The UPCAT 2014 Results Out Now


See online results.

Go here for searchable results.

The results of the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) 2014 is now out. Congratulations to all those whose hard labor has been fruitful and have passed one of the most challenging entrance examinations in the country. This is just the beginning of the challenge, we all know that, but for now celebrate for your triumph. I wish you all the best. Have fun on your “toxic” days.

Also, shout out to the new batch of BS Computer Science students from one of your kuyas.

Student Number Name Campus Degree Program
2014-30700 AGIR, KHARL GAEBRIEL AGUILAR MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-10559 AGUZAR, STEPHANIE ANNE BUTIAL MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-27736 ALANO, ANGELIKA FAYE SERRANO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-25817 ANGELES, SIGFREED JOHN SALCEDO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-19252 BARCELONA, DIANE BOLANTE MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-47783 BUNAG, KENRICK LANCE TAN MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-50177 CAPARAS, ALETHEA MARI MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-07077 CHUA, JANE KIMBERLY NIU MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-49148 CHUATECO, MARIKA DELOS SANTOS MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-05834 DE JESUS, ANIKA PAULA MATSUO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-43376 ESPALLARDO, LLOYD VINCENT ANDARZA MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-01882 FLORENDO, PRINCESS DANIELLE VALDEZ MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-55403 GAN, PATRICK LAWRENCE CUA MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-04108 LAGUDA, REECE ADRIAN CORTES MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-26004 LIM, JOURDAN RILEY LIM MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-27438 LIPATA, ANTHONY SOLATORIO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-41075 MARPA, DARLENE PSALM GONZALES MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-00308 MENDOZA, DELWYN PERLAS MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-41079 MORA, GRACE IRENE ZAMBRANO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-40979 OCAMPO, RAFAEL ANGELO SALVADOR MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-01842 ONGCHAN, HANSSEN PIERRE TAN MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-32819 ONGCHINKE, JAYSON DELA PENA MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-61400 PEREZ, JOSHUA ANDREW BELARMINO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-56730 QUITO, RAI EARL DON SAN JOSE MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-05888 REGILME, CHARLENE GRACE SAN JOSE MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-10019 ROMERO, ROBERT EMMANUEL REYES MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-60201 SAMONTE, CHERRY ANN PANGANIBAN MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-66980 SILMARO, BIANCA CAMILLE LAGUE MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-10868 TABORNAL, NEIL KENNETH CAMACHO MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-20458 TEJERERO, EDGAR ANTHONY LOYOLA MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-54778 UY, JOHN BENGEMIN SIH MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-00731 VILLALUNA, WINFRED LOUIE DELA CRUZ MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-01740 VIRTUS, ANGEL PATRICIA RUIZ MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-23703 YAP, RICHELLE SAN MARTIN MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-02360 ZAMORA, ABIGAIL GALGANA MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE
2014-64917 ZAMUDIO, GABRIEL PORCALLA MANILA BS COMPUTER SCIENCE

Have You Tried Turning It Off Then On Again?


arvinbadiola:

I found myself seeking better challenges in the past few months. And yes, I moved out of the company after just three months. This time, I went for what I want than what’s convenient.

Originally posted on theradioman:

I just moved. Perhaps to a lot of people’s dismay except mine, I moved out of a convenient place and joined a startup. Thanks to my habit of keeping everybody’s contact information, I was able to get back to an opportunity I previously declined by sending in a carefully thought email at 1:10 in the morning.

The idea had been playing around in my head for quite a long while. I knew that I wanted it and that it was possible but I was having second thoughts. It was not about conformity in a country where most job seekers go for the big names that obviously offer big compensation and benefits; I know how to get along well with people but I’ve never really seen myself as a conformist. It was that fear of committing a bad life changing decision. It’s always easy to know what we want but we…

View original 448 more words

Creating a Ribbon using HTML and CSS


A couple of weeks ago, I have stumbled upon this tutorial on how to create arrows using plain CSS & HTML and was kind of dumbfounded. I realized maybe we turn a little too much into Photoshop and other drawing tools these days that we forget the things we can actually accomplish with CSS & HTML alone. Of course one can argue that it’s easier to create arrow images but let us set that aside for now.

