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A 'Spacer' Journey : SWERC 2018

The only sounds they hear are the clicking of keyboards across the room. Only a few minutes left until they place their team on the top of the leaderboard of the first-ever sequel to "Hello Barcelona Bootcamp". Norge Vizcay, the skipper, led the Harbour.Space Programming team to a fantastic victory that year.

I. How it all started


The first edition was an overwhelming success, and Norge hasn't looked back since. Norge Vizacay, born in 1992, is a computer scientist from Havana, Cuba. Having completed his degree in Computer Science in 2016, Norge made the journey across the globe all the way to Barcelona to pursue his Masters in Data Science at Harbour.Space.

Norge isn't unfamiliar to the world of education. He has had experience as a professor of Compilation and Formal Language Theory and as a trainer for teams starting in competitive programming, like the ICPC. But regardless of his background teaching complex topics, at Harbour.Space, Norge was tasked to teach a group of students who had no prior background in programming, and in doing so he was forced to formulate creative and radical methods of teaching that will surely form the base of a mould that will help accommodate the professors to come.

At the age of 26, his phenomenal journey at Harbour.Space has been one for the books. Now, after all this time and effort, he is coaching the first-ever team from Harbour.Space University to make it to the regional ICPC contest, SWERC 2018. A team of students featuring Hossein Yousefi, Jonathan Harel and Artem Plotkin head over to the 'City of Lights' under Norge's leadership, to compete in the intense 5-hour long programming marathon that is the Southwestern Europe Regional Contest.

If we can reinvigorate the passion of programming in at the very least, one student, every class, and remind them of why they’re here, we have succeeded as educators.

II. Where are they now?

The team left El-Prat International with a singular goal in mind. They knew success was only a weekend away and they were ready to give it all. A two-hour long flight from Barcelona and they were greeted by the warm sun and gentle aroma of freshly baked bread in the city of Paris. One additional day of intensive training before the actual competition and the team was prepared to face any challenge thrown at them. And finally, on a sunny Saturday, the competition commenced. Five hours of but one action. Programming.

The only sounds they hear are the clicking of keyboards across the room. Dim screens glow in the darkroom, illuminating beads of sweat running down hundreds of nervous faces. Only a few minutes left. Only a few more until their lives change forever. A few minutes, until they win their very first medal at an international stage, where the entirety of Southwestern Europe is being represented through 89 teams from 49 institutions. A mark in the history of our institution, team 'Spacers' race to the finish line. The truly international team, accurately representing the diversity of Harbour.Space, our team consisting of individuals from Israel, Iran, Russia and Cuba, persevered through thick and thin and hurdled across the intense competition to, for the first time, win a medal for the Harbour.Space team.

'Spacers' the Harbour.Space programming team, features the likes of Hossein Yousefi, Jonathan Harel and Artem Plotkin.

Free Format Friday : Meet Iason Chatziioanou

If modesty was a superpower, Iason Chatziioanou would be Superman. When asked about being featured on Free Format Fridays, he listed 10 other individuals who he felt would be a better fit for the blog. But after we insisted, he finally conceded.

Free Format Friday: Meet Shrey Malik

Shrey is an ingenious Interaction Designer, with a brilliant eye for framing, colour and symmetry, most likely inherited from his undenounced passion for the art of filmmaking.

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