Manila, Philippines -Two simultaneous Coding Boot Camps were implemented by the DICT’s NCM Service and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on October 24-28, 2016 as an offshoot of the ICT Forum with the academia held by the DICT last September. The boot camps were held at the Lyceum of the Philippines University, Intramuros, Manila.
The Coding Boot Camps were designed to introduce a new and innovative way of teaching and implementing coding/programming through an intensive format and within a short period of time. A total of 22 IT heads from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private higher education institutes (HEIs) nationwide attended the Operators Course, while 20 faculty members participated in the Trainers Course. Three resource persons from Australia’s Coder Factory Academy were commissioned by the ITU to conduct these Coding Boot Camps.
In the message delivered by ITU’s Head of the Special Initiatives Division who’s based in Geneva, Switzerland, Ms. Susan Schorr mentioned that there are many jobs arising in the ICT sector since software development has become a crucial aspect to other sectors (e.g. agriculture); however, there are less people who have the skills required to fill those jobs. She reiterated that the Coding Boot Camps would hopefully result to the development of new business models for universities, where there is technology and skills transfer especially to the youth and where those who acquired the new skills will land decent jobs in the ICT industry.
Specifically, the Operators Course stressed on the operation and management processes, including curriculum development; teacher, venue, and software requirements; and student selection qualifications, among others. The Trainers Course focused on the boot camp as an approach in teaching; the tools being used (specifically Ruby on Rails); learning and assessment strategy; portfolio preparation; and networking opportunities.
In the course of the training, the participants shared possible solutions on how to incorporate Coding Boot Camp in their respective universities. Some suggested that it must be included in the Research and Development (R&D) and Extension of the university, while others wanted to integrate it as either a Special Program or as a requirement to the completion of a major subject. These all led to the need for the accreditation of the curriculum by an authorized agency to ensure sustainability, and in the long run, be able to produce highly trained and competitive workforce.
During the closing program, NCM Director Raul Nilo mentioned that one of the participating academic institutions, Vivixx Academy, will be conducting an actual Coding Boot Camp in the next six months which will be closely monitored by the ITU, the DICT, and the participants from the SUCs. He also emphasized that partnerships must be strengthened to enable better collaborative work, and to ensure that there is sustainability in pushing forth such efforts.
Dialogues on certification and accreditation processes are foreseen to be undertaken by the DICT and its partners from the academe and the ICT industry.