I thought of creating something similar; a ribbon using plain CSS & HTML. No not the bow. I’m pertaining to the ribbon we usually use as bookmark symbol, or an indicator of something we can click or pull down in our websites.

Below is my HTML code. I simply named the top part of our ribbon, “ribbon-head”, and the snake tongue-looking bottom part as the “ribbon-tail”.

<div id="ribbon-head">
 <h1>Ribbn</h1>
</div>
<div id="ribbon-tail">
 <div id="left"></div>
 <div id="right"></div>
</div>

Below is my CSS code.


/* head */
#ribbon-head { display: block; background-color: red; width: 100px; height: 100px; }

/* text */
h1 { font-family: 'Impact'; color: #fff; text-align: center; padding-top: 33%; }

/* tail */
#ribbon-tail { display: table-row; }
#left, #right { display: table-cell; border-top: 50px solid red; border-bottom: 50px solid transparent; height: 0px; width: 0px; }
#left {  border-left: 50px solid red; }
#right { border-right: 50px solid red; }

The codes shall give you something like the ribbon below.

ribbn

I honestly haven’t thought about this a lot so feel free to comment your ideas on how this can be improved. -aB

I Want a Side Job


arvinbadiola:

Yes… I’m currently looking for a side job.

Originally posted on theradioman:

I was carefully putting on my shoes when I told my mom the news. I’ve just put two plasters over an open wound on my right foot and I was avoiding friction. “I am actually looking for a part time job.” I wasn’t looking but I have expected a blank stare. “Why would you look for another job?” she shot back. Alright, maybe I was expecting something a little too dramatic or Hollywood.

It was six in the morning and I was about to leave for work. I could have stopped right there and saved myself from a lengthy conversation. I knew she would disapprove. She couldn’t see the point and the tendency that I, her son, could go from slightly underweight to skin and bones worries her like every other mom I know. “Why would you do such a thing? You don’t have a family that you need to…

View original 344 more words

“The Issuance of NBI Clearances could make Use of Automation” thank God this Post is no longer important


I would have posted this a long time ago and I was thankful I didn’t have to. NBI now has a solution. It may not be excellent but it works for now. I can say it’s already a step to getting things working better for all of us. But I’m presenting this anyway just to share the experience and as something we could all look back into. Enjoy reading!

I went to our municipal hall one Monday to get an NBI clearance. I am moving to another company and it’s one of the pre-employment requirements. The office won’t be open until eight in the morning so I went there at around 7:30 AM. I was advised that the wait will be awfully long so I decided to go earlier than I would normally prefer. My adviser couldn’t have been any more right.

There were already a number of people in the line when I got there but I didn’t mind. I just wanted to get things done early but not necessarily be the first one to do so. The office opened at 8 AM which earned them credit for being on time but the rest of the experience wasn’t very flattering. At 10:30 AM I have just finished Step 4 which was encoding and verification of your personal information. That was already two and a half hours and there are six steps.

For those who are not aware, here are steps 1 to 6:

  1. Line up for the application form.
  2. Fill out the form and line up for data validation/verification by one of their personnels.
  3. Line up for payment.
  4. Line up for data encoding. Make sure everything you wrote on the form was encoded right.
  5. Line up for fingerprinting and photo capture.
  6. Wait for release of your clearance. If your receipt was marked a different date, you can leave and just claim your clearance on the said date.

I had to put “line up” several times; I find it the best way to describe things to readers. There was too much of it that it will probably be the first thing you would recall about the experience.

Now let us shift things a bit, automation of office processes particularly registrations or applications is a common task to IT people. In fact it’s too common it’s already boring even for students. I could still remember that for the same reason, I chose to go for implementation of artificial neural networks for my dissertation; a relatively harder task. Being someone unsure of how they will fare in the IT industry, I wasn’t particularly a challenge-seeker. I simply wanted to do something different; something that was not boring. But no matter how boring it could be, the benefit of having processes automated for both the organization and the people they deal with is undeniable, it gives everybody more time for other things. If you still find it hard to realize that benefit, try buying yourself two and a half hours to add to your day.

The issuance of NBI clearances could make use of automation. The process is simple enough that I believe even volunteer programmers could do it. This is not to say that volunteer programmers are not good analysts. This is to say that the task is too simple that programmers could choose to do it for free and take it as volunteer work. Just imagine how faster things could be if they will choose to automate even just half of the registration process.

