If a challenge stirs your senses, definitely it’s worthy of your time whether you’re the second placer or the grand winner. That’s what I realized in the Philippine Programming Challenge (PPC 2015), a competition that utilized performance-based software developer tool Proxor, of Gurango Software Corporation together with DOST ICTO (Department of Science and Technology -Information and Communications Technology Office), PSIA (Philippine Software Industry Association), and Proxor.
In the PPC 2015, the University of Sto. Tomas (average score of 3) team named as the big winner, followed by Asia Pacific College (2nd Place – average score of 3.5 ) and Technological Institute of the Philippines (3rd place- average score of 3.8).
What’s the point of Philippine Programming Challenge?
“To create a nation of programmers,” Joey Gurango, CEO and CTO of Gurango Corporation Software Corporation, said about PPC 2015’s aim. ”One way to start that effort is to identify who are the excellent, the good, not so good, and the average programmers. Akala ng tao pare-pareho lang ‘yan either you can or you can’t.”
Gurango added that usually evaluating a programming exam is done manually, but with Proxor it will become fast and easy as it combines artificial intelligence and computer technology. Thus, this tool is a big help for the universities, schools, and senior programmers in the country to evaluate their trainees and students. Developed by the renowned Carnegie Mellon University, Proxor is also the authentic certification exam of educational institutions in South Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
“It measures the actual skills that they can use to implement software so it’s very objective,” Gurango, also the Event Chairman of PPC 2015, shared.
He also divulged that they just gathered few school participants for PPC 2015, which required 10 graduating BS Information Technology or BS Computer Science students per school team. However because of its success, they are now preparing for PPC 2016 with bigger and exciting programs. This year, UST team received Php 20, 000, while the A.P.C and T.I.P placer bagged Php 15, 000 and Php 10,000 respectively. Furthermore, PSIA member companies gave individual prizes for each students of the top 3 schools and job offers for those students who got Proxor rating of 1.
Why we need Proxor?
“The demand for programmers is increasing all the time. Hardly anything in our modern society runs software, even kotse software-driven,“ Gurango shared. Although Filipinos have good opportunities, he added that programmers from other countries like India, Russia and Eastern Europe who are in-demand and considered the best in this field.
Empirically the country don’t produce very good programmers based on the statistics gathered through Proxor tool according to Gurango. He pointed out that Proxor could help educational institutions to identify their weaknesses so they could provide corrective measures and better curriculum.
“I’ve been involved in the Philippine Software for 20 plus years and I know that our IT and software industry, in particular, are very dependent on quality of programmers locally. Hindi naman tayo mag-i-import. If the talent pool locally is not world-class, then that suggests we have tough times producing world-class software products.
“This is my advocacy not only to try to improve the programmers’ talents in the Philippines, but also the programming education,” Gurango said. He added that this is also a personal thing because when there more superb Filipino programmers locally, then companies like Gurango Software will find and hire best programmers.
The authorized Proxor testing center in the Philippines, Gurango Software Corporation is a multinational software company that’s recognized by Microsoft Dynamics community.
On the other note, the top three teams were evidently satisfied with PPC 2015’s result. I asked an student from the team of APC ( I’m sorry I didn’t record his name), he said that Proxor is recommendable because it’s very adequate.
“I think the competition is very good in terms of determining which schools have good programming students,” an APC student shared. “The Proxor test is quite hard so it’s very adequate.”
Monchito Ibrahim (DOST ICTO Deputy Executive Director) and Jonathan De Luzuriaga, President of PSIA) were the special guests at the PPC 2015 awarding ceremony.
Below is my video Interview with Mr. Ibrahim and an APC student↓