Davao developers showcase skills in hackathon-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
THE results of Smart DevDay Davao, Mindanao’s first HTML5 hackathon held at the state-owned University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), were an affirmation that Davao City’s future in ICT is bright, a telecommunications company said.
The inaugural hackathon brought together Mindanao’s most promising IT programmers and practitioners for a day of learning and coding sessions that showcased HTML5—the latest version of HTML, which allows for a flexible, fully-open application development ecosystem.
Topping Smart DevDay Davao hackathon were Iñaki Narciso, Mark Valles, BJ Basañes and Tim Duhaylungsod, who bagged the “Best Use of HTML5 App” for their entry entitled “PhilLyf.” The term “PhilLyf” is a play on words on both the hackathon’s theme, “It’s more fun in the Philippines” and “Piclyf,” the main product of the startup company where members of the team are working. The app can be used to customize one’s Facebook cover page.
Narciso, a 21-year-old USEP alumnus, says the application will help reduce steps in customizing one’s Facebook account, particularly the Facebook Timeline.
“The process used to be very complicated because you had to have special software to edit your photo and to include the phrase ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ before uploading it on Facebook,” he says. Through the use of the application, you only have to select the photo, choose from among the built-in filters and save.
The whole concept was developed under two hours, Narciso says, and can be immediately beta-tested and linked with Facebook once users have the right application programming interface.
Rolly Rulete, Jay Albano and Pablito Veroy won the “Best Use of Smart API App” for their project “Project NOAH for mobile.” The teams behind PhilLyf and Project NOAH mobile received Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones, Smart Power Plug-its and hackathon freebies. The 28-year-old Rulete said their project is a mobile application piggybacking on the Project NOAH or the National Operational Assessment of Hazards recently launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that will allow communities enough lead time to seek refuge in case of extreme weather events.
“We realized that DOST’s Project NOAH can be expanded to mobile devices. That’s why we enhanced the user interface to offer a mobile version for smartphones,” Rulete says, adding that it makes sense to come up with a NOAH mobile app, given the surge of mobile internet usage in the Philippines.
Describing himself as a “weather geek,” Rulete said they can have the mobile application up and running in three weeks once it can be linked to the DOST website.
He and his two partners agree that they will offer the application in the Android market for free. “My father is a fisherman and this weather application is a good way for me to pay back. If this application can help save lives, then I am satisfied.”
Meanwhile, AMA Computer College students Arjay dela Cruz and Jed Adrian Varon, grabbed the “Best Student Team App” category for their website application dubbed the “Centralized Doctors’ Information Directory System.” For brevity and use in the hackathon presentation, the name was changed to “Find My Dok.”
“It was our first time attending a hackathon and we were actually not planning to participate. My partner, Jed Adrian Varon, did not even bring a laptop. When the time for the competition came, we decided to simply just participate for the heck of it. For experience,” he said.
As the name suggests, it aims to help doctors find other doctors for referrals and also make it easier for the public to find doctors near their area as well. The students used PHP, HTML5, CSS3 and Ajax for the program and MySQL for the database.
Fan favorites and father-and-son team of Christopher Cubos and 8-year-old Ethan Sky Cubos won the Jury Prize for Project Banthalos. The application is described to be the mother of all applications.
Christopher, who used to be a serious photographer but transitioned to programming and website development, explains that the application will help people with no experience in programming transfrom those ideas, into a reality.
The hackathon is one of the events of the inaugural Technology Week of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), which featured the latest gadgets and services to engage students, developers and programmers. The hackathon was backed by the Smart Developer Network (Smart DevNet), which provides member-developers access to Smart tools, resources and activities.
“Members of Smart DevNet also have the unique opportunity to make their homegrown apps available to a wider audience, through Smart’s 50 million-strong mobile subscriber network,” said Jim Ayson, Smart partner management senior manager.
Smart said its technology festival comes at the most opportune time as it just completed upgrading its mobile phone network.
“Powering Mindanao’s first HTML5 hackathon is a testament of Smart’s network superiority in the region, and our hat-tip to Mindanado developers who have successfully placed the Philippines on the international startups map,” said Paul Pajo, Smart DevNet evangelist.
Originally scheduled for completion in 2013 as part of the P67-billion network modernization program of the PLDT Group, over 9,500 Smart base stations have been installed with next-generation equipment.
This has increased the network’s capacity to handle calls, text, and mobile data leading to enhanced service quality and reliability in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“This event highlights Smart’s commitment to providing support to the application developer community–our part in creating a healthy ecosystem for the Philippine tech scene. Smart’s robust data network allows more Filipinos to go beyond simple call and text and plunge into the world of mobile apps. Smart’s partnership with the developer community is enabling this transition to the next generation of telecom,” said Ayson. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 07, 2012.