PHP User Group Philippines (PHPUGPH) and Microsoft Philippines recently hosted the annual emPHPeror Cup PHProgramming Competition, an event that provided students and professionals an opportunity to share ideas, insights and best practices on interoperable tools that enable them to build applications across different platforms.
Jonathan Yap, overall event lead, shared what PHPUGPH and Microsoft aimed to accomplish by organizing the event: “We wanted a forum where we will be able to gauge how ones’ skills measure up to his or her peers. In fact, we wanted to go back to the basics of how developers hone their problem solving skills by really thinking of ways to troubleshoot rather than solely relying on frameworks and platforms to accomplish their tasks,” Yap said.
“Partnering with Microsoft is like a dream come true for us. Aside from being able to tap into Microsoft’s resources and expertise, it also gave the activity a sense of prestige and honor. The partnership enabled PHPUGPH to continue its vision and mission to empower Filipinos with the knowledge and skills they need to make society a fun and simple place to live in,” Yap added.
PHPUGPH is a non-profit organization established to provide support for PHP and open-source enthusiasts in the Philippines . The contest was attended by various IT professionals, software developers and students who participated by coding PHP programs running on Windows Server 2008r2 and Microsoft’s Internet Information Services 7 (IIS7).
“Microsoft has been of great help in providing applications that could operate on various platforms. There are a lot programming practices and tools that have been made available to the participants that made the optimization of application performance possible,” said Cherrie Ann Domingo, President, PHPUGPH.
With the functionalities of the platforms provided by Microsoft, using PHP on Windows Server 2008r2 and IIS 7 enabled the participants to easily maneuver and troubleshoot problems handed to them during the contest proper. “Microsoft has created its interoperable platforms so that we can offer and provide the best choice to help our users deliver innovative solutions. With these products, IT developers and students can design and create ground-breaking applications that are at par with the rest of the world,” said Arnie Locsin, Platform Strategy Lead, Microsoft Philippines .
Cyrus Paolo Buenafe, Faculty member of the University of Asia and the Pacific, shared his own insights on using the Microsoft platform and PHP in math-intensive programming problems for example. According to Buenafe, the trick in solving problems relies on some important mathematical concepts that make the task easy. It involves the mere summation of the logarithms. “Take the case of having to do some “simple” number crunching. With Microsoft Excel and a bit of macro programming with Visual Basic, you can do all sorts of estimation models. I don’t think I can do this in other tools. In fact, a lot of colleagues of mine who are economists have a greater appreciation for programming now and they are considering including this skill in their own personal toolbox. Even if this is just a small market to begin with, an easy-to-use tool from Microsoft can give some of them an advantage in their own fields,” shared Buenafe.
According to Locsin, collaborating with PHPUGPH and other industry partners has provided them a wider reach to developers in the field of IT and aided them to push for innovation in the local software industry. “We always aim to be able to widen our scope when it comes to enabling people with the freedom to choose and use the best products and services to make them globally competitive. We have conviction that Filipino IT developers are among the best in the world as they are imbibed with creativity and resourcefulness that will help them step up from the others,” he said.
“Filipinos are very talented with creating and using the tools available to them. The only problem I see is that they should be given ample training, seminars and resources to maximize their capabilities. It’s good that we have partnered with Microsoft for this event. We now know that there is hope for Filipino developers because we are given the advantage of flexibility to get optimized performance from various platforms,” Domingo concluded.
PHPUGHPH and Microsoft announced the winners of the 2010 emPHPeror’s Cup PHProgramming Contest. Marte Soliza from the University of the Philippines came in at first place garnering a total score of 10,086 out of 10 problems given. She bested 14 other teams/participants.
Rounding up the top five finishers are: (2) John Paul de Guzman with 8297 points; (3) Team Three Musketeers – Sheldon Clement Senseng; Steve dela Cruz; Ryan Velasco with 6139 points; (4) Adamson CS Web Team – Harold Jefferson Gomez; Thomie Jose San Agustin; Alvin Ray Cortes with 6064 points and (5) Jomel Imperio with 5312 points.
Photo above shows students and professionals as they participate in the emPHPeror Cup PHProgramming Competition.