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Saturday, October 18, 2014

FTS' Major Field Trip

Seminar Overview

Our 5-day major field trip in Manila was the most awaited experience of most of the students under the department of Institute of Computing in University of Southeastern Philippines. With this 5-day field trip, we are able to learn new things, were inspired by the things that we have encountered during the company or school visits and of course have experienced many things that were so much fun and which is one of the most unforgettable experience in our whole life.  During our major field trip there, most of the things were first-time we have experienced and that what made our field trip more fun and unforgettable.

Visiting big companies there are one of the main goals of our field trip. We are able to learn new things about the companies we visited such as the products of their company, how it work and so on. We were also able to have hands-on to the products of some of the companies we visited and were able to throw some questions and clarifications. We are able to attend the biggest IT conference in the country and were able to meet new people and we were also had the chance to listen to the inspiring stories of successful individuals.

What I and my parents have invested for the main purpose of that major field trip was worth it. It was almost perfect.   The experience and all were the proofs that our FTS’ major field trip was indeed a success. Although we don’t fully absorb all of the things that were discussed throughout the company and school visits and seminar but at least we had much fun and was able to learn so much things not just from the speakers but also to the people around us during our visit there.

Day 1
September 8th of is the first day of our field trip and seminars. I am excited that day since it is our first day to have our company visits in Manila. I am excited because we will learn something new from the speakers of our company visits. I am excited to those new information that we will acquire from the speakers. Our first company visit on our first day in Manila is Accenture. Accenture is a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Accenture is one of the world’s leading organizations providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services, with more than 305,000 employees; offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 56 countries; and net revenues of $30.0 billion for fiscal 2014. Our company visit at Accenture was started introduced by Minette Basig, she is from the Campus Team at Accenture.

In that first company visit of our field trip, I am so tired and sleepy that is why not all the things that was discussed by the speaker were sink in to my head. Sleepy because I don’t have enough sleep the night before that day because of some personal matters. If I only knew that that will happen, I should have sleep early so that I can understand well all those things that were discussed.

After our first company visit in Accenture, we headed to Kenny Rogers to take our lunch. After we took our lunch there, we directly go to our second company visit which is the IBM. When we got there, we are divided into two groups since IBM doesn’t have that larger space which can accommodate all of us. I was grouped to the first batch to visit the company. While entering the building, I don’t have any idea what exactly are the things that we will learn there during our visit. I don’t have a great knowledge about IBM since I only got a company background about IBM when I watched the movie The Pirates of the Silicon Valley. As what to I knew about IBM, the company is one of the biggest technology company in the world. According to their website, IBM has evolved to become the leader in information technology, providing hardware, software and IT­enabled services to domestic and global clients. It is known for the quality of its products and services in a long­standing tradition of excellence, customer satisfaction, and commitment to business ethics and integrity. After entering the office of IBM, Mr. Alexis Pantola, the speaker was able to tour us around their office. He showed to us their data center wherein there 6 racks of hard drives can be found. Those can be access remotely. After the company tour, he brought us to their conference room wherein many IBM computers can be found and which are ready to be used by us. Since it is my first time to use that kind of computer, I do not know how to use it or let me say, how I can be able to move the cursor. While the discussion is going on and the speaker started to give instructions about our hands on, I and my seatmates were confused on how to follow the speaker’s instructions. But luckily, I was able to follow him without knowing how to move the cursor since I know the basic keyboard shortcuts. After minutes, thank God that we were able to discover where is the mouse pad, thanks to one of my classmates. Anyway, moving on. After the first steps of the tutorial, Mr. Alexis started to teach and show us how to filter tweets on twitter using their product, Bluemix. After how many steps, we are able to see the result. The app was able to filter tweets on twitter using keywords.

One of my favorite company visits during our major field trip is IBM because we are able to have a hands-on to their products. We are able to follow what the speaker is discussing and that’s what is important, being able to understand the things during the seminar/discussion.

What I learned?
During our company visit in our first day of our field trip in Manila, our company visit in IBM is what I liked the most because we are able to learn new things. I learned that we can be able to trace or track certain tweets on twitter by the use of bluemix under IBM. They used certain codes in able to do it.

What I liked?
When we visited IBM, what I liked the most is when we have our hands on during the lecture. We are able to follow to the things that were discussed by the speaker. It is really an advantage applying or doing the things that were being discussed. I like it how we are able to apply the process of using the application of IBM, how we are able to follow the steps and see the result afterwards. I find it amazing how the application works, filtering the tweets by the use of keywords. I also like how the speaker of IBM, Mr. Alexis Pantola, discussed things about their company and teaches us how Bluemix works. I liked it how he entertains our questions regarding to their Bluemix product.  The IBM speaker taught us well and was able to give us also an example. 

