First year pupil Peter Walker demonstrated his computer wizardry as his team won their challenge at Hack Manchester – a two day coding competition for under 18s.
The competition, which took place as part of the Manchester Science Festival and was sponsored by large companies including The Co-operative, GCHQ, Siemens and AO.com, saw Peter team up with three of his friends to take on the challenge of creating a text delivery service to ‘combat evil’.
The team, which was called Team Bazinga, developed an Android app called “Bully Button” which sent an emergency text message from a child’s mobile to a parent with a single tap.
The judges were impressed with the way the team approached the problem and with the teamwork they displayed. Peter taught himself Android app development from scratch and was eager to share his knowledge with his teammates.
The boys worked so well as a team that they even had time to refine the app which saw them further improve the quality of the application with professional touches such as checking the format of phone numbers that were entered.
Peter, who faced competition from youngsters including A-level age pupils, was delighted to win: “The competition was quite hard but it was a lot of fun. There were quite a few teams taking part but we were not told who we were up against which was a good thing as it allowed us to concentrate on making the app.
“Learning about Android app development was tricky at first but once I got started I picked it up quickly enough. It was an amazing feeling to win as we didn’t really expect it.”
Jim Evans from Stockport CoderDojo, a coding club that Peter is part of, said: “Peter attends the club regularly and is always brilliant. He is a very capable coder and it’s a delight to have him as a “Ninja” – which is what we call our young attendees.
“His speciality is innovative and always funny scratch games and animations and I look forward to seeing his creations! He is also very helpful and willing to share his knowledge with the newer, less experienced coders.”