So You Think You Can Program-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University

The Search For Rwanda's Best Programmer

Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda in collaboration with Proxor, a Carnegie Mellon University Spinoff, is excited to announce "So You Think You Can Program: The Search For Rwanda's Best Programmer".

The event, which will take place December 13th at the Carnegie Mellon University campus in Kigali, will be based on Proxor's Software Developer Exam (SDE). The SDE requires examinees to design, write, compile, debug, test and check-in (submit) software in the context of an existing project.

Programmers who achieve the highest grade in the challenge will be crowned among Rwanda's best programmers. All programmers who compete will realize significant benefits from the exam, as they will be able to see a detailed breakdown of their scores, showing them where they can improve. All who complete the exam will receive a certificate from Proxor that can be shown to employers as an objective assessment of their level of programming capability. Participants can share their results withsoftware development companies, as itis designed to enable global clarity in hiring software developers.

The SDE is not easy. The exam takes six hours and requires thorough preparation. It involves becoming familiar with the code set and possible questions to be answered. A significant commitment is needed to perform well. Yet, the chance to be known as one of Rwanda's best programmers coupled with gaining an authentic score with a detailed evaluation from Proxor are strong reasons to take this challenge.

If you think you are one of the best programmers in the country, then prove it!

Everyone is welcome to participate.  

Seats are limited so signup now

How to Register

Step 1: Register with Proxor

Step 2: Register with CMU in Rwanda (seats are limited)

SDE Information

How to Prepare

Information on Proxor

Event Information

Location: Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda, 4th floor Telecom House, Kacyiru, Kigali

Cost: 5,000 RWF

Needed: A PC which can PXE/Network boot (confirmed during December 7th laptop check)


December 7: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

  • Registration Closes
  • Laptop Check for PXE/Network Boot at CMU in Rwanda
  • Payment of Registration Fee Due (5,000 RWF)

December 13: 10:00am – 4:00pm

  • Take the Proxor SDE at CMU in Rwanda
  • Award Ceremony (5:00pm and open to the public)


-The test is in Java. However, the Software Developer Examination is designed as a proxy for the broad family of object-oriented programming languages.  If a person is competent in any of them (C++, Objective C, C#, Python, and many more), preparing for the SDE is not a daunting task. Once a programmer can develop software in one object-oriented language picking up similar languages is easy.  Good programmers can probably learn enough Java to do well on the exam with a few weeks of practice.  Proxor posts the base code and tasks so that any programmer can thoroughly prepare themselves for the challenge of the SDE; all it takes is talent, commitment, and some time.

-Anyone is welcome to take the SDE

-The best preparation for the Software Developer Examination (SDE) is a good set of courses in object-oriented design and programming followed by some serious practice of what was taught. The base code and tasks of the SDE are available on the Proxor website. They should be looked at but working with the Proxor code will not be a substitute for serious work already undertaken in school and honed with practice.

-The best way to tackle the exam itself is to look at the base code and tasks, understand the architecture of the program, understand how task solutions fit into that architecture, design solutions to the tasks, and implement the solutions and then test.  This is good behavior for anyone developing software.  In preparing for the SDE, participants are best served by putting into practice those development habits that are needed to be solid professionals.

Register with Proxor
Register with CMU