Coders Guild: Shaping Tomorrow's Developers Today

The Philippines as a nation of skilled and talented professionals has been on the forefront of serving the most competitive of companies globally. The younger they get to realize their own potential, the better the rewards they get when they finish school. But the question remains, are we doing enough not only to support but also to prepare these talents to land a real job?

The local IT industry has shifted to a more entrepreneurial conversation, with the advent of government support for tech startups and the availability of resources, there is no telling when having a billion dollar unicorn will become a norm from our own ranks.

Where does the Filipino programmer fit it?

At Coders Guild, it is our passion to push the needle when it comes to producing equipped developers. But it is something that we can’t do on our own. One of our programs is the PPC (Philippine Programming Challenge), we invite schools to participate in a coding battle where individual efforts lead to group recognition.

On March 10 of this year, six schools were plucked from a total of 47 schools who competed. We built an assessment/examination tool, PPR where students were given 2 hours to take the exam. Ranging from the topics like manipulating arrays, geometric operations, bitwise operators, consistency of integer sequences, differentiating odd and even integers, internal representation of integers, iterating through linked lists, matrix operations, monotonic functions, perfect power, and string formatting. The challenge was held at the Technological Institute of the Philippines Cubao campus.

It’s our pride to highlight that we have three students who got 100% scores for this year’s competition. The top winners were TIP, and Cebu Institute of Technology University.

In the grand scheme of what we are doing, this small step has taken us closer to our goal of transforming the Philippines into a nation of programmers, even though after 3 years, we are still a long ways from reaching 250,000 programmers by the year 2020.

What we are trying to achieve is to drive the academe, the young developers, the industry and hopefully the government towards the same goal. Our true north is seeing the Philippines as a recognized nation, where our IT graduates land not just a job, but a real IT job. The software development space won’t be sitting still anytime soon. These young students deserve a platform to reach their dreams, an environment where support is readily available and where their minds sharpen both in theory and application.

For PPC2018, we aim to start early, and as of this writing we are already in talks with schools who agreed to participate, and we are getting the buy-in of the other schools.

At the end of the day, witnessing the young programmers compete at the recently concluded PPC2017 reminds us of our early days when we used to code minus the help of the internet. The intensity and focus that we saw on these young coders’ eyes as they swiftly code their way to greatness is a perfect testament to our advocacy.

We are shaping tomorrow’s developers today, but it’s still a long way, and it won’t be a free and easy ride. We need passionate collaborators from the academe, industry and the government. And together let us be a witness to how far a young Filipino programmer can go.

It all starts here.

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