Last November 7, 28, and December 5, the La Salle Computer Society (LSCS) held the eighth iteration of Technology Summit, its flagship event. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing face-to-face gatherings, Technology Summit 2020, with the theme Mapping Future Possibilities, was held via Zoom. The three-day forum discussed various technologies that are rarely known but have been widely used in the industry.
Tools for aspiring developers
Ira James Garcia, a marketing product specialist at Micro-Star International, kicked off the first day of the event with his discussion on Mixed Reality (MR). Differing from Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), Garcia defines Mixed Reality as “AR on another level.” Virtual objects in Mixed Reality are rendered more precisely and users are able to manipulate these superimposed objects. Unlike VR headsets which block outside vision, MR headsets like Microsoft Hololens superimposes virtual objects into life-like holograms for the user to interact with. MR has many uses; from designing virtual environments to simulating medical procedures, to being utilized for educational purposes.
Meanwhile, the second talk discussed Mobile Development. Speaker David Angelo Reamon, a DLSU graduate who works as a Software Development Analyst for Navitaire Philippines Inc., shares two mobile development technologies that can be used by aspiring developers. The first is Xamarin.Forms, a cross-platform mobile framework that enables programmers to write only one code for both iOS and Android using the C# programming language. He also introduced App Center, which can automate the deployment process of a mobile application. Building and packaging the application usually involves the developers. App Center, however, automates the creation of a build of the application and can be easily downloaded and used afterward.
The final talk for the day was a demonstration featuring Figma by Nico Encarnacion, a Senior UX Designer at PayMaya. Figma is a software for user interface and user experience design and prototyping that has a real-time collaboration feature that makes it convenient for developers.
Bobby Corpus Jr., innovation lead at Globe Telecom and organizer of Quantum Computing Philippines, began the second day with an overview of quantum computing. He describes quantum computing as operations done on “qubits”, short for “quantum bits”. As opposed to the classical “bit”, which can only be either 0 or 1, a qubit can be both at the same time. Operations on qubits are thus done on several possible values of qubits simultaneously. This allows quantum computing to be much faster than traditional computing. “Solving protein-folding problems is one way to come up with a vaccine, and quantum computing can help [with] that optimization,” he says.
To begin her talk on 5G networks, Karen May Garcia, the program governance manager for broadband in Globe Telecom, says that “5G represents the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications.” With speed comparable to fiber networks, shorter lag time or latency, and the capacity to handle more connected devices at once, 5G networks allow for feats such as self-driving cars and wireless drone control, “smart manufacturing” in industries, and many other applications impossible for older wireless technologies.
To end the second day, Ubisoft programmer Dennis Li discussed Game Development, giving a glimpse into the deep and complicated process of developing AAA games and clarifying the different roles of developers, such as designers, artists, and programmers in the creation of games.
The future of technology
The last day of the summit was kicked off by Brent Anthony Tudas, a blockchain developer at UBX Philippines. In his talk, he explained blockchain’s potential to fundamentally change the internet by allowing users full ownership of their own data, transparent access to transaction records, and other benefits. He also provided a list of resources for developers interested in incorporating blockchain into their work. “In a nutshell,” Tudas says, as his talk was drawing to a close, “blockchain is a database that does not lie.”
The next speakers were Jed Kenley Chua, a cybersecurity consultant, and Raphael Jeremiah Luy, an associate director, both working at SGV & Co. Their talk on cybersecurity began with a recap of recent, prominent cyber-attacks in the Philippines, and from there discussed the fundamentals of their field. “Cybersecurity seeks to protect the information of a company or individuals, whether in digital or physical format,” says Chua. After an overview of cyber threats and attacks, they ended their talk with advice on passwords, browsing, anti-virus programs, and e-mail phishing.
The last talk of the event, about technology in business, was by Seaver Choy, Chief Technology Officer at Anteriore Inc. and Senior Fullstack Developer at Edamama. Recalling his experiences in developing platforms for various businesses, Choy emphasized the importance of asking questions and observing. “In technology, when you’re applying it to a business, you actually need to know the business inside and out,” he says, adding that “Technology at the end of the day is still the scientific method. We’re supposed to observe how business is done.”
As his talk drew to a close, Choy spoke about the future of technology as a whole. “No matter how physically impossible a task is, as long as a human brain can make it into logic, can ensure it can be brought into bits or qubits, technology can already do it,” he said. “It’s a matter of time. Time will tell how far technology will come.” Then, in a fitting end to the summit, he concludes: “The entire process of knowing how to ask questions, of knowing how to streamline operations, as long as you have the scientific methodology with you, and as long as you’re always constantly learning…that is the future of technology.”