Last day of Y4iT. I didn’t want to see politicians so I spent the entire day in UP Film Institute.
I missed the fist keynote speech again.
Kinespell: Kinesthetic Learning Activity and Assessment
Ms. Ada Angeli Cariaga
The talk is about an edutainment software for kinesthetic learners (i.e. those who learn better through experimentation and movement). The main difference between this spelling software and other similar software is that it’s controls rely on physical motion via Sun SPOTs (a Wii port is also on the way) allowing the learner to move more than just their fingers on a keyboard. There’s also an assessment feature for teachers to track the performance of the students, but I think that’s common to most edutainment software anyway.
As students, the audience got the point of the talk. The speaker was also clear in saying that the tool is still not ready for retail or deployment due to lack of resources. Overall, no problem with this talk.
To Tumble, to Twitt; to Twitt: Perchance to Plurk: Ay, There’s the Rub
Mr. Juned Sonido
This talk was boring. I’d blame it on the speaker’s tone: using a bedroom voice (not the “sexy” kind: the “sleepy” kind), it was as if he was only talking to himself the whole time. Sure, Luis uses a similar tone, but at least he was able to capture the interest of the audience via sex.
The presentation itself is not really that interesting. It was like your average high school report: introduce the facts, provide bullet points for analysis. It would have been much better if he included a screencast showing how Tumblr, Plurk, and Twitter are used, or at least tried to provide examples which would have engaged the crowd.
I wonder how Feria’s talk went.
Nah, who am I kidding. We all know his teaching style. :P
Making IT Work for NGOs
Dr. Giovanni Tapang
CP Union dude.
His talk about providing free IT services to NGOs through volunteer work was surprisingly interesting for the audience. I guess it had something to do with the fact that most of them came from the provinces and that they need all the support they can get in terms of skills.
I’m actually thinking of volunteering for NGOs for a couple of months (blame Dr. Alan Wiess) so this talk gave me an option on where to start.
Optimizing Websites for Search Engines: A Walkthrough
Ms. Fe Nuñez
IMO, SEO is overrated. There are many ways to make your site’s presence known without having to fine tune every part of your site to get higher places in search results. Besides, some SEO practices like link dropping are avoided by bloggers (esp. those with connections to the anime community) to avoid being likened to a certain notorious blogger. :P
That said, I still think the talk was okay in terms of providing an overview on the basics of SEO and why is it important when making websites. It didn’t delve too much in the part I hate about SEO (fine tuning) so that’s a plus. The speaker was also attractive enough to illicit shouts of “Yiheeeeee!” every time a guy asks a question in the open forum so I guess a good percentage of the male audience was paying attention.
As for the problems with the talk, there aren’t any major problems but there were a bunch of minor things that I could nitpick about it. First would be the “hook” of the talk i.e. “Retire Young, Retire Rich” through SEO. I know, no one is supposed to seriously believe that, but with that type of audience, I’m pretty sure a couple of people misunderstood it. (As a side note, buti na lang di nagpa-raise ng hand kung sino sa audience ang nag-retire young, retire rich na. Baka na-tempt ako mag-raise ng hand. :P )
I could also nitpick about the answers. The question about how to pay for hosting in dollars should have been answered by giving the option to look at local hosting companies which allow peso payments. The question by the guy who wanted Google to refresh its cache of his school’s website with up-to-date information doesn’t need to wait for months for it to happen: just slap on an XML site map and submit the site to Google. The cache should refresh in a few days.
Aligning Your Social Network Assets with Your e-Portfolios
Mr. Joel C. Yuvienco
This talk explains the lesser known fact that a diploma and a transcript isn’t enough to land you a good job nowadays. At first glance, you might think that the talk is just about uploading the typical portfolio stuff on the net e.g. art in DeviantArt, photos in Flickr, but the real main message of the talk is “don’t do stupid things on the ‘net that could be Googled by prospective employers”.
I definitely agree on this advice given that most of the audience are college students and college students are prone to doing stupid things on the ‘net like uploading scandalous pictures. On the other hand, one part of me just wants to say “FUCK. THAT. SHIT.”
But then again, I already have the skills and the experience so my advice probably won’t work for the other people in the hall.
Spring Roo dude was late and this screwed up the schedule. The organizers decided to go with the last speaker in his place.
Imagine an Election System Without Precision: What Can the Youth Do?
Mr. Nelson Celis
With the exceptions of the start and the end of the presentation, the whole talk was a lot more suited for big wigs in suits than college students. Run of the mill PowerPoint presentation, legal jargon that kids don’t care about… no wonder 60% of the audience was already gone by the end of the talk.
The content of the talk was well-intended, though, asking the youth to be more vigilant in making sure that the Automated Election System can’t be manipulated. But that can’t save the talk from being boring.
Mr. John Paul Alcala
Spring Roo: the answer of SpringSource to Rails and Grails.
While the technology itself is very interesting, almost all of the members of the audience aren’t familiar with Spring. Heck, I believe that I was the only developer in the room with extensive enterprise application experience aside from the speaker himself.
Simply put, the talk’s format was not suited for the audience. Instead of spending 20 minutes explaining the background of the code-generation tool (making a lot of people’s noses bleed in the process), it would have been much better to go the Ruby on Rails demo approach. That is, spend around 5 minutes running through the background of the tool then spend the rest of the time showing the audience what you can do in that span of time with Roo.
Seeing a site with CRUD functionality built from scratch in a matter of minutes should be enough to drop a few jaws.
I am familiar with the tool so I didn’t really have a question for the speaker. Instead I merely pointed out that
EJB is the worst thing that happened to J2EE, not AppFuse the presentation didn’t say what a developer needs to study before building apps with Roo. Given that the actual requirements are pretty daunting (e.g. knowledge of Spring MVC/Dependency Injection, Maven, etc), this is a pretty big oversight from the speaker.
retired software engineer, I didn’t really learn a lot of stuff from Y4iT. Fortunately, I traded off my SE hat for a teacher’s hat early on. Instead of focusing on the lessons taught by the speakers, I focused on how they tried to convey their ideas to the audience i.e. what approaches are effective, and what approaches are not. These past few posts are basically my “notes” on that topic.
Still, the low ROI and diminishing returns means I probably won’t go back for Y4iT 2010. (unless I get invited as a speaker, of course. :P )