The Journey to Harvest: From Huawei ICT Competition Winner to Advocator
Online presentation at the Innovation Competition of the 2019 – 2020 Huawei ICT Competition Global Final
It has been nearly three years since I won first prize at the 5th Huawei ICT Competition Global Final. During this period, the Huawei ICT Competition steadily expanded in both scale and influence, while I graduated from university and started my graduate studies. I have also transformed from a competition winner into a steadfast advocator of the event. At the competition, I improved my skills and built deep friendships with my mentor and teammates. Later, I was given the opportunities to participate in various Huawei events and received a scholarship for winning the competition.
All of these factors strengthened my confidence when it came to pursuing a career in the ICT industry.
Perseverance brings success
On November 15, 2020, during the Award Ceremony of the 2019–2020 Huawei ICT Competition Global Final, we were ecstatic when we heard our team from Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) had been awarded first prize in the Innovation Competition. All of our efforts over the previous two months had paid off.
Zhang Xueying, Duan Siyu, and I formed the team, with Professor Fang Juan as our mentor. Two days before the final, we encountered a problem. The results of an experiment showed that the RFID-based smart signs we had developed for museums would not function as expected. This left us at a loss in the unfamiliar field of cross compilation. To tackle the problem, I started learning about the smart home development kit based on HiSilicon Hi3861. With the help of some Huawei experts, I was able to learn NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) encoding rules. I encoded, programmed, and tested functions numerous times, and developed front-end programs and web pages to align with our hardware functions.
After multiple rounds of testing, I completed the key part of our solution based on my understanding of NDEF encoding rules. Our work was successfully submitted to the global final.
The global final posed a tougher challenge: All three of our team members had to obtain the Huawei Certified ICT Associate (HCIA) certification. We were also required to prepare documents in English, including presentation slides, and give a presentation in English. This was when we realized that our everyday hard work had paid off. Professor Fang and all our team members had obtained the HCIA-IoT certification in early 2020. In addition, as we had been studying English, we possessed excellent English skills. Duan Siyu was good at content development, Zhang Xueying, who got full marks in her IELTS reading test, freed us from any worries about script writing. And I had a knack for expressing our ideas in English. As we had already met the basic requirements of the global final, we were able to focus on our work.
Figure 1: We forged deep friendships during the competition
Every day after class, we got together to consider the content and optimize the solution late into the night. We also demonstrated our solution to our lecturers and classmates and improved it based on their feedback, so that we were as prepared as possible for the presentation (Figure 1). Professor Fang had extensive experience in mentoring students at competitions. She tracked our development and supported us in improving our work, which further boosted our confidence.
Figure 2: With Professor Fang as the mentor, the BJUT team wins first prize at the Innovation Competition of the 2019 – 2020 Huawei ICT Competition Global Final
On the day of the global final, we gathered in a conference room early in the morning. Our constant polishing of content and rehearsals allowed us to give a flawless presentation. Ultimately, we won first prize in the Innovation Competition. (Figure 2).
Fruitful results from sustained efforts
One year later, due to my performance at the ICT Competition, I was given the opportunity to study with other college students from across the country as a student representative for the Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) 2021 HarmonyOS open class at Huawei Songshan Lake Campus.
Later, during the OpenHarmony Open-source Developer Growth Program, I developed a smart NFC punch clock alongside Wang Linchao, a student from Southwest University of Science and Technology.
In June 2023, I participated in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei MindSpore Innovation Training Camp. With the help of a dedicated mentor, we learned the development paths of foundation models, key technologies, and representative models. I also applied AI to my innovative project, about which I gave a presentation.
I won a first-class Huawei Future Star scholarship for the Ministry of Education's smart foundation project based on winning the Huawei ICT Competition award, and for my excellent performance at various Huawei events. I shared my experience and takeaways as a student representative (Figure 3) at the award ceremony.
Figure 3: Speaking as a student representative at the award ceremony for Huawei Future Star under the Ministry of Education's smart foundation project
A steadfast advocator
Through participation in Huawei events, I have met many peers and friends, and I actively participate in activities to promote the Huawei ICT Competition. When I was asked to share my personal experience, postgraduate recommendation experience, and competition experience, I would encourage everyone to participate in this international competition by telling them about my own story and achievements. I also helped Professor Fang operate the Huawei ICT Academy in the Faculty of Information and Technology, which provides online courses in IoT, HarmonyOS, and AI for students. I also arranged for students to participate in the HCIA certification to improve their professional skills. Today, the Huawei ICT Academy at the Faculty of Information and Technology has more than 200 students, 83 of whom have obtained HCIA certification.
The Beijing University of Technology attaches great importance to the Huawei ICT Competition. In 2021, the competition was included in the 2020 National College Students Competition Rankings developed by the Ministry of Education. When revising our own competition catalogs that same year, our university included this competition within the A-class competition catalog, making it one of two international competitions officially recognized by our university.
Tian Mingxiao and Wang Haofeng were contestants from our university, who won third prize at the Huawei ICT Competition National Final. In 2021, the points they received from winning this award helped them with their postgraduate recommendations, exempting them from the admission exam.
In 2022, the competition was further promoted at our university. The university held its first Huawei ICT Competition campus qualification trials to solicit creative solutions from all students and test their innovation and collaborative development capabilities. Eleven teams majoring in different fields participated in the qualification trials. In the same year, three teams from our university participated in the national final of the competition, winning one first prize and two third prizes. The team consisting of Guo Feng, Fang Ziyun, and Yang Qian won first prize at the global finals, which significantly helped with their graduate recommendations.
I would like to express my gratitude to Huawei for holding the ICT Competition, and my university and mentor Fang Juan for their support. Professor Fang said that in the future, the university will adopt the new ICT talent cultivation concept of integrating courses, competitions, and certifications. Furthermore, the university will build a talent cultivation system, with moral education at its core and teaching and competitions as the two pillars. Academic mentors, competition mentors, and enterprise mentors will be assigned to support students in gaining more opportunities through competitions, innovations, practices, and entrepreneurial platforms.
I will continue to promote the Huawei ICT Competition and improve my professional skills in the ICT domain, with the hope of contributing to future industry development.
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