Contrary to what you might assume, I’m not the the type of person who wants almost everything automated. In fact although it’s a bit shameful for me to admit, I could say that I’m still a pen and paper person. But in this case of processing applications for NBI clearances, I just find it very reasonable to employ automation. The single-paged paper-based application form is very easy to create perhaps in an HTML form and the validation performed by the municipal hall personnels is similarly easy to implement both in client side and server side scripts. Also, the user will be mostly in charge of verifying correctness of their personal information, a task they could accomplish in a minute or so. Having just that, an online form, applicants can already be saved from the two-hour-long wait and use of paper can be massively reduced. Because if one would think about it, writing down things on a piece of paper just to be typed in by someone else to a computer is actually ridiculous to begin with. You need not be an excellent typer to do something like that. Well the forms can already be downloaded online but it doesn’t help that much if you would still need to line up for someone to validate the information you wrote down on it.

Processing payment is a different thing for not a lot of applicants possess credit cards or Paypal accounts, but programmers could certainly put it as a nice option. But since you would still have to appear to the office to get your picture and fingerprints taken, maybe you can just hand your payment there or present a printed receipt.

A lot of software developers will still frown at this solution for its lack of elegance. Certainly the whole process could be automated. But I’m merely stating what can be readily accomplished in a couple of days (maybe a day for some) and this post is not meant to discuss a solution architecture. The point is that the application process could be better without exerting too much effort so why isn’t there somebody working on it?

The rest of that Monday was uneventful so I don’t really have the right to rant about the application process wasting my time but then not everybody has that much time to spare. We could make things better. Let’s do it now. -aB

A Beautiful Story from Teehan+Lax


So I was going through my emails this morning when I came upon my Twitter suggestions for this week. I usually just quickly read through these suggestions as I am not very active in Twitter. I simply use my account to disseminate information I gathered somewhere in the web and original content I post through my blogs.

But I digress, here’s what I really got to share. Teehan+Lax‘s twitter account was one of the suggested accounts this morning and having read their description that they do UX design, I got curious and visited their website. (I don’t search a lot of information on the hottest companies so please forgive my ignorance.) Needless to say, they got everything you would expect from a company specializing on user experience. But what really got to me was their story which you can read over here.

Learnings from Teehan+Lax

The things they’ve learned.

I won’t make this a very long one as their story’s already pretty long; but it was a good and very inspiring read for everybody. It also brings in the humanity in how they present their company to people, unlike others who are pretty high hat on how they do it.

If you’re going to ask me if they are paying me for this in any way, NO. Some stories are just worth sharing especially if there’s a lot that you could learn from them. Cheers for everybody’s happy future! -aB

Some Realizations for a Beginner in the Philippine IT Industry


For the first time, I was invited to do some tech talk and it was in Adamson University. The event was part of the course on IT Issues taken by Computer Science students. It was quite on short notice and we came there rather unprepared and clueless of things. I was able to write down what I got to say though but I had to change the medium to effectively connect to the audience. Below is the speech I prepared in it’s entirety. (I made deviations along the way.)

When a colleague mentioned to me this tech talk thing I was instantly stoked because of two things. Firstly, although I am seldom active in events like these, I’ve always loved the idea of people of the IT industry coming together in one event solely out of a common interest… I suppose. Yes, I’ve expected people to be light on biz talk today and really just have a great time with their crowd. Secondly, I find it enjoyable sharing experiences. It’s not that everybody will get to learn something new from you but just being able to identify oneself with the one doing the talk feels great right? But I didn’t know what to share. With barely three years of working experience, I’m a newbie compared to other speakers who usually get the invites to conferences. Tackling technical matters like platforms, APIs, and tools could be a safe choice for someone like me. I won’t have to go into an in-depth discussion considering the time we got anyway but let us leave those things to the experts, to training providers, to our professors; you can even learn them on your own with no real risks. So what did I choose? I figured since I’m still practically a beginner I should just give you a glimpse of what it’s like to be a beginner out there.

Who among us here have always wanted to take IT or computer science like they’ve always dreamt of hacking systems and working on large systems doing very complex calculations?

Who among us here have been dragged, maybe literally, by somebody to take the course they are now taking?

Who among us here chose this path for practical reasons?

