Friday, November 16, 2012

Faculty Immersion Program by Local Software Company Hopes to Address Industry-Academe Gap

Press Release:

A study conducted by the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) states that the Philippines needs 10,000 IT professionals in 2013 to meet the demand of software engineers in the country. From 2006-2011, the industry’s annual revenue growth was pegged at 27 percent, a number that can be sustained if our educational institutions can produce thousands of skilled graduates every year.

There are a number of factors however that hinder the country from producing skilled workers. One of the stark realities the Philippine software industry faces is the disconnect between the academe and the private sector.

Calen Legaspi, an executive of local software firm Orange & Bronze Software Labs (O&B), believes that the private sector has a responsibility to the local IT community. “Corporations like ours have a huge stake in developing the skills of the youth. In our case, we devote some of our resources to community programs aimed to enhance and improve the knowledge of our future IT professionals.”

O&B developed a faculty immersion program where select computer science professors attend an IT boot camp for free to learn about Java software development. This 8-week program aims to expose teachers to the inner workings of a software company.

Alquine Taculin, the Chair of the Computer Science Department at the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), is a graduate of O&B’s Faculty Immersion Program. “When I heard about the program, I eagerly applied for it,” said Taculin. “Teaching in MSU-IIT was my first job. I have never worked in any other institution since I graduated from college.”

Legaspi explained that participants are exposed to various developer teams, undergo rigorous code training, do hands-on development work, as well as assimilate themselves into the corporate culture. The program is meant to impact these professors’ effectivity in educating and preparing students on what to expect in the “real world” after graduation.

Alquine Taculin
Taculin immediately saw the benefit of being trained by software professionals in an office setting. “I have learned that what we teach in school is quite the opposite of what is practiced in the industry - it is evident that teachers like me lack first-hand experiences.”

Legaspi said that O&B will continue to work with the academe in a bid to ensure that the level of instruction in our universities is industry-relevant. “The demand for IT knowledge workers is growing, we need to help each other to produce a steady supply of intelligent and skilled staff. This effort aligns with O&B’s vision of making the Philippines a center of tech excellence - if we support the Philippine academe, then we also support more people able to get gainful tech jobs, who will support businesses that will provide more jobs for others.”

Taculin is even more encouraged to pass on his new knowledge to his students in Mindanao. “Even if I had taken advanced studies prior to the immersion program, I knew I had so much to learn. And I did. The program exposed me to the industry best practices, which I will persistently pass on to my students.”

For more information about the program, please email

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