Another strong showing for Durham College students at annual networking competition

December 23, 2010

Seven third-year students in Durham College’s Computer Systems Technology program recently participated in the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2010 Skills Competition, with all seven placing in the top ten teams in Ontario in the State/Provincial Qualifier round.

Durham College’s Computer Systems Technology students once again made an academic statement on a provincial level this past fall, when it placed four teams in the top 10 of the second round (provincial qualifier) of the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders 2010 Skills Competition.

The annual event, made up of three rounds of competition, began with the Team Qualifier round, which was held from October 18 to 29. Third-year students Brandon Premo and Jason Corlett emerged as the top team of that round along with two additional Durham College teams comprised of Patrick Booth and Alexander Karl and David Ireland and Christopher Box, and one Durham College/University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) team comprised of Durham College student Shane Landry and UOIT student Jesse Lacroix. All four teams qualified for the State/Provincial Qualifier round of the competition that took place from November 8 to 19.

Following that round, Durham College emerged as the top networking college in Ontario, with Premo and Corlett finishing in second place, Landry and Lacroix in fourth, Booth and Karl in fifth and Ireland and Box claiming the eighth position.

“For the second year in a row, I can say that I am extremely proud of all of the students,” said Ramzanali Jaffer, program co-ordinator for the Computer Systems Technology program. “Once again, we have proven that our faculty is exceptional and that our students possess the skills and knowledge that will assure their success following the completion of their studies.”

All participating teams were required to complete a variety of online theoretical exams as well as Cisco Packet Tracer activities and exams. Cisco’s Packet Tracer e-learning software is a powerful network simulation program that allows students to experiment with network behaviour and ask what if questions while utilizing the software’s simulation, visualization, authoring, assessment and collaboration capabilities. It also facilitates the teaching and learning of complex technology concepts.

In Round 1, teams completed a 60-question exam in 45 minutes, a Packet Tracer activity in 35 minutes and a Packet Tracer exam of 10 questions in 15 minutes. The second round was made up of a theoretical exam of 80 questions to be finished in 60 minutes, a Packet Tracer activity to be finished in 60 minutes and a Packet Tracer exam of 20 questions to be completed in 30 minutes.

The third round of the competition, held on December 8, was comprised of a virtual competition featuring 45 teams from across Canada and the United States. Durham College’s outstanding results come one year after Computer Systems Technology alumni Chris Cowie and Danny Machnik were recognized as the top competitors in Canada and second overall in North America during the 2009 competition.