The PHP Users Group of the Philippines (PHPUGPH) recently held its annual coding contest aptly called im-PHP-ress! The focus of this year’s competition was Cloud, which provided the open source developers experience with building and deploying web applications to the cloud using Microsoft’s Windows Azure.
The contestants were asked to develop plug-in applications for popular Content Management System platforms: Joomla, Drupal or WordPress. Their applications were then deployed to the Cloud using Windows Azure.
“This competition gives the open source community a chance to become proficient with cloud programming skills. The Philippines has a vast talent pool of developers and IT pros; with the availability of Windows Azure in this country, these young developers are given a critical tool to break into the international scene and be noticed,” said Chris Levanes, Platform Lead Strategist, Microsoft Asia Pacific, who also served as one of the judges.
Written from the ground up to be an open cloud platform, Windows Azure provided an optimal development platform for the contest. “It is a great experience that we can now run PHP applications on Microsoft Windows Azure even though they are different technologies. It gives the developers flexibility to choose the best combination of available technologies for their needs,” said Cherrie Ann Domingo, President, PHP User Group Philippines Inc.
For the first time, developers were able to simply focus on actual programming. “We wanted to give the PHPUGPH a taste of how development should be. Developers should be focused on actual coding and functionality of applications. They should not have to worry about where to host their apps or what bandwidth to have. This is the advantage of deploying to the cloud,” said Zandra Nicolas, Technology Evangelist, Microsoft Philippines.
Judging was done by accessing the applications on the cloud. “Windows Azure provides an easy evolution from the traditional on-premise development that the community was familiar with, so it was pleasing to see that the developers quickly adapted to Windows Azure with very little guidance,” said Levanes.
Michael John Lopez took the top spot for his “WP-Socially-Related” plug in, which automatically includes Twitter, WordPress.com and Bing Search into one’s blog posts.
Runner ups were Team Borders (Anne Kathleen Madriaga and Dorris Joy Aliaga) for “Image of Me Locator” and Team Bunnies & Creams (Lester Bambico and Zyra Ordono) for “CoffeeGreet”.