Jayaike Ndu has emerged winner of the 2019 Google Code-In Competition – the first Nigerian and tied fifth African to achieve the feat since the inception of the competition 10 years ago.
Google Code-In is a competition for software developers between the ages of 13 and 17 years. Competitors have to work with an open source company and help improve their existing software. As at 2019, there were a total of 29 organisations in GC-I.
The 2019 Google Code-In started on December 2, 2019 about 6pm.
Jayaike Ndu designed and developed Nigeria’s first online library and self-assessment tool for medical students in 2019, www.medlib.com.ng
With over 250 course notes uploaded, the website comes in handy for Nigerian medical students.
According to Jayaike Ndu:
“I joined the competition at about 8pm on that day. Prior to the competition, I had six days to learn one of the programming frameworks needed (Angular) for the organisation. I was going to work with (CloudCV), which I felt was not sufficient to learn the framework.
However, I worked for extra hours during the day and at night to have enough knowledge to get me started. CloudCV is the name of the organisation I worked with. It is an organisation for evaluating state-of-the-art in Artificial Intelligence (AI). They have a very robust backend (server-side code).
Once I joined the competition, I did some user interface design to get myself acquainted with their software. Immediately I finished with my first task I headed into the next task, which was some server-side related task. After claiming the task, I realised that my computer system could not run their development environment due to low processing power and RAM. I knew it was too late to choose another company, leaving me with one option: Code without testing (also known as coding blindly)!
After about five tasks, I skyrocketed to the top of the leader board, which encouraged me to keep going even with my laptop issues. I had already let my mentors know about my laptop plight and that I would do my best to get the work done.
Just when I thought that things could not get any worse, I realised that the concept of their backend code is something I was not familiar with. Luckily, I have a very supportive family who encouraged me to learn the new concept even if it took a load of hard work. After about a day of non-stop coding and YouTube videos, I had learnt how to work on the task. I submitted my task and awaited the mentor’s response. He accepted my code! It was surreal. I continued in the competition solving tasks that no other competitor had done – the hard ones especially. I also contributed heavily to the developer community.
As the competition’s end was nigh, my computer system was slowly giving up, but I was able to make it through to the end of the competition. I felt great just knowing that I had learnt so many new things from the organisation.
On the 2nd of February, 2020, I received an email from Google that I had been selected as a grand prize winner for the Google Code-In competition which made me the first Nigerian to ever win it and the tied fifth African. It was an amazing experience to work with Google and real world organisations.”
Jayaike Ndu, a dual citizen of Nigeria and Ireland, wrote his first book, Starting School and other Stories, at 7. He wrote his second book, The City of Asmordion: The Beginning, at 10.
He was a regional taekwondo champion in Cork, Ireland, at the age of 10 (2013). He made his first app for the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and got a Letter of Recommendation from the agency in 2016 at the age of 13.