Microsoft Philippines and leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) recently staged the “Best of the Best: The Developer Showdown”, a competition which sought to encourage local software developers to create mobile applications that could contribute to the innovation and enhancement of social networking in our country.
Seven teams of Filipino student and professional software developers qualified for the final round of the contest, which was held over two days at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia.
“This developers’ competition aimed to challenge local software developers, be it students or professionals, to channel their imagination, creativity and skills in coming up with products that excite the local technology industry,” said Tim Vergel de Dios, Academic Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Philippines.
“We are constantly looking to offer the most innovative mobile services to our subscribers, and this puts SMART in an ideal position to help the developer community turn innovations and opportunities into successful ventures,“ said Jerome Almirante, head of data and value-added services group at SMART.
“We are truly amazed by the ideas and the scope of talent we had in this competition. We are pleased to have partnered with Smart who shared an equal passion for innovation.” said Vergel de Dios.
Overnight, participating teams created mobile applications that aimed to create more engaging ways of interacting with existing social networking sites and applications.
Families and friends were able to view the competition through a live video stream and vote for their favorite teams via social networking sites such as Live Spaces, Facebook, and Twitter.
The panel of judges were comprised of Johnny Benitez, Technology Specialist, Microsoft Philippines, Rey Coloma, IP/ IT Systems for Network and Platform Services Department Head, Smart Communications, Bettina Quimson, Government Relations Committee Chief, Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) and Warren Yu, MVP Biztalk, DB Wizards Consultants. They based their decisions not only on the uniqueness and creativity of the applications, but on its usability and selling potential as well.
First place winner Team Triumvirate, comprised of professional developers Ricardo Galano Monteverde and Marc Pheennee Comsti San Diego, walked away with a developers’ showcase worth P500,000 pesos. The showcase also includes Windows Mobile Phones and laptops.
The duo’s interactive web application revives the culture of digital pets but boasts of new, modern features.
“What’s interesting about this application is that the pets operate on Artificial Intelligence. To make your pet battle with other pets, you wouldn’t need to command them. You just have to make them stronger by taking care of them and if their statistics are good, they’ll battle automatically,” said San Diego.
“We’ve thought of this application before, back when we were still thesismates. With Filipinos as certified pet-lovers and the popularity of Tamagochi among the youth before, we figured that there could really be a big potential for this concept. The application is perfect for the culture of Filipinos,” said Monteverde.
Team Xmobile, with members, Charmaine Azajar and Ronald Karlo Jarilla , placed second, while Team EA3 comprised of Allan Sta. Cruz, Emmanuel Tortoza, Kevin Allan Hukom and Allan Vizmanos, placed third.
All finalists enrolled in Bizspark, a Microsoft global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage startups and provide software, support and visibility.
Participants also underwent technopreneurship workshops. Business sessions focused on the fundamentals of starting a business, writing a business plan, and identifying trends in the Information Technology (IT) industry, while technology sessions tackled topics on mobile telecommunications, web technology and social networking.
“At Microsoft, we are on the lookout for opportunities to harness the potential of young and budding IT professionals. Through competitions like this, we are enabling future players of the software industry and giving them the tools and resources that will help them start their own business,” said Vergel de Dios.
Photo above shows (left to right) Mr. Rey Coloma, IP/ IT Systems for Network and Platform Services Department Head, Smart Communications, first place winners, Team Triumvirate, Ricardo Monteverde and Marc Pheenie San Diego and Mr. Tim Vergel de Dios, Academic Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Philippines.