The technical committee of system and software assurance of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Reliability Society and the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas organized the International Contest on Software Testing on April 30, 2022. The successful contest also received sponsorship from the Center for Computer Science Education and Outreach at UT Dallas, Mooctest Inc. and the Dallas Chapter of the IEEE Reliability Society.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the contest was held online via Zoom from 9 a.m. to noon, Central Time. Because of international time differences, we focused on students from North and South America, particularly the U.S. and Brazil, and from Asia, in China and India. Those in the U.S. were divided into a college group, and a high school group, depending on their academic status. Winners of different groups, including the college group from North and South America, China, and India, as well as the high school group from the U.S., were selected. Each received a certificate and a cash award or a present of a similar value. More details can be found on the contest website.
We recently spoke to Ishika Aggarwal, one of the winners of the high school group of the 2022 International Contest on Software Testing, about the contest.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get into computer science?
My name is Ishika Aggarwal, and I am currently an eleventh-grader. In ninth grade, I took computer science as an elective and became very intrigued by it. My teacher told us about some coding competitions, and as I participated in them, I discovered my passion for computer science. I became more interested in learning new programming languages and decided to continue computer science all throughout high school.
How did you hear about the IEEE International Contest on Software Testing?
In 2021, my computer science teacher encouraged me to participate in the IEEE International Contest on Software Testing. I really enjoyed taking part in this contest, so I participated in it again this year.
Can you tell me about the contest?
The IEEE International Contest on Software Testing is a highly competitive contest with participants in high schools and colleges from many countries. This contest uses JUnit, a Java unit testing framework, to write and run repeatable automated tests. Students gain exposure to testing programs with real-world applications. This contest taught me many valuable skills, including how the JUnit testing framework works.
Did you have any difficulties during the contest? If so, how did you overcome them?
When I first participated in this contest, I was unfamiliar with the MoocTest online testing platform. However, because we were provided with a detailed tutorial on how to use this platform, I was able to navigate through the MoocTest website easily.
Would you recommend others take part in these contests?
I would recommend that others participate because it is a really fun experience! You get to learn so much about the JUnit testing framework and how software testing is used in real-world scenarios. Even if a student is not interested in software development, I would recommend that they join this contest because software testing is an exciting and unique experience.
Do you plan to compete in the testing contest next year? How are you going to prepare for it?
Yes! I do plan to compete in the testing contest next year. I am going to prepare for it by completing the tutorial and practice test that the professors provide. Because this contest only requires participants to have basic knowledge about Java programming, I will review Java concepts to prepare.
Where do you see yourself in five years and 10 years from now?
In five years, I see myself pursuing computer science as my major in college, and I plan to become an intern at an IT company. My goal is to develop apps that would be beneficial to others. Besides this, I see myself continuing to pursue art as a hobby. In 10 years, I see myself in a good position in a multinational company. Along with this, I want to set up my own art gallery.
Women and girls are underrepresented in computer science and STEM majors in general, so some may hesitate to pursue these fields. What would you like to tell them?
I would tell them there is absolutely nothing to fear in computer science and STEM fields. At times, computer science may seem like it is just full of programming apps to perform specific tasks. However, it is a diverse field that can suit various interests. For example, those who enjoy using their creativity can become web developers. Similarly, students majoring in STEM can explore careers that connect their hobbies and interests to their majors. Nothing can stop a girl from excelling in STEM fields and pursuing her interests!
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science Department is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States, with over 4,000 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,010 master’s students, 140 Ph.D. students, 52 tenure-track faculty members, and 42 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2021. With the University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.