What I didn’t like?
There are no so many things which I did not like during our company visit at Accenture. The company is so much well prepared for our company visit there. During our company visit, there is only one thing that I did not like a bit. It is the how the speaker speaks. In my own opinion, he speaks kinda fast that is why I find it a bit difficult to me to let those information he shared sink to my brain. Before I can fully understand the things that he is saying, he will share other thoughts. Maybe one of the reason that is why I can’t fully understand all the thoughts and information he shared is because I am so tired and sleepy that day.

* * * 

September 9th of year 2014 – our second day of our major field trip in Manila. The assigned companies for our second day of company visits are PLDT and Ideaspace. PLDT is the first company that we visited that day. We headed to Mandaluyong where the Manila office of PLDT is located. There, we are asked to leave our camera inside the bus since we are not allowed to take picture inside the company. To begin the company visit proper, Amy Ferrer from PLDT’s Community Relations, gave us a brief history of PLDT. After some talks, she led the way for our company tour. She brought us to the hallway where all of their company’s histories were displayed. Decade by decade, history and improvements of PLDT were displayed and explained to the stuffs on their hallway.
After our company visit in PLDT, we had our lunch inside the bus since our company visit in PLDT was finished late and it is because it is raining. After our lunch, we went to Dela Rosa St., Makati to visit the office of Ideaspace Foundation. Upon entering their company’s office, I was impressed with the interior design of their office since it’s colorful and when you are inside, it looks like things were lively because of the color of their office. We entered their conference room and they have discussed to us about their company, Ideaspace and the boot camp they are hosting.

What I learned?
What I learned is that PLDT also have other products aside from their main well-known products such as DSL. They have an Innolab where there products are tested. PLDT Innolab was not involved in creating sales but just pure testing of those. PLDT had developed also so much things or technologies since they’re founded. As time passes by, their company gets bigger and bigger and their number of employees was also increasing as well.

What I liked?
There are so many things that I liked during our company visit in Ideaspace. The people there are friendly. They accommodated us well and they are so nice to us. They were able to give us free tshirts and stickers also of their organization. I like how their non-profit organization supports amazing ideas and helping it to implement by funding it. I like how they help ideas turned into reality and make it successful. Another thing that I liked also is that we were able to meet the CEO of Ideaspace Foundation. What I liked most throughout our 3rd day experience in Manila is when we went shopping on Tutuban Night Market. This is one of the places that I want to visit again when I will have the opportunity to go back to Manila because there are still lots of cheap items that I want to buy there.

What I didn’t like?
To be honest, what I didn’t like during our second day of our major field trip is during our company visit in PLDT. I find it kind of not interesting when the speaker toured us to the hallway and discussed their company’s history. Some of the things of the history might be quite interesting because of the things that were invented by their company but sometimes, some of us find it not interesting because there are so many talks.

 * * * 

Day 3

September 10th of 2014 – the third day of our major field trip. After every day that will pass during our 5-day field trip, the major field trip days passed so fast. That day, we are 50-50 happy and sad. Happy since after that day, we will go to Tagaytay and Enchanted Kingdom but the sad part was knowing the fact that the end of our major field trip in Manila is near. For the whole day of the third day of our field trip, we just went to Mall of Asia for the Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology (Y4IT). When we arrived there, I find it cool seeing other BSIT, BSCS or other related courses’ students from different place and schools attending the seminar. Hearing them speaks with their dialects or Tagalog seems cool to me too.  When we got there and before we will go outside the bus, a representative or staff of Y4IT went inside the bus and orients us about the rules to the Y4IT seminar.

After the Y4IT seminar, we went outside the Mall of Asia for our mall tour. We don’t spent the whole time touring inside the mall since it’s just what we usual see in the malls here in Davao. That’s why we toured outside the mall instead and have observed great performances of the musical marching band which we can’t typically see here locally.

What I learned?
During the third day of our major field trip, although I already knew that an android app can create money out of it, but when a speaker shared things about creating an app and make money out of it, we were impressed and amazed. The speaker shared Dong Nguyen’s android game, Flappy Bird and was able to earn lots of dollars by just publishing it to the app store.

What I liked?
What I liked during the seminar is the seminar itself. I liked what the speakers shared to us. The inspiring stories or things they share which we can think somehow that it is really awesome if we are just really good in our field. I like how Dong Nguyen makes moneys through his created game which is the Flappy Bird. There are things that I learned from one of the speakers during the Y4IT seminar. Aside from their apps turned into business thing. One of the speakers has shared some tips like tech will change. Nothing is really constant in the field of technology, that’s the fact that we should accept. Because tech changes, we as future developers and programmers, should be updated on the new technology things that were emerging nowadays since it’s like every month, every week or even every day, a new technology, system or idea were developed. Pick the right tool for the job is the next tip that was given by the speaker. Picking the right tool for the job is very important because this is the thing that you’ll be facing most of the time or even every time along the way. Finish it and get it out was the third tip given, which means demos or working products are better than resumes. One should be able to finish his/her product and present it to people. Your working product is better than resumes since it will show how good and wise you are by implementing your ideas and able to achieve your desired output. And the last one is maximize available tools out there where you should make the use of the available tools that can help you implement your ideas. Those tools may not be your main tool for working but at least those will help you improve your work.

