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Congratulations to our 4 winners of Crack the Code

posted February 9, 2018
WinnerWeek1 Congratulations to our 4 winners of Crack the Code

Week 1 of Crack the Code has started off with a bang as developers from around the country raced to complete the challenge set out by the SMSPortal team.

It began with a tree traversal, solving a formula and then finally completing a 15min coding test.

“The objective of this competition is to highlight the importance of software development in South Africa, and obviously reward the coding speedsters in the process,” said James Pearce, SMSPortal IT Director.

South Africa’s software industry is expected to see an 11.6% increase in enterprise applications software spending to R11.2 billion by 2017, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Gartner’s research indicates that South Africa ranks among the world’s top 30 countries for software development.

“The demand for good software developers in South Africa is growing daily and we think it is paramount that this is a well-known fact when the youth are choosing their prospective career paths,” Pearce adds.

The winner of week 1 of the competition is Gerhard Willemse, a Software Engineer with over 3 years’ experience in the industry.

“I entered the competition because a friend referred me to it, and I thought it was worth a try,” Willemse said.

He added that SMSPortal’s Crack the Code made him “think about it a bit,” but he managed to ace it in the end.

“The competition was a good way to refresh me on tree data structures a bit, and I got paid R5,000 for it. Double score!” said Willemse.

When asked for his thoughts on the importance of Software Developers in South Africa, he argued that Software Developers are becoming increasingly important.

“As the technological landscape improves in South Africa, they are key to supporting the growing demand of technological innovation and development.”

His advice for anyone wanting to be a top coder includes, “Work hard, never stop learning, and you will reap the benefits.”

Week 2 of SMSPortal’s Crack the Code kicks off tomorrow with another R5,000 up for grabs.

Please find this article at


WinnerWeek1 Congratulations to our 4 winners of Crack the Code

Week 2 saw a flood of entries coming in and it was a close race to the finish line. A big congratulations to our winner, Ian Kloppers, a software developer with 21 years’ experience in the industry, who said that the tree traversal was the challenging part of the competition.

“My brother forwarded a link to the article, and I thought, why not? It was nice to take my mind of the day-to-day stuff for a moment, and try to solve that tree,” said Ian.

He added that software developers are important in South Africa because

“One often reads an article on successful start-ups abroad. I would love to read more about successful local start-ups”


WinnerWeek1 Congratulations to our 4 winners of Crack the Code

Heinrich Lategan, a software developer from Centurion, was the winner of week 3, and entered after reading about the competition on MyBroadband.

Having been in the industry for just over 3 years, he did find the competition challenging, saying that

“It forces you to focus on the problem and understand it thoroughly before just jumping into the coding. The tree algorithm was also a bit challenging as one calculation error can prevent you from even entering.”

He added that the challenge makes you think of different approaches to solving the problem and also exposes you to concepts that you might not know about and how they can be used.

“As technology in the rest of the world advances more developers are required to supply software that keeps up with other advancements,” he said.

“If we in SA want to keep up with this advancement in technology we need to have more developers to keep up with the software demand.”

His advice to budding software developers is to keep learning.

“Programming is a field that never stops and keeps changing from day to day. Don’t let new programming technology and techniques pass you by,” he concluded,

“If you can keep up with the technology then you can solve any problem you might face.”

Corné van Rensburg a software developer with 17 years experience was the winner of our final week of Crack the Code. He admitted that his drive to solve problems is what motivated him to enter.

He was delighted with his win and had some great advice for younger developers.

“In today’s age of technology, no-one can afford not to modernise. It is our job as software developers to ensure that our clients succeed in their endeavors.”

“Learn from everyone. Everyone has their own way of coding, and you are never too experienced to learn something new.”

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