YOUNG technology enthusiasts envision the Philippines becoming the next ICT hub in the world during the second DevFest on Saturday, November 26, held at Mapua Malayan Colleges Mindanao.

Liezlle Wong, co-Community Lead of Google Developer Group Davao (GDG), said “DevFest is crafted to fit the learning needs and interests of the local developer community, with a strong focus on knowledge exchange, networking, and learning about Google developer technologies.”

She added that it is the perfect opportunity for tech experts to explore possible opportunities to further develop the local ICT industry.

“The Philippines is one of the top sources of IT talents all over the world. We have outsourcing and BPO companies. Given this, the local tech scene really has a great potential to become the global hub for the ICT industry,” she said.

Focusing on the youth, GDG Davao is committed to building networks among college universities and empowering them to pursue a career in the ICT industry.

“We want to connect with fellow college students and motivate them more to pursue the STEM strand as early as high school to grow their interest in the tech industry. As early as college, they may enroll in tech courses and even work for tech companies. As you can see, most of our participants are students who are really enthusiastic about this,” Wong said.

When asked about present gaps, Kyle Naranjo, co-Community Lead of GDG Davao and a computer engineering student, said schools should prioritize teaching practical skills and innovative approaches in dealing with technology problems.

“There is a big gap between what you can learn through formal education and what you can learn as part of the workforce. I hope this will be addressed so that after graduating college, students are more equipped to be part of the workplace,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the event, a speaker shared the importance of treating disability as a priority when developing designs, technologies, and software.

Shannen Sapar, a self-taught designer for more than 8 years in UI and UX design and co-founder of UX Davao, said “when doing designs, it has to be accessible. And disability should not be an afterthought because everyone has a disability, may it be permanent, temporary, or situational.”

GDG Davao is the Davao-based chapter of Google Developers who have been around since 2012. The organizers regularly plan and host meetup events on a wide range of technical and non-technical topics in their localities. Currently, GDG Davao has 70 members, 35 of which are active volunteers. JDC