In April 2023, Microsoft launched the Code; Without Barriers (CWB) Hackathon programme in collaboration with iTrain Asia and Girls in Tech APAC. The programme is a month-long initiative to address gender and minority disparities within the tech industry. At the core of this effort was a month-long Hackathon tailored for aspiring women in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The programme encompassed an array of talks, workshops, ongoing mentoring sessions, and study group sessions, providing comprehensive support throughout the participants' hackathon journey. Remarkably, the event drew the participation of 770 entrants and 72 complete submissions from 12 Asia-Pacific countries.
We are delighted to celebrate the achievement of Alicia Chong Tsui Ying, one of our Sunway students. Currently in her final year pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems (Data Analytics) at Sunway University, Alicia participated in the hackathon and emerged as one of the 13 winners. The challenge encompassed solving real-world problems presented by collaborating companies such as GitHub, Carsome, Petronas, Johnson & Johnson, and HCLTech. Alicia tackled the Carsome problem statement, devising a data-driven car sourcing strategy that effectively segments cars based on shared characteristics.
Reflecting on her CWB journey, Alicia attested to its transformative impact. Not only did she enhance her practical technical skills, but she also gained invaluable soft skills. She praised the unwavering support of the CWB community, emphasising the abundant resources and guidance provided by mentors and fellow participants. Additionally, the provision of free Microsoft Azure training sessions, resources, and vouchers enabled participants to upscale their skill sets.
Furthermore, Alicia attributed her current position as a data scientist at Carsome to her participation in CWB. She shared that this hackathon significantly enriched her personal and professional growth, igniting her passion to excel as a data professional. Therefore, Alicia wholeheartedly encourages all women aspiring to enhance their tech skills to seize forthcoming opportunities and actively participate in this program.