SEDS student wins nFactorial Challenge mobile app championship

Bauyrzhan glavnaya foto

After a three-year break, the free summer programming school nFactorial Incubator resumed its work in Almaty. The project is supported by Chevron, the ITeachMe Public Foundation, and Satbayev University.

Out of four thousand applications from developers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Russia, organizers selected only 200.

For three months, 15 mentors-practitioners from the best Kazakh and international IT companies taught the participants web programming, while the titans of programming – leading developers and designers from Meta, Google, Apple, Reddit, Silicon Valley and CIS startups – read lectures for them.

At the end of the training, participants created more than 100 unique web applications, the best of which were presented at Demo Day. Twenty projects made it to the finals, three of which the jury decided were the best. 1st place was awarded to Baurzhan Abenov, a 4th-year  SEDS undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science. He developed a web tuner for Kazakh national instruments, “Dombyra Tuner,” to tune the dombra, kyl kobyz and prima kobyz. Baurzhan told us about his web-tuner.

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How was the idea for the Dombyra Tuner project born?

The app was born out of my pain. I played in our university orchestra, and we tuned the dombra using the Guitar Tuna app. The guitar has two strings in the middle (G and D) that have the same tone as the dombra strings, so its app was also suitable for our traditional musical instrument. However, tuning the dombra with my tuner app was more enjoyable than with a guitar tuner, so I created the Dombyra Tuner.

How difficult was it to take first place in such intense competition?

It was pretty tough. Many nFactorial Incubator finalists built complicated projects with very cool designs and a lot of stuff underneath (in the backend), while mine seemed simple. In addition, I did not expect to take first place at all. However, I think many things mattered in addition to the project’s complexity. It was also essential to make it as simple as possible to show people that your project is why it is important and how it works. I just wanted the jury and people to clearly understand the idea behind my project, which I did.

 What are the next steps?

“I would like to make Dombyra Tuner more compatible with smartphones and have it in all mobile app stores, not just browsers. That’s the direction I plan to work in.”

At the nFactorial Incubator, second-year  SEDS computer science student Almaz Balgali presented the “Trainy” platform, designed for those who want to improve their writing skills.


“The platform provides different modes in which you can practice, statistics such as how many words per day you write, achievements such as 1,000 written essays, and a feed where you can respond to your friends’ posts and track their progress. Once the project is out of alpha, I plan to share my project with schools and universities, primarily for people who need to practice their writing skills,” explained Almaz Balgali.

Another nFactorial Incubator participant, fourth-year  SEDS undergraduate student Abay Kappassov, created the “See Me Travel” app for travellers.


“See Me Travel” is an app to address the lack of a specific service that could store people’s travel history. It is for those who are passionate about travel and want to share their unique experiences with the world. Users can create an interactive 3D map with their travel history and photos from countries. They can share it through an automatically generated link,” said Abay Kappassov.

We congratulate our students and wish them to reach new heights and gain recognition in their chosen path!