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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cuba has real options at Code Jam

Por qubano22005

The Company of Telecommunications of Cuba (ETECSA by its Spanish acronym) closed this on April 11, 2018, with five million active mobile lines. According to the government, the fact is another sign of the step towards the Cuban society digitalization process that will lead to an increase in services, contributions to the economy and the development of the country.

However, the progress of the largest of the Antilles towards the path of a technological breakthrough does not stop there. The Caribbean people have been invited to the "Code Jam" world programming competition sponsored by nothing more and nothing less than the technological giant Google. The American company will open the door for the first time to Cuban participants so that they can classify for the final in Canada.

So far, the blockade imposed by the United States had made it impossible for Cubans to participate in this type of event that brings together the best of programming worldwide. Several specialists catalog it the equivalent of a world cup, only that of algorithms. Google’s Head of Strategies and Operations, Brett Perlmutter, announced that this year Cuban contestants will be able to participate in the contest. The director also said that it will be the first occasion in which the world will be able to see the skills of Cuban engineers and technicians.

The "Code Jam" is held since 2003 and consists of solving a series of algorithmic problems in several rounds. The qualification rounds will be online with the contestants connected from their respective countries. The best ones will travel to Canada for the final on August; they grant an only prize of $ 15,000.

Fidel Castro, when he inaugurated the University of Computer Sciences, as well as computer technicians, predicted the prominence that computer sciences would have in the world and the radical change that they would offer. The Cuban president at that time intended to prepare the country for a more computerized society. However, after he got ill, this impulse slowed down.

Even the enrollment of average technician in computer science was reduced and several professionals of the branch had to assume other jobs, because according to the government there was an explosion of these graduates. In times when Raúl Castro is about to cede power, the force to computerize Cuban society once again emerges.

A great enthusiast has been Miguel Díaz Canel, who is expected to be the new president. Therefore, the good news for Cubans means that the Island will once again reinvigorate the software industry. Private entrepreneurs, the Community Computer Clubs and several universities in Cuba, despite the low technological infrastructure, are champions in the development of programs aimed at areas of society development.

Official figures point out that 4.5 million people access to Internet in Cuba, whose population is 11.2 million. However, the Caribbean nation is still working to implement the 3G service, in times that the 5G will be launched worldwide while 2G that is used in the nation dies globally. Despite this, Cuba reached the second place in the 2017 Ibero-American Informatics Olympiad. Meanwhile, a team from the University of Havana obtained the best place in the region in the world final of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). They also organize actively in the Global Game Jam and the Pachamama Game Jam.

In 2017, more than 25,000 people competed in "Code Jam".