Nuradil Zhambyl National Olympiads in Informatics: gold medal in 2019
1. Introduce yourself. Where do you study? In what grade?
Yes, I was the same student who did just enough to not flunk his exams in school. Many subjects didn’t interest me then. I just got by, one way or another, unconsciously searching for something that would spark the fire in me; which would burn my lethargic days of mindless memorization and superficial “studying” to ashes; and which would carve some space and time out for in-depth knowledge. That fire was the Olympiad in Informatics and was sparked by my dear teachers in Atyrau Bilim-Innovation School, and further inflamed by my dear, innumerable, elders (abis,tutors) and the competition amongst peers. It revolved around various (inter)national olympiads and camps, in which I befriended many ambitious students. It involved thousands of hours of coding: in particular, problem-solving with algorithms, data structures, and interesting, discrete math. Now, having sharpened my problem-solving skills and finished 10th grade, I’m starting my journey in industrial programming by learning software engineering in QWANT, Software Engineer Upskill Program.
P. S. I love reading books.
2. How long have you been involved in programming and informatics?
I’ve been involved in programming and informatics since 7th grade: it’s been almost 4 years now. As for olympiads, I participated in the National Olympiad in Informatics, International Zhautykov Olympiad, All-Russian Team Olympiad, and International Satbayev Olympiad. And as for camps, I participated in Moscow Workshops Juniors (zksh) and Summer Informatics School (lksh), and International School in Informatics Junior. Besides, I participated in a multitude of KATEV-organized camps and even taught at some, for example when I instructed a regional, 48 hours (in lessons) long olympiad camp for 15 students in Pavlodar.
3. What or who sparked your love for the IT sphere?
Remember that spark of fire? Then, as for teachers, I shall thank Erzhan agai, Altynbek agai, Nurzat agai, and Salamat agai. Remember that inflammation? Then, as for elders (abis), I can’t help but thank Nurbergen abi, Rakhim abi, Bekzat abi, Aibyn abi, and Altair abi. Without them, at least in Olympiad, I’d remain as stupid as I was in 7th grade.
4. Your achievements in the IT-sphere?
National Olympiads in Informatics: gold medal in 2019 and bronze medal in 2018. Learning in QWANT, Software Engineer Upskill Program. Instructed Regional Olympiad Camp (15 students, 48 hours) in Pavlodar. International Satbayev Olympiad 2018 — gold medal. All-Russian Team Olympiads: bronze medals in 2018 and 2019.
5. What are your plans for the future? At what university do you want to study? On what specialization?
In general, to self-educate me. I want to pursue Computer Science at a top university in America, learn skills, and get experience.
6. What advice can you give to people just getting interested in the IT-sphere?
Perseverance. When I compared my performance or progress to that of others, which is inevitable due to the nature of competition, I often became sad, thinking “am I that stupid?” But. Fact one: progress is not always linear. Fact two: “no matter how stupid I think I am, even I can still persevere.”
7. What do you envision?
I think the future similar to that in books such as The Positronic Man, Profession, and All the Troubles of the World is probable. So are 1984 and Brave New World, I fear, where people will sell each other not the things that will educate them but rather things that will dumb them down to sell them even more dumb things… until they will be unable to tell lie from the truth.
8. In your opinion, how developed is STEM in Kazakhstan?
From my personal experience, I found that learning STEM subjects from external materials is sometimes better than that from school.
9. How to develop STEM in schools of Kazakhstan?
Learning STEM is more difficult when the learner’s English literacy is insufficient because most of the STEM knowledge is on the internet in the English language. So, bettering English classes shall be a good option.