(Updated/Live Blogged earlier ) Do we have competent IT students to work in the information technology companies? The question was raised and shared by a panel of executives from technology companies at the DevCon Entrepreneurship Camp Monday at the Casino Español in Cebu City.
Someone from the audience-Terence Elumba stood and lamented on the lack of equipment and resources in some IT schools in Cebu which supposedly could help hone the skills of the students. Elumba saw this inadequacy when he visited some IT schools to scout for talents to join his software development projects.
After the forum, Elumba told me that this resulted in the lack of competent IT graduates with level 8 competency which he needed for his projects. He cited the lack of both softwares and hardwares needed for programming in some of the IT schools he visited.
Dr. Greg Gabison, Dean of the College of Information Technology at the University of San Jose Recoletos appealed to IT companies to keep in touch by collaboration with the schools. Gabison sees the need for help from the industry to prepare the students.
Alvin Gendrano, Microsoft Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism in the Philippines responded by revealing his company’s scholarship program involving IT students. Some of the Microsoft scholars are in Cebu.
Another participant in the audience, Drew Shobbrook from Australia has problems looking for IT workers in the Philippines because many IT graduates are joining the call centers instead of practicing what they’ve learned in school.
The reason is the higher wages and benefits offered by the call centers.
Gendrano offered to Elumba and Shobbrook assistance in looking for competent graduates.
The DevCon (Developer Connect) Entrepreneurship Camp is designed to encourage developers to begin building startup tech-businesses. The forum had some executives from different technology firms as guests like:
- Diosdado Banatao—Managing Partner of Tallwood Ventutre Capital, a firm focusing on semiconductors and related technologies. Banatao has developed several key semiconductor technologies while working at the Silicon Valley. During the DevCon Camp, he had a short lecture on managing startup tech-business.
- Alvin Gendrano—Microsoft Director of Developer and Platform Evangelist in the Philippines. Gendrano works with Microsoft programs for students, startups, developers, IT professionals and other activities geared towards helping the local software economy grow.
- Eric Manlunas—Founder and Managing Director of Frontera Group, a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage emerging companies.\
- Earl Martin Valencia—Head of Strategic Business Development at Smart Communications, Inc.
Representatives of the top five teams in the recently conducted Startup Weekend Cebu also shared their experiences while answering questions from the audience.