Information Technology student Cameron Steffen earned a Top 10 placement in the 2016 ITA Tech Challenge finals, held in Chicago on November 5. Cameron is a computer science major with a passion for software engineering. “I enjoy learning learning new things and being challenged to solve hard problems,” he said. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in December 2016.

cameronThe annual Tech Challenge aims to identify and recognize the best student programmers from all over the country. The Challenge began in September with 767 students from 48 universities participating in the qualifying exams. Students were challenged to solve an eight question challenge using their languages of choice, such as C++, C#, JavaScript, Python and PHP. Students posting the top 50 qualifying scores traveled to downtown Chicago to compete in the Final Challenge. Cameron placed seventh overall in his second appearance in the Final Challenge. He was also a Top 50 finalist in 2015.

“The ITA Tech Challenge provides a terrific opportunity for IT majors!” said Cameron. The challenge “is not only fun, it sharpens your skills and helps you understand areas that you may need to grow in.” Another benefit of competing in the finals is that he interviewed with seven of the sponsoring companies.

Cameron has two pieces of advice for students who plan to compete in future Tech Challenge events:

  1. “Continue to challenge yourself with new, hard problems and have fun finding the solutions…. The more fun you have, the more effective your practice will be.”
  2. “Data structures and algorithms.”

“Overall, the ITA Tech Challenge has been an extremely valuable experience,” he stated.