I did. We are Filipinos, we adapt to survive. With bad economy and high rate of underemployment it’s no longer uncommon for people nowadays to let go of certain things to survive in the real world.

To tell you the truth I’m not really here to talk to people who are a hundred percent sure of themselves in taking this path. I’m here to talk to people who are rather unsure of how they are going to fare out there in the real world.

Who among you here are having a hard time with their math subjects? Calculus, differential equations, discrete mathematics? Who among you here feel like they’re just average programmers, like sure they can produce working applications but they don’t think it is done hard-core way like how some star student does it? I’ll tell you the things I’ve learned beginning my career in the IT industry.

1. TO KEEP YOURSELF SANE, START WITH YOUR OWN STANDARDS

You know how you should respond to that situation I previously stated? You say “who cares?” It’s perfectly normal not to get things perfect the first time. Don’t feel too bad about it. It’s like feeling ugly because you are surrounded by supermodels and you are not even one of them. Don’t start with someone else’s standards ’cause you’ll get there in time. It’s really going to be just you against yourself out there. There are no real competitions against anybody. It’s not very healthy chasing someone or some organization’s standards. What I suggest is to give yourself a good challenge and before you know it you will already qualify in the positions you never thought you could fill.

For more than a year I was the acting project lead on one of the projects in our company. Due to certain circumstances, I was assigned the position. I was pretty hesitant to take it for I knew I didn’t have the technical background to assume such a role. But come to think of it, it’s not all technical stuff in there. If you know how to actually work with your team, you know you won’t be the one to do all the heavy lifting. You are all technically equally capable of producing a good solution. You are simply there to stir the wheel when everybody knows their destination. So I took it as a good challenge and it taught me a lot of things. I may not be the best; It is not for me to say. But I know that I’ve gained something and now I can take on harder challenges in leadership.

2. FOCUS ON YOUR IMPROVEMENT, NOT JUST THE END RESULTS

Being new to the industry, you will most likely be into training and stuff and need to learn new technologies. And do you know the key to an enjoyable learning experience? That is starting by accepting your weaknesses and building your plan from there. Don’t go like “I must learn mobile applications development because it’s gonna get me paid forty thousand pesos a month at the least!” What if you didn’t get the position because somebody else with more experience took it? Will you be dispirited and say “hell, now I have to learn another platform. I heard money is good there and it’s possibly within my league.”

They always say that the journey is more valuable than the destination and that’s true. Won’t it be nice to hear from yourself “yeah, I didn’t get the job but I realized I really love developing UIs providing awesome user experience so I guess I’ll just work more on it”? Don’t just focus on the digits for you’ll surely be surprised how much of your salary you will be willing to trade for work satisfaction. Focus on the non-monetary things you’ll gain. After all, at the end of the day, you’d definitely want to be more valuable than the numbers written on your paycheck.

Quite in relation to that…

3. YOU CANNOT BE THE MASTER OF ALL TRADES YET. APPRECIATE THE VALUE OF MASTERING A SINGLE THING FIRST [and just familiarize yourself with the others for the meantime]

Having great knowledge on a handful of technologies can be very very valuable. And do you know when it is most valuable? It is when you are a one-man team. But the thing is, it will most certainly be not like that in the real world. With time constraints, one person can only do so much despite of what s/he knows. Sure you know some database administration, some web applications development, and some mobile applications development. But having you against three people focused on each of the mentioned field, what can be your value? Given a very short time, it is very much possible for three focused average programmers to beat one expert in delivering a solution unless the expert is willing to trade his physical, mental, and emotional health. And even then such a feat won’t be impressive.

In our team, I’m currently the go-to person for developing supporting web services for mobile applications. Yes I study other frameworks and languages on my free time like python, nodejs, backbonejs, html5, but I’m most valuable in developing web services in PHP and .Net the same way my teammates are most valuable in developing android and iOS applications despite of the other things they know. And needless to say, that expertise will dictate a great part if not a hundred percent of your salary. What I suggest is for you to look into the trends and select one technology of a great value that you will actually enjoy, again emphasizing on enjoyment, then focus on it for now.

