With over 1,500 participants, 30 local and international speakers and 30 industry partners, the largest developer conference in the Philippines, DEVCON Summit 2019, is definitely an event to look forward to every year. Speakers ranged from prominent personalities such as Gigi Rapadas (CIO, Ayala Corp), Monchito Ibrahim, (Exec Adviser to DICT Secretary), Diane Eustaquio (Executive Director, IdeaSpace) and a lot more from the country's well-established companies.
In this article, I will include highlights, key takeaways and latest news from different panel talks during the event. I will also include bits and pieces regarding my own actual experience and opinions regarding the event.
Industry Transformation: Responding to the 4th Industrial Revolution
Fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) - The summit did not waste any time mentioning big words that excite the people in the tech industry. You will hear a lot about AI, IoT and blockchain everywhere you go during the event. The key takeaway from this session's panel is that we are undergoing Industry 4.0 which is focused on being 'CONNECTED,' building societies like never before. All electronics, be it mobile devices, home appliances or even cars are now able to talk to each other through IoT with help from AI technologies automating different tasks, making people's lives easier and better.
Startup situation in the Philippines - Being a founder here is no easy task especially when it comes to trying raise money to grow your business. Things are now starting to change because Ayala Corp now has invested a whopping \$150M VC fund to help companies in their early growth stage as mentioned by Gigi Rapada (CIO, Ayala Corp). The fund will be managed by Kickstart Ventures. This is big news and could accelerate the growth of not only young companies but also the Philippines' economy in general.
ICT infrastructures -Monchito Ibrahim (Exec Adviser to DICT Secretary) mentioned DICT's program to be the primary authority in the development of national ICT infrastructure. He talked about the problem of redundant multiple cell towers being built in the same region. DICT's course of action to resolve the issue as stated in Section III. Resource-sharing and Capacity Building of the Republic Act №10844, in which any company that wishes to build cell towers or any ICT infrastructure should be willing to share that infrastructure to other companies trying to also expand their services.
Blockchain - This lightning talk by Alexis Pantola (Solutions Architect, IBM) really got my attention. His talk was about one of blockchain's use-case which is cryptocurrencies and how it applied to IBM's Food Trust. He talked about Bitcoin, the world's most famous cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin's TRUSTLESS TRUST nature. Cryptocurrencies are getting traction because of its decentralized architecture. Decentralized meaning the community runs it and no single body has control over its transactions and value. This decentralized architecture was made possible by cryptocurrencies being TRUSTLESS. You can read more about this, here. This was talk was so relevant at the time because Facebook's Libra project was just announced.
Event Booths and Activities
DEVCON Kids - DevCon Summit 2019 was not all talks. The event also hosted a robotics competition for the youngsters. Programming software is hard. It gets even harder when hardware like robots are in the mix. It's nice to see kids being exposed to software engineering.
Lots of freebies! - I can assure you that you will not go home empty-handed. Be it pens, tumblers, or umbrellas the summit have them all for you. Also, a Samsung Galaxy S10 was given away by raffle. Sadly I was able to take that baby home.
Geek Night - Free drinks for everyone. Live band on stage. People are socializing. Devcon Summit 2019 definitely knows how to throw a party. Slow down on those Margaritas though!
Summary and Opinions
Registration-The registration process was a disaster. The event started significantly late because of that. This was enough to ruin a lot of people's mood. Looking forward to a better process next year.
Devcon Summit 2019 did deliver what was expected in general. I just wish there was more room to socialize and make connections. Food could also be improved. Overall I would recommend everyone to give this event a chance. Especially those who are trying to pursue a career in tech.
After all, this kind of events is what makes our community connected and much stronger.
Special thanks to Virtual Control, Ltd. for sponsoring our tickets.
Thanks for reading!