Newcastle University Computing and Technology Society (NUCATS) for the first time to hold the Newcastle Coding Challenge, which saw around 60 keen coders take part.

The experience-driven event, held on campus at Newcastle University, involved an intense period of collaborative coding, with competitors battling it out in teams of up to six, for not only the honour of the title of event champions, but also for some sought-after prizes. Each team was tasked with creating an algorithm that buys shares, and challenged to make a virtual profit. They were then treated to beer and pizza with staff from the firm, offering them a chance to ask questions in an informal setting.

The winning team, who imaginatively and optimistically called themselves Winners of 2016, made a virtual profit of more than £35,000, a record amount for one team, and over £12,000 more than their closest competitor!

Jake Towers, now studying MComp Computer Science after attending Sunderland College, was part of the winning team with his friends Joe Honour, Chris McQueen, Gary Peel, Rob Hamilton and Andrew Webber. He said: “We turned up just to have some fun coding. We were very pleased and proud when we saw our solution had won.”

Chris Napier, who attended school in Washington, Tyne and Wear, is in his second year studying a BSc in Computer Science at the university. He also volunteers as President of NUCATS and said: “It was great seeing the turnout for the event. The society was set up to get different year groups at the university talking to each other more, and it was amazing seeing this happen. The event went really well.”

John Wright, Scott Logic’s Recruitment Manager – Operations, is hoping to see a spike in applications, not only for the firm’s graduate programme but also its internship, as a result of the day.

He added: “Our coding events are proving ever popular, and the support from NUCATS has been invaluable in making this one our most successful yet. It was great to have people asking us about our application procedure, and how they can make themselves stand out to us.

“We were particularly impressed to see so many undergraduates come out to attend on a rainy Saturday that also saw the start of the rugby Six Nations tournament! This shows how keen they are to stretch themselves and become active, not only in the student community but also the technology community.

“We do take real notice of applicants who find opportunities to immerse themselves in technology outside of their studies, so our advice is to take advantage of events like ours and just get involved.”

Scott Logic’s 2016 internship and graduate programmes for 2016 are still open to new applicants. Roles available include those in software development, software testing and User Experience (UX) design. For more information on Scott Logic and its services, visit scottlogic.com.