What I didn’t like?
What I didn’t like is knowing the fact that we can only attend one day for the Y4IT Congress which is 3-day event seminar. We knew that if we could just attend the whole 3 days of the seminar, we will acquire more knowledge about our chosen field and we that we were be able to be inspired by the thoughts that the speakers will share to us during the seminar. Another thing that I didn’t like during the Y4IT event is the long line during outside the main event area of the seminar where participants will go to each booth to receive something (it could be brochures, a baller, a keychain, stickers, or ballpen) in exchange of a stamp to the last page of the booklet that was provided inside the giveaway souvenir of the Y4IT event.

* * * 

Day 4

11th of September 2014 – the fourth day of our major field trip. This was the most awaited day for the most of us since in that day we will go to Tagaytay and most of all, to Enchanted Kingdom. But before we went to our most awaited destinations for our 5-day field trip, we went first to Toshiba Company for our company visit for that day. When going to Toshiba, you will enter a compound area of Japanese companies which I find amazing since it’s like Japan is invading us through their companies. It’s kind of cool because it’s like we’re in Japan. Entering the compound as well as the company of Toshiba, you will see that Japanese are indeed disciplined. The places are clean and the people of the company were neat. Although there are so many things inside their company, but still you can’t find any trashes that were scattered everywhere. They are also disciplined inside the company. They are used on greeting people they meet in the hall way, making smile if possible. We are able to see graduates from our school there also but we don’t have the chance to meet them since they’re inside their working area but still they manage to greet us by the use of computer. It’s a nice feeling seeing graduates from your school succeeded and were able to have their works in one of the biggest company in Asia.

After our company visit in Toshiba, we headed to Tagaytay to have our lunch there specifically at Max’s Restaurant. It’s a great place where you can see the Taal Volcano. Having a meal with a nice view like that is a great place to spend your eating time. After we took our lunch, we have our quick visit and sightseeing at People’s Park in the Sky, an urban park in Tagaytay. This is where I bought most of my souvenir for my family and friends. 

What I learned?
                I learned how Toshiba workers do their hard disks, how they assembled it, the way they work and how they manually checked it. Their staffs are well-disciplined and the places are clean because that is what are two of the things the Japanese are known and that are what their head are teaching them. Cleanliness and time management are two of the important things for Japanese and also for business.

What I liked?
Almost all of the things that were happened on that day are what I like. I liked our company visit at Toshiba because I was able to observe the things that their company’s staffs are working inside the company. I was inspired by all of those things because it’s related to our taken course. But the most thing that I liked the most is when we went to Enchanted Kingdom because it was the best experience so far that I had in my life.

What I didn’t like?
Since during our company visit at Toshiba we were divided into two groups, we have different speaker or tour guide. There are some things that were shared by the other group’s speaker that were not shared by our group’s speaker and maybe vice versa as well. And since we are the people who are in the end of the line, there are some things that we cannot hear from the tour guide and that’s what I didn’t like the most. Their company made me interested to what they are doing or working inside that is why I want to hear all the things that were being shared but unfortunately, I was not able to due to the mentioned reason.
What I didn’t like also is our sightseeing at People’s Park in the Sky where we have so much limited time going there because we are more thinking for our Enchanted Kingdom Experience so that we could have enough time to experience all the rides there. Because the time is limited, I was not able to choose well the souvenirs that I bought and was not able to buy some other things as well as not having enough picture of our sightseeing there.