4. PUTTING YOUR HARD EARNED KNOWLEDGE TO USE IS UP TO YOU

A lot of us would frown on a complex statistical formula and ask “am I really going to use this after I graduated?” I say you may and you may not. To be honest, application of the things we’ve learned in school is not at all times present unless you chose the right job. Unlike game development that immerses a programmer into some hard-core computing, developing simple information systems won’t ask too much of your expertise in differential equations. BUT there are opportunities for it if you stay watchful especially when we are talking about optimizations and data mining and analytics which may sound rather too grand for you right now but actually serve as foundations for valuable systems.

To share things with you, about a month or two ago we’ve spent a good four hours or so discussing an algorithm that could enhance the response time of the application we were working on. There was even a time that I’ve resorted into using binary trees to lessen the time complexity of a function I was working on ’cause the application was time critical and we were only given five seconds to respond in a transaction that involves scanning the database and going through a handful of records in a legacy system. Yes, powerful machines nowadays can already solve some problems on speed but then it is not always like that.

So what I’m trying to say is you are the ones who are going to put value on what you’ve learned. But I must say that there’s a limit for it because…

5. DOCTRINAIRE SOLUTIONS SELDOM APPLY

Doctrinaire, stiffly adherent to academic standards, very imposing of academic standards as to disregard practical considerations. Apply, be applicable or relevant. So these solutions actually work. These solutions hit all the requirements. It’s just that they’ve disregarded quite a lot of practical considerations that they no longer perfectly apply to the situation.

While going through the technical report for CMMI 1.3 I’ve encountered a very attention capturing term called “operational concept” which describes how an entity or a system actually operates in production. Surprisingly, it’s one thing quite a lot of solution providers tend to overlook ’cause they either overanalyze or are over their heads. Hence they come up with solutions too sophisticated for their customers needs that the customers could not appreciate it.

I’m not even speaking for myself right now, I’m simply relaying what’s in the CMMI technical report. We encounter certain limitations when providing solutions; there’s cost, time, effort, and technology at the very least. Out there, we are not going to develop solutions in an environment very favorable for us so we should always come up with alternatives and be aware of tradeoffs. Even consultants who have earned the authority to tell which technology will be most beneficial also have to consider the operational concept to suggest a solution.

Now what I want to say is, while you ought to learn as much as you can in the IT industry don’t be so envious of somebody who knows the latest frameworks and standards ’cause you are not always going to work on applications running on these latest frameworks capable of supporting the newest standards. It’s not really always about technical knowledge if your goal is to address your customer’s needs and cost is of great consideration. You cannot always impose what you know when circumstances make it impractical and/or costly. You should also develop one thing which is your analytical skill.

Because…

6. YOUR ANALYTICAL SKILL IS EQUALLY VALUABLE WITH YOUR TECHNICAL SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE

I appreciate the value of exams that ask you to perform rather hard-core computations and create an application written in a particular language in detail but I’m not very fond of them. Why? Because they are unrealistic? On the floor, you’re not going to develop computationally intensive applications having to recall each formula straight from memory. There’s google and lots of documentations, white papers, and APIs. You got the time to prepare and it’s even included in your gantt chart. To put it simply, it’s allowed to use cheat sheets and prepare references. You only got to be ethical and ensure that you’ll learn something from your references. Producing reusable codes is a programmer’s responsibility. The ability to understand other people’s code is a valuable skill. So why do we answer exams that do not test those skills? Isn’t our diploma enough proof that we know the use of statistical formulas?

As you go along studying various platforms and frameworks, also pay close attention to the development of your analytical skills. Truth is, if you cannot analyze a situation enough to come up with a solution in which you can utilize your technical knowledge then you will most probably just implementing somebody’s design and we do not want that. We want to be software architects and consultants. So folks while I encourage you to study well, do not cry over your grades ’cause you weren’t able to commit everything to memory and therefore you failed once or twice. How you put everything into practice will matter more.

And that’s it. Now these things I’ve presented seem cliche for some. Some would say, “I’ve always known that!” and I agree that we’ve always known these things. But the surprising thing is that it takes months even years for some people to have these things sink in. Now my only hope is that you will get to ponder on these things later on and be prepared on the challenge ahead. To close things I just wanna thank everybody for this opportunity of being able to share what I know to all of you. And as early as now, let me bid you welcome to the IT industry. I hope I was able to save you some months of on-the-job experience by presenting these things today. A pleasant evening everyone.