We are now in the Information age where vast amount of data is readily available for consumption in the World Wide Web with just a few movements of our fingertips. This is also the era where the tasks once done by humans are now processed with the use of a computer.
Programmers are very much needed in this stage because they are the one coding and creating software that can help users in their everyday life.
To help identify which schools in the Philippines produces the best programming talent in the country, Gurango Software together with DOST-ICTO and PSIA collaborates to bring the Philippine Programming Challenge 2015.
The competition was open to all universities and colleges offering IT and Computer Science courses. Seven schools joined in the contest, but only the top 3 who achieved the highest average Proxor score were declared winners. The awarding ceremony was held at DOST-ICTO Office in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
The competition utilized the use of PROXOR, an authentic certificate examination developed by a reputable university in Pennsylvania which is the Carnegie Mellon University.
Proxor gives students a real software system and professional tools, putting them in the role of a professional developer. The Proxor exam is also a platform-agnostic software that requires actual coding, compiling and debugging. It’s not just a regular exam where students can answer the questions using multiple-choice answers. Furthermore, Proxor has been utilized to different countries in North America, Europe, Africa & Asia Pacific.
During the event, Mr. Joey Gurango, CEO & CTO of Gurango Software Corporation (GSC) – a multinational software company that provides powerful and affordable business software solutions, said “according to statistics, programming students in countries like India, Singapore, North America and some parts of Europe particularly in Russia rank quite a little bit higher than students in the Philippines and we want to change that.”
The Philippine Programming Challenge is beneficial to schools and students because:
1. Schools who joined will have a benchmark according to their Proxor rating and would be able to see the areas that need improvement so they would know where to focus next time. Schools can also increase their institutional ranking especially the top 3 who joined the competition. They can “claim” that they have the “best” students in terms of coding.
2. Students who participated in the competition will have their Proxor score available in the system and this will be an advantage primarily to those with a high score because there is a higher possibility that they won’t have to go to the regular process of hiring. Their programming capacity has already been measured for job readiness.
Another speaker, Mr. Monchito Ibrahim – Deputy Executive Director of DOST-ICTO gave his inspirational talk. According to him, this is just the beginning and he hopes that their office (DOST-ICTO), the Gurango Software, and the PSIA will continue to collaborate to really bring the best to tell the whole world that we have the best coders here in the Philippines. He also mentioned that Mindanao looks promising on Digital Startups, so he is challenging the participants to rise and to show everyone that they are also the best not just in coding but also in Digital Startups.
Mr. Ricky Gumaru of Gurango Software gave the closing remarks. After thanking all the participants who joined the PPC2015, he asked them to tag their friends and to tell others their experience and how Proxor can help schools and companies.
And the winners for the Philippine Programming Challenge 2015 are….. (Drum roll please….)
3rd Place – Technological Institute of the Philippines
2nd Place – Asia Pacific College
First Place – University of Sto. Tomas
My Interview with the coach and students who joined PPC 2015
Gabriel Sandoval, student participant from UST, mentioned that Proxor is a good way to expose the students to deal work problems that developers encounter in their careers. It is important since, at school, they are mostly taught of theoretical things. They need to enhance their practical skills especially in programming and Proxor could provide that. He also said that he recommend schools to use it since having an advance knowledge about programming can help students to increase their worth in their future careers. Their school won first place in the competition and he is proud and honored to be part of the challenge and highly recommend this competition to the next batch. When asked regarding their experience in the competition, he said: “Some of the problems are easy, some are hard and the good part is that we are being challenged and given problems that we are not expecting which forces us to think and simulate the problems for development”.
When asked about the competition, Joshua Torre, student from TIP, said “The competition was good and challenging. I learned a lot especially when I first saw Proxor, I now appreciate the other applications such as MS Excel for the reason that I saw for myself how they are being programmed and coded. The problems given to us were very structured, I first feel awkward about it, but I get a hang into it and learned a lot in the process.” He also said that he recommend schools to use Proxor because it is professionally made based on global standards.
I also had the chance to interview the coach of APC, Ms. Rhea Valbuena, and she said, “The competition is not all about programming. It’s not sufficient that you know how to program. What matters is that you can understand the process, that is why we are happy to join this event”. Ms. Valbuena added that the competition is not just ABCD where students can guess the answers. The students really have to know how to code and understand data structure. By being part of the competition, their students will be more confident and will have the realization that they can absolutely do it. She also mentioned that she highly suggests not just to schools but also to companies to use Proxor because they can measure and screen the skills of the applicants using it.
No doubt, Proxor can revolutionize the way schools test their students and offices to assess their applicants. No more manual exam. Proxor can evaluate existing exam methodologies and help develop standardized tests that will work for their business/school needs.