* * * 

Day 5
12th of September 2014, it is our last day of our field trip. Most of us were feeling a little bit sad that day because of course it's our last day in Manila and for us, it's not enough and we could just only extend our stay there, we will. On that day, we don't have any company destination but universities instead. We are scheduled to visit Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and University of the Philippines - Diliman Campus. Both of these schools were included to the list of top schools in the Philippines and even in Southeast Asia. Before we went to our first university destination, we were first dropped off of the bus by our travel agency to quickly have picture taking in front of one of the famous house in the Philippines, the Big Brother’s House. At first days of our field trip, I thought that we can’t still be able to visit the famous house because of the busy schedule for our company visits each day but our travel agency was still able to insert our visit there early in the morning. Not just the Big Brother House but we were able to see also the old house of Aquino’s. After our houses’ quick visit, we headed to our first university stop which is the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) which is located in Katipunan in the City of Quezon. When we went there, we visited there Department of Information System and Computer Science.  I find the speaker kind of approachable because of the way she discussed things. The speaker discussed the computer programs their school is offering and she was also able to discuss the courses under the programs, a brief lecture and was able to show to us personally two of their most-expensive gadgets which are the Oculus Rift and the Google Glass. We were not able to test and try it because the Google glass was battery empty and there’s a reason also why we cannot use the oculus rift. During our visit in the university, we are quite curious why in that kind of famous university in the country they are not using Apple computers. Of course, due to the fact that enrolling to their school is expensive, we are expecting that they have Apple computers although that’s not the basis of all.

After our visit to Ateneo de Manila University, we headed to University of the Philippines – Diliman Campus which are not far from AdMU. When we arrive there, we first have our picture taking within their oblation area. We were able to have pictures together with the famous UP’s statue. After the picture taking, we took our lunch inside the campus. I was amazed on how big their school campus is. Their school is very big where you can see jeepneys that has a route of “UP Ikot” where you can ride for you to be able to reach your destination within UP. You can really compare their university campus to the schools here in Davao. After we took our lunch, we headed to UP’s building of Department of Computer Science. Our tour guide us toured us to their seven research laboratories. There seven research laboratories are the following: Algorithms and Complexity Lab, Computer Security Group, Computer Vision and Machine Intelligence Group, Network and Distributed Systems Group, Scientific Computing Laboratory, Service Science and Software Engineering Laboratory and Web Science Group. Each laboratory was occupied by students based on their specialization. What made me amazed is how smart their students are. Each laboratory, students are asked to say something about their work, what they are planning to do, what result they are expecting, what solutions or methods they are using or they will use and so on. I am not just the one who was amazed and inspired during the visit because the feeling is mutual with my other classmates who have seen also the beauty of their university and their educational system.

What I learned?
In our university visits, I learned that being an Information Technology student, I should personally know what field that I should focus. Same as to the students in the University of the Philippines where their students were dispatched and were focused to what field they want.

What I liked?
What I liked the most is when we visited University of the Philippines. When we went there and tour to their ICT building, I was very impressed and can really feel the aura or ambience of IT. Most of the students are using Apple Computers. Each room of their research laboratories, students are really cooperating to what they are tasked to do. I can see that they are really smart and really know many things. You can see that they are knowledgeable to what they are doing by how they speak. What I liked is the fact that I was very impressed during our visit there and was inspired as to what I saw, what I hear and especially as to what I have observed during the tour.

By going to University of the Philippines, I personally saw how their school is enhancing the skills of their students. Our visit there gave me a hint on how smart their students are. They are really indeed deserved to be on the list of top schools in the country and even in the Southeast Asia.

I also liked the subjects that were under Ateneo de Manila University’s computer programs most especially to their foreign language subject where each student are required to know at least one foreign language. It would also be great if that kind of subject will be mandatory to take on our school especially on our department.

What I didn’t like?
What I didn’t like is when we visit Ateneo de Manila University. The visit is not the visit that I am expecting to be. Since their school is one of the most expensive schools in the Philippines and one of the top 5 schools in the Southeast Asia, of course I have high standards to our visit there. But, I don’t find any very interesting things in their school aside from their very expensive gadgets and subjects offered especially there foreign language course.

What can I recommend for the improvement of the advance seminar program of USeP?
I recommend that if possible all of the companies that the advance seminar program will going to visit next time were all perfect or at least almost perfect for the course. I am not referring to not just those companies that when the students visit their and the speakers will just introduce their company and give backgrounds and histories about their company. It’s also important to make the importance of time that’s why I would suggest that if they will have a company visit, they should minimize the time for company history telling and maximize the time on discussing and presenting more important matters. If it’s possible also that a certain company can let students have hands on their products if they have so that they could see and appreciate the discussions and the visit.
My advice to those who will take their advance seminar program in the near future.

                Being the one that have already experienced an advance seminar program, I have some advices to those who will take their advance seminar program in the near future. To them, my advice is that they should really pay attention to the things that will be discussed by the speakers. They should have enough sleep or at least have slept well so that their minds are in condition for the next day’s seminar. Aside from paying attention, if they have something to request to the speaker like for example that the speaker is speaking so fast which students cannot absorb all the information that were shared. Lastly, during their seminars, company or university visit, one should be able to calculate question(s) to throw to the speakers so that they will learn more aside from those things that were discussed. It is one of the important things to do that should be done during an advance seminar program. It is not mandatory but as long as you have any questions or clarifications, you should not be shy and asks whatever you want to ask regarding the discussion.

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